A cluttered countertop can make your kitchen feel chaotic and stressful. Clearing off some of that counter space can instantly make your kitchen appear cleaner and more organized. This week’s idea is all about freeing up some room on your countertops so you have space to prep meals, set out appetizers for get-togethers, and just generally make your kitchen more functional and inviting. Read on for tips and inspiration on how to clear counter space in your kitchen.

Benefits of Having Clear Counter Space

Having open and clear countertops offers many advantages:

More Room to Work

When your counters are covered in appliances, dishware, jars of utensils, and other items, you end up with very little usable surface area. Clearing off some of the non-essentials can give you more open space to work. This makes tasks like rolling out dough, chopping vegetables, and arranging charcuterie platters much easier.

Improved Organization

Too much clutter on your counters can make your kitchen feel disorganized and chaotic. Putting things away into cabinets, drawers, and pantries can instantly improve the organization of your space. Group like items together and store them where you can easily access them when needed.

Enhanced Cleanliness

Countertop clutter tends to collect dust, crumbs, and spills that can make your kitchen seem dirty. Fewer items on your counters means less mess. This makes cleaning your counters quick and easy. Keeping them clear makes your whole kitchen look cleaner.

Better Aesthetics

Too much stuff on your countertops can make your kitchen look visually cluttered and unappealing. Clearing off non-essentials improves the aesthetics of the space. Open counter space looks more streamlined, spacious, and relaxing.

Increased Safety

Crowded counters mean more items that can get knocked over, fall, or spill. This can lead to slips, burns, and other accidents. Limiting what is left out on the counters enhances safety in your kitchen.

How to Clear Clutter From Your Counters

Ready to clear off some of that counter space? Here are some tips:

Remove the Non-Essentials

First, remove everything that doesn’t need to be sitting out. This includes appliance boxes, stray papers and mail, old receipts, random kitchen tools, and decorative items like vases, candles, and figurines. Store these items in drawers, cabinets, pantries, or other rooms as needed.

Find Homes for Essential Items

Next, deal with the essential items that don’t necessarily need to be on the counters. This may include knife blocks, containers of utensils, spice racks, paper towel holders, and so on. Look for alternate storage solutions like mounting spice racks or utensil crocks on walls or inside cabinets to get these off the counters.

Leave Out Only the Necessities

After removing non-essentials and finding new homes for useful items, you should be left with just the absolute necessities that you use and access frequently. This may include things like your coffeemaker, paper towel holder, fruit bowl, and knife block or cutting boards. Carefully choose what stays based on your needs.

Coordinate and Organize

For any items that remain on your counters, take time to organize them. Group similar items together. Align containers and appliances neatly. This instantly makes your countertop look more organized and intentional.

Add Functional Decor

Look for ways to incorporate decor onto your clear counters without adding clutter. Fresh flowers, pretty dishware for utensils, wire baskets for fruit, and trays for oils and spices can give your space visual interest while still being functional.

FAQs About Clearing Countertops

How often should I clear off my counters?

A good rule of thumb is to fully clear your counters once a week. Do a quick tidy daily by putting things away as you cook and use your kitchen. Do a full clear out weekly to maintain the organization.

Where should I put things I remove from my counters?

Look for unused space in cabinets, drawers, and pantries where items can have a designated spot. Utilize wall space with racks, hooks, and shelves. Under cabinet organizers and turntables in cabinets help maximize room.

What’s the best way to organize my counters?

Group like items, align containers neatly in rows, and remove everything non-essential. Organize any appliances and tools in a way that makes sense for how you cook and use your kitchen.

How do I stop clutter from accumulating again?

Put items away as soon as you are done using them. Do nightly kitchen tidy ups before bed. Assign homes for items inside cabinets so there’s always a spot for them. Purge unnecessary items regularly.

What items should I leave on my counters?

Coffee makers, knives blocks, cutting boards, oil and spice containers, fruit bowls, and other items you use daily or multiple times a day are generally good to leave out. Put away anything used less frequently.

Tips for Maintaining Clear Counters

Once you’ve decluttered your counters, it takes some effort to keep them looking clean and clear. Here are some helpful tips:

Do Quick Daily Tidying

Get in the habit of doing quick tidying in your kitchen at the end of each day. Put away any items that have found their way onto the counters throughout the day. This prevents clutter buildup.

Purge Items Seasonally

Look through your cabinets and drawers each season and purge items you no longer use. Getting rid of excess allows you to keep counters clearer of appliances and tools.

Assign Homes for Items

Be sure every item has a “home” or designated storage spot. Always return items to their homes after each use so clutter doesn’t accumulate on counters.

Store Items Conveniently

Place everyday items in easy-to-access areas. Use pull-out shelves, lazy susans, and open containers so you can grab items and put them away quickly.

Maintain Daily Cooking Zones

Define zones on your counters for daily cooking items like utensils, oils, and appliances. Keep these zones tidy by putting items away after cooking.

Meal Prep on Alternate Surfaces

When doing intensive meal prepping, utilize tables and islands instead of your kitchen counters. This prevents crowding.

Embrace Minimalism

Adopt a minimalist mentality by being selective about which tools and appliances you keep out. Only keep daily essentials on your counters.

Inspiring Clear Countertop Ideas

Need a little visual inspiration for clearing and organizing your counters? Here are some gorgeous, envy-inducing kitchens with open, clutter-free countertops:

Clear glass canisters store flour and sugar on this crisp, white countertop.:strip_icc()/clear-countertops-hero-GettyImages-1059148472-5ef74bcf564d4d0397cf8284.jpg)

Clear glass canisters store flour and sugar on this crisp, white countertop. Image source

A stainless steel knife block and a few small jars are the only items on this countertop.

A stainless steel knife block and a few small jars are the only items on this countertop. Image source

This expansive white quartz kitchen island has nothing but a bowl of lemons on top.

This expansive white quartz kitchen island has nothing but a bowl of lemons on top. Image source

A wooden knife block, plant, and a few jars are neatly arranged on this marble countertop.

A wooden knife block, plant, and a few jars are neatly arranged on this marble countertop. Image source

This bright white kitchen only has a cylinder lamp and a small plant on one counter.

This bright white kitchen only has a cylinder lamp and a small plant on one counter. Image source

Continuously Maintaining Clear Counters

Decluttering your counters once is a great start, but maintaining that organization requires developing helpful daily habits:

  • Never set something down without putting something else up.
  • Always put items directly into storage spots instead of setting them on counters.
  • Clean as you cook instead of leaving items and spills out.
  • Do nightly tidy-ups to put everything away before bed.
  • Stay on top of dishes and wash or load the dishwasher immediately.
  • Purge excess appliances and tools you don’t use regularly.
  • Cooking only the essential tools and ingredients needed for recipes.
  • Set up daily use zones for items you use multiple times a day.

Clear counter space instantly upgrades the look and function of any kitchen. By purging clutter, finding storage solutions for essentials, only keeping daily necessities out, and practicing continual organization habits, you can maintain open, uncluttered countertops. Give your kitchen a breathe of fresh air by clearing off some of that precious counter real estate!


Achieving and maintaining clear kitchen counters requires a mix of decluttering, organization, storage solutions, and daily tidying habits. By removing non-essentials, finding proper homes for useful items, strategically keeping only necessities out, and making organization a daily practice, you can enjoy the many benefits of open counter space. Your kitchen will be more functional, safe, aesthetically pleasing, and less stressful with ample open counters. Use the guidance in this article to start clearing and organizing today!

So in summary:

  • Assess everything currently sitting on your counters and remove non-essential items.
  • For items you use frequently, find alternate homes in cabinets, drawers, walls, etc.
  • Only keep out absolute daily essentials that you regularly need access to.
  • Organize any remaining items neatly and in a coordinated way.
  • Do quick daily tidying as well as a deep clean outs weekly.
  • Give items designated storage spots and always put things directly away after use.
  • Maintain open zones for daily cooking items separate from appliance zones.
  • Continually purge unused and unnecessary items taking up space.

A few simple habits go a long way in keeping counters decluttered. The benefits of more space, better organization, improved safety, easier cleaning, and aesthetics are well worth the effort. Use the ideas and tips in this article to start clearing your counters today!