Declutter Kitchen Countertops—6 Things You Can Clear Off Right Now

Here's how to keep your kitchen counters clean.

For many of us, the kitchen countertop has one of the main clutter collections in our households. This means if we let our guard down, step away, or so much as blink for a second, counters may overflow with mail, spices, spatulas, and bottles of Sriracha. While it's natural for the kitchen countertop to become a dumping ground, culling the collection is an important first step towards an organized kitchen, so you have room to cook a meal.

Go through the list below and toss out, donate, or relocate items until you only have the essentials left on display. Consider this "inbox zero" for your kitchen counters.

01 of 06


stack of mail on counter

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Unless you have a dedicated basket on your kitchen counter for collecting and sorting mail, it doesn't belong there. Instead, get into the habit (we know, it's hard) of opening your mail every day, then create an organization system on your desk or entryway.

02 of 06

Cooking Tools

kitchen utensil holder

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If you're not in the habit of cleaning up as you cook, it's easy for spoons, spatulas, and can openers to collect on the kitchen counter. When you're done cooking or meal prepping, do a quick scan of the kitchen. Grab all of the used cooking tools and toss them directly into the sink (if they need to be hand-washed) or dishwasher.

Invest in a canister or crock that's stylish enough to leave out on the counter, then fill it with your most-used cooking tools. Dedicate a drawer close to the stove for other important but less frequently used tools. They'll be easy to grab when needed (and easy to put away afterward).

03 of 06

Condiments and Spices

Spice rack

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To free up space on your kitchen countertop, order two turntables—one for the pantry and one for the refrigerator. Stash room-temperature condiments and frequently used spices on the revolving tray in the pantry; place chilled condiments on the one in the fridge. Instead of hunting for that bottle of black pepper on your cluttered countertop, you'll be able to grab it from the pantry with a quick spin of the turntable.

04 of 06

That Juicer

juicer machine

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If you still have a juicer from that juice kick you went on a decade ago, now's the time to relocate it to a cabinet or the garage—or better yet, donate it. The same goes for other appliances you haven't touched in the past 12 months.

05 of 06


cookbook on counter

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While you may want to keep your favorite cookbooks close at hand, it's best to clear them off the counter. Not only will you have more space for chopping veggies, but you also won't risk spilling hollandaise on your copy of The Joy of Cooking. Move cookbooks to a shelf on your kitchen island, an open shelf above the counter, or a nearby cabinet.

06 of 06

Decorative Bowls and Vases

kitchen countertop with flower vases

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Leaving one or two decorative pieces on display can add style to your kitchen counter and make the room feel more personalized and less sterile. But this is not the place to display your entire collection.

Relocate beautiful pieces you'd love to keep on display to an open shelf or the top of the cabinets. Otherwise, move bowls and serveware to a cabinet. Remember, you can periodically switch out which pieces get the coveted countertop spot.

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