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How to Declutter Kitchen Counters

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Organizing the kitchen and deciding how to declutter kitchen counters is one of the quickest decluttering wins you can make in your home.

When you’re learning how to declutter, your kitchen should be one of the first places you start organizing. Your kitchen is the heart of your home. It’s where you spend time cooking, eating, and gathering with family. 

But that’s a little difficult to do when you’ve got paper piles filled with bills and junk mail, useless appliances collecting dust, and random food that you may or may not want to eat taking up space on your counters.

the fastest way to declutter kitchen counters

All the things that are in your way and serve NO purpose when it comes to feeding your family don’t belong on your kitchen counters.

Here’s how to declutter your kitchen counter and make your kitchen look neat – once and for all!

How do you organize and declutter kitchen countertops?

We all know that the kitchen is the busiest and most demanding room in the house. These days, we need to be able to cook and entertain at the same time. That’s why your kitchen should be well organized and functional.

Kitchen counters are at the center of most cooking and food preparation. But they can also be really cluttered with all sorts of things, including utensils, pans, cutting boards, spices, salt and pepper shakers, etc.

Decluttering your kitchen countertops is a necessary step in making them more functional and less cluttered. You can do this in a variety of ways: by moving all or some of the items onto a shelf or cabinet near the stovetop; by using drawer organizers inside your kitchen drawers; or by using drawer organizers inside your cabinets to separate cooking tools from dishes and cups from flatware, or by simply creating designated areas for different activities.

If you need to declutter your kitchen countertops, here are some ideas for how to do it:

– Put a tray or tray stand on top of your countertop for items that don’t need to be stored in a drawer or cupboard right now. This includes things like cutting boards and bowls when you’re not using them for chopping vegetables, pie crusts waiting to be rolled out, or toppings that you can prepare ahead before baking desserts.

– Put a drawer organizer on top of your kitchen countertops to make it easier to find what you’re looking for – right when you need it.

What should be left out on kitchen counters?

When it comes to deciding what to keep on kitchen counters, a minimalist approach is best.

In fact, to keep a tidy kitchen, there should be a maximum of three things on your counters at any time (including appliances).

Especially if you have a small kitchen, follow the rule of three!

The only things on your counter should be appliances that are too big to put away, like an airfryer, stand mixer, or dishwasher, a bowl of fruit or veggies for a pop of color (and to inspire you to eat healthier throughout the day), and anything that you use daily, like your coffee maker.


This is a picture of my kitchen when we were trying to sell our old house. Normally, we kept a coffee maker (I would hide our knife block behind the coffee maker just because I wasn’t comfortable leaving knives in a cupboard where the kids could reach them), a charging station, and our stand mixer on the kitchen countertops.

However, the charging station tended to look messy, so I moved it prior to showing our house.

If you have functional storage, like a charging station, that you regularly use but it tends to look messy, make sure you either tidy it or put it away when it’s not in use.

By keeping your counters as clear as possible, your kitchen will look larger and cleaner.

Your kitchen will also STAY cleaner when the countertops are clean because people will be less likely to create (and leave) a mess behind them.

How should I organize my kitchen countertops?

Keeping only three things on your counter can seem like a daunting task, whether you have a small or large kitchen. 

My trick is to create three well-organized “stations” in my kitchen.

In our new house, our kitchen is huge, so I created a “coffee bar,” with our coffee maker and a wooden organizer to hold our favorite k-cups and favorings, a countertop dishwasher next to the sink, and our airfryer next to the stove (I try to hide it in the corner as close to the fridge as possible when it’s not in use, but it’s too big to put away on a regular basis).

How to arrange appliances on kitchen counter

If you have large kitchen appliances that won’t fit in a cupboard, it’s ok to leave them on the counter, but make sure you’re still abiding by the rule of three.

For example, if you have an air fryer, a dishwasher, and a coffee maker on the kitchen counter, that

How to hide clutter in kitchen

To keep your kitchen countertops clear and hide clutter, I used my kitchen decor to create boundaries.

For example, next to the coffee maker, I used a wooden tray to store my k-cups. I’m only allowed to keep things that fit inside the tray on the counter.

Decorative kitchen countertop storage

  • Kitchen counter tray
  • Kitchen countertop organizer shelf
  • Countertop shelf 

How to decorate kitchen counters without clutter

Once you’ve finished decluttering your kitchen counters, the last thing you want to do is add clutter!

I use purposeful decor, like my coffee tray, which also serves as a storage tray.

I also place fresh fruit in a bowl on my center island for a pop of color (and inspiration to eat healthier).

Finally, I also have a sign that I made and propped against the wall so it’s not adding to the counter clutter. The sign hides an old phone jack on the wall and I’m careful not to place anything in front of the sign.

How to keep kitchen counters clear

Going forward, keep your kitchen counters as clear as possible. 

Have you ever noticed how, as soon as you add one thing to your counter, items seem to multiply?

Since the kitchen countertops are a flat surface, it’s really easy to set things on them, even with the good intentions of moving it soon. Unfortunately, that serves as an invitation for clutter.

Prevent clutter from even starting to pile up on your counters by implementing the “one touch” rule. For example, open mail over your garbage can. As soon as you open a bill or something that needs to be processed, put it in a folder to process in a batch. Everything else should immediately be discarded or handled.

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