9 Ways to Reduce Kitchen Clutter

CC BY 2.0. Steve Johnson

Kitchens are a magnet for clutter, which can be extremely frustrating for anyone trying to prepare food. Here are some thoughts on how to reduce the mess and the unwanted accumulation of items on already-limited counter space. Please share any suggestions of your own in the comments below.

Use Hidden Storage Spaces  

Unless you use something every day, like a coffee maker or toaster, it’s better to store small appliances in places where they don’t occupy valuable counter space.

Get Rid of the Knife Block 

It’s not as much of a necessity as you may think. Save counter space by storing individual knives on a magnetic wall strip or with blade covers in a drawer.

Put the Walls and Ceiling to Good Use 

If your kitchen layout allows it, store fruit and vegetables in a hanging basket, rather than in a traditional fruit bowl on the counter. Use a suction-cup sponge holder on the wall behind the sink. A wall-mounted recipe holder is the perfect place to perch a cookbook or tablet. Consider mounting the microwave under or over the counter.

Install Proper Disposal Bins 

Much kitchen clutter results from lack of a place to put things in the moment. By keeping garbage, compost, and recycling bins close at hand (preferably beneath the counter), it’s easier to clean and sort steadily as you work.

Spend 10 Minutes Decluttering at Night  

“Clutter breeds more clutter,” as we all know, so the cleaner the kitchen is, the cleaner it will stay. A little bit of effort can make a big difference, both in appearance and in the mental effect on household members.

Clean Before You Start Working 

Since I have very little counter space in my tiny kitchen, I often take a few minutes to empty the dishwasher, dish rack, and sink completely before I start cooking dinner. That way, dirty dishes and tools won’t occupy precious counter space while I’m working.

Make Sure Everything Has a Home   

Talk with your family or housemates to establish where everything belongs – not just kitchen implements, but whatever additional items keep ending up on kitchen counters, such as wallet, keys, purse, mail, school notices, lunch boxes, etc. If there is a ‘right’ place to put them, it’s less likely they will keep adding unnecessarily to kitchen clutter.

Reduce What You Have

The fewer items in your kitchen, the less clutter you will have. Keep dishes, cutlery, appliances, and other tools to a minimum. Donate the rest because there’s no sense in storing something that doesn’t get used on a regular basis. Purge mercilessly and constantly.

Try Going Zero Waste 

By changing your shopping habits to focus on creating less waste, you’ll automatically reduce the amount of associated clutter that results from packaging. Shop in bulk with reusable containers and bags. (Read 5 steps toward going 'zero waste' in the kitchen.)