A couple of our prior challenges like Challenge 13- Hair Products, Tools and Accessories, Challenge 8- De-cluttering Makeup and Challenge 2- Kitchen Appliances would have directly dealt with the items that can lead to chaotic counters.
There are likely to be three main causes of counter-top clutter.
The first is excess- in that the quantity of items to be stored exceeds the available areas to store them. Where cabinet or drawer space is limited, you are compelled to store items on the counter.
The second cause of a cluttered counter is ‘migration’- items are moved to the counter or magically find their way there- and never or hardly are returned to their original home.
This is closely linked to cause number three- convenience. You want things to be visible, accessible and within arm’s reach in the kitchen for your daily tasks like wiping your hands, storing wet dishes and cooking, so it seems easier to keep everything out in the open.
Assess how usable you need your counters to be. Is there adequate space for meal prep or laying out your makeup? Can you organise the items on the counter better or will you end up clearing off most of what was stored there?
In this post, we look at general strategies and solutions to clear your counters and keep them looking tidy, no matter the room.
1. Hang stuff- on the wall, on the fridge, under the cabinet, on the cabinet door
Photo Source: My Bungalow
There are so many fantastic hanging spots and products in a kitchen, for example, knife racks, wall-mounted brackets for the microwave or magnetic shelves, to keep items close but off the counter. In the bathroom, hanging pails (check out this post), suction products, glass shelves and over the cabinet hair tool holders also help you to keep your counters clear.
2. Stack stuff or create another level
Photo Source: The Kitchn
Take advantage of height and store items on a multi-level unit or a single shelf that creates an additional level. From pots to spices to dinnerware, there are a range of items you can stack up on a rack. In a bathroom, with already smaller surface areas, a tiered unit offers an efficient use of space.
3. Containerize stuff
Photo Source: Shop Style
Storing items in a uniform set of baskets or containers almost always makes a space appear tidier. Keep like with like. One of the most popular ‘containerizing’ solutions in the kitchen is a food storage canister or a bread bin.
4. Stow away stuff
Be realistic. Counters are finite spaces so you may want to restrict countertops to items you use daily. Store infrequently used items in a dedicated space within a cupboard or drawer.
5. Add an island
If you’ve streamlined your counters as much as practical and you’re fighting for space, add a moveable island, free-standing baker’s rack or rolling cart to boost your counter space.
If migration is your main cause of cluttered counters, institute a daily or weekly 'clear the decks' session. Read more in this post in the 'How I Organise My Home' series.
Here’s a summary of what I keep on my counters:
On my kitchen counters (on a good day)- bread basket, fruit basket, wash up supplies and the dish drainer.
On my bathroom counter- mouthwash, hand soap and a tumbler for toothbrushes.
On my vanity- daily toiletries, costume bracelets
What’s on your counters now and what needs to go?