Space Savers

8 Steps to Make Space on Kitchen Counters

8 Steps to Make Space on Kitchen Counters Expand options

For most families the kitchen is the hub of the home so it is easy to end up with a vast array of mail, school work, dishes waiting to either get washed or put away and many other items that appear in our daily life. Here are 8 easy steps to make space on kitchen counters.

Start the process

Whether you’re living in a small condo like that in Chicago’s Wicker Park or a suburb on the beaches of sunny California or anywhere else—begin the decluttering process by removing everything from your kitchen counter. 

Every single item. 

Thoroughly clean the counters—including corners and any ledges where the counter meets the wall. Use discretion when it comes to small appliances, and only put those that are used daily back on the counter.

1. Prioritize

It is unrealistic to think kitchen counters can be completely empty. Daily life demands that we must access some items frequently. Your coffee maker may be used many times throughout the day, and it would be inconvenient to store it in a cupboard. If you only use your blender or food processor only occasionally, store them in a lower cupboard for easy access.

2. Appliances

A panoramic view of a kitchen counter


A microwave can take up a lot of counter space so try placing it in a corner. Most counter corner space is too deep to conveniently access smaller appliances so place your microwave on an angle to use the space more efficiently. If you have a lower cabinet to spare, install the microwave below the counter. 

3. Hanging baskets

A multi-tiered basket can be mounted from a decorative wall bracket or from the ceiling. Make sure to use the proper anchors to keep the filled baskets from falling. Fruits and veggies can be stored in hanging baskets successfully because the air circulation inhibits the deterioration of produce. 

Use hanging baskets as a catch-all for mail and schoolwork. You can also hang small pots with saucers and grow kitchen herbs in the hanging baskets, if you have enough natural light in the area. 

4. Drain board options

Even if you have a dishwasher, there are times when you need to hand wash items. A conventional drainboard is generally not appealing visually. 

There are many attractive and compact dish drainers on the market. For small spaces consider a double-decker drainboard. If you are replacing your countertops, try installing an integrated drainboard. 

5. Over the door organizers 

Reducing countertop clutter means discovering all the wasted space in your kitchen. If your pantry has a door, utilize the space on the inside of the door with an over the door shelving system. This is a great area to keep smaller plastic containers filled with snacks, or smaller baking supplies like baking soda. 

6. Go vertical

Vertically hung spatulas and kitchen tools


Hanging utensils that are used frequently is a great way to avoid a large utensil crock on the counter. Wall-mounted magnetic knife racks keep knives out of the hands of children and allow you to access them in an instant with no knife block on the counter. 

Pegboards are an easy DIY project; use them to hang small utensils or pots and pans. have ideas and plans. 

7. Sides of cupboards

The exterior sides of cupboards are often overlooked in the hunt for potential storage. 

Paint the outside of the cupboard with multiple coats of chalkboard paint, add a small rail to hold chalk and your message board is ready to go. If you have small children in your home the chalkboard is a perfect place for drawing, learning letters and numbers.

Exterior ends of cupboards are also a convenient place to hang a mail caddy, keeping loose papers off the counter.

8. Kitchen island

A kitchen island with a side cupboard


Whether your island is built-in or purchased independently, look for open storage under your island. 

Open storage gives you the flexibility to store large platters or cookware and place baskets to hold smaller items all in the same area. Flexibility is important because as your cooking style changes or your family grows, you can change the configuration of your storage.

These 8 ideas will help you not only make space on kitchen counters but also make the most of your kitchen. 


Sam is an author at ABODO, an online apartment marketplace that helps renters find apartments all across the country. ABODO reports on rent rates, the changing of real estate markets and trends within the real estate industry.

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