Images by Jessica Wu
Many of us homebodies struggle to straddle that fine line between keeping our home comfortable and “lived in” on one hand, but neat and tidy on the other hand. A place for everything, and everything in its place, they say, but sometimes it seems like the things outnumber the places! In keeping with my ever-evolving quest to become a more organized homebody, I’m tackling the kitchen today, specifically looking for ways to maximize my very limited kitchen counter space with some decluttering tips. Check out the suggestions below!
Tip 1: Hang knives from a magnetic knife rack
This is a way more space-friendly way to store your cutting tools than the unwieldy knife blocks that sit on your countertop – they can be placed on the inside of cabinet doors to be totally discreet!
Tip 2: Use trays or stands to corral items left on the counter
Those items that you reach for repeatedly every day - salt, pepper, olive oil, etc. can be easier to find and look like they're in the right place, rather than randomly left out.
Tip 3: Keep attractive, large cookware on the stove top
Some of the large cookware that you use often looks just great sitting on your stove top, and it will save a ton of space under your counter that can be used for other stuff.
Tip 4: Use the top of the fridge
In my home I’ve traditionally only ever thought of the top of my fridge a few times a year when I wipe it down and remark on how much dust has accumulated. Now I’m making use of the space to keep items that I don’t mind being on display – usually things like dry goods cannisters that I access frequently.
Tip 5: Add hooks to your backsplash
This was one of the best things I’ve done to give my kitchen a little more breathing room – keeping cutting boards, garlic press, peelers and other frequently used and easily hung items saves space and increases convenience!
Tip 6: Hang your fruit
Many of us are used to keeping fruit in a bowl on the table for easy access and esthetics, but hanging it in an attractive hanging basket accomplishes all of this while freeing up table or countertop space!
Tip 7: Create a contained coffee station.
Like many of my homebody cousins around the world, I am a creature of habit, and one of the most reliable habits in my home is brewing up a cup of coffee in the morning to make it feel like a day of productivity is on the cards. Keeping the beans, grinder, filters, etc. in a contained spot together with your coffee maker is a good way to make the process quicker and more efficient, and also prevents things from sprawling out across your tables and countertops!
Tip 8: Move the dish rack to the inside of the sink
For those like me who live in cramped confines, or for some other reason don’t have the luxury of a dishwasher, we’re left with little option but to wash by hand and keep a dish drainer next to the sink to put washed dishes into while they dry. Plopping the drainer into the sink when your done keeps them out of sight.
Tip 9: Mount your paper towels to the wall.
This is a no-brainer, as keeping them on the wall near the sink is the handiest setup. Why take up counter space with one of those standup dispensers that don’t even work as well for the job?
Tip 10: Keep Cereal and Snacks Out of Sight
No matter how hard the big cereal brands try to make their boxes irresistibly eye-catching, keeping food out on the countertop is not the way to achieve a clean, neat look for your living space. Storing food items out of sight also reduces the urge to impulsively snack!
Tip 11: Put Shelves on the Side of Your Cabinet
Adding storage resources to surfaces that are normally ignored can be a game changer for maximizing your space! Add a couple of shelves or hanging racks in accessible places to improve functionality and style!
Tip 12: Make the Clutter you keep look better
It’s not a bug, it’s a feature! Some of the stuff you do decide to keep out on tables and countertop can be arranged by type and in more eye-pleasing ways – think of it like installation art. Having everything about your space look intentional at least, rather than random, certainly improves the overall esthetic of your home.
So folks, there you have a few little nuggets that can be easily employed and result in more zen in your den – which ones do you already employ and which do you want to try?