More countertop calm, less calamity
You splurged on gorgeous granite countertops but can’t even see them thanks to loads of clutter—keys, papers, appliances, and crocks of tools. Now your small kitchen looks even tinier, and you barely have room to prepare meals. Read on for smart strategies to regain workspace and style.
1. Pare Down Your Possessions
A general rule of thumb: Only keep things you use every. single. day. on your countertops. Everything else gets sold, donated, or stored. Even if you think you need it, you’ll likely discover redundancies taking up some serious space, along with appliances you only use a few times a year.
2. Choose Smaller Tools
When deciding which small appliances to buy, err on the side of compactness. Instead of a toaster oven, go with a toaster. If you don’t need a large-capacity blender, purchase a smaller one.
3. Use the Ceiling
Look up for another storage opportunity, and move items from the countertops and into this unused space. Hang a pot rack from the ceiling, and suspend baskets, which you can fill with onions and garlic or towels, potholders, and dishcloths.
4. Take Advantage of the Walls
Secure a wine rack and pegboard to the wall. On the board, hang pots, bakeware, mugs, and utensils, like handheld strainers and wooden spoons. If you don’t have small children, consider keeping knives on a wall-mounted magnetic knife holder.
5. Put More Items in Cabinets and Drawers
It’s convenient to keep your toaster and coffee machine on the counter. However, they take up valuable room and make your kitchen look cluttered. Instead, store items like these in your cabinets, pull them out when using them, and immediately put them away. You may need to organize your cabinets first to free up some space.
6. Add Cabinets
Put in more cabinets so you can store frequent counter hogs, like food processors and rice cookers. Try adding cabinets or shelves above your fridge for cookbooks, flour, and sugar canisters. Create an appliance garage (cabinet storage hidden by a door) for a coffee station or large appliances like a standing mixer.
Call a local cabinet contractor if you need a pro to install new cabinetry. On average, wood cabinet installation costs about $130 to $200 per cabinet.
7. Try an Island
If you have the space, add a kitchen cart or kitchen island. Look for one with plenty of storage underneath in the form of drawers, cabinets, or shelves.
8. Store Items Outside Your Kitchen
Keep equipment you don’t use on a regular basis, like a pasta machine or ramekins, elsewhere. Try the garage, pantry, mudroom, or basement. To avoid lugging heavy equipment, only go this route for lighter-weight tools.
9. Create a Charging and Message Station Elsewhere
The kitchen is the heart of the home, but with frequent comings and goings, phones, chargers, papers, writing tools, keys, and other miscellaneous items tend to accumulate on the kitchen counter. To prevent this from happening, designate a station in another space (like a mudroom or nearby office) for these items.
10. Use Adjacent Space as a Countertop
When baking, employ your kitchen table as a surface for rolling out dough. Or call on a sideboard to hold bowls of fruits and vegetables.
11. Maintain Your Countertops
If you keep your countertop surfaces clean and shiny, you’ll want to display—rather than hide—them. Make a habit of cleaning your countertops daily and sealing and polishing them if necessary.