Let’s Make the most of your space and kitchen countertops
To organize a space, whether it’s your kitchen bathroom or living space, takes reason, spatial intelligence, and sensibility. Knowing what to store there and what not to store there is often based on cultural trends that can be short-lived. Since kitchen counters that tend to become cluttered and disorganized easily, do your best to be thoughtful about how you use countertop space.
If you use something often, even if it’s not pretty, YES! The kitchen is about functionality, not showing your neighbors the latest gadget you bought. Where you need to be careful or minimal is when you want to decorate or add non-functional items.
Whether you have loads of space on your countertops or just a little, here are some things to consider putting on your kitchen counters to keep them looking organized… being stylish is secondary. Again, kitchen space should be functional. If you’re using it is a presentation area to show off, maybe you shouldn’t have a kitchen. And you are probably pretty unhealthy from eating out so much. In that case, why are you even here reading an article about what to put on your kitchen countertop?
What to Store on Your Counters
Herb Plant: Keep rosemary on the kitchen counter for the fragrance and general softness it brings to hard surfaces in the kitchen. You can and should use it for cooking. Other fragrant herbs to keep are mint and basil. A few plants are okay, but remember that the kitchen is not your garden.
Small Canisters: Small Canisters! They can be a decorative way to store small items like grab-and-go snacks, napkins, and other small odds and ends to keep your counters from becoming cluttered. big, chunky canisters should be in cabinets or pantries.
Coffee Makers: If you make coffee every day, there is no better place to store it than where you use it… on the kitchen counter. Gather everything used to make coffee and store items in the general area: mugs, travel mugs, coffee, and coffee filters.
Dish Rack: A dish rack on your counter is a must especially if you don’t have a dishwasher and a maybe if you do if you regularly use larger items, wood bowls/utensils or other non-dishwasher safe items.
Small Appliances: Yes, kitchen countertops are perfect for toasters, blenders, mixers, and other appliances you use regularly. A larger mixer is all good… if you use it every week. If not, donate that COVID-relic and the reminder of your annual foray into bread making. If you don’t have cabinets that can store a large appliance like your mixer, maybe you should think about that for a minute.
Paper Towels: Though we should all be working or trying to use reusable towels when applicable, these need to be handy but not in the way. You want to be able to grab them when you need them in an easy-to-reach spot.
Cooking Utensils: Only ones you use regularly! The best location for frequently used utensils like spatulas, spoons, ladles, and tongs is next to your stove. It’s handy to have these right within easy reach when you’re cooking. You can buy a utensils crock or DIY one that fits your kitchen decor by using a vase, a large Mason jar, or even a planter.
Salt & Pepper: You cook and use these every day. It makes sense to keep these handy, no? if you don’t cook regularly, maybe you should “ahhhh push it” into the bin (takes a bow for being punny).
Veggie/Fruit Basket: Oversize bowls okay too. Many fruits and vegetables can’t be refrigerated and you’re more likely to eat them if you can see them right there on the countertop. Plus, fruits and veggies look nice.
Cookbook Shelf: This is a definite maybe. Though they can be esthetically pleasing (circa Fall 2022), didn’t we move away from paper 20 years ago? Between Alexa, Google, and wonderful websites like this one (incredibly insightful advice), or websites with recipes featuring long drawn out boring-ass origin stories on somebody’s personal blog, do you really need grandma’s cookbook out in the kitchen? Maybe just have a space set aside for your phone and or pad/tablet.
Oversized Cutting Boards: Sure the cheese board got many of us through endless days of working at home and being confined to family space. but if you’re still not using it on a regular basis, get rid of that reminder of the COVID-15 pounds you put on. You don’t want it hanging around, loitering in the kitchen and catching all the other dust or germs floating around in the air.