11 Simple Tips for Small Kitchen Counter Organization

Small kitchen counter organization can be a challenge. Here are 11 tips and ideas to get you organized and get the most out of the available counter space.

organized small kitchen counter with shelves on the wall

The kitchen is the heart of the home – no matter how big or small. The kitchen counter especially plays a huge role in how organized and neat your kitchen feels. If you have a small kitchen and less counter space, hanging out in the kitchen can feel challenging.

Benefits of Small Kitchen Counter Organization

  1. Increased Workspace: An organized counter provides ample workspace for meal preparation. With clutter cleared away, you have more room to chop, mix, and cook without feeling cramped or restricted.
  2. Efficiency: With everything in its designated place, you can easily access the tools, utensils, and ingredients without searching through clutter. This efficiency can help you cook faster and more smoothly.
  3. Hygiene and Cleanliness: An organized counter is easier to clean and maintain. It reduces the chances of food debris accumulating in hidden corners, making it more straightforward to wipe down surfaces after cooking.
  4. Visual Appeal: A tidy kitchen counter contributes to a visually pleasing and inviting kitchen environment. It creates a sense of order and calm, making your kitchen a more enjoyable place to spend time.
  5. Safety: An uncluttered counter reduces the risk of accidents. Items like knives and hot pans can be safely stored away, preventing them from accidentally falling or causing harm.
  6. Reduced Stress: Cooking in a clutter-free space can be less stressful. You don’t have to navigate around items or worry about items falling or getting in the way.
  7. Social Interaction: An organized kitchen counter can also make it more inviting for guests to gather around and interact with you while you cook. It creates a comfortable space for conversations and shared cooking experiences.

Organizing a small kitchen counter requires careful planning and creative solutions to maximize functionality and space.

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Here are some tips to help you declutter, organize, and efficiently use a small kitchen counter:

1. Declutter

Begin by clearing everything off the counter. It is time to be a minimalist in the kitchen. Sort through items and decide what you truly need and use regularly. Discard or donate items that you rarely use or that have duplicates. The act of decluttering extends far beyond mere tidying; it’s a deliberate process that involves thoughtful decision-making, reevaluating possessions, and a commitment to creating a space that seamlessly aligns with your needs.

Related: 15 things to declutter in your kitchen today

2. Prioritize Essentials

small appliances on a kitchen counter

Identify the essential items you use most frequently. These could include cutting boards, knives, utensils, small appliances you use often, and a few regularly used ingredients. Keep these items accessible and within arm’s reach.

If something is light enough to be put away when not in use, you should store it off the counter.

We use the Instant Pot almost daily, but I store it in the cabinet and take it out when needed. The 2-slice toaster is another example. We use it maybe 2-3 times a week, so it does not need to take up space on the countertop. We take it out when needed. On the other hand, the coffee maker is pretty bulky and hard to move with water. Plus, it gets used multiple times daily and has a permanent spot.

3. Use Vertical Space

kitchen with lots of vertical organization

Vertical space is your best friend. It is like adding an extra layer to your kitchen.

You can install hooks, shelves, racks, or magnetic strips on the wall above or near the counter, on the backsplash, and on the cabinet sides. This way, things like utensils, pots, and pans can hang neatly, saving counter space. Hanging items in the vertical space also makes it easy to see all the items and easy to reach visually. Try a magnetic knife rack. You will love it!

A wall-mounted storage rod is a very functional addition. You can hang dish towels, put up aprons, and show off your cooking tools – all within easy access and arranged neatly.

As a bonus, vertical storage looks cool. You can show off your favorite dishes on open floating shelves. See the floating shelves I added to my kitchen.

4. Utilize Drawer Organizers

Keep utensils, measuring spoons, and other small tools in organized drawer dividers. This prevents them from cluttering the counter while still being within reach.

5. Invest in Multi-Functional Tools

Opt for kitchen tools that serve multiple purposes. This reduces the number of items you need on the counter. My favorite is the 8-in-1 Air Fryer. Not only does it have a whole range of functions, but it also folds and stores away to take minimal counter space.

6. Under-Cabinet Storage

hooks holding mugs hanging under a shelf in a small kitchen

The space underneath your upper cabinets can be really useful. You can add hooks or small shelves to hold mugs, spices, or small kitchen tools. A paper towel holder is a very popular item that can be mounted underneath the cabinet.

7. Above Stove Storage

The space above the stove is prime real estate. Ad a wooden shelf over the stove to create a space for storage and organization. It is a great spot for storing oils, frequently used spices, salt, etc.

8. Clear Countertop Containers

One of the items that can take up space and look like clutter is frequently used ingredients like flour, coffee, tea, sugar, etc. You want to have them, but they come in bags and containers. Transferring them into clear or decorating airtight containers keeps them organized and visible and prevents clutter.

9. Minimize Decor

organized small kitchen counter with plant at the sink.

While a few decorative items can add personality, be mindful not to overcrowd the counter with unnecessary decor. Choose a few meaningful pieces that don’t compromise your workspace. Or better yet, add the decor to the walls where you don’t need to add organizers. Plants are an exception. They bring warmth and liveliness to any space.

10. Rotate Seasonal Items:

Consider rotating seasonal items like specialized baking tools or holiday-themed decorations if you have limited space. Store them elsewhere (not in the kitchen) when not in use. This brings us back to the first tip, where decluttering is essential to keep only the most useful items for that season.

11. Create a Routine

woman cleaning a kitchen

Once you have decluttered and organized your counter, you want to ensure it stays that way. This will involve creating a couple of habits:

  • Develop a daily habit of wiping down the counter and putting away items immediately after use. This prevents clutter from building up.
  • Set aside time every few months to reassess your counter organization. Check for any accumulated items you no longer use and make necessary adjustments.

In a nutshell, keeping only the essentials, using as much of the vertical space as possible, and investing in multi-functional tools will help you declutter and organize your small kitchen countertop. Daily and monthly habits of putting things away and evaluating what is still needed will help you keep it that way.

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Small kitchen counter organization can be a challenge. Here are ten tips and ideas to get you organized and get the most out of the available counter space.
Anika Gandhi

Anika Gandhi is on a mission to declutter and organize all the things around her and is here to inspire and encourage you to do the same!

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