Limit Clutter on Kitchen Surfaces

Welcome to my home. If you previously saw my YouTube channel or my IGTV (Instagram) video, I had promised to show you how I keep my home organized and limit clutter. You’ll check out how my family lives and functions in a home that’s 1680sf. Not a large home at all, quite frankly a small one, but I try to maximize every square inch of the interior of cabinets and closets and drawers to store items that we use most frequently and other items for occasional use have a home as well. Having an organized home is not about perfection, but it is about having a system in place where everything returns once you use it. So let’s start with the kitchen surfaces. You’ll get a chance to what sits on my counter because I kinda don’t have anywhere else for them to go.

So here we are. As you can see I have a galley style kitchen with two parallel runs of cabinets. I don’t have a lot of cabinet space as you can see so I try to optimize every square inch that I possibly can. As small as the kitchen is, I want to make it as functional as possible. To keep the kitchen from overcrowding, I only house the things I would use most often.

Food Staples

Let’s dig into what items actually lands on these counter surfaces; what I must keep there even if it’s temporary since I just have no other space for it and how I limit the clutter. In particular, that would be these items that I use here. I pretty much grab from this section to get my powders to blend shakes and store fish oils.
This is a go to spot for my husband and myself since we share some of the items. I keep them corralled in a tray to avoid them from spreading out on the counter which helps to reduce the mess.

Bulk food items are immediately removed from grocery bags and placed in these glass containers. It makes everything organized, looking neat and tidy. Also, having similar styles of containers, clear acrylic or glass adds uniformity giving the appearance of neatness.


OXO Good Grips, available at, is a great starter set that you can consider for storing your foods. You can view stock levels and they can also stack which is best to optimize height in small spaces or on counters.

I labelled the containers so we can easily identify what’s inside. For instance, I’ve got a black Maca powder and red Maca powder. One has health benefits for men, which is the black and the red has health benefits women. Not that either would be harmful if ingested. But still, I want to know what I’m putting in my mouth. I bought these bottles at a dollar store, so very inexpensive to store your items. It doesn’t have to cost you a fortune for containers to start getting organized.


I repurposed this jar to store pumpkin seeds and another for goji berries. They originally had honey in them. I thought they were quite cute and I knew I could re-use them. Which brings me to the  point of repurposing. To save money, empty bottles can serve a purpose instead of tossing them in a recycle bin. But put it to use almost immediately! Do not store a bunch of empty containers for a “it could come in handy one day” collection and never use it.

I like my butter at room temperature since it spreads on bread easier. If it’s too cold it tears my bread apart. It’s a must to stay on the counter.

This porcelain bowl seldom remains on the counter. It may hold a few remaining slices of bread, extra hamburger buns or pastry. Rather than have them rest on the counter creating clutter, I keep them contained here.

When we crave for sandwiches or toast, the full loaf of bread has no where else to be placed except on the counter. Truth be told, I had a bread box in the past when the kids were young and filled it weekly with bread, English muffins or bagels. Now that we are almost empty nesters, we don’t consume breads as often. The bread box would be sitting empty for weeks, taking up too much valuable space. I’d rather have the occasional loaf of bread on my counter rather than the permanent bread box. When the bowl is empty, I have a space in the cabinet I can return it to.

One satisfying thing I like to do when the bread gets reduced, is snip off the long end of the plastic bag. It looks much neater for bread that has to sit on the counter. It’s a small finicky thing I do, but I prefer it much more than having to tuck the extra length under the bread or worse, letting it just hang!

Decorative Cutting Boards/Tray

A couple of small wooden trays can stay on my counter especially when they are functional and decorative. I have the larger chopping boards stored in the lower cabinet.

Small Appliances

The coffee grinder must remain on the counter since there isn’t any place for it to hide. The hubby uses it daily, so keeping it on the counter is the best place for it.

The toaster oven is another appliance that occupies counter space for its regular use. It’s simply too big to go any place else. And of course, a soap dispenser for hand washing.

Utensils & Books

On the other side, I have my cookbooks, knives, mortar and pestle. The knives are used daily and since there isn’t drawer space for them, they stay on the counter organized in a knife block. I look through the cookbooks frequently to inspire me to create some new dishes. The mortar and pestle is used often as well. It’s pretty heavy so I’d rather leave it on the shelf than try to find space for it on a shelf. It’s fine with me for these items to be on the counter since. Not only are they useful but they aren’t an eyesore either.

Other items that share counter space are my larger cooking utensils; keeping them corralled of course. No space for them to be in a drawer. This scented candle warmer has a spot it can go when not being used although I use it often to give a burst of fresh scent throughout the house. No kidding! It’s awesome!

And yes, we still have a home phone. Don’t judge! On this level of the house, I found that the kitchen is the best place to keep it. I tried keeping it in the living room but it doesn’t work for me. I spend more time in the kitchen anyway so it makes sense to keep it here should there be an important telemarketing phone call I need to answer. :p

Living With Little Counter Space

You see, I don’t have the luxury of having miles of counter space or tons of cabinets that everything could just disappear and remain there. Keeping my staples organized in clearly labeled containers corralled in a tray helps to break up the visual clutter. Leaving out a few cookbooks or attractive chopping boards/trays for quick retrieval is not only practical but it also adds a decorative touch.

Have any questions or comments? Great! I’d love to hear from you. Need help to get your kitchen organized and limit clutter on the counter surfaces? Let’s connect.

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