When you finally have your dream countertops, it’s a shame to cover them up with all the flotsam and jetsam of life.

 

The best way to show off your countertops in all their glory is to go on a quest to get rid of the clutter once and for all. Here are 6 waypoints for that quest:

 

Clear out space in cabinets, shelves, and drawers

Take a hard look at all your kitchen items. Set aside duplicates and anything that you rarely use anymore. Now is the time for brutal honesty! This will be the give-away/garage-sale pile.

If you really want to hang on to something for sentimental value, then store it in the basement or attic. The same goes for any items that only see seasonal use.

 

Find new homes for countertop items

Group the remaining items in your kitchen together by purpose. Then find a home for everything that’s still sitting on your countertops. Be sure to reserve a couple cabinets or drawers for small kitchen appliances since they take up the most space.

Your goal is to start off with completely bare countertops and see if that works for you.

 

Establish kitchen ground rules with your family

First, pat yourself on the back – you’ve taken the biggest step to decluttered countertops. Now, it’s time to make sure they stay that way.

You have to bring your family onboard to this idea. You want to get them to agree to a couple of simple ground rules:

  1. Everything should be returned to its proper home as soon as it’s clean and won’t be needed for the rest of the day
  2. The countertops are off-limits for anything other than kitchen essentials.

Make sure to limit the definition of “kitchen essentials”. They should only be items you use daily and are too inconvenient to get out their storage areas for each use.

 

Set up a sorting system

It’s hard to break the habit of dumping stuff on the counter as soon as you get home. One way to help is to make somewhere else the dumping ground.

The entrance is a good place for that because of its convenience. Coats and bags can be hung up in the closet. For miscellaneous stuff like keys and mail, set up a little table with a tray to hold mail and a bowl to hold keys. Or you can mount up a wall organizer to handle both mail and keys

Set a reminder for yourself to sort through the mail and miscellaneous paperwork every evening. You don’t want that pile to get out of control. Over time, this will become a habit for yourself and even your family!

 

Spread out your kitchen chores

Instead of spending hours at a time doing a whole week’s worth of chores in the kitchen, spread them all out and do a little bit each day. That way, you won’t dread going into the kitchen faced with a mountain of unfinished chores. Your counter will always be at least fairly clean and it wouldn’t be such a big ordeal to completely tidy up if you have guests coming over.

Every time you pass through the kitchen, do one small thing that will slightly improve its decluttered look. They’ll all add up in the end to an easy-maintenance kitchen.

 

Max out your kitchen storage space

If you still find your countertops cluttered after doing all the above, maybe you need more storage space in the kitchen. Here are some ideas to add more storage to your existing kitchen space:

  • On your next new countertop order, ask your countertop fabricator for built-in features like a carved dish-drying area by the sink or a quartz cutting board inset
  • Hang frequently used cooking utensils on wall hooks by the stove
  • Sort the rest of your utensils and flatware into drawer organizers
  • Bolt on a backsplash magnetic strip to hold all your chef knives
  • Install a ceiling or wall rack to hang up your pots and pans
  • Hang a door organizer behind your pantry door.

 

A decluttered countertop doesn’t just show it off better, it also helps you learn to appreciate what you truly value in life. And you can only start gaining that perspective after you’ve toned down some of the chaos around you.