The Best Kitchen Counter Organization

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If you are like me, your kitchen counter organization flew out the window over the holidays. Well, today is the day, so let’s organize!

Today I am sharing tips on kitchen counter organization. I always think of two things when I organize … function and style, not necessarily in that order, hee, hee, hee.

Let's Organize a Kitchen

As much as I think I don’t like to organize, what I don’t like is clutter. The start of a new year is the perfect time to declutter and organize!

white house with black shutters and green lawn
Make it Pretty

Kitchen Counter Organization

Summer Kitchen Refresh 13

Our kitchen is easily the most used room in our home. Over the holidays, my house was full and I cooked a lot of dinners. And breakfasts. And lunches. I loved every minute of it, but my kitchen (and butlers pantry) took an organizational hit. That is code for “it’s a mess!”

Let's Organize a Kitchen

How to Organize your Kitchen

There are two things I always think about when I want to organize, function and style. While a kitchen needs to be functional, it also needs to embody a sense of style. Each is equally important.

To start the organization process, I spend some time in the room to evaluate each area, and then I use two different colored post-it notes to mark the areas. In this case, any area in need of a function update is marked with a light pink post-it note, and any area in need of a style update is marked with a dark pink post-it note.

Evaluating the Functionality in your Kitchen

Let's Organize a Kitchen

Make a list of the top four or five areas that need your attention the most.

Here is what I came up with:

#1 – The biggest area in our kitchen that needs help is an entire counter in our kitchen that has rarely been shown in a photo. Like almost never.

#2 – The counter next to our stove always looks great. It’s always full of decor and very pretty. But there is never enough counter space and it’s got to change. I need more of that counter space for cooking.

#3 – Just above that drawer is our “appliance cabinet” with a toaster and Cuisinart that has slowly collected items it doesn’t need. We can barely even use the small appliances in the appliance cabinet anymore so they always end up sitting out on my counters. That is not a good thing!

#4 – I have to mention a drawer because this one is totally underutilized. There is a drawer just underneath my “Bakery” sign and appliance cabinet. For two years it has been full of hand sanitizer, masks, and tests. This drawer needs a new purpose.

Ready, Set, Organize!

How to Organize Your Kitchen and Simplify

The Unseen Part of Our Kitchen

The photo above is the wall adjacent to our large farmhouse sink on the left side. It had way too many small appliances, such as a blender, toaster oven, 20-year-old microwave, juicer, and a Sonos speaker. I never ever shared this area of the kitchen because it was too cluttered and messy. This area is #1 on my list and it’s all about kitchen counter organization.

There also used to be a twenty+-year-old microwave on this counter. I finally replaced it because we couldn’t live without one, but stashed it in the butler’s pantry. The other small appliances went downstairs to the basement since I was using them only about once a month. The blue screen is my friend Alexa on an Echo. She is very helpful with measurements, substitutions, and setting a timer.

I forgot to take a “before” photo but just trust me that this area needed some help.

How to Organize Everywhere in Your Kitchen

This area was driving me crazy and needed both kitchen counter organization and styling because I was tired of hiding it and editing it out of my photos! The photo above is the after photo and it looks amazing.

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The Counter Top Next to Our Stove

Look how much decor is typically on the countertop next to the stove. I can barely fit a cutting board or bowl or pan here (#2 on my list). Remember when I mentioned function and style? Well, this is an instance where style got in the way of function. And it had to be changed.

Everything was moved from this area and now I have all of the space I need. I love it.

white kitchen with clean counters and a stove

Organizing the Small Kitchen Appliances and Drawer

I knew my kitchen needed a lot of organization. There are some pretty unorganized situations hiding behind those cabinet doors of mine! My next fix was #3 and #4.

This involved repurposing the catch-all drawer and organizing the small appliance cabinet.

Okay, here is the before photo. Yes, it was a little challenging to make toast amidst the masks, hand sanitizer, and gloves.

How to Organize Your Kitchen

I bought my husband a new toaster for Christmas so cleaning out and reorganizing this space was the perfect excuse to create a clean space for its new home.

Doesn’t this look better?

How to Organize Your Kitchen Cabinets

The drawer underneath this space has now been repurposed to hold all of the serving spoons, forks, and serving utensils I have accumulated. (Note to self: Do not buy any more of these at flea markets!)

I bought the bamboo drawer dividers and they are the best. Wow.

kitcehn drawer with dividers and six areas for serving utensils

Junk Drawers

Let's Organize a Kitchen

After I redid what I use to call the all-purpose drawer, I realized the three drawers in the kitchen were a disaster. Every kitchen has a junk drawer, but we had three! I am pleased to say that these drawers are now cleaned out and now contain batteries, pens and pencils, and post-it notes. I plan to keep an eye on these drawers so that they don’t get out of control again!

Technology in the Kitchen

Another item that I moved from the countertop into the shelves next to the sink is our Sonos speaker. I found the perfect space for it.

How to Organize Your Kitchen with Style

Can you see it hiding behind the wire locker basket? I had forgotten that we had a plug hiding back there!

Look below. You can barely see it!

How to Organize Your Kitchen and Simplify

There it is!

How to Organize Your Kitchen Countertops

This is such an improvement. And the music sounds just fine with the onions in front of the speaker.

Areas in Need of Styling

Because of my profession, I do have to focus on styling areas so that they are camera-ready. This also includes, what needs cleaning, replacing, or updating.

The two rugs in our kitchen were at least 20 years old and last year I finally replaced them. I waited because I hadn’t been able to find anything I liked, in a similar style, that was affordable. I was looking for hand-hooked rugs, and I found them on Amazon!

But it was time for a good cleaning and that I did! I pulled out my carpet cleaner and made sure the rugs looked new again!

This has been a long time coming and I am so happy the rugs look amazing. They are hand-hooked premium wool and just like my older ones. They also have every color I think I may ever need in my kitchen!

I ordered two Safavieh Chelsea Collection rugs in two different sizes, 2’9″ x 4’9″, and 2’6″ x 4′.

Let's Organize a Kitchen
Sage Green Summer Kitchen Refresh

This area in our kitchen is perfect for styling. I love to use an accent color, like green, and style this area so that I always have a spot ready to go for a photo. The morning light through these windows is a little bit magical.

Something New

This is one of my favorite Christmas presents from last year. It’s a glass rinser and is a relatively low-cost and easy-to-install gadget that will change the way you do dishes! You can install it on the counter at your sink, often utilizing or repurposing an existing hole.

The glass rinser is hooked up to our hot water and I can now wash twenty wine glasses in no time at all! The item is linked below!

I hope these kitchen organization tips are helpful. Remember to take little steps and focus on fixing things that aren’t working. You don’t have to do this all in one day!

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  1. First I want to say how much I enjoy your blog. I also wanted to let you know that the last 2 times I was reading your blog and ad for McAfee PC security popped up blocking your blog. I don’t know if this is a problem with my computer or someone hacked your blog-i’m not a computer person. If you have had this reported already please let me know so I know what to do if it’s my computer. thank you so much! Jennifer

    1. I’ve been getting that McAffee ad as well, but on another site. It’s happened twice within the last week. I have McAffee, so I just run a scan to be sure. Have no idea why it’s doing it, though.

  2. Looks fresh and clean Leslie! Good way to start out the new year. I have a tall deep cabinet that is a horrible design for storage. I need to find a better so life for it too. Was wondering where you got your pink glass cake stand? Its adorable!

  3. hi,
    thanks for responding to rug comment. I think I will buy rug, not sure why negative reviews from other than amazon….maybe old stock at other sites, 🤔
    anyway, certain you would not endorse, or have defective (ie. rug with smell) in your house, lol.
    will purchase from amazon, and let you know after I have it for a short time.
    thanks for your help.

  4. I am in love with the rugs also!! I plan to use them in other places though. Did anyone purchase the rug pads with the rugs? I wondered if they would slip without them, on my wood floors.

  5. Your suggestion of thinking first steps in organizing the kitchen in categories of style and functionality issues is exactly what I’ve been missing. Even our small kitchen messes have been overwhelming looking at all of it. Now I have a practical way to begin. Thanks so much for this tip plus all the other practical ideas and beautiful possibilities you share in every blog.

  6. Ha – at least I’m not the only one who has messes behind those cupboard doors! I love all your tips Leslie, and am planning to implement some of them this month – especially for the baking cupboard. There will be no “Before” pictures! 🙂 Thanks for the inspiration!

  7. I love this, Leslie! Glass washer? Who knew! And, yes, Tupperware multiples at night! Thanks for all of your inspiration…off to get two colors of post its to the kitchen now!

  8. Hi! Love your kitchen. You told me the name of the kitchen rug a while back and I bought one!! Love it! Now, I’m obsessing over my spices. Please tell me the name of your counter spice holder! I can’t find one I like, except Martha’s which is not to be found!! Thank you!! Terri

  9. Any tips for organizing a fridge freezer drawer? Mine is always messy and I am constantly digging and looking for something in it.

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