Kitchen Clutter Control: What's On Your Countertop?

Small appliances have a way of reproducing on kitchen countertops like some kind of fungus, cluttering up critical food prep space and making the kitchen look like a Best Buy warehouse sale. I like my kitchen countertops bare. To me, a smooth, uncluttered countertop is aesthetically appealing but also practical for cooking purposes. What about you? What's on your countertop? I may be extreme, but I have whittled my clutter down to just five objects (not counting the soap/brush at the sink). Each of these objects serves a distinct purpose and is used at least once a week.

What are the permanent fixtures on your countertops? Can you cut back to five?

Let's pretend you HAD to pick five small appliances or knick-knacks or containers to go on your kitchen countertops. What would you choose? While you love the look and idea of that fancy KitchenAid mixer, does it really deserve such valuable real estate?

The first step is to determine which appliances you actually use with frequency (at least once a week). You get a free pass for a specific vase or knick knack that you adore and that serves your kitchen's overall decor. Over the course of a week, put a little sticker on each appliance you use. At the end of the week take all those appliances that did not get stickers and find another home for them. Appliances that are used on a monthly basis should be stored in close proximity, preferably in a kitchen cabinet or nearby closet. For those of us with limited storage space this may involves some creative shuffling. Many people waste a lot of cabinet and shelving space in their kitchens--space that could be better used to stash less-used small appliances like mixers and slow cookers. For example, do you really need that many wine glasses and soup bowls in the kitchen? Is there somewhere else in your home where the surplus could be stored for times when you entertain (even if that means under the bed)? Or maybe it is time to donate some of those never-used gadgets or extraneous wooden spoons. Do you really need six mixing bowls?

My Top 5:

(Clockwise from top left):

1. Toaster Oven. This oven cost more than your average toaster oven but was worth every penny. We use it every single day to toast bagels and cook small meals. No longer do I have to heat up our large oven to cook 7 faux-chicken nuggets for my kids or to melt cheese on tortilla. Breville Smart Oven, $249.

2. I snagged this Auerhahn wire bowl from Gilt Groupe for half price. I love how it allows the fruit to breathe. Normally retails for about $110.

3. I purchased this Keurig coffee system last week and am in love, though I am not exactly a coffee snob so am easily pleased when it comes to coffee taste and quality. I love how convenient, quick and easy it is. Keurig B60 Gourmet Single-Cup Home-Brewing System, $144.95.

4. To minimize bruising this banana holder is a must. $9.99

5. I have tried dozens of electric kettles and this is my favorite by far. Breville Ikon cordless electric kettle, $69.

Related: Kitchen Keeping: What Else Is On Your Countertop?

(Images: Amazon)

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