10 Pretty Ways to Keep Your Countertop Organized

published Sep 11, 2014
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(Image credit: Hayley Kessner)

Whether you have a lot of workspace in your kitchen, or just a little, keeping your countertop neat and organized is paramount. It’s just too easy to leave a jar of peanut butter or a bottle of honey out, push it back into the corner, stack up a few cans for a meal you’re going to make tomorrow — and before you know it counter creep leaves you with nowhere to work.

I’ve lived with tiny countertops and large ones, and no matter what, I always corral the things that stay out on the countertop, so it’s easy to see what belongs and what should be put away. Here are 10 examples of countertops with a pretty corner dedicated to holding the most important stuff.

What lives out on your countertop all the time? For me, it’s salt, pepper, olive oil, sugar, garlic, and shallots. You can see above how I corral and elevate those ingredients with a footed board and a vintage pastry stand. They keep things out of the way, and make cleaning the counter easier (just nudge the board over a bit to wipe underneath).

10 Pretty Ways to Keep Your Countertop Organized

Here are a few more examples of how creating a cooking zone like this can work. It also is a way of adding another decorative element to your kitchen!

  1. Cake stand by the sink: Here’s a smart and pretty idea — keep the sink area free (and brightened up) with a cake stand to hold cleaning supplies. A great idea found here: Kitchen Dish Soap Cake Stand at Natalme.
  2. Cake stand for ingredients: I spotted this on Pinterest (where else?) and I like how much this bakery-style pastry or cake stand holds.
  3. Slate tray by the stove: A great cooking zone from this tour: Ryan’s Stunning San Francisco Remodel Kitchen Tour.
  4. Tray for sticky goods: A pretty vintage tray holds the usual basics, plus sticky jars like honey. Spotted in

    David’s Live/Work Kitchen In a Former Firehouse (Complete with Fireman’s Pole!)

  5. Fruit baskets: Teja (from Teja’s Family Kitchen) doesn’t leave much out on the counter, but I noticed she had two wire baskets of fruit set out. The wire construction allows air flow and the open baskets encourage her family to snack on colorful fresh fruit.
  6. Huge board: Abby keeps her cutting board in one spot on the counter; it’s the perch for her most-used cooking supplies, too. See more about her big board here: How Abby Cleans and Maintains Her Huge Chopping Board.
  7. Tiny board: A beautiful little board holds the essentials in stylist Anne Parker’s kitchen.
  8. A basket and a tiered stand! As seen here: A Labor of Love – Kitchen Reveal!
  9. Baskets for linens & silver: For those who don’t have many drawers; countertop organization for linens and silverware, as seen here: Farmhouse Kitchen Remodel – A Room with a View.
  10. Add a plant: And whatever tray, basket, or other setup you have to hold your cooking basics; it never hurts to add a plant, as in this tour: Alina’s Exotic Cooking Lair.

Do you corral your salt and pepper or other ingredients on your countertop with a tray or basket? Show us your setup on Instagram and tag it with #thekitchn!