20 Creative Ways to Declutter Countertops

food and various utensils in kitchen at home

Help household tasks run smoothly with clutter-free countertops. Here are storage-savvy solutions that take tools, materials, toiletries, and tech gear off work surfaces but within easy reach so you can efficiently handle every task.

01 of 20

Add a Pot Rack

s hook pot rack
Michael Partenio

If your kitchen is cramped for cabinet space, it can be tricky to get supplies off the counter. While pots and pans are usually stored in a cabinet or drawer, try hanging them on a pot rack instead. Pot racks make grabbing items easier and more efficient while keeping your counters tidy.

02 of 20

Hang a Utensil Rack

food and various utensils in kitchen at home

While grouping utensils in a container on the counter is common, it can also take up a lot of counter space. Consider hanging your most-used utensils directly under upper cabinets by installing pegboard or hooks. This will keep countertops free of clutter and utensils within reach.

03 of 20

Optimize Corner Space

kitchen juicer shelves oranges flowers
Laura Moss

Hang shelves near work surfaces to lift canisters, cookbooks, and attractive serving pieces off countertops. A trio of stacked shelves makes the most of an awkward space between the end cabinet and window and the dropped ceiling and backsplash in this contemporary kitchen. Other ways to stretch a kitchen's storage capacity? Mount a vintage corner cabinet in a forgotten corner and add shallow shelves behind the sink and range.

04 of 20

Utilize Space Under Your Sink

laundry room under sink storage
Adam Albright

Keep your countertops uncluttered by equipping the cabinet below your kitchen or bathroom sink with baskets to hold cleaners, toiletries, and paper goods. In this under-the-sink cabinet, sliding drawer baskets allow you to easily grab needed supplies and take inventory on supplies for when it's time to restock.

05 of 20

Create a Power Station

power strip storage plugs drawer charger
Paul Dyer

Turn any drawer into a charging station and keep electronic gear under wraps and off countertops. Outfit a nightstand, desk, or cabinet drawer with a power strip that allows you to charge cellphones, tablets, and e-readers in a secure location. Generally, this setup works best when a hole for the cord is drilled in the back or side of a furniture piece nearest an electrical outlet. Beyond your tech capacities? Call an electrician for assistance.

06 of 20

Utilize Missed Storage Opportunities

small bath private toilet modern ikea vanity black white floor tile
Edmund Barr

In most bathrooms, there's one wall that's open to numerous possibilities. The toilet wall easily accommodates all sorts of storage units. From medicine cabinets and wall shelves to freestanding etageres designed to fit a toilet's contours, there's a system to suit nearly every lavatory. Simply adding a few floating shelves to store towels and other supplies can alleviate overall bathroom clutter.

07 of 20

Focus on Medicine Cabinet Storage

medicine cabinet with plastic shelving
Cameron Sadeghpour

Medicine cabinets provide convenient storage for cosmetics and getting-ready products that often clutter vanity tops. Add small containers and risers to divide and optimize your medicine cabinet. This way products stay off bathroom countertops and put daily essentials at eye level.

08 of 20

Organize with Baskets

Wicker Basket Storage bathroom
Adam Albright

When there's no other place to put relevant things, make the most of available countertop space by using baskets and pretty canvas bins to gather small stuff that tends to sprawl across surfaces. This clever containment system holds supplies in a bathroom but would work equally well as a holder for cooking tools or office supplies.

09 of 20

Designate Kitchen Drawers

knives drawer kitchen storage
James Salomon

Some storage units are meant for expansive countertops with enough room to accommodate everything from cookbook racks to knife blocks. But when space is tight, it makes sense to move what you can into suitably situated cabinets and drawers. Look for drawer inserts that help you organize chef's knives, spice jars, and cooking gadgets in an area near where they'll be accessed most often.

10 of 20

Create Additional Counter Space

wood bathroom vintage storage
Jay Wilde

Bathroom vanity tops are a magnet for clutter. They are put to use during the most hurried (or sleepiest!) hours, when there isn't any extra time or energy for tidying up. A secretary-style desk solves this problem by storing essentials close to a vanity, in an accessible, appealing form that closes up when beauty regimens are complete.

11 of 20

Construct a Spice Drawer

kitchen spice drawer storage organization
Christina Wedge

Insert specialty holders into base cabinet drawers to boost their usefulness. Spice-jar racks keep seasonings visible, organized, and within a chef's reach but off counters and stove tops. Use cutlery trays, bamboo dividers, and compartmentalized acrylic trays to customize a system that stores and sorts the smaller things that are likely to bring chaos to countertops.

12 of 20

Find a Freestanding Organizer Bin

laundry room with white cabinets
Edmund Barr

Streamline countertops by containing like-minded items in bins, baskets, trays, and jars that don't take up more than their fair share of space. Opt for holders that can be pushed beneath upper cabinets as needed to liberate the workspace on the outer countertop.

13 of 20

Set Up a Bar Area

bar cups glass open shelves
Werner Straube

Bar areas work better when there's a clear surface for cutting fruit, placing ice buckets, and lining up liquor and wine bottles. A shelving unit mounted on this tiled wall handles glassware and cocktail-party serving pieces; the unit converts the kitchen countertop and tiled wall into a full-service entertainment station that's always stocked and ready for pop-up parties.

14 of 20

Use Over-the-Door Space Savers

bathroom storage hair dryer hook
Jacob Fox

Over-the-cabinet-door organizers allow cabinets to live up to their potential and let you keep countertops clean of bulky gear. Head to the hardware store storage aisles and storage retailers to find hairdryer holders, paper-towel holders, under-the-sink caddies, and versatile wire baskets that you can hook over a cabinet door.

15 of 20

Add an Appliance Garage

kitchen storage with green shelves
Laura Moss

Appliance garages house small appliances when they're not needed. They allow you to park things like coffeemakers, blenders, and food processors within reach but out-of-sight behind drop-down doors, which in turn leaves adjacent countertops open for food-prep tasks.

16 of 20

Reconfigure Your Cabinets

kitchen cabinet storage
Jay Wilde

Customize a kitchen cabinet's interior by adding a box-like framework of shelves and cubbies that you can use to handle your household's organizational needs. Look for ready-made inserts and pullouts that fit the interior space, or create your own construction that holds cookbooks, water bottles, kitchen towels, and other utensils typically used frequently.

17 of 20

Utilize a Utility Cart

Concrete Counter Wheeled Blue Island
Cathy Kramer

Utility carts are versatile mobile storage units. Slim three-tiered carts are perfect for bathrooms, whether you use it to hold extra rolls of toilet paper and towels or organize cosmetics and skincare products. Rolling carts in the kitchen provide an extra work surface and additional storage for cookware.

18 of 20

Create a Floating Office

office paper storage organize
Adam Albright

Look to walls adjacent to work surfaces and countertops for real estate prime for the tapping. Mount pocket organizers or shelves equipped with desk organizers to take care of paperwork that is likely to pile up on countertops; label pockets for incoming mail, outgoing permission slips, and bills in need of attention.

19 of 20

Elevate Your Built-In Shelving

colorful office storage calendar nook
Michael Partenio

Built-ins and add-ons amplify a room's holding power in a fashionable manner. Cabinets, cubbies, and drawers wrap a kitchen desk with menu-planning utility that makes it easy to see, retrieve, and return cooking references; corkboards provide spots for displaying calendars and posting shopping lists without taking up valuable desk space.

20 of 20

Use S Hooks

kitchen spatula organization
Hatch and Mass

Freestanding kitchen tool holders conveniently place tools in plain view and close to work areas, but they take up countertop space, which is at a premium in small kitchens. A creative way to keep tools within reach? Hang a towel bar or two on an open wall; use S hooks to suspend the cooking implements you're likely to grab on a daily basis.

Updated by
Kaylei Fear
headshot, kaylei fear

Kaylei Fear is a digital editorial apprentice for Better Homes & Gardens. Interested in all aspects of home design, she is eager to learn from skilled experts while diversifying her experiences. Kaylei is currently attending Iowa State University while pursuing a B.A. in public relations with minors in environmental studies and fashion, culture, history, and social justice. She is a Forever True Scholar and a Deans Advisory Council Student Panelist. At her university, she is involved with The Fashion Show as a special events team member and was previously a writer for TREND magazine. Kaylei is also the social media manager for Good Makers Market. She manages their Facebook and Instagram platforms. Previously, she was a public relations intern for EightSixtySouth, a strategic communications agency, managing social platforms, creating press kits and clips, updating media lists, and researching and monitoring influencers.

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