Remember when you could prep food on your kitchen counter? Thanks to clutter, too many utensils, dishes, etc., you hardly recognize your kitchen counter. Don’t fret; here’s a list of tips on how to organize your small kitchen counter. 

At McKinley Apartments, we get that the kitchen counter often has to serve a much larger purpose than being a place to prepare and present food. In many homes, it’s the depository for everything that builds up in pockets, purses, and backpacks, as well as a spot to put your mail. It’s where we drop the items we want close at hand, the first place we look when searching for where we left our keys, wallets, cell phones, and receipts.

But what do you do when your small kitchen counter space can’t keep up with everything you’re demanding of it? 

The key is to tackle the problem head-on with targeted strategies for organizing your small kitchen and reclaiming your counter space. Let’s look at some easy and inexpensive (or free) options for managing small kitchen counter space.

Small Kitchen Counter Organization Tips

Relocate The Clutter 

Side table with keys that helps with saving kitchen counter space

Before we even get into small kitchen counter organization ideas, your very first step should be finding a new place for all of the items and clutter that accumulate on the kitchen countertop. If your keys, wallets, and phones always seem to end up here, consider adding a small table or shelf to your home’s entryway with a bowl for depositing all of these items.

If your kitchen must host these items, at least have a dedicated bowl or even a sealed container on one corner. A bowl will contain the occupied counter space to a defined zone that won’t expand beyond its limits.

Combine Form and Function for Stylish Storage

Kitchen counter space full of jars with various ingredients.

If you’re reading this article, it’s likely that ‘just putting everything into drawers’ isn’t an option for you. It might be that your kitchen supplies fill all of your drawers and cupboards, or maybe you want to keep some things out in the open. Fortunately, you’re not without options!

If you’re going to use at least part of your kitchen countertop for storage, the best thing you can do is make it look intentional. Choosing kitchen storage options that are both functional and stylish, and offer a consistent look, can make your countertop storage look like a deliberate design choice.

For example, rather than storing your flour, sugar, and other cooking supplies in a collection of Tupperware containers of varying sizes and shapes, get yourself a set of stylishly vintage ceramic containers or jars. Align them in a row along the back of your countertop. You can even use chalkboard stickers or paint to create stylish labels for each item. While you’re still using your countertop storage, you’re doing so in a way that looks like a stylistic decision!

Read our list of how to declutter your apartment!

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Use Organizers in Your Drawers

Drawer showing off a drawer organizer which helps saving kitchen counter space

The truth is you can optimize drawers and cabinets to hold way more than their current capacity without being disorganized or so stuffed you can’t close them. 

The key is to access the magic of drawer organizers. Say goodbye to the days of throwing everything into a drawer and sifting through items to find that one tiny apple slicer you need. Drawer organizers are incredibly affordable, available in a wide range of shapes and sizes, and work wonders for your drawer space and organization. You’ll be amazed at how much more you can fit into your kitchen storage when each one offers a proper place for all of your kitchen items.

When you organize your kitchen drawers, it’s much easier to find a space in them for the random items that would otherwise end up on the countertop, cluttering up your home.

Harness The Power of Hanging Storage

A hanging storage solution that shows how to save kitchen counter space

Let’s move on to your cabinets. These big, tall storage spaces are often dramatically underused by many McKinley Apartments renters. Why? Because you’re only using the lowest 50% of them to stack plates, bowls and other kitchen items. So how do you maximize the space in these cabinets for better organization and more available space to free up your countertop?

It’s time to unleash the power of hanging storage.

With just a few screw hooks strategically placed in drawers under your sink, above your countertop, or even along the side of your counters, you can dramatically improve the amount of storage your kitchen has to offer.

Rather than cleaning supplies and spray bottles piling up on each other under your sink, you can hang them inside the cabinet drawers for easy access. That frees up the floor space in that cabinet for different items.

Create Levels

 Marble coffee table that can be used to save kitchen counter space

What if you could increase your kitchen countertop storage space without actually increasing the size of your countertops? That’s the power of creating levels. Get creative with how many storage surfaces are available on your kitchen counter.

One small but powerful example: a cake pan! This elevated dish can give you a place to put fruit or other food while giving you extra space underneath for additional kitchen items.

Head to your local storage solution retailer with this approach in mind, and you’ll be surprised by how many functional yet visually appealing options you have at your disposal for creating multiple organized levels in portions of your countertop space. Just remember not to go overboard.

Put Walls and Backsplashes to Work

A hanging storage solution that shows how to save kitchen counter space

We’ve talked about using hanging space inside your cabinets, but don’t forget about the primarily neglected area behind your countertop—the backsplash. This area has massive potential to add storage capabilities stylishly. From hanging hooks and arranging visually appealing kitchen items to adding a particleboard section for attaching cooking utensils, putting your backsplash to work can help move storage off of your counter.

Enjoy Your Organized Small Kitchen Counter Space

Taking the plunge and deciding to get organized when it comes to your small kitchen counter space isn’t easy. But the hardest step is deciding to make a change. After that, you’ll be amazed at how quick and simple it can be to improve your kitchen’s organizational flow dramatically. Pretty soon, you’ll find yourself wanting to apply the same principles to the rest of your house. We call that the De-cluttering Domino Effect.

But how can you avoid struggling with having enough space to organize your kitchen counter? Make sure counter space is not an issue: Check out our roomy McKinley apartments here!

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