11 Things To Have On Your Kitchen Counters

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Kitchen counter space is limited in most kitchens. Therefore, choosing what you keep stored on your counter can be a difficult choice. We've identified several suggested items to keep on your counter, included in this article, along with a list of things that our research tells us you should avoid storing on the counter.

Here are 11 main things that can be great additions to your counter space in your kitchen:

  1. Toaster or toaster oven
  2. Coffee maker
  3. Stand mixer
  4. Knife block
  5. Cutting boards
  6. Utensil holder
  7. Salt and pepper shakers
  8. Dish drying rack
  9. Paper towels
  10. Fruit basket
  11. Canisters

This seems simple enough, but how do you organize all of these? Where do you put them? And what shouldn’t be stored on your counters? Please keep reading for all the details on kitchen countertop organization!

Beautiful kitchen with lights off in new luxury home with island, pendant lights, and glass fronted cabinets, and view of dining room, 11 Things To Have On Your Kitchen Counters

Top 11 Things To Keep On Your Kitchen Counters

1. Toaster/Toaster Oven

Early morning toasted bread, man in the kitchen preparing toast for breakfast at sunrise

Storing your toaster or toaster oven on the counter can save so much time and hassle. These are commonly used appliances in the kitchen that can be difficult to store in a cupboard for the mere fact that they would need to be drug out for every use. Toaster ovens especially, as they are larger than the average toaster.

2. Coffee Maker/Coffee Bar

Coffeemaker with two cups in interior of modern kitchen closeup

Whether you have a simple coffee maker or a fancy espresso machine, you should keep these on the counter. Coffee makers get a lot of use and are usually large and difficult to store.

If you are going for a more aesthetic look than just a basic coffee maker, try creating a coffee bar. Coffee bars are easy to create and look amazing! Add small jars near your coffee maker with different toppings, mix-ins, or other coffee essentials; then they are near you and easy to reach whenever you brew your coffee.

3. Stand Mixer

A red electric stand mixer on kitchen counter top with eggs, butter and flour as ingredients for making a pie in the foreground. Focus in on the stand mixer while at the background can be seen a modern white kitchen out of focus.

A stand mixer can take up a good bit of space; however, it is best left on the counter for two main reasons. The first is that stand mixers are heavy. You don’t want to have to continue lifting it up to place it into or take it out of the cupboard.

The second reason is that these types of mixers usually come in a variety of fun colors, and they can be the perfect accent piece to make your kitchen look complete.

4. A Knife Block

A wooden knife block with an assortment of utensils

What kitchen doesn’t have a knife block? Knives are necessary for any cooking or baking, so having them front and center on your kitchen counter can be super helpful for easy reaching while cutting vegetables or other ingredients.

5. Cutting Boards

Bright And Clean Modern Minimalist Kitchen, Close Up. Cutting Boards, Green Succulent Pot On A Wooden Worktop

Keeping cutting boards on the counter is a fairly debated topic. If your cutting boards are in good condition, they can be a perfect addition to your countertop. It is suggested that you stand them up against the backsplash; this adds more décor while keeping the cutting boards close for easy use.

6. A Utensil Holder

Crockery, clayware, dark utensils and other different stuff on wooden table-top. Kitchen still life as background for design. Copy space.

Utensil holders come in many shapes and sizes. You can put whisks, wooden spoons, or spatulas in them. Some people prefer to use a jar, a cup, or a vase. Whatever your preference, these are great additions to your countertop, especially placing them near the stove where you are most likely to use these types of utensils.

7. Salt And Pepper Shakers

A pair of simple glass salt and pepper shakers stand alone on a varnished wooden table top.

Salt and pepper shakers are staples in the kitchen. They are simple but necessary spices that most people keep on their countertops. If you do not like how simple they look on your counter or if they do not match your kitchen, try finding new shakers that will match better.

8. A Dish Drying Rack

Clean dishes after washing up

It is super important to keep a dish drying rack on your countertop. No matter how much you may use a dishwasher, there will always be at least a dish or two that needs hand-washed, and therefore needs to dry.

9. Paper Towel Rod

A roll of towel paper and a dish towel on a granite kitchen counter

Keeping a roll of paper towels on a cute towel rack by your sink can be very helpful when washing your hands, finishing up doing the dishes, or cleaning up a spill. Using a paper towel rod on your counter can be better to use than a hanging roll because you can move a rod about to whichever side of the sink works best for you.

10. Fruit Basket

Portrait of fruit on a kitchen worktop.

A fruit basket kept on your counter is a great help to keep fruit fresh for longer. Placing your fruit in a wired basket can help to extend the length of your fruit's taste. Plus, keeping fruit out where you can see it will help you to avoid forgetting to eat it in time.

11. Canisters

Neatly organized and labeled baking ingredients in BPA-free plastic storage containers

Canisters are all the rage currently. Many people are choosing to keep food products that are normally boxed or in plastic containers, on the counter instead, in glass or plastic jars. This can be especially helpful in clear jars so that you can easily tell when you are running low on a product.

What Not To Keep On Your Counters

Clutter seems to be the biggest issue in many people’s kitchens, especially small kitchens with limited counter space to begin with. To avoid clutter, there are some things that you should not keep on your counters.

First, you should avoid keeping appliances that do not get used. For example, if you have a waffle maker on your counter and you only use it once every few months, try storing it in a cupboard to free up some counter space.

Second, do not store stacks of paper or mail on your counters. It is best to find a home for these random papers, like a drawer or a desk in an office. That way, you are avoiding food spilling on these papers and keeping your counters clean and organized.

If you do not have space in an office or an extra drawer, try getting a file organizer for your counter to at least create some organization for these papers. You might even find an organizer material that coordinates nicely with your kitchen cutting boards or appliances.

Click here to see a bamboo file organizer on Amazon.

Finally, try to store olive oil and spices in a cupboard or pantry. As pretty as you may think these items can be in glass containers on the counter, they can lose flavor being stored in the light. They should be kept in cool, dark places.

How Do I Organize My Kitchen Counters?

The first step to organizing your kitchen counters is decluttering. After that, make use of aesthetic trays for out-of-place items. A rectangular glass tray can be perfect to arrange canisters on, for example.

Vertical storage can be an amazing way to make use of small counter space. For example, a jar or vase with your utensils, as talked about above. Another quick tip is to keep a junk bowl. This will help to avoid the clutter of small, random objects such as keys, pens, or magnets.

How To Arrange Appliances On Kitchen Counter?

After all of that decluttering, when deciding where to keep all of these 11 items on your counter, find zones in your kitchen. For example, a sink zone. The sink zone is perfect for keeping your dish drying rack and paper towels.

Next, find your oven zone. The oven zone is the counter space next to the oven that is perfect for salt and pepper shakers, utensil holders, and a knife block.

Next, find your prep zone, the place with the most useful counter space. Here you can keep your toaster, coffee maker, and your canisters. Keep your zones organized, and you should find your kitchen to be organized usefully.

For even more details, check out "How To Arrange Appliances On A Kitchen Counter."

How Do You Arrange Canisters On The Counter?

To begin arranging canisters, find canisters that match each other. Your canisters all need to look good together and look good with your kitchen colors. Avoid getting all of the same size canisters; each thing you put in them will need different amounts of space.

Check out these stackable glass canisters on Amazon.

Make sure your canisters can seal --that way, your food will all stay fresh. To organize them, line them up to create a neat look, or space them out amongst your kitchen to bring the whole kitchen look together.

There are many things you can put in canisters on your counter, for example, flour and sugar. You can also put tea bags, coffee grounds, rice, cereal, or pasta in them as well.

To Conclude

There are many things you can put on your counter, but counter space is limited in many kitchens. If you only keep these 11 necessary things on your counter, it'll help you to avoid clutter create a well-organized and aesthetic kitchen.

Moving onto the next area of your kitchen, check out "How To Organize Deep Kitchen Drawers [3 Practical Ideas]."

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