Cut the Kitchen Clutter

(photo courtesy of

The kitchen is one of the busiest and arguably the most commonly used area of a home. Because of this, it's a mecca for junk; food, utensils, cookbooks, car keys, mail. etc. If not handled properly, kitchen clutter can take over. Here are some tips for keeping your cooking, eating, and entertaining space in check.

1. Plan ahead. If you're building a new home or remodeling your current one, design your kitchen with storage in mind. Make a home for kitchen items in cabinets where they are most accessible. Place your pans and utensils near the stove. Put your plates and glasses near the dishwasher. Thinking ahead will save you frustration down the road. 

2. Keep your countertops clear. If you don't use an appliance or tool on a regular basis, store it. You don't need your coffee maker, juicer, bagel slicer, food processor and panini press all taking up residence on your much-needed counterspace. 

3. Wipe that fridge. Smothering your refrigerator with magnets, photos, calendar, keepsakes, and clippings gives your kitchen a cluttered feel, even if your counters are bare. If you must display your kid's art gallery, do it on the side that's less visible. 

4. Invest in some pretty containers. If your pantry space is limited and you need to leave grains, cookies, flour, whatever out on your counter, at least get a pretty jar to put it in. This can add to the personality and aesthetic of your kitchen. 

5. Put some bookends on those books. It's become trendy (let's be honest, it's always been trendy) to display often-used or just plain pretty cookbooks in the kitchen. A pair of charming bookends will keep them looking organized and attractive. Find some you love that coordinate with your color scheme and style and they will take your cookbooks from clutter to class!

6. Beware of glass or open-front cabinets. They are the peak of chic right now, and can look amazing and sophisticated, if done right. But the items within them must be organized and staged properly. You won't be able to stack up your Mardi Gras cups and toss your Tassimo tea packs in there on a whim without detracting from the aesthetic of your kitchen. 

63 comments (Add your own)

1. Adehpangandaran wrote:
Easy for me to answer, I don't have to live with it. My felnieg about kitchen floors (kitchen's in general) are that they should be bright and well lit. That being said, I have a light colored floor in my kitchen and I have to constantly attend to any spills or splatters because my floor lets me know they are there right away. If I changed my floor, I would go with a darker color so I guess I agree with you. The contrast will look nice too. Now to convince your wife!

Sun, June 3, 2012 @ 5:18 AM

2. Agus wrote:
the color that i would get is a light brown or "oak" type color. you dont want to get white because1. if you get evyhrteing white then it will look the same and not as colorful a kitchen should be2.if you get your white tiles then if you get your tiles dirty then it will be so noticing because evyhrteing else is white and clean

Sun, June 3, 2012 @ 8:57 AM

3. Karen wrote:
You should go with a dkarer color, maybe even a black and white modern tile or a marble looking tile. They also have new wood laminate floors I believe the name is kenecto that can be used in high moisture areas such as kitchens and bathrooms.

Sun, June 3, 2012 @ 1:37 PM

4. Samme wrote:
I don't visit Martha's site or read her mags often BUT I did see this and fell in love. I'm trying to firgue out the best place for it in my house. I was thinking above my desk like in the picture but I think somewhere in my very white kitchen (I may have to share that with you since I just read your post about your kitchen) might just be the right place.So awesome. Thanks for the instructions.Enjoying your site.

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