There is nothing more pleasing to the eye ( and the soul ) than cleaned off and clutter-free kitchen counters. I am not sure what it is, but when the counters are clear the entire room looks neat and orderly.
There is also nothing that calls to my clutter-bug soul than a wide-open counter. It says, “Pssst, you….Put something on me!” or “How nice I am for sorting out things or piling things or just setting down things.”
Opened spaces tend to have that effect on us, they just ask to be used for something, anything, and when they are not it seems almost as if it is a waste of space.
But those counters are there for a reason. To give you enough open space so you can do the chores that need to be done in the kitchen. Prepping food, cooking, baking, and canning just to name a few. And those activities require space and lots of it. If you have never worked in a tiny kitchen then maybe you have never had to cook a meal on a countertop the size of a postage stamp. Let me just say that it requires a skill that would rival the acrobats on Circe de Soleil.
And if you DO have a tiny kitchen you might just need some help creating more space. If so check out the article below and find my best tips. The ones I used when I myself had a teeny tiny kitchen of my own.
If we see our counters as space to work on then our goal should be to keep them cleared off and ready to go at all times.
If you look at your counters right now, what do you see? Maybe you have already done the things you need to do to clear them off and still you feel like your kitchen is cluttered. That might just mean that you are storing too many kitchen tools out in the open. I am talking about those small kitchen appliances and gadgets that we feel must be out on our counters so we can get to them easily whenever we need them.
The problem is by leaving them all out we are instead making it harder to get to them rather than easier.
I suggest you pick only your favorites to leave out and keep the rest neatly stored away so they are easy to get to.
Which Appliances Belong out on your Kitchen Counter?
Before we dive in you will need to do a little exercise first. Take a piece of paper and list out all the appliances that are in your kitchen. Try to be thorough with your list. Include the refrigerator, oven, even the dishwasher. This is key to ensuring that every single appliance is listed and nothing is forgotten.
Once your list is complete, go down the list and highlight anything that is in a permanent position. This would be your refrigerator, dishwasher, stove, and oven just to name a few.
Those kitchen appliances that are left on your list are what you will choose from. Pick your top favorites that get to stay out at all times.
To decide your top favorites you need to ask yourself a few questions.
- Which appliances do I use the most?
- Which appliances does my family use the most?
- Which appliances are way too heavy to move when I need them?
As you look at the appliances on your list, ask yourself each question above. Write the number down next to the appliance that it applies to. Note that some appliances will have more than one number. This will better help you decide what appliances and gadgets can be kept out and what needs to be stored away.
Once you are done that, go over the list of appliances and make a note of the ones that contain 2-3 numbers meaning they fall on more than one of the three categories above. These are your top picks. The ones you can keep out on your counter at all times. Some examples would be your toaster, toaster oven, microwave, coffee maker, and/or blender.
The rest are appliances that you should be able to store away without causing inconvenience to you whenever you need to use them. Such as your mixer, juicer, crockpot, instant pot, or can opener.
Storage Ideas for your Small Appliances and Kitchen Gadgets
Now that you know what can safely be stored away we need to find the best location for those items. The trick here is to find a location that is easy to get to yet doesn’t take up any prime real estate from the room. Prime real estate is those areas that are super convenient to get to. A cabinet next to the stove or one above the dishwasher are a few examples that come to mind.
Yet we do not want to store these appliances in a basement either. You need to find a happy medium that will keep your counters cleared yet still allow you to have efficient space to work in.
These are areas on the counter that are used to house small appliances and kitchen gadgets. Usually found in the corner they utilize space that might otherwise be difficult to get to. This kitchen cabinet appliance garage holds a surprising amount and can easily clear up a counter while still keeping things within easy reach.
They get their name from the garage-like door.
Simply slide the door up and you can store just about anything inside. This area is perfect for frequently used items that are not used daily. Such as a can opener, smoothie maker, or blender. I know it looks small, but don’t let the size fool you, they hold a surprising amount yet still allow you plenty of counter space and are a great place to hide kitchen appliances.
Hard to Reach Cabinets and Shelves
This is my preferred method of storing kitchen appliances. I have several high cabinets and shelves that really serve no purpose for me other than to store rarely used small appliances. There are a few tips to remember with this option.
First: The more you use it the lower (or higher if using a low cabinet) you need to keep it. If you use, let’s say your crockpot every Sunday for dinner you will not want to store it in a shelf that requires a step ladder to reach. Whereas your Thanksgiving serving platter can quite easily be stored there.
Second: If it’s heavy, keep it low. I am a pretty stubborn person and I insist on keeping my Kitchen Aid mixer on the top shelf of my kitchen pantry. It is up over my head and I need to ask Hubby to get it down each time I want to use it. If you own one of these amazing mixers then you know how much they weigh, 22 pounds to be exact. With that being said I only use this mixer for holiday dinners and therefore the out of the way shelf is actually a perfect place for me to keep it.
Third: Do you have cabinets that leave you scratching your head? You know, the ones in a dead corner or below the kitchen sink? I am not sure what the main purpose is supposed to be with those cabinets but getting inside of them requires skills few of us have. Because these cabinets are so hard to access they are the perfect location for seldom use appliances.
Again, the more you use them the closer to waist level you want them.
These spaces are great for large stock pots, mixers, canning supplies, or other items you use less often than a few times a month. To making things a little easier on your back, keep a list of what you have stored taped to the inside of the cabinet door. This way you don’t have to get down on all fours just to see what you have hiding in the back.
What if you are short on cabinet space? Then one of these free-standing cabinets might be helpful. Yes, they do require a cost investment but if you are at the point where you have tried everything with no results then it may be time to dip into the budget just a bit. I was able to find one option under $150 that looks good and has really good and solid reviews. This is always my go-to for online purchases.
This appliance cabinet is not real wood but rather a pressed wood with real wood looking finish but it seems to be a good sturdy product by most of the reviews. The best part is, it holds quite a bit yet takes up very little space.
If this option is just not in the budget for you, then why not go metal? I have these shelves in my pantry and they are incredibly sturdy. They are loaded with canned goods on all of the shelves and I have never had an issue with tipping.
Tweak What you Have
If you have a cabinet that is not necessary for your kitchen but just doesn’t have the headspace needed to store some of the larger and bulky appliances you may need to adjust things just a bit. Remove one or more of the middle shelves to make a bit more room. This might be just enough for a can opener, a very light mixer, or an instant pot. You can still store small lightweight items on the top shelf such as travel mugs or serving bowls.
Think Outside of the Box
What if your kitchen is too small for any of these options? Then we may need to get just a little crazy here. But first, let me say this. Don’t forget, this is your house and you make the rules. What I mean by that is, nowhere does it say that kitchen appliances MUST be kept in the kitchen. If you have a closet in your son’s room, for example, that is not being used then why not store a few seldom used appliances there?
The key word here being seldom.
Remember, the more often you use it the closer you will need it to be, so please do not store your toaster oven in your son’s closet if you use it every week. I would reserve that space for items you use just quarterly or even yearly such as seasonal items. Just like you do with your out of season clothes you can just as easily store out of season kitchen supplies until you need them too.
D/M Pro Tip: If you choose to hide your kitchen appliances in another room be sure to make a note so you don’t forget where you put it. Store these notes in your calendar around the time you tend to use those items. This way you will not forget what you have where and spend valuable time searching for things.
When organizing the space in your kitchen you need to look at each area as if it is prime real estate. Be selfish here when choosing what items get to remain out all the time. Worried about wasting time? Don’t be. The few seconds it takes to get your blender from below the kitchen sink is still better than trying to cook dinner in a few inches of free space you have allowed yourself.
Now it’s your turn.
Do you have a tip on how to hide kitchen appliances? Leave a comment below and maybe I will add it to this list.