10 Clever Ways to Get More Counter Space
Whether in the kitchen or the bathroom, counter space is always a precious commodity. Use these smart tips to eliminate countertop clutter and keep surfaces free and clear.
1. Install Floating Shelves
If your refrigerator is housed in a plain wood cabinet, make use of that space by putting it to work as the foundation for a set of floating shelves. It’s a simple way to keep counter space clear for cooking and food prep. Because you’re attaching shelves to a wood surface instead of a wall, basic shelves found at just about any DIY or big box store can be installed easily with only screws and a level.
2. Corral Random Items
Those of us lacking space to add kitchen shelving have options as well. For instance, magnetic organizing racks can be found that turn the side of your fridge into a little storage nook for key items you use often.
3. Add a Vertical Layer
Another great idea for kitchens with limited space is to cut down a small bench or turn a salvaged wood pallet into a handy and stylish over-the-sink shelf. Be sure to make the shelf wide enough to accommodate large dish bins and drying racks, which will help to keep surfaces clear — especially in households without a dishwasher.
4. Create Corner Space
Everyone knows modular shelves are a great way to organize kitchen cabinets, but did you know they work for countertops too? Use modular shelving to create order in your coffee corner or to stack linens neatly out of the way, for instance. With various types and styles available, you’ll be able to find exactly what you need.
5. Reimagine the Familiar
Sometimes a space-saving solution can be found simply by rethinking an everyday item. For example, try taking cabinet pulls and using them to get cutting boards off your kitchen counters. Simply screw the drawer pulls into a piece of trim and either hang it on the wall or the side of your kitchen island. You can paint or decorate the row of drawer pulls to match your kitchen decor. Easy and functional.
6. Banish Junk Mail
Notorious for killing kitchen counter space, dealing with the daily influx of mail is one of the most common household problems. If your kitchen happens to have an empty wall, then this solution is for you. Consider installing a tiered shelf to tuck away magazines and mail before they reach your countertop. This same idea can be used for kitchen linens or pantry items.
7. Add Rolling Storage
Adding a movable island to your kitchen for additional counter space and storage is another possible strategy. There are even options that feature a dropleaf, allowing for stool seating on one side, and have space deep enough to stow pots and pans.
If your kitchen is short on space and a movable island is out of the question, consider a smaller, cozier storage solution that still has flexibility, such as a utility cart. This option is still portable, and can hold all the things normally stored on the countertop.
8. Use Under-Cabinet Space
When it comes to clearing countertops of clutter, always think vertically. There are incredible wall storage systems available today that allow you to take advantage of under-cabinet space — including those that will elevate your dish drainer and allow for small bucket attachments that can be used as catchalls for odd items.
9. Go Wall-to-Wall
When you find the right rack system and dedicate an empty wall to a few units, you’ll be amazed at how much you can store. Many find that almost all of their kitchenware is taken care of without needing a single horizontal surface.
10. Hide Stuff in Plain Sight
Sadly the backs of doors are often just wasted space, when many creative ways exist to use that space as an extra closet. One example is hanging a set of woven baskets to accommodate several drawers worth of stuff. There are also specialty racks that can be installed over the door to house and organize items. The same idea can be used for the backs of cabinet doors.