Posted by: organizationstation | August 19, 2009

How many kitchen knick knacks should live on my counter tops?

Q.  How many kitchen knick knacks should live on my counter tops?

A.  I always like to see the knick knacks do double duty.  For instance, a crock or vase could hold your utensils.  A favorite mug could hold your tea bags. a favorite bowl might hold your fresh fruit.  Please keep these to a minimum though, because if there is “too much” it loses it’s charm and just becomes clutter.



  1. I just recently decided to declutter my kitchen countertops, after noticing, on some of my favorite HGTV home improvement shows, that the professional decorators actually leave very little on the countertops. Along one small section of my countertop, I had a bowl of wayward stuff, a napkin holder, a paper towel stand, a decanter full of spaghetti, a decorative jar full of popcorn kernels, a sugar jar, a toaster and a butter dish. Now all I have there is the napkin holder, toaster & butter dish. I put the sugar bowl, paper-towel stand & spaghetti in the cupboard, put away the wayward stuff & got rid of the bowl that encouraged me to leave the stuff there. Then I put my jar of corn kernels up above my pantry cupboard, to display with some other decorative knick-knacks and declared this space off-limits so my husband wouldn’t pile food up there where I couldn’t reach it anyway.

    One tip that I have heard regarding small appliances is that if you don’t use it at least 1-2 times a week, you should store it inside the cupboard instead of on the countertop. Because my kitchen cupboard space is small, I have to leave my deep-fat fryer and my husband’s bread-maker on the counter-top, even though we rarely use these items. I’ve also heard, when you’re trying to sell a home, you should have no more than 2 or 3 appliances on your countertops. I’m assuming that bit of advice should be heeded even if you’re not trying to sell your home, and just trying to make it look cozy.

    If I had more counterspace, I suppose I could add a pretty knick knack or two to my countertops, but even though I love knick knacks and have them fillling every other room in my house, I really enjoy the less cluttered look on my kitchen countertops, now.

    In the newly remodeled kitchens on HGTV, which usually have ample counter-space, they leave about 2′ – 3′ of empty countertop space between each appliance and (set of)knick knack(s). I’ve only got about three 9″ sections of empty space against the wall, but just having that, really gives me a good feeling. The space that you can leave will vary according to the scale of your kitchen.

    I also decided to declutter the outside of my refrigerator and took down almost everything off of it except for a couple pieces of water-color art that my kids painted of flowers, and my grocery-list note-pad.

    Then I reclaimed another section of my kitchen countertop, by finding a different place (in the hall) for my husband to lay his keys, wallet and receipts, etc.

    I do have a small shelf on the wall in the eat-in area of my kitchen that is just overflowing with cluttered knick-knacks and I love it. My mother-in-law has a whole book-shelf of cookbooks and knick-knacks, but it is also on the other side of the room, not by the counter-tops.

    Decluttering my kitchen makes it feel cleaner, more spacious and more comfortable. Just remember that if you take too much away, it’s not a binding commitment; you can always put some of it back, later, as you see what works best and feels best for you. Have fun.

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