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Pop quiz: What singular trait do all stunning kitchens have in common? A sparkling, clutter-free countertop, that’s what. And we’ve got a formula to get yours there: Edit counter items so that approximately 90 percent of the surface is clear. Think this sounds drastic? It’s actually easy (use your cabinets, folks). Here, nine wise little ways to rethink your kitchen and clear the visual clutter for good.

RELATED: How To Remove Stains From Every Single Type of Countertop

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Downsize the Coffee Maker

If you don’t have a large brood of caffeine-drinking adults sharing breakfast with you constantly, consider ditching your bulky plug-in for a chic French press or pour-over option. They both make damn good coffee, are small and mobile when it comes to storage, and generally just look super pretty. Attached to your electric? Remember the 90 percent rule and edit something else out. (And please, at the very least, stow away your coffee beans). 

Photography: JACKBILT

 

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Reject The Kitchen Catchall

Every home has a dumping ground of mail, keys, magazines, receipts, etc. Of course this junk does need a landing strip—but please don’t let it be on your countertop. Use an office desk or station in the entryway instead.  

Design: Elizabeth Lawson

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Move Baking Ingredients To Countertop Canisters

This is one instance where we actually recommend adding rather than subtracting. Staples like flour and sugar take up major cabinet real estate, and actually look super attractive as decor in pretty canisters (opt for clear glass or in a shade that matches your backsplash). Move them to the counter and make room for more unsightly clutter (like cooking oils and small appliances).

Photography: Karr Bick Kitchen & Bath

 

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And Store Spices Thoughtfully

OK, so you need easy access to salt and pepper, but do you need the entire kosher salt carton out on display? Relocate the absolute essentials to stylish grinders, mills or cellars. And give these downsized containers a permanent home (like in a chic ivory inlay tray, for example) to reside in, so that they aren’t floating around.

Photography: Honey We’re Home

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Stow Sponges In the Sink

Think about it: Have you ever seen a sponge in a magazine spread? Nope, because they’re pretty gross. Obviously these guys need to be at the ready, so we recommend placing a suctioned sponge holder inside your sink, just below the lip. (Basically, just do whatever you need to get that germy eyesore out of your kitchen’s sightlines.)

Photography: Arizona Tile 

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Rethink Your Toaster Needs

We love toast. But we don’t love the hulking, crumb-tastic nature of electric toaster ovens. Considering that most ovens do a solid job of toasting bread (place on oven grates and broil one to two minutes), maybe reevaluate if your toaster is superfluous. But I love my toaster. Great. Just stow it if you have company.  

Photography: Jenna Sue Design Co.

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Ditto Paper Towels

Consider a wall mounted paper towel holder (hung discreetly underneath a cabinet), an over-the-door holder (enclosed in a cabinet door) or go green (while inspiring others to do the same) by switching to tea towels, rags and other reusable cleaning solutions.

Image: Heidi Piron Design & Cabinetry

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Relocate the Cookbooks

Generally speaking, we’re big fans of books everywhere, but a kitchen counter should not look like a library. We recommend moving your cookbook collection to a floating ledge, windowsill or kitchen bookshelf. (P.S. We do however love the idea of using one cookbook as a decorative element, displayed on a mini easel.)

Photography: Sarah Stacey Design 

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Keep Your Kitchen Tool Palette Cohesive

If your kitchen tools must be out on display, do what you can to make sure they’re attractive—then group like with like. Translation: If you still have the dollar store blue plastic spatula set you bought in college (mixed in with your big girl stainless items), it might behoove you to chuck the old guys, then upgrade. Corral them in a pretty canister or two and call it a day.

Photography: Amber Interiors

RELATED: 6 Simple Ways To Give Your Kitchen Better Flow

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