- Certain items and trends can make your kitchen look cluttered instead of stylish.
- Throw away your extra knives and bulky bread maker to save counter space.
- Open shelving often requires constant cleaning to look good.
Kitchens should be filled with useful and meaningful items, but many end up cluttered and poorly designed.
So Insider spoke with interior designers to figure out which elements and design elements you need to remove.
Get rid of small gadgets and trinkets
Jill Jarvis, interior designer and owner of Ehrlich interiorstold Insider that countertop clutter is the number one thing she recommends getting out of your kitchen.
“Nothing makes a kitchen more messy than counter clutter,” the designer said. “It also makes countertops harder to wipe down and keep clean.”
Purge unnecessary papers, mail and small appliances that are not used regularly. Jarvis also suggested moving or tossing decorative accessories that take up too much space.
Open shelving is a bad fit for most kitchens
Rebecca Langman, interior designer and owner of Custom Home Design Reviewtold Insider that open shelves are rarely the best option.
“Open shelving creates visual clutter and requires constant cleaning and organizing to look good,” Langman said.
Glass-fronted cabinets allow visibility while reducing dust and grease build-up.
You don’t need a huge collection of different wine glasses
Interior decorator Joe Cangelosi told Insider that you don’t have to own every type of wine glass.
“Unless you have a giant pantry that can hold all of this, most people just need all-purpose wine glasses and a set of champagne flutes,” he said.
The designer recommended investing in a more sophisticated set of glasses for formal business and inexpensive glasses for everyday wear.
Donate or sell surplus knives
Unless you’re a professional chef, you probably don’t need 24 different knives.
“Kitchen stores will try to sell you all types of knives, but 99% of the time you only need three: a heavy chef’s knife, a serrated bread knife, and a small paring knife” , Cangelosi said.
Sell or donate your underused knives and invest in high-quality versions of your top three.
Consolidate and remove bulky cookbooks
Cookbooks can offer inspiration but also add visual and physical clutter.
“To free up space in the kitchen, move or donate cookbooks you don’t use for everyday cooking,” Jarvis says.
If you only use one or two recipes in a cookbook, consider copying them down on paper and storing them in a box or binder. You can also take a photo for easy reference.
Get rid of decorative pieces on upper cabinets
Decorative items on upper cabinets gather dust and can look cluttered.
“Unless you have high vaulted ceilings, placing things above upper cabinets just means more dust and rarely improves the look of the space,” Langman said.
If you really want something above your cabinets, go for a low-maintenance houseplant that you’ll also dust when you water it.
Word signs with generic phrases may seem too trendy
Langman told Insider that one of his pet peeves when it comes to kitchen decorating is signs with common phrases.
“Your guests will know it’s a kitchen even if there isn’t an oversized fork and spoon on the wall or a sign telling them to ‘gather’ or ‘eat,'” Langman said.
Instead, the designer recommended choosing a lovely handmade piece of art that complements the atmosphere of your kitchen.
The old tea towels should disappear
Stained or worn towels can detract from the overall look of your kitchen.
“Go through your dishcloths and throw out the ones that are past their prime and no longer complement your kitchen,” Jarvis said.
You can use old towels as cleaning rags and donate clean towels that no longer suit your style.
Ditch stale or rarely used spices
Make room in your cupboards and pantry by getting rid of excess spices.
“Chances are you have a few spices in your cupboards that you never use,” Jarvis said. “Put in these spices and all the spices that have lost their flavor.”
You can combine half-full bottles of the same spice and use expired ones to make large batches of tea or infused water.
You may not need a bread machine
It may be tempting to leave a
knead your dough, but Cangelosi said the device is usually bulky and expensive.
“People have been baking bread for thousands of years using nothing but a bowl, a dish towel and a pan,” the designer explained. “You don’t need a bulky machine to make good bread.”
Unless you make loaves every day, consider storing the machine somewhere else or making bread by hand.
Turn your junk drawer into a catch-all space
Trash drawers are usually filled with things you’ll never use again – like take-out menus, packets of ketchup and old batteries – so consider turning yours into a space for the kitchen utensils you use regularly. but who do not need a designated place.
“Team up your kitchen by turning this junk drawer into a clean, organized and efficient tote drawer,” Jarvis said.
Throw away cleaning products that you rarely reach
Make your kitchen cleaner by ditching the cleaning products you rarely use.
“Keep things tidy under the sink by throwing away cleaning products you rarely use or combining multiples of the same product in the same bottle,” Jarvis says.
Also, place nearly empty products towards the front of the cabinet so you can reach them first.