Never Store These Things on Your Countertop: A Guide to Kitchen Organization and Safety

The kitchen countertop is often the heart of the culinary action in any home. It’s where meals are prepared, conversations happen, and sometimes, where clutter accumulates. While it’s tempting to leave items out for easy access, not everything belongs on the countertop. In fact, there are certain items that should never find a permanent home there due to hygiene, safety, and organizational reasons. Let’s delve into why some items are better off stored elsewhere and explore strategies for keeping your kitchen both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

1 – Raw Meat and Fish:

Raw meat and fish are frequent staples in many kitchens but leaving them out on the countertop is a recipe for disaster. Bacteria thrive in the warm, moist environment of a kitchen, and raw meat and fish are particularly susceptible to contamination. Cross-contamination is a significant concern, as bacteria from raw meat can easily spread to other surfaces and food items, leading to foodborne illnesses. It’s best to store raw meat and fish in the refrigerator or freezer until ready for use, and to clean and sanitize countertops thoroughly after handling them.

2 – Cleaning Supplies:

While it might seem convenient to keep cleaning supplies like bleach, ammonia, or other harsh chemicals within arm’s reach on the countertop, this poses serious risks, especially in households with children or pets. These chemicals are toxic if ingested or inhaled and storing them in unsecured areas increases the likelihood of accidents. Instead, designate a locked cabinet or high shelf for storing cleaning supplies, ensuring they are safely out of reach of curious hands and paws.

3 – Small Appliances:

Small kitchen appliances such as toasters, blenders, and coffee makers are often used daily and may seem like natural countertop fixtures. However, leaving them out can contribute to visual clutter and make cleaning more difficult. Additionally, exposure to dust and spills can shorten their lifespan. Consider designating a specific area in your kitchen, such as a dedicated appliance garage or cabinet, to store these items when not in use. This not only frees up valuable countertop space but also helps maintain a tidy and organized kitchen.

4 – Paper Clutter:

From mail and magazines to grocery lists and receipts, paper clutter can quickly accumulate on kitchen countertops if left unchecked. Not only does this detract from the overall aesthetic of the space, but it also makes it difficult to find important documents when needed. Establish a system for managing paper clutter, whether it’s sorting mail immediately upon arrival, investing in a desktop organizer, or digitizing documents to reduce physical clutter. Designate a specific area, such as a command center or filing cabinet, for storing important papers and encourage household members to follow suit.

5 – Excess Decor:

While a few carefully curated decorative items can add personality to your kitchen, too much clutter can have the opposite effect. Avoid overcrowding your countertops with excessive decor, as this can make the space feel cramped and overwhelming. Instead, opt for a minimalist approach by selecting a few statement pieces that complement your kitchen’s aesthetic. Consider incorporating functional decor items, such as a stylish fruit bowl or a decorative tray to corral essentials like salt and pepper shakers, olive oil bottles, or fresh herbs.


Your kitchen countertop serves as both a functional workspace and a focal point of your home. By being mindful of what you store on it, you can enhance both its functionality and visual appeal while promoting a safer and more organized environment. From keeping raw meat and cleaning supplies out of reach to decluttering excess decor and paper, implementing these tips can help you maintain a clean, organized, and inviting kitchen that’s a joy to cook and gather in.

Author: admin