10 Tiny House Tricks for Decluttering your Counters

10 Tiny House Tricks for Decluttering your Counters

In a tiny kitchen, counter space is a luxury and clutter is your enemy. Bare counters are pleasing to the eye and functional for folding laundry, unpacking groceries and food prep. Bulky appliances such as microwaves, toaster ovens, and coffee machines will quickly consume your counters. So how do you declutter your counters? Follow these 10 pieces of advice and start to declutter!

10 Tips to Declutter your Kitchen

1). Eliminate any gadget that isn’t essential to your daily life

Ask yourself, do I really need a microwave? Do I need it enough to sacrifice the counter space? Do I need it enough to power it with electricity, which might limit my ability to be off-grid? Or, would it be simpler to warm my food on the stove? Keyword: SIMPLER. Tiny living is about living a simpler, more fulfilling life. So keep it simple, and try not to overfill your space.


Our Kitchen, which consists of a sink and a 3-burner stove.

2).  Own gadgets/appliances that serve multiple purposes.

For example, choose a pot lid that doubles as a strainer. Do you really need a tea kettle (an item that only serves one purpose), or will a pot of boiling water suffice?

The Tiny Tack House

Tiny Tack House Kitchen. Take a tour of this tiny home.

3). Consider alternative appliances that consume less space

For example, this AeroPress can be used to make coffee instead of a standard machine. The AeroPress uses zero electricity and is only a fraction of the size of regular coffee machine. As a bonus, the paper filters are tiny and more compact for storage. Consider a french press too!

4). Store “pretty” items high

Having high shelves or hangings baskets can clear your counters and harness the underutilized space above your eye-line. Put your “pretty” items, such as festive plates, wine glasses or Grandma’s pasta maker on a display shelf to double as art. Store your fruits and veggies in a hanging basket. Mount a floating dish rack over your sink. Hang your pots and pans from ceiling hooks

Brittany’s Kitchen. Take a tour of this tiny home.

5). Hide “ugly” items

There’s no room for the word “ugly” in a tiny house. Place large or ugly appliances under the counter when not in use – such as blenders or toasters, unless they are beautiful to you!

THGJ Boneyard Studios

Jay Austin’s Matchbox Tiny Kitchen. Notice the appliances (stove and food processor) that can be stored if counter space is needed.

6). Create counter space

Purchase a sink cover, such as a cutting board, that will expand your food prep area. Eliminate the counter space allocated for a stove top by using a portable hotplate that can be stored under the counter when not in use.

Ella’s Kitchen. Notice the alcohol stove which can be tucked away when not in use.

7). Mount items to the wall

Use hooks to hang your cutting boards. Magnetize your knives to a wood magnetic knife holder and use magnetic spice holders on your refrigerator.


MiniMotives Tiny Kitchen. Notice the pots and pans hanging high from a wall mount.

8). Custom containers

Food packaging can be cumbersome and ugly. Why have a box half full of sugar on your counter? Store your flour, sugar, cereal, etc. in small containers or decorative bags that can reduce in size as the food is consumed. Refill as needed.

Harmony House Kitchen

Harmony House Kitchen. Notice the small jars used for food storage.

9). Utilize cabinet doors

An old trick, but a good trick. Mount flat or small utensils to the inside of your cabinet doors instead of using a counter utensil rack. If you have a counter skirt, sew pockets into the material for storage.

Utilize in the inside of cabinet doors. Image credit: here

Our Kitchen. Sew pockets into your cabinet skirt. 

10). Keep Organized

Keeping your counters bare and organized should be part of your daily routine. Every new appliance or gadget needs to have an appropriate place in your kitchen, before bringing it into your tiny space. Proper organization is the key to continuous declutter. 

Music City Tiny House Kitchen

Music City Tiny House Kitchen. Notice the three-tiered hanging baskets


This post was originally posted on Tumbleweedhouses.com




  1. December 10, 2014 / 3:03 am

    While This Is A Great Post With Lots Of AMAZING Tips…Why Couldn’t Someone Have A Microwave Where The Hood Of The Stove Normally Goes?? Why Couldn’t Someone Have A Built In Space Below The Counter Level For Their Microwave?? Maybe Not Everyone Wants to Be Off The Grid…Hmmm Food For Thought…. Remember That There Is No Right Or Wrong Way To Live Tiny…In A Tiny Home…Or Live Simply, As Others May Put It. We ALL Need To Respect Each Other’s Right To Live As It Applies To Each Person. As Long As We Each Feel We Are Doing Our Part To Lighten The Footprint Of The Way We Live…That Is What Matters…It Matters That We Are All There To Support Each Other On This AMAZING Journey Of Tiny House Living!! 🙂 Blessings!

    • User Avatar December 10, 2014 / 5:30 am

      We couldn’t agree more BJ, not everyone has the same needs and those suggestions are just suggestions. But we like to use the “tiny living” concept as a challenge.
      Think of it this way: we both used to have microwaves and use them, now we don’t and we realize that we don’t really miss them! We reheat food in a pan and it ends up tasting better. We eat a little differently. We can’t really buy the pre-cooked processed meals because we can’t heat them up. Choosing not to have a microwave (or anything else) has actually enhanced our lives overall.
      But we realize it’s not all possible or easy! Thanks for reading and sharing the “journey”. Keep the good comments and constructive criticism coming, we love it!

      • di
        January 12, 2015 / 10:27 am

        A one-burner portable stove top may be sufficient. Change to one-pot recipes, such as a stew or soup. Try one-pan recipes, such as a vege omelet. Store the stove top away when it is not in use.

        Use a pot as a mixing bowl and a mug as a ladle. Use a mug or spoon to measure and a fork to whisk. Rather than a glass, just use a mug. Rather than a plate, just use a bowl.

  2. nritz1
    December 9, 2014 / 9:34 pm

    That was an excellent post, Jenna. Today NPR ran a story regarding a recent publication called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo and Cathy Hirano. Ms. Hirano, the original author, suggests keeping ONLY that which gives you joy. I’m not sure how practical that philosophy is. (For instance, Tupperware does not give me joy, but it’s darn useful.) Still, it seems like a good thing to strive toward. Here’s the link to the story in case you or your readers are interested.

  3. Mary Lawrie
    December 9, 2014 / 11:01 am

    What do you store in you cabinet skirt pockets?

    • User Avatar December 9, 2014 / 11:04 am

      We store towels, tupperware, kitchen utensils, pot lids, potatoes and veggies, etc…

  4. December 9, 2014 / 7:39 am

    This was a great post. Very helpful and has given us a lot of ideas. Thank you for posting!

  5. Merikay
    December 9, 2014 / 7:32 am

    Open shelves do not work for RV’s. Things would fall off when moving. I like the pockets. I have them for things all over the rig.

    • User Avatar December 9, 2014 / 7:36 am

      Well, honestly, ours work just fine. We built little ledges on the shelves so things don’t slide around too much. It doesn’t move all that much in our tiny house. All of the open shelves under our countertop have a very short ledge. Nothing has fallen from those yet in over 7,000 miles.

Leave a Reply