Thanks to their role as gathering space and a source of meals, kitchens tend to be the unofficial drop spot for all things life. Think rogue mail, loose keys, discarded backpacks, stacks of schoolwork, you name it.
If all you see when you enter your kitchen are things that shouldn’t really be there, you might begin to wonder if all of those immaculately clean and well-designed versions on your social feeds are simply a figment of imagination. News flash: They aren’t! In fact, it’s totally possible for your space to be just as enviable.
Here are seven ways you can take your space from messy and drab to immaculate and well-styled.
Bust all that clutter
There’s nothing worse than trying to decorate around clutter, says Monique Valeris, senior home editor for Good Housekeeping. First, tackle any excess on the counters as you can, and employ space-saving ways to store the items you use on a regular basis. For instance, a hanging tiered fruit basket gets things up off counters and makes it easy to see exactly what fruit needs to be replenished every week, says Valeris.
You can also utilize the storage space under your sink more efficiently. Hang a tension rod typically reserved for blinds, then drape gloves and rags on it. You can even rest household cleaners on it by their nozzles. Other clever ideas: Add a lazy Susan to maximize space and consider attaching compact shelves to the insides of your cabinet doors.
Finally, make use of your wall space. Opt for a magnetic knife rack, or hang your everyday utensils, like spatulas and spoons, on a wall-mounted rod right where you can see them.
Clean like crazy
Once you’ve organized, do a thorough clean to create the perfect blank canvas for weaving in stylish accessories and personality: Dust light fixtures with a microfiber cloth, scrub grout lines with the right brush, wash windows (again, a microfiber cloth is your best friend here), wipe down appliances with the appropriate cleaner (even their knobs!), spritz countertops with a quality disinfectant like Weiman Disinfectant Granite & Stone Clean & Shine, and vacuum and mop floors.
Here’s one way to avoid having to double-back on any work: Start at the highest point — dusting lights and wiping counters, for example — and work your way down to the floors. This way, any dust and debris that falls won’t recontaminate any clean areas, doubling your effort.
Stash countertop appliances away
What’s one thing all of the most well-styled kitchens have in common? Plenty of negative space. Why? Limiting what you have on display clears the line of vision, making the decor you spent so much time selecting really pop.
“Think about the appliances that you use regularly, and commit to only keeping those handy,” says Valeris. “For small appliances, like a waffle maker, that might not be