5 Easy Behind the Scenes Ways to Stop Kitchen Table Clutter Taking Over Your Life


I’ve got 5 easy behind-the-scenes ways for you to stop kitchen clutter from taking over your life!

For many of us kitchen table clutter is a daily source of frustration.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if our kitchen tables were self-cleaning like our ovens?

Mm-hmm, I’m eagerly awaiting that too. {sigh}

In my post, Clear Magazine Clutter, a dear reader, Barbara, asked me in post comments to write about handling kitchen table clutter that seems to grow on its own.

How kitchen table clutter sneaks up on us…

You come home, arms grappling bagged groceries, retrieved mail slipping from the fingers of one hand and plunk down everything on your kitchen table. {me}

You place a stack of watched DVD rentals “temporarily” as the phone rings. {me}

You leave the half read newspaper on top of the table along with the other disorganized things as your child runs in wanting a snack. {me}

You come in red cheeked from shoveling your walkways, pull off your gloves, unwrap your scarf, tossing them with the rest of the kitchen table clutter, intending to put them away…later. {me}

You frantically shove everything off the kitchen table into a shopping bag so your family can sit down at the kitchen table for 6:00PM dinner…at 5:55PM…{aye, you guessed it, me}

Full disclosure: this was {me} “back in the day…” {a colloquialism new to me when I first moved to Connecticut from Manhattan}.

Back then I spent way too much time doing daily battle with my kitchen table clutter.

So how do you keep your kitchen table clear and ready for use?

Here’s the thing:

The kitchen table often serves many different functions; breakfast, teatime, homework, bill paying, reading, temporary placement of…stuff…

Horizontal surfaces act like magnets for clutter if we don’t stay mindful of their true purpose. That’s assuming your kitchen table’s true purpose is not a dumping ground for all your stuff.

It takes some creative change to avoid this trap of kitchen table clutter. Beating yourself up is not a creative solution. Instead…

Clear the kitchen table completely: Put things away or at least remove them from the kitchen.

    #1. Play Observer: Notice with bemused curiosity what ends up on your once clear table as the day progresses. No judgement, just gentle observation.

Ask Yourself: 

  • Is this item left here as kitchen table clutter because I don’t know where to put it? {Designate a home}
  • Is this item left here as a reminder to take action on it? {Take action-put away or toss}
  • Is this item here because I did not think to take the few extra mindful steps to put it where it really belongs? {Be mindful to do things now, not leave for later}

    #2. Mail: 

  • Designate a place to process the mail {Envelopes, advertising inserts-toss in paper recycle basket or garage recycle bin}
  • Designate a place to store mail until you handle it. {Decorative container or wall basket}
  • Consider keeping the mail out of the kitchen; try a home office instead.

    #3. DVD’s, Library Books Returns:

  • Try hanging a reusable bag on a hook for returns in the mudroom or foyer.
  • On the way out to run errands, grab the bag to put in your car.

Kitchen table clutter solution, a bench with hanging re-useable bag for books, returns

Mudroom Hanging Errand Bag

    #4. Outerwear Accessories:

  • When you remove your coat and outer things take the 30 seconds to hang them in the closet or on a coat rack or hook.
  • Store gloves and rolled scarves in a shoe bag hung on the coat closet door.

    #5. Prevention:

  • Try putting a decorative handled basket in the mudroom and place things there rather than create kitchen table clutter. Take 5 minutes after dinner, {don’t wait just before bed, you’ll be too tired} and put those things away.
  • If the kiddies stuff keeps ending up there figure out why. Is it that there is no supply cabinet or drawer for their school stuff such as markers, erasers, rulers? Depending where they do homework, create a homework zone nearby in a cabinet or drawer.
  • Once the kitchen table is clear, try setting the table with placemats and dishes for the next meal. This will discourage putting things down without thinking.
  • Declare the kitchen table as a “Clutter Free Zone.” When you catch yourself about to put something down on the kitchen table, reconsider and redirect the action; put the item away elsewhere.

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Post your comments…I so love to hear from you and what challenges you face in hopes I can help.


Hi, I’m Jul’s Arthur. I’d love to help you go from chaos to FREEDOM.
What I do: I help women professionals & entrepreneurs STOP endlessly spinning their wheels stuck in anxiety and overwhelm with the chaos and clutter in their home, and instead START simplifying, so everything has a place, they gain FREEDOM, CLARITY and manifest their DREAM LIFE. I’m also the author of the book 25 Days of Holiday Organizing!