Minimalist Kitchen Counters

This post is a part of a series called “Peek Inside My Minimalism.” In this series, I show you a glimpse of what minimalism really looks like in my life. This post contains affiliate links.

I like my kitchen counters to be clear. I find it difficult to wash around and clean up crumbs when the counter is covered in kitchen gadgets and utensils. So in this season of my life with small children and big messes: simplifying the clean up routine is a top priority. Therefore, very few items actually have a home on the counter.

Someday down the road I might decide I want to fill my counter with decor, plants, or fancy gadgets. But for the life I am living today, in this crumb-filled season, our counters need to stay clear.

As many of you know, we recently moved from Texas to outside of NYC. Our new home, which I moved into sight-unseen, has very little counter space. Which I am loving.

Less counter, less to clean. 

Less counter space also means fewer clutter-catch-all spots. One of my favorite minimalism tips was shared by my friend Zoe Kim in her book Minimalism for Families. She emphasizes the need to reduce horizontal space–such as kitchen counters. Less horizontal space means fewer spots for clutter catch-alls.

In our house we have always had three items on the kitchen counter, but with my husband’s early Christmas gift we now have four.

The lucky four are: oil, soap, un-paper towels, and a new simple coffee pot.

The Coffee

Simplifying doesn’t mean sacrifice. For several years we have made our coffee with a simple, mess-free pour over method (dripper + kettle). I loved this method and the coffee it made. But my husband was itching for a real coffee maker. Not just any coffee maker, but a very specific coffee maker. The Bonavita BV1901TS. Not to be confused with any other models of Bonavitas, THIS is the one and only. He’s been waiting for months for this new edition to debut this fall and it’s here.

minimalist kitchen counter

I’ll be honest, I really didn’t want a giant hunk of machine cluttering up my beautiful white counter. But I kept my mouth shut. Because I talk a lot and have a lot of opinions. The longer I am married the better I get at picking my battles.

It turns out, I am glad this was a battle I didn’t pick. When it showed up, the Bonavita was immediately speaking my language. It has a small footprint and the motto is “The Old-School Coffee Maker, Optimized”. That means zero bells and whistles, just really good coffee. It truly is a simple, minimal coffee maker. So it made itself at home.

The Soap

The Bonavita has taken up residence near our two Simplehuman soap dispensers: hand soap and dish soap. I purchased these a few years ago when we moved towards a greener kitchen. I am a big fan of spending more money on things I use a million times a day, like soap dispensers and garbage cans. Simplehuman is expensive, but it’s my go-to brand for this type of thing. They have the best designs and quality.

I don’t buy in bulk, but I do buy larger containers of soaps to refill the dispensers. I always keep a 32 ounce bottle of Dr. Bronner’s, which I use in the hand soap diluted with water. I lean towards Dr. Bronner’s for many of my household soap needs. But for the dish soap, I use Method Soap Pump Refills.

The Oil

Next to the soap dispensers resides the oil bottle. It’s a simple oil bottle that I use for cooking. I alternate between EVOO and avocado oil. I keep a large bottle of each in the cupboard and alternate between the two to fill this bottle. For health reasons, I believe everything should be consumed in moderation. So with staples like oils and nut butters, I like to regularly alternate between different varieties.

The Unpaper Towels

Lastly is our unpaper towel system. Many years ago we transitioned away from using paper towels in the kitchen. This is an amazing, yet easy, solution for going green in the kitchen. I have 60 unpaper towels that get stuffed into the wooden paper towel holder. After use, they get tossed into a small bin beneath the sink. Then once or twice a week, I wash them all. We have saved some serious money and trees with this system.

minimalist kitchen counter

Unfortunately, the wooden holder has been discontinued. You could try using a basket or a wine box and improvise your own. Or you could open an Etsy store and start selling wooden unpaper towel boxes and fill a small void in the world.

For anyone in need of a quality pair of cozy pajamas, the ones pictured are my favorites from L.L. Bean (plus they are 20% off until Tuesday, November 28).

I want to see what’s on your kitchen counters! Share your photos in the Facebook Community. 

Denaye Barahona

Denaye Barahona is a loving wife and mama of two. She's a therapist for moms, an author, and the host of the top-ranked Simple Families Podcast. Denaye holds a Ph.D. in Child Development and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She has been featured on the likes of The Today Show, Netflix, The Wall Street Journal, Real Simple, Forbes, and numerous other media outlets.