If you are like most people, you probably use your kitchen counter to store things food-related and otherwise. It is just too convenient! However, you may want to break this bad habit and reduce the clutter on your kitchen. Below are five things you can safely eliminate from your countertop today.

1. Papers
How convenient is it to toss papers into the counter than sort and read through them? Magazines, newspapers, junk mail, or bills accumulate fast and the higher your pile becomes, the more of a pain it is to organize them. It is important to get this mess off your counter though. You are robbing yourself of important kitchen work space and if these papers get wet, you run the risk of the ink bleeding into your countertop’s surface and it will be a nightmare to clean.

2. Spices
Even if spices look good on your counter, it is probably not the best place to store them. Accumulated heat coming from your oven or stove top can weaken their flavors over time. It is better for you to store all your spices in a cool and dark place away from light and heat to keep the freshness and integrity of the flavors. Nobody appreciates a bland fajita after all!

3. Olive oil
Similar to spices, keeping the olive oil in your counter lessens its quality. When olive oil is exposed to direct light and heat, it can go bad really fast. Store it in a cool and dark place, like your kitchen cabonet or pantry, to extend its shelflife. You do not want to waste your money, right?

4. Infrequently used appliances
Kitchen clutter is a big source of stress. The countertop is obviously prime space for it. How many appliances do you have on there? It is a good idea if you use these all the time, but if you only use them once in awhile, there is really is no sense in having them take up space on your countertops. It will only cause you stress. If you do not use it every day, it should not be on your counter.

5. Fancy china and dinnerware
Invest in a glass-front cabinet and store all your fancy china and dinnerware there. Serveware should not be kept in the countertop because you only use them for holidays and they will only accumulate dust there. Leave the counter for cooking space and other functional kitchen activities.