Keep only the most frequently used items out as clutter-free benches are one of the keys to an efficient kitchen. See if you can find alternative homes for needed, but lesser-used appliances and gadgets. This might be into alternative cupboards and drawers or out of the kitchen altogether! (My Mum has a tiny kitchen so stores big baking dishes, serving dishes and stockpots in the garage which is not far from the kitchen)
A mobile butchers block or kitchen trolley can be used for extra bench space as well as storage underneath
‘Shelf stackers’ give you double shelf space for your buck! Perfect for things like tinned goods or even mugs and glasses. Under-shelf baskets which slide onto the underside of your shelf are also helpful when extra space is needed
If you have it, utilise the space between the tops of your cupboards for lesser-used items. Keep a small step stool handy so you can access them easily and safely when needed
Consider adding open shelving if possible – this is by far the easiest way to clear benches!
Clean as you go! It is amazing how much easier it is to prepare food when you are not wrangling a pile of dirty dishes! My favourite tip is to start work in the kitchen with a sink of hot soapy water – then while you are waiting for things to cook you can quickly wash items or load them into the dishwasher
Store items by type and frequency. E.g. specialty utensils might be in a lesser-used drawer with a tiered tray, the top being the most used and the lesser used on the bottom