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5 Things You Should Put Away in Your Kitchen When Guests Come Over

Leaving these items out can make your home feel messy and uninviting, experts say.

The kitchen is the heart of your home, so when you have guests over, they're going to see it. When entertaining, you'll want to make sure your kitchen feels "tidy, organized, and clean as it's where the meals are prepared that nourish the ones you love," says Meredith Corning executive event planner at Meredith Events. "Let it be a reflection of that love without clutter and chaos." To achieve this, there are certain things in your kitchen you'll want to put away before guests arrive. Keep reading to hear from experts about what you should stash.

READ THIS MORE: 6 Items You Should Always Have in Your Kitchen When Guests Come Over.


Pile of mail on a table with a pair of glasses
Chainarong Prasertthai / iStock

There's a good chance there's a stack of mail somewhere in your kitchen.

"It's so easy to grab the mail and throw it on the kitchen counter," says Chantelle Hartman Malarkey, a hosting aesthetic expert and interior designer. "But when guests arrive, that is a huge pile in their face [that] takes away from gathering space."

Malarkey suggests stowing it in a mail bin in your home office, in a side table, or in a designated mail drawer.


young couple unpacking groceries at home
Shutterstock/Monkey Business Images

You probably did some last-minute shopping before having people over. And if you're running late, or just plain overwhelmed, it's likely that bag of groceries is either sitting on your kitchen counter or on the floor, which is not a good look when you have company.

"Oftentimes, it's easy to keep nonrefrigerated items out on the countertop. This does take up space in the kitchen and visually makes it look more chaotic. Take a minute to put these items away and save that countertop space," Malarkey stresses.

READ THIS MORE: The First Things Guests Notice About Your Dining Room, According to Experts.

Cords and small appliances

white hand unplugging charger from power strip

Speaking of things hogging up your precious counter space, that tangle of cords and clutter of small appliances you're not using for your get-together have got to go.

"Anything that could be a safety hazard for your guests and their children are top priority to put away," warns Corning.

While it's easy for everyday life to have a charging station in your kitchen, "when entertaining, quickly unplug and move to a drawer or room guests will not see to free up some space. This instantly makes your countertops look bigger and clean," advises Malarkey.

As for that air fryer that's been collecting dust on your kitchen counter since you bought it, you'll want to store that, too.

"Put away any small appliances on the counter that you do not need to be there such as crock pots or toaster ovens unless it's part of your aesthetic," Corning advises.

Pet bowls

Domestic cat sitting next to food bowl at home

Bowls for your pets that are on your kitchen floor can be a hazard when you have company over. If a guest isn't looking down, they could easily trip on your pet's bowl spilling water or dry food everywhere.

"It's such a simple thing, but moving pet bowls to a side room and not in the main living areas is an easy way to clear space and allow for guests to move around your house without worrying about spilling pet food or water bowls," advises Malarkey.

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Dirty dishes

washing dishes, cleaning mistakes

Nothing says "I'm not ready" like a sink full of dirty dishes. "Never have guests arrive with dirty dishes in your sink or dirty dish towels and washcloths sitting out," says Corning.

"Put them away and empty the dishwasher while you're at it," adds Malarkey. This way, you have an out-of-sight location to put dirty dishes as they accumulate throughout the evening.

"Anything dirty, it goes without saying, can make someone uncomfortable… Have you taken a whiff of your dish towel lately? In fact, many people are vulnerable to scents and smells," warns Corning.

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