Figuring out exactly what’s taking over your work surfaces is half the battle.
Carve out a command station. If your kitchen also acts as the most-used entry to your home, your counter likely holds detritus we come in the door with, like car keys and shopping bags. Nip this problem by installing command station essentials by the door. This can be as simple as a few wall hooks and a whiteboard, or as involved as having a custom cubby system designed and installed to fit the space perfectly.
Wall-mount the magazines. If you and your family members enjoy reading magazines (or saving them for recipes) in the kitchen, these items can quickly take over the counter. Dedicate some wall space to a storage rack, and you can quickly scoop up the whole pile and get it out of the way when you’re ready to cook — and grab them again when you want something to read while the soup simmers.
Decide what your true essentials are. A little desk in the kitchen sounds like a good idea, but so often the drawers just end up filled with junk: pens out of ink, too many rubber bands, an economy-size box of staples. Instead of cramming any old thing into your kitchen workspace, really consider what would be useful to keep here. A few pens? Certainly. Five hundred pens? Probably not. Move excess supplies to a more out-of-the-way spot.
If you have a bit of wall space, you can probably fit in some wall-mounted shelving. Use it to store file and document boxes or whatever materials you need close at hand. Attractive storage containers matter since they will be on view to the whole kitchen, so look for a nice set in a color and material that works with your kitchen scheme.