Declutter Your Kitchen Today

If your kitchen is anything like mine, it's a collection area for all sorts of odds and ends.  It's a temporary stopping place for mail and other papers, a home for miscellaneous things that don't actually have a home, and a place where collections of the latest and greatest kitchen tools burst out of drawers, Tupperware and other plastic containers have taken over cupboards, and bowls and pans, many of which have never been used, are stacked five or six tall.  Add to that a collection of cookbooks, and you've got yourself a full kitchen.

It's prime ground for decluttering.

But where to start?  That's the number one question, and the number one reason why it's easiest to not start.  I've been there.  Because my husband was active duty military, our home was purged every 4 years, right before we were transferred.  Once he retired, however, that went by the wayside and the cupboards and drawers filled right up.  And once I made myself go through the kitchen, I was actually surprised that I'd forgotten about some of the items I'd purchased.  Remember that no item is a "deal" whether it's on sale or free if all you're going to do is store it.  That was key for breaking some of my shopaholic ways.

So set aside a day that you can turn up the music and go through every cupboard, drawer, and counter in your kitchen.

Clear Your Counters
I think it's easiest to start with the counters because often the clutter here is easily placed into permanent homes outside of the kitchen.  Every single piece of paper and every single odd item needs to be touched and moved.  The other thing to look at is what you are storing on your countertops such as small appliances.  Do you want to keep all of them on the counter?  Do you need and use all of the small appliances you've got?  Are there others you use more frequently that should be swapped with the ones on your counter?

     Related Posts: Declutter Your Home This Weekend!

Go Through Every Cupboard and Every Drawer:
1. Do the items in that space belong in the kitchen?  If not, relocate to the appropriate room.
2. Are any of the items duplicates?  If so, can you donate/toss/sell the extras and keep your favorites?
3. Do you actually use each item?  Note if you answer that you're keeping it "just in case" followed by whatever the occasion, it's not something you need to hold onto.
4.  Take out every single item.  Touch it, decide if you should keep it, and then decide if it's being placed in the correct cupboard or drawer.
5. Is it best to nest items or to stack them?  This depends on how you use them and what your preference.  If nesting isn't working out for you, maybe try stacking with their lids on, and vice versa.

Respect The Boundaries
There's only so much room in each cupboard, drawer, or counter.  That's all that will fit in your kitchen.  Rather than stacking as much as you can in little spaces, respect the boundaries you have and fill them with only what you truly need.

Purge Your Pantry
Again, take out each item and determine if the items belong in the pantry.  Then, do you actually use the item(s)?  Look at each items expiration date.  If there are items close to expiration, note them for the next week's menus.

Re-stack items based on expiration, grouped how it makes sense to you.  i.e. I keep all of my baking items in one section, grains/pasta in another, and canned fruit and vegetables in their own section.  Back-stock of staples (mayo, mustard, coconut aminos, oil, etc) are grouped as well.  This makes it easier for me to see what's needed prior to grocery shopping.

Consider transferring some items to clear containers with labels if it makes sense with how your family uses them.  i.e. I store rice in a large glass container with a wide mouth because it's easier to scoop out than the bag it comes in.  It also stacks nicely whereas bags of rice typically can only stack 2 tall before they start falling over.  The items I buy in bulk are also in clear glass containers that I've labeled.

Go Through Your Cookbooks
Be honest with yourself.  Do you cook from that book?  Do you plan, in the next 2 months, to cook from that book?  For each book that the answer is no, donate it or sell it.

I think it's hardest to get rid of something you paid for that you've never used.  It seems wasteful, and it is.  Instead of feeling upset, learn a lesson from it and remember the items you got rid of that you paid for and never used the next time you feel the urge to buy.  This will help you make better intentional decisions in the future.

Decluttering your kitchen, the heart of the home, will make meal prep and cooking so much easier.  Organization gives you a feeling of lightness that you don't even realize your missing.  Like all simplification, getting rid of the items you don't want or don't need means you're making room for things you do.

I Would Love To Hear Your Tips For Decluttering The Kitchen!

1 comment

daisy g said...

Your kitchen looks so great! Worth waiting for, no doubt. I agree, the hardest part is starting. I have given all of my cookbooks to the library, as we tend to eat the same thing in a rotating shift. We will be embarking on a project to create a pantry, so that I can store the small appliances there, and have more room for organizing our actual food stuffs. Our kitchen is pretty small, and you know I like the streamlined effect that decluttering gives you. It's so worth the time spent!