How To Declutter Your Kitchen

The kitchen is sometimes seen as the heart of the home – where friends & families get together to enjoy breakfast, lunch, dinner or a relaxing coffee – & nothing quite brings people together like delicious food!

So since it plays such an important role it’s equally important that your kitchen functions in a way that creates a wonderful atmosphere & ease for the home chefs to manoeuvre around.

The time when I had the most cluttered kitchen is when I got married & moved into my home. Shopping for household items plus wedding gifts & new home gifts really compounded how many items I accumulated.

Below I’ll share how I decluttered my kitchen & work at keeping it this way.

But firstly, a quick recap on how to declutter.


How to declutter

Decluttering as you’ve heard me mention before is all about deciding what to keep, throw away or donate. It sounds like such a simple process, however, many get overwhelmed when having to make such decisions.

My best advice is to create 3 piles (you can use recyclable plastic bags or boxes) & label them – keep, rubbish & donate. Doing this will streamline the decluttering process & help you understand what kinds of things you use & what you don’t use (an important part of living organised when it comes to shopping habits too).

  • Keep – items that you use often or will have an immediate use for
  • Rubbish – items that are broken or in poor condition
  • Donate – items you do not use, in good to new condition

Still stuck?

If you find you’re still stuck when it comes to placing items in the keep or donate piles because you’re worried you may need them at some stage look at it this way:

If you haven’t used a particular item in 6 months, have no immediate plans to & can afford a new one if a use becomes apparent in the future, then it may be best to decide to donate it.

All other items that you do use, especially the daily items, should be easily accessible.


Benchtops

We start with the benchtops because it’s the most visible area in any kitchen.

  • Evaluate what are your common clutter concerns, such as dishes in & around the sink, appliances taking up space, paper piles or unreturned items.
  • Consider what kind of benchtops you want to wake up to each day, such as completely bare or clutter-free with purposely placed appliances & homewares.
  • Select one area on your benchtop that frustrates you the most & then by using the decluttering system make it clutter-free, before moving onto other areas (if time permits).
  • Once you’ve finished decluttering, give the benchtop a thorough clean.
  • Reorganise your benchtop into a space that is both functional & purposeful for all members of your household.
    • What appliances, if any, will remain on the benchtops?
    • What homewares would you like to display?
  • If you have a dishwasher, can you find a consistent time of the day to turn it on once it’s full? (I do this at the end of the day)
  • If you don’t have a dishwasher, can you wash dishes as you finish with them & ask other grown ups to do that too?

Drawers

Kitchen drawers can be such a hub of underused & duplicate utensils, which only continues to grow if not properly dealt with.

  • Open each drawer & sort each item using the decluttering system
  • Once you’ve finished decluttering, give the drawers a thorough clean.
  • Re-organise your drawers into both functional & purposeful spaces for all members of your household.
    • You can sort by material, e.g. wooden utensils together, metal utensils together
    • You can sort by how often you use the items, e.g. most regularly used are in the higher drawers

Cupboards

Kitchen cupboards can be easily filled with too many appliances, cookware & serving ware if we’re not careful (I’ve been there!) & this will most likely take up the most of your re-organising in the kitchen (excl. the pantry).

  • Open each cupboard & sort each item using the decluttering system
  • Once you’ve finished decluttering, give the cupboards a thorough clean.
  • Re-organise your cupboards into both functional & purposeful spaces for all members of your household.
    • You can sort by type, e.g. cookware, serving ware
    • You can sort by how often you use the items, e.g. most regularly used are easier to reach

Tables

Kitchen tables can attract so much mess & clutter in an instant! For some families it can be a ‘dumping ground’ of school stuff, work stuff & any old stuff …

  • Declutter the table surface as per the decluttering system
  • Once you’ve finished decluttering, give the table & any chairs a thorough clean.
  • Re-organise the table surface in a way that is visually pleasing & with both functionality & purposefulness in mind for all members of your household.
    • You can keep it completely bare
    • You can add a few small homeware items, such as flowers or candles, as a centre piece
    • You can add a few practical pieces on one side of the table such as coasters or napkins

Refrigerator

The refrigerator can get disorderly very quickly especially if many hands get inside it.

Depending on how big your fridge/freezer is & how much food you have inside, you may need to set a convenient time particularly to avoid any ingredients defrosting.

  • Declutter the fridge & freezer (one at a time) as per the decluttering system
  • Be sure to check the expiry dates of each item, whether it’s opened or not.
  • Ingredients you no longer want, are still in date & unopened can be donated to a food shelter or friend/family member
  • Once you’ve finished decluttering, give the refrigerator a thorough clean.
  • Re-organise the refrigerator in a way that is visually pleasing & with both functionality & purposefulness in mind for all members of your household.
    • You can store similar ingredients together like dairy, sauces, drinks, fruit & vegetables
    • You can store ingredients with similar size packaging together

Floors

Floors can get cluttered too, especially in corners where you may store things piled up until you’re “ready” to deal with them (I’ve done that!).

  • Declutter the floor as per the decluttering system
  • Once you’ve finished decluttering, give the floor a thorough clean.
  • Re-organise the floors so that only furniture remains
  • If you need to store an item on the floor, first see if you can find another home for it that keeps it off the ground, which will make cleaning the floors a lot easier.

Maintenance

Maintaining a clutter-free & organised kitchen is such an amazing feat!

Personally the kitchen took me a lot longer than any other room to get to where it is today because I had SO much cookware, serving ware & my humble pantry is more like a cupboard that fits one person at a time.

Once I got it ready, maintenance became such a breeze because:

  • Every space was decluttered
  • Every item had a home
  • I decided to dedicate every Monday to my kitchen

How to maintain clutter-free kitchens

Maintaining your newly decluttered kitchen is a great way to avoid having to go through the process all over again.

You can do this by:

  • Placing items back neatly & where they belong
  • Shopping wisely by buying what you need/what you’ll use
  • Avoiding shop sales or attractive price tags
  • Dedicating time regularly to go through your kitchen areas to see if there’s anything you’re no longer using

What next?

Once you’ve decluttered your kitchen & understand how to maintain a clutter-free space you can:

  • Invest in durable & functional storage systems
  • Move on to other areas within your home
    • Bathrooms
    • Bedrooms
    • Office/Study
    • Laundry
    • Loungerooms
    • Playrooms

Hope you found this helpful in getting your kitchen under control & clutter-free.

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