How To Declutter Your Kitchen
It’s 3pm on Sunday and you walk into the kitchen, trying to decide what to cook for dinner. You’ve spent the day with your family, just chilling out in comfy clothes and you’re looking for something that’s quick, healthy and easy to make.
But when you walk into the room all you can see is mess, everywhere. The counters are full of ‘stuff’, the dishwasher needs emptying and you can see tea towels peeping out from an over stuffed drawer. You immediately feel stressed and unmotivated to cook anything.
Sound familiar?! Although we spend a lot of time cleaning our kitchens, we tend to forget about organising our kitchens. Sure, we have a cupboard full of cleaning solutions, but we don’t have storage solutions.
Last month we organised our utility rooms. This month I’m going to walk you through ways that you can make your kitchen work better for you. No matter what your budget is or how small your kitchen is, these tips can be used by everyone (so don’t forget to share!!). Let’s get started!!
Before you start, get 3 boxes and label them Storage, Move, Donate...as you start taking things out of the cupboards you can immediately start decluttering!
Depending on how much time you have this can be done one of two ways. If you’re short on time (or energy!) just tackle one category at a time. Otherwise take everything out of every cupboard and sort into separate categories. Start with non food items, we’ll look at edibles later.
Some examples would be:
- Appliances - every electrical item
- Baking - trays, cutters, mixing bowls etc.
- Tableware - Mugs, plates, bowls, cups, glasses
- Pots and pans - Including lids
- Other - tinfoil, baking parchment, aprons, tea towels etc.
If you’re tackling just one category for now, go through every inch of the kitchen and make sure you get everything, just make sure you don’t get distracted by the things you find along the way!! Make a pile on the floor and pat yourself on the back, you’ve completed the first step!!
Yep, it’s time to get rid of some stuff! This can be so hard, especially when memories are attached to items, or we feel guilty about how much we spent on something that we never use. But try to remember that by donating these items, you won’t lose your memories and you’re not losing money, they have no value if the item is not being used.
So go through your categories, one at a time, and sort into your boxes. If you’re definitely keeping it put it back. If it is only used once a year, Christmas cookie cutters for instance, put it into the storage box. If you think it might be better stored elsewhere, like tea towels could go in the utility room, put it in the move box. Don’t be tempted to start moving things now though, you’ll only get distracted!
When you’re going through your pile, think about when was the last time you used it? Do you have another item that does the same job (especially true of appliances and utensils)? Is it damaged and in need of replacing?
If there are items you’re unsure about, put them in the storage box. If you don’t go looking for them in the next year, then you know you can donate them.
Some things, like tableware, can be harder to sort. Anyone who knows me knows I have a major issue with un-matching mugs, it drives me crazy!! So much so that now everyone buys me odd mugs just to see my reaction!!
My way of dealing with this is to keep the odd ones in a closed cupboard where I can’t see them, and only keep out the matching ones on open shelving! However, I did recently go through and get rid of some metal ones that were meant for hot chocolate but were unusable as the handle got too hot to be able to actually hold it!
My point is that you don’t have to get rid of everything, but do try to let go of things you don’t use. The person who brought you back that novelty bottle opener from holidays, really won’t mind if you pass it on to someone else! The shot glasses you were given for Christmas, the pasta making machine that seemed like a great idea after watching Jamie Oliver, the two ‘spare’ graters in case one breaks...let them go, they’ll be of much more benefit to someone who dosnt have the luxury of being able to declutter.
While you have everything out of the cupboards and off the shelves, take the opportunity to give them a good clean. Also wipe down the items that you don’t use very often to remove dust.
You can easily make your own kitchen cleaner by doing the following:
Start by pouring ½ cup white vinegar into a full-sized spray bottle. Add 2 tablespoons of baking soda. Fill the bottle with tepid water and shake well.
If you’d prefer to cover the vinegar scent you can add a few drops of essential oil, such as tea tree, eucalyptus, or even a citrus oil.
And if you need some extra cleaning power for stubborn grease stains sprinkle some salt over the surface before spraying. This will act as an abrasive without using any harsh chemicals.
This is easiest done once you have finished de-cluttering all of your categories. Try to keep those categories together. For instance the baking utensils near to the baking ingredients, the tea, coffee and mugs near to the kettle. If possible keep the dishes close to the dishwasher or the sink to save time when putting them away.
Start this process by putting away the items you use most often, first. These should be the most accessible with heavy items in lower cupboards. Save the top shelves and awkward corner cupboards for items you use less often.
Next week we’ll look more closely at organising your kitchen and finding storage solutions. Make sure to sign up to our email list so you won’t miss it!