When it comes to the kitchen, it is an easy space for clutter. The space never feels like it is as big as it needs to be, or that it has the storage to hold all of the “essentials” that accumulate over the years. Or you can just never find what you need in the moment even though you know you just saw it yesterday? Can’t remember the last time you saw the top of your dining table? If these are pretty consistent problems in your kitchen, it’s time for decluttering.
A general idea for decluttering any room is to bring it down to two basic questions: do you need it/use it anymore? Does it make you happy to look it? If you answer no to both of those questions, you probably won’t notice once you give it away, sell it, or trash it.
There are some kitchen items that are the usual suspects when it comes to kitchen clutter.
Declutter, then tidy. Declutter first. Get rid of items that don’t meet the question criteria above, and then clean and tidy up the kitchen. Why bother cleaning something that will get tossed in the trash can, anyway?
Get rid of the old…food. Go through your pantry and cupboards and remove any cans and jars that are out-of-date. Think you’re still going to use that container of cake icing? Tell yourself you have to use by the next celebration, or you’ll throw it out.
Lessen the plastic mountain. Do you have a pile of plastic bags that you keep from every grocery store trip, but you’re intending to reuse at some point? Really. You are. But if they’re not disappearing organically, keep them contained in a cloth bag, or just recycle them.
The ever-multiplying plastic food containers. How do we always end up with so many plastic food containers, and why are there always extra lids? Organize this part of the kitchen by taking all of the containers out of the cupboard, give them a good cleaning, and match up the pieces. Still have those leftover lids? Recycle. Have the opposite problem? Recycle again. Store the containers with the lids on. It will keep the plastic clean and keep everything together.
Rank your kitchen appliances. There’s a kitchen appliance for EVERYTHING now. And you may own a lot of them. But that doesn’t mean you use every single one, every single day. And if you can’t bear to give up your quesadilla maker, but you use it maybe five times a year, put it up, up, and away. Rather than cluttering up the kitchen counter with the fondue pot, store it out of the way and use it for special occasions.
Sort out your cooking inspiration. Nope, not the takeout menus. (Although, you can organiz
e those by only keeping the ones you order food from frequently. Otherwise, you can just look up phone numbers and menus online.)
Look through your cookbooks and keep only the ones you actually use. If you haven’t used a book, give it as a gift, donate it, or sell it during a garage sale or to a used book retailer. It will declutter your shelves, and possibly inspire someone else to cook an elaborate meal.
Every kitchen has a junk drawer…but it doesn’t have to stay that way. Instead of throwing items into a bottom drawer in the kitchen where you’ll forget about them, throw them into a box that can be moved elsewhere, like the basement or garage. (Click for tips about cleaning and decluttering the basement and garage). If you find you haven’t looked for the boxed items for six months, it’s probably safe to find them a new home.
What are your tried and true methods for decluttering your kitchen space? Let us know in the comments below!