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How to Declutter your Kitchen in 6 Easy Steps – Actually enjoy spending time in your kitchen and live clutter-free!
I used to hate cooking.
Well, at least I thought I did. And while cooking still isn’t my favorite activity in the world, I found out that it wasn’t the cooking aspect that made me dislike being in my kitchen.
It was all of the clutter and crap I wasn’t even using.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably feeling the same way. You may even want to make delicious meals for your family, but get so overwhelmed by the cluttered countertops, items falling all over the place, dishes piling up, and no room to breathe, let alone cook.
So what happens next?
You end up working through it and hating every minute of it, or ordering a pizza and admitting defeat. In the end, you end up wasting a bunch of time and money. How?
- No one wants to cook in a messy kitchen. You’re more likely to eat out than cook at home, costing you extra money.
- You waste time because you can’t find the items you truly need underneath all that clutter.
- You waste money re-purchasing items you already had but couldn’t find.
I love working in a clutter-free kitchen. It’s refreshing, relaxing, and actually makes me want to keep the rest of the house clean as well. I save so much time and money by keeping my kitchen in order, and I know you can enjoy those same benefits with these tips. If you would like to know how to declutter your kitchen, downsize your products to fit in small spaces, and finally create a clutter-free space, keep reading!
How to Declutter your Kitchen in 6 Simple Steps
1. Work Step-By-Step
It can take some time to declutter your kitchen, especially if you’ve accumulated a lot of clutter. If you don’t set a timer or make some type of goal, you’re likely to get overwhelmed and give up completely. Don’t let this happen! Take a quick assessment of the clutter in your kitchen. Is this going to take longer than one afternoon? If so, try to break it down by area and work on that area only. It may look something like this:
- Day 1 – Pantry
- Day 2 – Drawers
- Day 3 – Cabinets
- Day 4 – Refridgerator/Freezer
- Day 5 – Under The Sink
This a pretty rough guide, and you could even break it down further. The time spent decluttering is completely up to you, just make sure you break it down in sizeable chunks that won’t overwhelm you. Another tip is to set a timer for the amount of time you know you can work without getting tired. Try setting a timer for 30 minutes, then taking a break. Just be sure to actually get back at it. Reset the timer, and keep working.
It’s important to have a plan and work step-by-step when decluttering your kitchen. You need to keep your energy up to get the job done, stay focused, and make better decisions when it’s time to start purging.
2. Declutter Your Kitchen by Downsizing
I have a rather small kitchen, so I had to downsize what I had in order to make everything fit. However, even if you don’t have a small kitchen, consider downsizing in order to simplify your space.
Keep in mind that this is what works best for me and my family. I keep what I use weekly, if not daily, and anything that saves me time. The products I have may not work for you, and vice versa. Never let me or anyone else tell you that owning a product is a waste if it’s something you truly use and believe in.
When in doubt about keeping certain items, ask yourself these questions:
- Do I currently use this? – Keep items you routinely use, not items you think you may use one day.
- Would I buy this today? – Our styles often change, so if it’s not something you’d be willing to repurchase today, get rid of it.
- Does this make my life easier? – You most likely have items that you don’t really need but make your life easier. If that’s the case, keep it! For example, I have a waffle maker. I don’t actually need this and could easily use a grill pan, but it makes my life a heck of a lot easier to just use my waffle maker instead, so I keep it. If you’re getting use out of a product and it makes your life easier – don’t purge it.
- Could another product do the same thing? – Speaking of my waffle maker, I was determined to get more use out of it than just making waffles. I had a panini press but realized I could (somewhat) get the same effect from my waffle maker, so I donated the panini press. Try to get multiple uses out of the products you already have instead of buying a single-use product. For example, you could purge your pizza cutter because a knife does the exact same thing. Do what works for you!
How many times have you bought the latest kitchen gadget because it was shiny and pretty and offered excellent results?
Turns out, you can only use that item for ONE purpose only.
You use it once or twice a year, but most of the time it’s collecting dust in your cabinets or taking up room on your counter. When you are decluttering your kitchen, pay special attention to those single-use appliances. If there is something you haven’t used in the last six months, it’s time to get rid of it. At the very least, put it in a box and if you don’t use it in the next few months, THEN get rid of it.
You could always sell your items to make some money or give them to someone who could truly use them. More often than not, you can get by without those single-use items and use what you already have. Now you’re not only clearing your kitchen, but you’re also making money as well!
Okay, confession time: I used to be a mug hoarder. You know how it goes – you see a beautiful mug with an inspiring quote, a funny limerick, or a cute picture and YOU HAVE TO HAVE IT. Now your cabinet is bursting at the seems with about 20 mugs that you’ve collected over the years.
Now think about what else you may have too much of: are you a family of four but have enough silverware to feed a small village? Are you hoarding thousands of plates because of that party you may have someday?
Honestly, you only need enough cutlery and crockery to get you through one meal, and maybe a few extra in case something breaks or you have guests over. If you ever do have a party, you can always borrow from a friend or use paper or plastic to serve your party. Try to downsize all your duplicate items to only what your family truly needs.
3. Understand How You Cook
Now, I am not a baker. So ask me why I had two cupcake tins, a springform pan, three pie dishes, and four cooling racks.
When you are decluttering your kitchen, you need to be honest with yourself and understand your culinary strengths. If you’re like me and you don’t bake, there’s no need to have those items taking up space in your kitchen. Take stock of what you actually use and what you only purchased out of the aspiration to be the world’s greatest chef.
4. Clean Regularly
If you want to actually keep your kitchen clean and clutter-free, you have to remind yourself to clean and declutter your kitchen regularly. Make sure you add the kitchen to your regular cleaning and organizing schedule to ensure you never let it get out of control again. After your first initial clutter, make sure you are decluttering and organizing your kitchen at least once a month.
Now that it’s thoroughly decluttered, this process should only take you about fifteen to twenty minutes depending on the size of your kitchen. It will take no time at all to go back through everything and get rid of anything you may not have used or old products that have expired. Quickly straighten up anything that is out of place and re-organize anything that’s not working for you.
Stay on top of the dishes! Anytime I cook, I do the dishes immediately after cooking. It will take far less time to do it now rather than let everything pile up and spend hours washing dishes later.
Clean out your fridge weekly. Clutter can quickly take over your refrigerator, so make sure you are going through it weekly and cleaning out expired products or leftovers you didn’t eat. If you do this weekly, it won’t take you long and you’ll prevent yourself from having to clean up a yucky mess later.
5. Declutter your Kitchen by Purging
Most kitchens are holding so many items that just aren’t necessary to have. How many times have you come across these items, only to toss them to the side or stash them in the back of the cabinet so that you didn’t have to look at them? Getting rid of these items will save you time searching for the products you actually need, and can even save you money so that you don’t have to replace what you may already have. Here is a list of 25+ things you can get rid of to declutter your kitchen for good!
- Condiments that have expired or have a leaky container.
- Expired spices or spices that have lost potency.
- Duplicate cooking utensils or utensils in poor condition
- Old or duplicate eating utensils
- Coffee mugs
- Novelty cups and glasses
- Extra plates and bowls
- Novelty kitchen appliances
- Fridge magnets
- Expired food
- Old leftovers
- Old cookware
- Raggedy towels and sponges
- Plastic bags you aren’t using
- Reusable totes you don’t use
- Open bottles (think wine and beer)
- Unmatched Tupperware or Tupperware in bad condition
- Fancy/specialty baking pans
- Takeout menus (these can be found online)
- Extra water bottles
- Takeout supplies such as chopsticks, condiment packets, and silverware packets
- Expired cleaning products or products with a leaky container
- Cookbooks you don’t use
- Placemats, table cloths, or napkins that you don’t use
- Unused holiday serving platters
- Souvenir shot glasses
6. Re-Organize What’s Left
Now that you have finished decluttering and cleaning your kitchen, it’s time to re-organize what you have left! Be sure to make your kitchen work for you. If you need to invest in organization products to keep everything neat and tidy, now is the time to do so (not before you declutter). Here are some of my top tips for organizing the kitchen:
- Stay on top of your dishes – I wash my dishes every day so they don’t build up in the sink and leave smells behind.
- Create “zones” in your kitchen to make it easier to navigate – think cooking zone, cleaning zone, preparation zone, etc.
- Label everything – when you label your kitchen, you take the guesswork out of where everything goes. It’s one of the best ways to actually STAY organized. Here’s the label maker I recommend.
Here is a list of my favorite organization items for the kitchen:
- OXO Containers for food storage
- OXO Cereal Dispensers
- Water Bottle Holder Stand
- Pots & Pans Lid Organizer
- Stackable Fridge & Freezer Bins
- Sink Caddy
- Magnetic Knife Strip
- Acrylic Drawers for Under-The-Sink Storage
- Drawer Organizers
- Glass Canisters for Food Storage
Final Thoughts on Decluttering Your Kitchen
When you declutter your kitchen, you create a space that works best for you. It is important to remember that there is no RIGHT way to declutter your kitchen; there are only tips that can help guide you into creating a space that sets you up for success. If there are items that make your life easier, save you time, and save you money, then it is important to keep them and organize those items in a way that works for you. I believe that when it comes to the home, especially the kitchen, less is truly more.
By creating a clutter-free kitchen, I am more likely to spend time in it, cook from home to save money, and have less anxiety over a messy room. I hope that these tips helped you, and if there are any other tips you have to declutter your kitchen, please let me know in the comments!
Related Decluttering Articles:
- How to Get Rid of Stuff After Decluttering
- Toy Minimalism: How to Declutter Toys
- 9 Gentle Ways to Help Your Kids Declutter (When They Want to Keep it All)