4 Weeks of Decluttering –
Week 2: The Kitchen
This week we’re diving into a bigger task, the kitchen. Within the kitchen, there’s food, appliances, dishes, cook wear, and so much more. Decluttering the kitchen may seem like a daunting task, but after breaking it down into smaller steps it becomes much more doable. The goal is to have an organized, decluttered space that allows the you to have a clean, sanitary area to prepare food as well as invite others in for conversation, or a cup of coffee. Let’s begin!
Step 1: The Plan
Prioritize kitchen spaces for convenience: This is about making the most of your kitchen layout. Before rearranging, analyze your cooking habits and kitchen flow. For instance, if you’re left-handed, you may prefer your cooking tools on the left side of the stove.
Place items you use daily at waist and eye level: It’s essential to make commonly used items like cereal, coffee, plates, and frequently used cookware easily accessible. Doing this reduces unnecessary bending and searching, which in turn speeds up your kitchen tasks.
Store less frequently used items in low or high spaces: Items such as holiday dishware, special occasion appliances, or large pots which aren’t used daily can be stored out of the prime real estate of your kitchen. This makes daily navigation smoother.
Step 2: Declutter the Cupboards
Tackle one cupboard at a time: Avoid feeling overwhelmed by handling one space at a time. This focused approach ensures each section is thoroughly organized.
Empty, clean, and return items according to your plan: Once emptied, this is a great opportunity to give your cupboards a deep clean. As you return items, be mindful of your established plan to maintain organization.
Place misfit items aside for reorganization later: Keep a separate box or basket for items that don’t belong in a particular cupboard or may not belong in the kitchen at all.
Step 3: The Appliances
Evaluate the necessity and functionality of appliances: Critically assess if you really need that popcorn maker or if the blender still works. Broken appliances or those you haven’t used in a year probably don’t deserve prime countertop space.
Reduce duplicates: It’s easy to accumulate duplicates in a kitchen. Keep the best and consider donating the rest. This frees up space and reduces clutter.
Store decorative tools separately: Items like festive cookie cutters or specialty molds that aren’t used daily can be stored elsewhere, freeing up space for everyday tools.
Step 4: Collect and Repackage
Donate excess non-perishables to food banks: This not only declutters your space but also supports those in need. Before donating, ensure the items haven’t expired.
Repackage items: Using clear, stackable containers not only makes items easier to find but can also maximize space. This is particularly useful for bulk items like grains or spices.
Step 5: Hit the Fridge
Declutter and toss old or unused items: Expired sauces, stale leftovers, or that jam jar with just a teaspoon left can be discarded to free up space.
Prioritize foods nearing their expiration: This reduces food wastage. Having them at eye level serves as a constant reminder to use them up.
Rearrange for efficiency: Group similar items together — for example, all dairy in one shelf, fruits in a drawer, etc. This simplifies cooking and grocery restocking.
Step 6: Beautify the Space
Thoroughly clean surfaces: A clean kitchen is a happy kitchen. Make sure countertops are wiped, sinks are scrubbed, and floors are swept and mopped.
Add decorative touches: Perhaps a new fruit bowl, a potted herb plant, or even some art can uplift the space and make it more inviting.
Hide unsightly items: Whether it’s a blender or trash can, if it doesn’t add to the aesthetics, find a neat spot for it out of direct view.
Bonus Tips: Microwave Cleaning
Effortless cleaning: Microwaving a wet sponge not only helps in easy removal of residues but also disinfects the sponge. After microwaving, the dampness and warmth make it easier to wipe away grime, leaving your microwave looking and smelling fresh.
With these steps, not only will your kitchen be more functional, but it’ll also be a space where you love to spend time. Remember, an organized kitchen can lead to more inspired meals and a more enjoyable cooking experience. Happy organizing!
Jill Taylor, USC™, UFSC™, UCPO™, UDRC™
Certified UltimateStager™ | Feng Shui Specialist™
Ultimate Professional Organizer™ | Ultimate Decorator & ReDesigner™
Manager of Student Experience & Tutoring