Clutter Free Kitchen Cabinets: 5 Easy Steps to a Kitchen You Enjoy

Having a clutter free kitchen begins with cleaning out the kitchen cabinets. With these five steps you’ll get rid of the things you no longer use and have room for the things you enjoy!

At our house, we’re in the process of getting rid of stuff.  Actually, instead of calling it “stuff,” I should probably call it “junk,” or “clutter,” or “clutter-junk.”

We’re just downright tired of all the stuff/junk/clutter that’s taking up space in our home. It’s frustrating and exhausting to see piles and papers and random objects lying around everywhere.  It sucks the energy right out of us.

I think the kitchen is one of the most common places for energy-sucking stuff to accumulate, especially when you’re already overwhelmed by the clutter and mess in the rest of the house. It’s the main spot to put things you might need “later,” and there are lots of doors and drawer fronts to hide all the junk you really don’t feel like dealing with at the time.

Drawer with kitchen utensils and the words "5 Easy Steps to Clutter-Free Kitchen Cabinets"

That’s why, if you hope to have a clutter free kitchen, it is so important to clean off the countertops every day or two and do a major clean-out of the cabinets and drawers once or twice a year, eliminating things you no longer want or need.

Even though I’ve been cleaning out my kitchen cabinets a couple times a year for at least a decade, it never ceases to amaze me that I can always find at least a few things I’ve been hanging onto for no good reason (aka. clutter). Every single time I go through this process, I find pans, dishes, or gadgets that haven’t been used recently (or maybe ever!) and are simply taking up valuable space.

Besides weeding out the clutter, I also use this time to evaluate the best way to arrange my kitchen and the best places to store the things I use most often. I try to keep things near where I’ll be using them. And, just for kicks, I enjoy rearranging the kitchen a little from time to time to keep life exciting. Yes, I’m easily amused.

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Clutter Free Kitchen: Clean Out the Cabinets in 5 Easy Steps

1. Open a cabinet or drawer and take out all the items.

Pull out each item (or group of items, such as plates or glasses sets) and put it on the counter so you can have a good look at it. Ask yourself if you really, truly want it.

To help you answer that big question, ask yourself smaller questions such as, Do I like this? Do I need or use this? Is it worth the space it’s taking up?

Here’s my all-time favorite question: If everything else in my kitchen was dirty, would I take this out and use it, or would I wash something else to use instead? The answer to this question is often the decision-maker for me.

2. Set aside items to get rid of.

Don’t get distracted by whether your cast-offs should be donated, sold, or given to a friend. Focus on just one thing at a time.

Have a box or out-of-the-way spot to put everything you don’t REALLY want to keep. Put those items in the get-rid-of-pile and quickly get back to the task of evaluating and sorting. When you’re done with the whole job, you can take a couple minutes to decide whether you’re going to donate or sell the things you no longer need.

But whatever you do, don’t allow yourself to take things out of the get-rid-of-pile. Once you decide to get rid of something, let that decision be final. Most likely you’ll never miss that object you’re struggling to part with (and you probably won’t even remember it a couple days from now).

3. Wash the cabinet with a damp sponge and wipe it dry.

Wiping out the cabinets probably doesn’t get tackled very often, so be sure to reach deep to get the crumbs that are hiding in the corners and around the edges. If you find sticky spots that need scrubbed, try adding a little baking soda to your cleaning water or sprinkle it directly on your sponge. 

When you’re finished, be sure to dry the cabinets and drawers well so they don’t get damaged. You also may want to line drawers with shelf paper to keep things from slipping around.

4. Take a second look at the items you’re keeping before you put them away.

When you’re putting everything back into the cabinets and drawers, it’s the perfect time to arrange your kitchen in a way that makes sense, so everything is easy to use and and easy put away. One of the secrets to a clutter free kitchen is logical storage, so now is the time to set that foundation.

Decide where would be the very best place to store each dish or gadget. Ask yourself questions like, Do I need this bowl when I make bread on the other side of the kitchen? Would I use that serving dish more if it was stored where I could reach it? Can I move this turkey platter to someplace out of the way? 

Consider setting up “stations” for items you tend to use together. For example, you may want to have all your baking things near where you have your mixer setting on the counter. Or you might want to store everything needed for packing lunches in the same spot so you’re not running all over the kitchen before school each morning.

5. Finally, arrange items back on the shelves or in the drawer.

Now that you’ve figured out which cabinets or drawers you want to put everything into, it’s time to get everything arranged in those spots. Think carefully about how you use each item and store it in the most convenient way possible. Remember that some things can be stacked or shoved to the back, while other things should be where they can easily be grabbed with one hand.

And don’t be afraid to store things in a way that works best for your family, even if it’s not how others tend to do it. So, for example, if you want your plates arranged in a lower cabinet or a deep drawer so your younger children can unload the dishwasher, then go for it! You do you.

Get Rid of the Kitchen Clutter for Good

Having a clutter free kitchen where you can find everything – from your can opener to your cookie sheet – without having to dig through messy drawers and over-stuffed cabinets will make a world of difference when you make dinner each night.  It’s worth taking the time to clean out the clutter so you can save yourself precious time and never-ending frustration each time you use your kitchen!

What kitchen clutter tips do you have to share? Tell us in the comments.

Get your FREE Simple Decluttering Cheatsheet!

Start feeling at peace in your own home! Learn how to pick the best spot to start decluttering AND step-by-step how to tackle the mess in any room in your house. PLUS get my best tips right in your inbox…and it’s 100% FREEEEE!

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  1. Shelia Huey says:

    Where do YOU put your spices ?
    In my kitchen there isn’t room beside the stove where I like to put them…

  2. Kitchen is my arch-nemesis. It always gets cluttered up. part of the reason is that my husband is a very good cook and likes to have lots of ingredients always available.

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