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We are 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. 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. It’s the main spot to put things we might need “later,” and there are lots of doors and drawer fronts to hide all the junk we really don’t feel like dealing with at the time.
That’s why it is so important to clear off the kitchen countertops at least every few days and do a major clean-out of the cabinets and drawers once or twice a year, eliminating things we 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 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.
5 Steps to Clutter-Free Kitchen Cabinets:
1. Open a cabinet or drawer and take out the items (or stack of items, such as plates) one at a time.
Evaluate each item as it’s taken off the shelf or out of the drawer. Ask questions like, 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. Tell yourself to focus on one thing at a time, and quickly get back to the task of evaluating and sorting.
3. Wash the cabinet with a damp sponge and wipe it dry.
This chore probably doesn’t get tackled very often, so be sure 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, you may want to line drawers with shelf paper to keep things from slipping around.
4. Once the cabinet is empty and clean, take a second look at the stuff piled on the counter or floor.
Decide where would be the 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?
5. Finally, arrange items back on the shelves or in the drawer.
Think carefully about how you use each item so you 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.
Let’s Get To It
Having a clean 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.