The kitchen is often the centre of daily life in a house. Whilst this means that wonderful things happen there, it also means that it is a complete clutter magnet.
If you’ve found yourself surrounded by more and more clutter in your kitchen recently, never fear! Here is a step-by-step guide to banishing clutter. We’ll start with the preparation, offer some tips for decluttering techniques and finish up with the most important part – how to stop your kitchen being cluttered again within a few weeks of clearing it all up.
How to Prepare
- Get your kitchen to a normal level of cleanliness. Don’t be tempted to start decluttering if you have dishes waiting to be done or a full dishwasher. You may need space to wash shelves or crockery as you go, and you need counter space to empty shelves whilst you organise things. Check out the My Clean Home guide to cleaning your kitchen if you need some pointers for where to start with cleaning.
- Make sure you have time! You may need a whole afternoon depending on how organised it is already. Don’t start it if you don’t have time to finish.
- Decide how to dispose. You will need bin bags and boxes and it is also helpful to know how you are getting rid of things. Is there a charity shop or local shelter who would benefit from unwanted gadgets that still work? Do you know where the local refuse site is to get rid of broken items? It can be very disheartening to have rubbish bags in the kitchen corner waiting to go out for weeks while you figure this out! Do it first and things will be easier.
- Make Your Plan. You may find that most of your cupboards are already being used sensibly, but take a little time to review this. If you have no space in the tinned food cupboard and the plate shelf is taller, then could you swap them? Try as far as possible to decide before starting what is going to go where.
How to Declutter
- Tackle cupboards one at a time. And within the cupboards, do the shelves one at a time. Take everything out. Anything that is chipped or broken can go. If you haven’t used an item in 6 months, then seriously consider getting rid of it. If you have christmas cake decorations in your cutlery drawer, can they go somewhere that they don’t get in the way on the other 364 days of the year?
- Think carefully about what you use. If you have only used the popcorn maker once, then say your goodbyes. You really will be more content with more space for the items you do use! If you’re only keeping it because you regret the money you spend on it, then make your peace by reminding yourself that it can go to a charity shop and benefit others.
- For trickier items, box them up and time will tell. If you really can’t bear to part with your smoothie maker as you had once dreamed of fresh fruit juice each day, then pack it away in a box with any other items that you aren’t ready to get rid of. If, after 9-12 months, you haven’t gone looking for the items in that box, then take it to the charity shop with no peeking! You have already proved to yourself that each item in the box isn’t necessary for your enjoyment in the kitchen and you can part with it guilt-free.
- Check Sell By Dates. It sounds obvious, but don’t forget! You may be amazed (and slightly concerned) by how many 3 year old tins of beans you have. They don’t need to be taking up your cupboard space any more.
- Sort out all the paperwork. If your kitchen declutter doesn’t involve a stack of miscellaneous paperwork varying from school notes to receipts, then you are doing well. Paper that’s staying gets filed, paper that’s got to go somewhere goes in your bag or car and the rest gets recycled!
How to Keep it Tidy
- Give everything a home. The aim here is not to reorganise the clutter but to banish it. Popping a folder on the wall to collect paperwork will make this look tidier, but commit to clearing it out at least every other day otherwise you are just inviting the clutter in.
- Keep surfaces clear. Not only does this make it easier to clean your surfaces, it also gives you so much more space. Hang utensils rather than keeping them in a pot and try attaching spices to the side of a fridge or cupboard using a metal board and magnet-lidded containers rather than taking up counter space. This really will make a big difference.
- Set aside 5 minutes each day to deal with the daily clutter. Once you’ve put in the hard work of cleaning up, little and often is key! Try to leave the kitchen tidy every evening and not only will it make your mornings easier, it will also prevent the long term build-up of clutter.
Are you feeling inspired to start a decluttering mission in your kitchen? Got some top tips I haven’t covered? Please let us know in the comments!
Bio: Sara is an organisation-fanatic working for Glasgow-based self-storage company Storage Vault (http://www.storagevault.com). Storage Vault have over 15 years’ industry experience and provide expertise and self-storage solutions for all customers whether for home or work.