No room in the house is as important as the kitchen. It is the central hub of any home. This space has progressed from function-only to an ever-versatile room. Here you can grab a snack, make dinner, entertain guests, spend time with family, and share meals. With the requirements of the room that now face today’s kitchen, functionality is a necessity as well as personal requirements of all the members of the family, including the family pets.
The biggest problem that faces kitchens of today is clutter. There are so many gadgets and gizmos, and whatsits, and everything else to help accommodate you in the kitchen and make your time spent there more efficient; yet, with these items comes clutter. To help you with your cluttered kitchen, here are some GREAT WAYS TO DECLUTTER YOUR KITCHEN.
Don’t need all those Cookbooks
We get it, you are trying to diversify your cooking techniques and open up your personal cooking menu to new things; but some of those cookbooks have to go. Unneeded or too many cook books can easily clutter a kitchen area and turn what little space you have into a library. Taking those cookbooks away and putting them in a shelf in the den or dining room will open up space in your kitchen while still keeping these books close and in the house. The biggest worry about these books is that some may be too outdated and need to be retired to a box instead of a shelf in the other room. Do not fall into a trap of keeping old cookbooks that you honestly just don’t need or cookbooks on types of cooking or food preparation that you are not interested in and won’t ever try.
Refrigerator Door is Not an Art Gallery
In the same sense that adding a mirror to a room adds depth and makes a room bigger, clearing off and having a completely cleaned exterior to your fridge can do the same for your kitchen. The refrigerator door can become overwhelmed with stacks and stacks of pictures, pizza delivery magnets, coupons, notes, and other clutter that can make your kitchen seem smaller. Declutter that fridge door, remove all the magnets, take down all the kid’s artwork, no more pizza and takeout delivery magnets, and no more pictures. All of these items have proper places they can be, and not cluttering up the door to your fridge and making your kitchen seem smaller than it is. You will be surprised at how this will change your kitchen. It is the same space, no difference in the square footage, but the room will seem larger because of the uncluttered fridge doors.
Embrace the Junk Drawer
Every kitchen has the junk drawer that is home to every single size of battery, markers that don’t work, loose change, pieces of tool kits that don’t match and are missing parts, a spoon, old rolls of undeveloped film, pens, random office supplies, scissors, and coke bottle caps. Having a better approach to the junk drawer will help declutter your kitchen. Organizing your junk drawer or adding a second drawer will give you the much needed space to put some of the items that build up constantly in the kitchen. Having a specific designated area for junk will help you clear counter space and clear those junk piles that can arise. It is OK to have a junk drawer, just a little bit of organization for this space will go a long way in keeping your kitchen uncluttered.
Fancy coffee mugs and teacups
Every year, your favorite coffee place comes out with a new coffee mug design or a larger size mug for the extreme coffee drinker. These mugs add up over time and these mugs take up a ton of cupboard space. How many coffee mugs do you have in your cabinets? If you have more than two, you have too many and need to declutter. Boxing up those extra mugs will give you ample space for your cabinets or cupboards. This space could be better utilized for other, more necessary kitchen items. Pick out your favorite two coffee mugs and stick with them. You will quickly see the benefit of having fewer mugs and the space it saves in your uncluttered kitchen.
Too Many Dish Towels
A dish towel hanging from the oven handle is the most commonly used spot to keep them; but, where do you keep the spare towels? You have your paper towels on the kitchen counter, too? Don’t you? Take those dish towels off the oven door, and take those paper towels off the kitchen counter. Any home improvement store sells hook screws to hang on the inside of your cupboard doors, using these hooks to hang your dish towels on. You can also hide your paper towels this way with a paper towel mount for the inside of your cupboard doors. Having both the dish towels and the paper towels now accessible yet hidden continues your efforts to declutter your kitchen.
If it Doesn’t Belong in the Kitchen, Move it
One of the things you must do when decluttering a space is look at that space with a fresh set of eyes or take a step back to assess everything. You get so used to items and clutter being in the place it has been for so long that you don’t realize that item is there. The mop or broom and dustpan in the corner of the kitchen, put them in the broom closet. The giant stack of mail on top of the microwave, sort out the important stuff and chuck the rest. Any and all unnecessary decorations, get them out of the kitchen. Any item that is not a total necessity for the kitchen has to go. Take a second look, if it doesn’t need to be in the kitchen, find a better place to store it.
Give Every Item a Proper Home
This is the most important tip on decluttering your kitchen; give every item in your kitchen a proper storing place.
Designate drawer space for silverware, utensils, cookware, plates, containers and bowls, kitchen appliances, and all your kitchen necessities. As you are giving these items a home, be sure to take away or discard those items that you don’t need, to help save space.
Don’t have three incomplete and unmatched sets of silverware, have one complete set. Get rid of those utensils that you know have not touched food in years, you don’t need them.
Update your cookware. Newer pots and pans are easier to clean, meaning less time doing the dishes, meaning less stress to have those same pots and pans ready for the next meal.
The same goes for plates and bowls; have one complete matching set, not a hodgepodge of mismatched dishware.
Your kitchen appliances need a home too; even those you use every day. Give the ones you use daily a place that is easily accessible yet inside a cupboard or cabinet. Those appliances you use sporadically need to be taken out of the kitchen; only being brought out on those special occasions when they are actually needed.
This was a big step, but it is one giant step closer to your finished and uncluttered kitchen.
Follow the “IN and OUT Purge” rule
You are walking through housewares at your favorite store and what do you see; the newest, most coolest, super greatest new kitchen gadget that does everything and woohoo is it awesome. This will take the place of three other kitchen utensils and you just have to have it.
It is now in your kitchen, in a drawer, next to the three things that it is supposed to replace.
To declutter your kitchen, adopt the IN and OUT Purge rule. If you bring something new in, out goes the old item. This will still allow you the joy of shopping for the items you need at home, but also gives you the space you need to store these news items, by purging the old items. One in and one out, this will keep you from having two different can openers, or multiple other kitchen items that you need uncluttered from your kitchen.
Keep the Counter Tops Clean and Cleared
The easiest of remedies to help declutter the kitchen is by far most simple, yet most fall victim to not having the ability to do it; keeping the counter tops clean and cleared. We know, it’s easy to come home and put stuff down in the kitchen and have the “Oh, I’ll get to it in a few minutes” mentality. But that “few minutes” turns into a few days, and then the items are now stored there. You know this to be true when the items have been there so long that when someone asks you where something is and your response is “on the counter”.
But, it is not too late to change this mentality. Fight the urge to be lazy; take a few extra seconds and put those items where they go. Don’t do all this good work decluttering the kitchen only to fall into the bad habit of having cluttered counters. Put those items up.
Always leave the kitchen better than you found it.
Lastly, a motto so bold that it needs to be printed out on wooden signs as a decoration on the wall, “ALWAYS leave the kitchen BETTER than you found it”. This mentality will help you maintain your goal of having a decluttered kitchen. It does take time, though. Don’t panic and give up if at first you can’t follow; but, keep it up. This is the GOLDEN RULE of the kitchen, aside from saying “please” and “thank you”! A motto that motivates you, a mantra to maintain that uncluttered kitchen, a saying that says so much in one simple sentence; “ALWAYS leave the kitchen BETTER than you found it”.