Since it’s the heart of the home, decluttering your kitchen can truly make a huge impact in your home’s atmosphere – and maybe even your mood! If you’d like to know how to declutter your kitchen, here are 5 simple steps to get it done!
Step 1 | Throw Away Old Food.
Any good decluttering project begins with the path of least resistance – throwing away trash.
This step serves as a quick win to gain momentum to declutter your kitchen!
Begin by throwing out the old food in the fridge only.
Then, comb through the pantry and set aside any food that’s expired or that you likely won’t use. Unopened pantry items that you no longer need can be donated to a local food pantry or a canned food drive. They can also be listed on a Facebook Buy Nothing group in your area.
Lastly, take everything out of the freezer and set aside any unwanted food. Offer food that’s still good to friends. Throw away food with too much freezer burn.
In order to reduce a stuffed freezer full of food, make a goal to not purchase anymore freezer food until you’ve eaten through what’s currently in there. This can help you “reset” your freezer inventory and focus on what you will actually eat going forward.
Step 2 | Downsize by Category and Set Limits.
This next step is where most of the decluttering work takes place.
You can either take everything out of your cabinets all at ONCE or you can take them out by CATEGORY. Choose the approach that is most manageable for your situation at home.
But it is important to categorize them and declutter by category so that you know how much you own in each category. Otherwise, you could have a bunch of baking supplies hiding in your pantry that you never see the light of day.
Go through every item in your kitchen by category and see what you haven’t used in the past month or so.
Categories to go through are:
- Cooking utensils
- Baking supplies
- Serving bowls
- Baking dishes
Get rid of duplicate items, broken items, or items you rarely use.
Simplify the aforementioned items down to only what you really use on a daily basis or what you’ve used in the past 3 months.
I know what you’re thinking:
But, Andrea, what about items used for special occasions or holiday gatherings?
Don’t worry, we will address those in step 4.
Store appliances that are not used on a daily basis in a cabinet. This way they don’t take up precious real estate on your countertops.
Speaking of countertops…
Having clear countertops will make your kitchen feel more OPEN and a LOT less cluttered!
It will also make it easier to prepare meals.
Having difficulty achieving clear countertops? It’s usually a sign that the cupboards are over-stuffed.
When it comes to dishware, I personally recommend only keeping 1 set of dishware accessible for daily use. This 1 set of dishware should be enough for everyone in the household to use. The number is up to you.
But beware – unloading the dishwasher will be much less of a chore!
Step 3 | Simplify the Tupperware.
This is a step in and of itself, because I find that Tupperware is a huge frustration to many people, especially families.
In fact, when most people ask me for tips on decluttering the kitchen, inevitably there’s a question about Tupperware.
The key to reducing the Tupperware madness is to only own a few kinds of Tupperware.
Identify the sizes and styles that you gravitate towards. Only keep those. This will cut down on the differing sizes and lids, thus simplifying the Tupperware storage.
Personally, I’ve found that the black meal planning kind is great. The lids and bottoms can be stored separately, they’re easy to grab when needed, and it’s easy to buy more if they get lost or broken.
Don’t want to use plastic? Glass Tupperware or silicone reusable bags work well too.
Step 4 | Store Seasonal Dishware Separately.
Now, let’s tackle the special occasion or seasonal dishware!
They may not have been used in the past few months, yet you still want to keep them.
These items should be stored separately from daily dishes. This way, they don’t end up being used on a daily basis. Also, you want your daily items stored in the places that are the easiest to reach.
You could store seasonal dishware in a cabinet above the fridge or stove or in another place in your home.
Wherever you decide to store them, be sure to create a dedicated space to put dishes, glasses, and serving utensils solely for holidays or entertaining guests.
Step 5 | Optimize the Kitchen’s Function
Once you’ve decluttered and gone through every item, ask yourself where you would most likely look for each item.
This will help you to optimize the kitchen’s function.
Although we’re primarily addressing how to declutter your kitchen, one key to keeping areas decluttered is to optimize their function. This is especially true of high traffic areas in the home.
Items used most often should be easily within reach in the cabinet locations where it would make the most sense to reach for them. For example, spices somewhere near the stove, mugs near the coffee machine, and so on.
Creating zones can optimize the kitchen’s function since it will help to categorize your storage and make it easier to find things.
Some ideas for zones are:
- Snack zone
- Cooking zone
- Drink zone
- Baking zone
- To-go zone
A “Zone” Example:
When we downsized to a smaller home, I set aside one cabinet in our kitchen and designated it as the “beverage zone.”
I realized that the 12-cup drip coffee maker was rarely used, took up precious countertop space, and was much larger than we needed.
So, I gave away our drip coffee machine that was still in good condition. Instead, we now have a French Press, stovetop espresso maker, Aeropress, and Chemex. They make better coffee (in my opinion) and we never used all 12 cups in a drip coffee maker anyway.
How to Declutter the Rest of Your Home
There you have it! 5 simple steps to help you declutter your kitchen.
Now that you know how to declutter your kitchen, you’ll be able to tackle other areas of your home!
Want more decluttering help?