The kitchen is, for many people, the hub of the house. It’s the place where we prepare meals, make the morning coffee, chat around the table. It can also be the place in the house that gets cluttered fastest and presents the biggest clutter frustrations. And a cluttered kitchen makes it less likely you’ll cook at home, leading to more meals out and more $5 lattes. Here are 5 simple ways to declutter your kitchen.
Purge the plasticware. The place where you keep your plastic storage containers is probably one of your biggest clutter catchers. Pull out all the containers and lids. First, match containers to lids and get rid of any that remain mateless. (Most are recyclable.) Then purge those that are cracked, stained, or otherwise past their prime. That plastic bowl from the Indian place you’ve been using for 5 years? Let it go. When you’re down to only the pieces you actually use, corral the lids in a basket or bowl, stack your containers so that they nest when possible, and enjoy the freed up space.
Put your one-trick ponies out to pasture. The kitchen is gadget heaven. There are so many appliances and tools out there that can (theoretically) make us better or more efficient cooks! But a lot of these items have only one purpose, and many of them get pulled out seldom or never. Take a look at the one-trick ponies in your kitchen. That pasta maker you got for your wedding and haven’t used in 7 years? Let it go. What about the gadget you got to make incredibly ornate Christmas cookies, that’s never been out of the box? Be honest with yourself. It’s OK to let go of culinary dreams. You may be able to sell some items, especially new or like-new ones, through online marketplaces. Just don’t keep them in the kitchen while you wait to make the sale. Or dump the guilt and donate them.
Clear the counters. This might sound counterintuitive since the whole reason your counter is cluttered is that you don’t have any place to put things! Take a look at what’s on your counters, particularly what’s stored there full time. Purge items that you won’t or don’t use. As you declutter other spaces in the kitchen, the items on the counter will have homes to go to. Keep on the counter only what you use regularly or what makes your space feel good (a vase of flowers, that ceramic chicken cookie jar). Streamline your counters and the kitchen just looks better, which is a helpful lift for your spirits.
Put the linens out to dry. Go through your kitchen linens — towels, washcloths, potholders and oven mitts. Get rid of those with holes, thin spots, burn marks or other damage. Also purge those that you just don’t like, or that seem to be past their prime. (Don’t just demote all of them to the rag bin, either — get them out of your house!) If you have holiday themed linens out and it’s not that holiday, wash them and put them with the rest of your decorations. While you’re at it, toss the nasty sponges and steel wool pads by the sink.
Ditch the duplicates. Every kitchen has duplicate items. And sometimes we need more than one of something. But you’d be amazed how many redundant, unused duplicates are lurking, especially in your junk and gadget drawer. Go through and get rid of the items you use less (or have never used). Let spatulas, wooden spoons, and other utensils that have seen better days go, and keep those that in good shape. That whisk you bought that never fit in your hand just right? Out it goes. You don’t have to get yourself down to “just one” of everything, but getting rid of the items that are frustrating to use, worn out, or unused lets you more easily find and use the things you do enjoy!