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Your kitchen’s the heart of your home and has become nothing but a cluttered mess lately. It’s starting to get annoying and you don’t even want to be in there anymore. Before you completely give up hope, here’s how to declutter your kitchen from top to bottom.
It all started with somebody leaving the toaster out, then the crockpot didn’t get put away after it was washed.
Next, the mail was left on the counter and everybody emptied their pockets when they walked in the door. Now you can barely see the countertop and are wondering where you’re going to put the pans you need to cook dinner.
You clear a big enough spot to accommodate the pans but you still have to dig through the pantry to get your ingredients out.
You haven’t even started cooking yet and you’re ready to have a meltdown.
Besides being inconvenient, all of the clutter has created frustration and become an obstacle to your meal prep.
On top of that, it’s most likely causing you some anxiety and stress. The minute you walk through the door you see the clutter and start fretting about how you’re going to pull off dinner.
Before you grab the phone, dial Uber Eats and give up on all of that meal planning you’ve been doing, take some time to declutter your entire kitchen and get back on track.
How To Declutter Your Kitchen
Decluttering your kitchen can seem like an overwhelming task. Especially if there is a lot of visual clutter.
I suggest starting with the low hanging fruit so you can see quick progress.
Grab a garbage bag for obvious trash items, a large basket for items that belong in another room, and a box for items that are going to be sold or donated.
The kitchen countertops are the biggest and fastest clutter collectors in most homes.
Between the coffee pot, coffee grinder, and toaster, there’s already a lot going on. Add any other small appliances you use on a regular basis and you’re short on space before you even get started.
Countertops are usually the easiest to declutter because most of the stuff either belongs in one of the cabinets, another room or the garbage.
Start by clearing as much as you can off of the countertops. Throw out junk mail and old receipts.
If there are any small appliances that you don’t use on a regular basis, get them off the counter. Store them in the pantry, garage or somewhere else.
Once you’ve freed up some counter space, you can start on the rest of the kitchen.
Refrigerator And Freezer
Go through the refrigerator, check all condiments and sauces, combine the half-empty bottles and toss any that are expired.
Check all containers of leftovers and toss any that are too old. Most leftovers are only good for two to three days.
Sort through the fruit, veggies, and meat and cheese drawers. Throw out anything that has seen better days.
Go through the freezer. Check each item for freezer burn and expiration date and throw out anything that has gone bad.
Sort through all spices and toss any that are past their expiration or you aren’t going to use. Yes, that means throwing out that super expensive jar of saffron that you used once for Seafood Paella five years ago.
Most ground spices are only good for two to three years, and that’s if they’re kept in a cool dark cabinet away from heat.
Go through your cooking oils and throw out any that are over a year old. Once open, oils will only last for about a year. After that year, they can darken and turn rancid. A rancid oil can completely ruin your entire dish.
Vinegars are acidic which makes them self-preserving. They should be good forever although the flavors might change slightly.
Start with the expired items and throw them away. Remove any foods that you probably aren’t going to eat and donate them to a local food bank.
This is where some of us find a lot of food waste. Unopened expired bottles of salad dressing, unopened spices, etc.
Go through your dinnerware cabinet and remove any damaged or excess items.
If you have extra settings because you throw large dinner parties, put the extra dinnerware in a tote and keep it in a different space.
Only keep what you will use on a regular basis.
Sort through your silverware drawer and remove any objects that don’t actually belong in there.
Get rid of any damaged pieces.
Take everything out of your utensil drawers and place it on the counter. Throw out any damaged or stained pieces.
Now get rid of any duplicates or utensils you don’t use.
This is always a fun one for me. It becomes a visual representation of all the kitchen tools I have bought but not used on a regular basis.
If you don’t use it, get rid of it, it’s just clutter. Donate extra utensils to your local thrift store.
Go through your cookware and throw out any damaged pots or pans. Broken handles scratched Teflon coating, and burnt on food are all good reasons to get rid of a pot or pan.
Instead of buying large sets, buy single pieces of only the ones you will use. I have a large calphalon set and I’ve only used two of the pots maybe three times each.
The same goes for your bakeware cabinet.
Sort through it and throw out any damaged items. Keep only what you will actually use.
If you rarely bake, you don’t need four different muffin tins, 3 bread pans, and 3 pie dishes.
While we’re on the subject, what about all of those cookbooks. Think you might be able to condense your favorite recipes and get rid of a few cookbooks?
Food Storage Containers Cabinet
This could be a big chore depending on how messy you let your cabinet get.
Start by matching up lids with containers to ensure that each container has a lid. Throw away any that don’t.
Check for stained or damaged plastic storage containers and throw those away too.
Do you have containers that you never use? Donate them.
Small Appliances and Gadgets
Am I sounding like a broken record yet? Well, here I go again. If you don’t use it, get rid of it.
Go through all of the cabinets and drawers that you’ve stashed your gadgets in. Figure out which ones you actually use, and get rid of the rest.
I had a sandwich press for over 10 years. I used it twice. It worked great, but my griddle pan that came with my cookware set was much easier to get to.
Kitchen towels, pot holders, oven mitts, and trivets are often out of sight, out of mind.
Throw away burnt, torn or tattered towels, pot holders and mitts.
Toss cracked or not used trivets.
Kitchen Sink Cabinet
This area can really become a cluttered mess. With the cleaning supplies, dish soap, sponges, dishwasher tablets, and rinse aid, you’re already short on room.
Keep only essential supplies under the sink. If there is anything that doesn’t get used in the sink, dishwasher, or for cleaning the kitchen, relocate it or get rid of it.
The last time I decluttered under my sink, I realized my husband doesn’t know where the vases go. You guessed it, they don’t go under the kitchen sink!
Heart Of The Home
Now that the kitchen is decluttered and you have the heart of your home back, you can get started on the rest of the house.
Let us know how your kitchen declutter goes. We would love to see some before and after pictures.