How to Declutter Your Kitchen in 7 Days!
Most of us have too much stuff as evidenced by drawers that won't close, pantries filled with ingredients that we'll never use, and platters and cups that we've received as gifts or picked up at events that we never use. All of this stuff makes it hard for us to find exactly what we need when we are looking for it, and clutter in the kitchen just makes us feel that much more unorganized. So here's a seven-day plan to declutter your kitchen and find the right “home” for all of those items you no longer plan to keep!
When decluttering a kitchen, it makes sense to pick a category of items, such as glassware, and work on just one thing each day. That way it will be easy to shift things around from one cabinet to another as you go along, since you will be decluttering and organizing “like items” all on the same day.
It is amazing how easy it is to accumulate plastic cups from amusement parks or fast food joints, promotional mugs, and wine glasses from events that you attend (with a company's logo on them), silly straws from kids cups and even travel coffee mugs. One day you come home with it, you stuff it into one of your cabinets, and before you know it, you are running out of space! And if you get down to it, these items are not anything you love, or even necessarily use. It's just that you own them and feel that they are “too good” to just throw away!
So today, empty out all of your cabinets that contain some sort of glassware or drinking container and sort them into piles of “keepers” and “discards.” Then wipe down or vacuum out the empty cabinets and return the keeper items into your newly cleaned out space. Take all of the “discards” and recycle or toss out any broken items and begin filling a cardboard box with any items that are in good shape for donation.
Depending on the setup of your kitchen, you probably store the bulk of your dry goods in a pantry closet and then store other food items, such as spices and maybe cooking oils, in a cabinet in the kitchen. But over time, as the kitchen cabinets became a little less organized, I am guessing that items get stuffed into the wrong place, and that in some cases, the same item is being stored in both the pantry closet as well as in a kitchen cupboard. And if you don't know what you have on hand, you risk wasting money at the grocery store buying something that you really don't need!
So today your goal is to tackle those food storage areas inside of your kitchen, getting rid of any items past their “best used by date,” as well as any strange ingredients that you've been holding on to but have no real plans to use! Toss it and open up that space!
It's rare that anyone feels that they have an overabundance of plates cluttering up the place (unless you received some hand-me-down plates from Aunt Jane that you haven't used since you finally purchased a matching set of your own!), but chances are we all own some serving pieces that haven't seen the light of day since we opened the box! And these may not all be lurking in the kitchen. If you have a dining rom hutch, they might be hiding there, too!
Today, you are going to pull them all out and decide which ones you truly love and use. Just because someone gave you that bright fuchsia platter with the sweet bunny painted on the side does NOT mean you have to keep it (unless sweet bunnies are really your thing!). I hereby give you permission to add anything to the donation box that you want. And I can pretty much guarantee that the person who gave you the platter won't even remember it anyway!
You probably don't own too many pots and pans unless you had a “starter set” you bought just out of school when you had only $20 to spend on an entire eight-piece collection, and now you don't use them because everything sticks to them! If you've replaced the starter set, then now is the time to ditch it and just keep the cookware that you actually use.
The big clean-out today will be in the cabinet where you keep your plastic food-storage containers. Now's the time to match them up, and anywhere you don't have the lid for the container, recycle the odd man out! All of those containers that you saved from the takeout place down the block? Get rid of them if you are not using them! Declutter, wipe down, and put them all back, neat and organized!
Today is a biggie! It takes a lot of energy to go through your whole pantry, examining every item, checking its expiration date, and deciding whether or not your family will actually ever use it! Make these decisions as you pull items out of your pantry, immediately discarding anything that you don't plan to keep. As you take items out, group them together into categories on the floor or on the table, wherever you are sorting–snacks together, pastas together, beverage mixes together, etc. Then once you've emptied the pantry and wiped down the shelves, you can return everything by category, which will make items much easier to find!
This is an area that is always full of decluttering opportunities! Over the years, you definitely pick up a slew of gadgets that you really don't need or use. Or if you are like me, you buy a new vegetable peeler because you hate the old one, but you never throw the old one away–you keep it around “just in case”! It feels great to purge these items, clean out the drawers, and get everything organized so that you can find things quickly and easily while cooking!
This last day is dedicated to sorting through all of those kitchen appliances that take up some valuable counter and cabinet space! You need to be super selective about what you keep and ask yourself if you really and truly love it and use it. That old bread maker that you used once three years ago? Time for it to move along (or for you to sincerely dedicate yourself to baking bread!). Same with that second blender you had in college, the juicer that's never even come out of the box, and that panini press your sister-in-law gave you. If you don't use them, then let them go!
Today is also the day to drop off your donations at a local Goodwill collection center or make an appointment to have them picked up by the Veterans. Your kitchen cabinets are now neat and organized, and you can find everything you are looking for! Good for you!Read More