Holiday baking season is in full swing! I especially love baking those gingerbread cookies…But I DON’T enjoy feeling overwhelmed by clutter, and it’s demotivating to try to work in a messy kitchen. Let’s clear that clutter and tackle 5 spaces in the kitchen today!
#1. Start wherever is the most cluttered! (The visibility rule!) At my house, that’s the snack area.
You’ll feel a lot more accomplished and gain more momentum if you do this. Also, if you get interrupted before you move to numbers 2-5 of this declutter challenge, you will be able to feel good that you made a noticeable impact!
The easiest way to start and make a dent is by removing what doesn’t belong: trash and misplaced items. Bread clips always end up on my counters, and stale, unsealed things I forgot about need to go!
I’m pretty distractible, so I often set things down on my kitchen counters that don’t belong in between my trips from the basement to the main floor or upstairs. During my latest kitchen declutter session there was hairspray and mouthwash on the countertop! Don’t pile it to the side, or you still have clutter…Do as Dana K. White recommends (she’s also the visibility rule chick) and put it away right away! It doesn’t take as long as you think and things will get done.
(By the way, I recommend that you don’t buy bulk bags of snacks if you can help it–it’s a lot to store, and especially not if you like to try new things…I made that mistake and now I have a bunch of dry roasted chickpea snacks to try to get through.)
Then move to consolidating and streamlining. Put like with like, and order it largest in back so that you can see what you have. One professional organizer I like, Lori Marrero of the Clutter diet, may be the one who taught me to even trim off the tops of half-used bread and snack bags an inch above the clips to make a more streamlined look.
#2. Tackle those utensils! I’ve decluttered my utensils annually for a few years and I am amazed at how cluttered they get!
I like mine off the counter for a more minimalist look. I don’t have a lot of counter space, so I keep mine in a drawer. But careless dishes helpers and my reckless cooking ways have meant my many utensils have gotten jumbled pretty quickly. The issue? Too many duplicates. I had 6 wooden spoons! I picked my top three and gave the rest to a friend who wanted them.
I think this third time around of decluttering them, I was able to judge what I could make do without and got it down to a single layer within the drawer. I won’t lie, I felt powerful being that ruthless and knowing I just made my life a lot easier by simply being able to discern what I don’t use and remove extras.
By the way, besides asking yourself if utensils don’t have to be on the counter, what about your cleaners? Can they be tucked in a cupboard? Can the snacks go in a pantry basket?
#3. Now, consider those kitchen appliances. Yes, this one is hard for many people, but really packs a punch in your clutter problem. What haven’t you used in a year? Do you have something that serves the purpose equally well, so you can get rid of a redundant purchase? For instance, I love my Instant Pot which has a slow cooker function, so although I used a slow cooker daily for the first half of my marriage, I don’t need to stick with it anymore. Let go of old phases of life and live in the present day.
When you make purchases, think of the versatility of the product so you’re not adding more to your inventory. (*As an aside, since I use my IP daily and would love to bump up a size to the 8 quart, one day I hope to upgrade to the new even MORE multifunctional IP with airfryer and dehydrator capabilities! *dreamy look*)
#4. Mug shot time! We all know how easy it is to accumulate mugs. There are so many adorable ones, ones with witty quotes, or humorous graphics. I am a sucker for the funny ones. I gifted hubby a nice big “Expressions of Darth Vader” StarWars mug he used to use daily, until it wouldn’t fit on the platform of his new monster of a coffee maker. (I must restrain myself from grumbling about how much counter space it takes up.) So I had to be ok with him decluttering a gift I got him, because he’s on board with decluttering!
#5. Ok, this is the part I dread, fridge decluttering time! Watching a few Hoarders episodes always helps me want to do this more. During the busyness of a kid being sick at home, then doing a bathroom painting project, and maybe some seasonal affective disorder going on, I got…a few weeks behind on the clear-out. Nasty.
Just get it done–you’ll be relieved afterwards! Maybe light a candle if the stuff has spoiled…you can do this!
I recommend NOT doing what always trips me up, which is storing things in opaque containers. If I can’t see what it is, we don’t usually use it up!
Don’t forget those old condiments! If you’re saving fast food packets but not regularly putting them in packed lunches, now’s the time to toss those too!
Look around and marvel at what your bad decluttering self did! You just decluttered 5 areas! Now don’t forget to stick the mugs, utensils, and appliances you are parting with in a donatable box and into your backseat or trunk to drop off at a donation spot or friend who wants them this week!
Blessings on your journey, friend!
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