Declutter your kitchen and breathe easy when it is time to make dinner, rather than stress from having to clean your kitchen before you can even make a meal for your family!
I’ve been there mama. There was a time when I had to first clean my kitchen before I could cook in my kitchen.
The dishes would pile up. We would curse at the cabinets when things fell out of them. Don’t even get me started on the odd shaped cooking utensil that made it impossible to open the drawer!
We had six Pyrex dishes. Who needs six Pyrex dishes?! I mean, you can only make so many batches of brownies and casseroles at one time!
Declutter your kitchen…one day at a time
You can declutter your kitchen in a day, or, if you are more like me, it can be a process over a couple of weeks as you find out what the perfect balance of a minimalist kitchen and functionality for you and your family.
Know this, there are no rules to minimalism.
You can own more than two knives.
You don’t have to limit yourself to one multi-purpose pot or one bowl for each member of the family to eat all of their meals out of in order to successfully declutter your kitchen.
Once you find the perfect balance for your family in your minimalist kitchen, you will love that you figured out how to organize your kitchen just by having less in it!
Minimalist kitchen organization is possible without selling all your stuff! No more battling stuffed-to-the-gills kitchen cabinets and no more cluttered counter-tops. It will be life-changing.
Welcome to Day 6 of the Happy Clutter-Free Home Series
The benefits of a clutter-free, minimalist kitchen
1 – Fewer dishes to clean
There will no longer be a pile-up of dishes because you will have stopped the endless cycle of just grabbing another clean one from the cabinet.
With fewer dishes in your kitchen, you wash, dry, and then put away the dishes you have. If there is nothing clean, you grab one from the sink and wash it for immediate use. Mama gets a break from the endless cycle of sink buildup.
2 – Ease of finding things
When you declutter your kitchen and figure out how to organize your kitchen cabinets, you no longer have to sort through the plates, cups, pots and pans, or small appliances to get out what you really want.
We had a kitchen cabinet once that housed all of our small kitchen appliances. We called it the “cabinet from hell”. It was awful. There was so much crap piled into that cabinet, and we didn’t even use half of the stuff in there.
Getting rid of the small kitchen appliances we never used was so liberating and gave us back some sanity!
3 – SPACE
Space kicks out clutter overwhelm. It allows you to breathe, cook, and entertain without the stress of clutter. Declutter your kitchen, and you will enjoy your kitchen organization on a whole new level!
Step 1: Determine your needs
My husband and I love to cook. We enjoy our kitchen daily, and we often don’t mind making elaborate, slow-cooked meals from scratch. It is fulfilling to create homemade dishes that our entire family enjoys.
We also love to entertain. It brings us great joy to have over people for dinner and to cook a long meal with them while we all hang out in the kitchen.
Since we love to cook so much, we have a lot of accessories for our cooking in the kitchen. They accumulated over time. We were often gifted cool little kitchen gadgets from family and friends, and we accumulated our own small kitchen appliances to make cooking new foods super enjoyable.
There were also grill accessories galore, and we are always mesmerized by that section of the store. We also have spices that fill up an entire kitchen cabinet. It seems we can never say no to a new, mouth-watering recipe, even if means buying one more new spice.
Although my husband and I are foodies and we love to concoct amazing dishes in our home, there comes a point where enough is enough when it comes to kitchen clutter.
We had to decide what to keep and what to get rid of, based on our use of the kitchen.
Questions to ask yourself:
- Is it a gathering place for just your family or do you entertain often?
- Do you like to cook?
- Do you make slow, made from scratch meals or do you prefer quick meals that help your family accomplish its busy schedule?
Decide on a number
Before you declutter your kitchen, sit down and assess your needs based on how you use your kitchen. When you go into the process with a plan, you will be far more successful.
Get down to the nitty-gritty, like how many plates one really needs. Think about what pots and pans you use and decide which ones are absolutely necessary.
Don’t try to eat the entire elephant in one bite!
Before you decide to declutter your kitchen, break down your tasks into little mini-goals. Trying to tackle the entire kitchen in one day, while possible, may make you lose your sanity!
Write it out!
Think about the different areas of the kitchen you want to tackle. List them out.
Do one cabinet, one drawer, and one category at a time. Achieving a minimalist kitchen is a process of getting rid of things more than organizing all the stuff you have already. It is also a process to decide what you need and what to purge.
Step 2: Enlist the help of your family
Talk to your family before you declutter your kitchen. Tell them the reasons you want to declutter it and point out your struggles and the benefits you hope to gain from having less in your kitchen. Let them know it may mean getting rid of some plates or mugs.
If they have a favorite they want to save from your purge, maybe give them the opportunity to pick one each. (Trust me, if you give them some say, it will save you the headache of a whining fit later on!)
Related post: Benefits of Minimalism for Families
Step 3: Get rid of duplicates
Once you know your needs for a more minimalist kitchen and decide exactly what you need and what you don’t need, it is time to get to work.
First, get rid of any duplicates. This is the easiest way to start on your kitchen declutter mission!
You don’t need six spatulas.
You also don’t need a special organizing canister for all the different varieties of wooden spoons, tongs, and whisks.
One or two of each cooking tool should be sufficient. I promise.
One organizing canister on your kitchen countertop should also be more than enough to hold all your cooking utensils (if you can’t fit them all in drawers).
Step 4: Declutter small appliances
You know that cabinet that is home to all the small appliances you never use? It’s time.
I recommend starting with cabinet or space for small appliances, as it will allow you to make room for a lot more stuff as you work your way through the other cabinets!
When was the last time you used your juicer? Be honest. How about the rice cooker?
Do you have any multipurpose appliances? I know when we got the Instantpot, we got rid of the rice cooker. It also serves as a crock-pot.
If you aren’t a crock-pot user, that’s ok. You don’t have to own one.
Same goes for a microwave. We moved into our new home more than a year ago, and it didn’t have a microwave. We agreed to try it out for 6 months. You know what, we haven’t missed it one bit (except for popcorn when it’s really too late to be making it). Turns out, stove-top popcorn tastes way better!
Once you clear out the small appliances, move on to the other cabinets.
Step 5: Declutter kitchen cabinets
Now that you have decluttered your small appliances, it is time to move on and declutter the kitchen cabinets that store everything else.
Casserole dishes, serving plates,etc.
Start with your casserole dishes, serving plates, etc. Like clearing the small appliances, when you clear these big items, you will be making room to spread out the items you are keeping.
How many times do you host a party? How many casseroles or brownies do you make?
I’m not saying get rid of everything, but be honest with yourself and how much you use an item. I needed casserole dishes. I didn’t need six of them!
Cups and mugs
Tackle your cups and mugs next.
If you are like most people, you have a favorite mug. Every day you go searching for that same mug, and the rest of the mugs are in the way. Embrace this fact.
You have already decluttered your kitchen mugs in your thought process by using the same one every day. Let the rest go! (Maybe keep one back-up.)
You know those free cups and mugs you get from various companies or at various events? If you don’t use them daily or love them, let them go. Stop fighting your cabinet.
We decided eight place settings was enough for our family. We are a family of four, and that allows us to entertain another family as well.
I also got rid of plastic kid plates as soon as my kids were old enough to eat off a regular plate without throwing it on the floor. It was one less category to manage when putting dishes away.
Do we have young children visit sometimes? Yes. In that rare instance, they can eat off a real plate with their parent’s help, or I can pull out a paper plate. It was not often enough to warrant a permanent place in my kitchen cabinet.
Declutter your kitchen checklist:
- Serving dishes/casserole dishes
- Kid cups, dishes, and silverware
- Small kitchen appliances
- Plastic containers and other leftover containers
- Pots and pans
- Cooking utensils
- Kitchen gadgets
- Under the kitchen sink
- Mixing bowls
- Junk drawer
- Cleaning supplies
- Cabinet over the fridge
- Paper products storage area
- Aluminum foil and plastic bags storage area
- Declutter your cookbooks
- Inside your fridge
- Kitchen counter clutter
- Clear the paperwork that doesn’t belong
- Simplify and organize your pantry
Related posts: How to Create a Minimalist Pantry
Step 6: Get rid of the excess
You have many options available to you after decluttering the items from your home. Kitchen items usually don’t have a huge resale value, so selling them may not be the best bet.
Taking your unwanted items to a donation center is the easiest task. However, if you want to find a purpose for your unwanted kitchen items, you have choices.
Do you know any college students that could benefit from your hand-me-down kitchen items? I know when I was in college, I would have taken just about anything to stock our kitchen.
Give to those who you know can benefit. There is also a local women’s shelter in our city that is always looking to stock kitchens for safe apartments they establish for women in need. Look for something like that in your area as well.
Whatever you do, don’t hold on to the items for “just in case”. If something makes it to the donate pile, donate it that day, or at least that week.
Just remember to track any charitable donations! That can be a big help at tax time!
This post is part of the Happy Clutter-Free Home series.
You can achieve a decluttered home once and for all. You don’t have to settle for cleaning all day, stress, and general clutter overwhelm.
Being a mom is hard already. Don’t let clutter make it feel impossible. Get back time and reclaim the joy in your home.
If you missed it, check out How to Manage Toy Clutter in 9 Simple Steps (Guilt-Free).
Tomorrow we will discuss what to do with stuff after decluttering your home and how to manage the guilt of letting things go.
Good luck with decluttering your kitchen!