There’s so much I could share in relation to the decluttering of any room, but especially the kitchen. It’s a space that, in many homes, is very action-filled and it also has a lot going on in terms of the variety of items we have here. These are just some of the practical tips that come to mind today in relation to how to declutter your kitchen, and I know this busy area is a particular bone of contention for many of us.
General declutter kitchen tips
- Plan your approach in advance and be realistic about what you’ll achieve.
- Everything should have a natural home. The kitchen table should be free from items when not in use (apart from maybe a nice plant or bunch of flowers). It’s also really good practice to try to keep sideboards free of non-permanent items like paperwork, food, etc. when they’re not being used.
- Items should be stored minimally and accessibly. Things we use very regularly should be within easy reach. Related items should be logically placed, for example the cups and spoons should be beside, or somewhat near to, the kettle.
- Where at all possible, items should be grouped with like. Food should be together, utensils should be together, pots and pans should be together, and so forth. If this isn’t wholly possible, for example if there isn’t enough space in a single area to store all the room-temperature consumables, similar food products should be stored together. Not alone is this more efficient and convenient, but it looks better too, almost giving a more “expensive” feel to a space. I know this may seem obvious, but because our living spaces can change over time and with the busyness of the everyday we often find that our kitchens can develop into very “unfunctioning” spaces that are in great contrast from what we originally intended.
- Turn out and centre the front labels on food items that are in their packages. If you’re like me you’ll find that this simple trick makes such a difference to the aesthetics of a group of items.
- If you are storing items like cereals on counter tops due to space or accessibility issues invest in nice containers that work with the space’s décor and design.
- Add extra layers of shelving in presses or cupboards to double the storage capacity.
The above are just a few useful nuggets, but I find that many people are so caught up in finding the best organisational tips, storage solutions or food preparation gadgets for their kitchen that they often neglect (or aren’t even aware of) the real considerations of decluttering kitchens.
This actually goes beyond the amount of physical space we have, or the physical layout. That doesn’t mean that we ignore the ergonomics of a kitchen – it’s essential our kitchens are spaces in which we can operate efficiently as well as safely and securely around water, electricity, gas, sharp objects and other hazards!
How to declutter kitchen for best results
To get optimum results as we declutter kitchens, we need to address what’s beyond the practical and uncover how we truly feel in these spaces. Coming at it from a broader, more stripped-back perspective, these are some very helpful questions to ask yourself.
- What is the function(s) of your kitchen, aside from feeding you and your family? Is it for socialising, studying, doing paperwork, craft work, reading, etc.? Is the space working for these various functions?
- What’s the desired atmosphere of the kitchen in relation to the different function(s)? Is this ambience being achieved? Are the sights, smells and sounds and textures of the conducive to the desired feel or energy of the space? “Heavy” items like bills or homework on the kitchen table or sideboards absolutely affect our eating and socialising experience, whether we are consciously aware of this or not.
- Is the kitchen in accordance with your individual style in terms of décor and design as well as your practical lifestyle and living space requirements?
Critically, to really master the decluttering of a space we need to understand any thoughts, beliefs, emotions and habits that are hindering us in the area. I can’t recommend enough using this invaluable declutter kitchen opportunity to work through anything that’s weighing you down and stopping you from moving forward in your life. Here I share just a few of the common limiting thoughts, beliefs, emotions and habits that pertain to our kitchen, and these can reveal so much about our relationship with money, shopping and lifestyle as well as cooking and eating.
Common limiting thoughts, beliefs, emotions and habits in our kitchen
- Bulk buying food products out of habit even though you may not have the space for the items, or whether or not it makes financial sense
- Impulse buying of food products or other kitchen items that you already have or deep down know you’ll never need or use
- Accumulating “aspirational” kitchen items like muffin trays or chocolate makers that represent quality time or special occasions or holidays with the family, and feeling guilty when you don’t get the chance to use them
- Using your scruffy old tea towels or chipped ware (“Sunday Best” mentality) while you keep your “good” tea towels or ware for that elusive rare occasions, or never using them or forgetting you have them
- Continually buying or eating the same food products that you know don’t suit you or make you feel good
- Feeling uninspired and uncreative when it comes to cooking and trying new dishes
- Feeling overwhelmed, frustrated or sad in any aspect of your kitchen
I find it almost impossible to convey the level of positive impact on a person’s life when they come to identify and gently work through these and other negative thoughts, beliefs emotions and habits in the kitchen as well as every other parts of the home, and I do believe we all owe it to ourselves to learn such a favourable and empowering mindset.
Before you declutter, decide how you want your kitchen to feel and commit to creating a nurturing individual or family space that facilitates happiness and health – physically, mentally, emotionally and energetically.
If this declutter kitchen post resonates with you, you might be interested in learning more about my The Declutter Academy professional online training at how to become a professional organizer.