Whether you’re a renter like me or you have a newly remodeled space, there’s no room in your home for clutter. The kitchen tends to be a drop zone for homework, a catch all for mail, and a test lab for your latest recipe, making it a breeding ground for all your odds and ends. Here are a few simple ways to get your kitchen back under control, tested by yours truly.
- Trays are a great way to quarantine your kitchen clutter. They allow you to still have your essentials out on the counter, but they contain everything at the same time to one designated area.
- Add a natural element. Greenery, whether alive, artificial, or cut, gives your space a “homey” feel while adding a different visual texture. You can even take your fresh herbs like parsley and cilantro, and put them in a jar on the counter with some water. Not only does this make your herbs last longer, it gives you something fresh to look at while also providing easy access while cooking.
- Curate your utensils. We all know that we don’t use every spatula and whisk we have. Now is a great time to pair down to just the essentials, or if there are some tools you just can’t part with and use infrequently, put those in a drawer. Better yet, if you have the option to update your utensils to a matching set, all wood or stainless steel; now might be a good time to do it.
- Don’t let your recycling/trash stack up. I know that it is so easy to do, however, it is just as easy to take it out to prevent the overflow of extra bottles and bags to start piling. If you do it when it is just one bag/bin, it won’t seem as daunting to do when you let it start taking over your kitchen.
- Go through your “catch all” container. We all have that one place that we throw all of the items that we don’t want to deal with immediately, but we need to get to or find a home for. If you are anything like me, those containers very quickly become an eye sore, brimming with stuff. Make it a point to go through your catch-alls once a week. This will also ensure that you are getting to any “to-do” items and that parking ticket will actually get paid.
- Time for an upgrade? I know we would all like to buy every kitchen accessory and organizational tool, but we just can’t sometimes. Take a moment and really think about an item or two that needs to be purchased to enhance the functionality of your kitchen. However, when you make your next purchase, make sure the item is both beautiful and functional. Invest in a piece that you love to look at and use, so that you will keep it for years to come.
Pro-tip 1: Pick one area at a time. Don’t try to tackle everything in one swoop, or else you might just get overwhelmed and never start, especially if you have a big kitchen or lots of clutter. I started with my refrigerator, then moved to the stove top area. The next day, I organized my rolling island and trash. On the third day, I tackled my sink area; installing a new faucet and buying a new dish rack.
Pro-tip 2: Don’t forget to clean as you declutter. Even if it is just one small area at a time while you are tackling projects day-to-day. By the end of de-cluttering, you will also have a freshly cleaned space
Here are some before and after photos of my own space.