It’s the last day of the 31 Day Kitchen Clutter Clear Out! Is your kitchen feeling less cluttered, brighter, and welcoming? I’m going to help you keep it that way with tips for maintaining clutter-free spaces. It’s a struggle for everyone.
First take a moment, if you have made it through all 31 days or even a couple days, and do a little happy dance! Tell yourself “good job!”
Maintaining a Clutter-Free Kitchen
Decide to change your habits and routines. Your kitchen will become cluttered again, if you don’t change your habits.
Clean up as you go. I give my mom credit for helping me create this habit. When cooking or baking, put ingredients away after use, wash dishes as you cook, and wipe the counter often. There will be less mess once you are finished cooking.
Before buying something, consider whether you have room for it in your kitchen and where it will be stored.
Live by the one-in-one out rule. Let go of an item you own when you purchase a new item. You will not out grow your space if you follow this rule.
Regularly purge items from your kitchen. When you open a cabinet or drawer, to put something in it, take a quick look around for an item you no longer use. Have a donation box/bag available, somewhere in your house, at all times for the items you purge.
Declare your counters and table a clutter-free zone. Resist using them as a drop zone for mail, crafts, papers, shopping bags and the like.
Spend 10 minutes clearing your counters and table every day.
Have you ever heard the phrase, it’s easier to keep up than catch up? Yep, it’s true. You may have worked very hard, the last 31 days, catching up. Now take a few minutes to keep up everyday.
If you would like to see a list of all the 31 Days, click here.
Thank you for reading my blog, I appreciate you! You will be seeing regular, mini challenges on the blog, from now on.
Welcome to Day 29 of the Kitchen Clutter Clear Out. Are there dirty dishes in your sink? Maybe the dishes and pots are overflowing onto the counter. I don’t think anyone likes to wash dishes but everyone feels great when they are done. It won’t take as long as you think it will.
You won’t believe what one of my virtual clients did when she had a sink filled with dishes. Read about it here.
Might as well make it more fun. Put some music on, turn on the t.v. if you have one in your kitchen, listen to an audio book, or talk radio.
Fill the sink up with hot, sudsy water, grab your scrub pad and go at it.
Day 28 is here! Welcome back, we are almost at the end of the Kitchen Clutter Clear Out. If your kitchen has a lazy susan or a cabinet with turn tables, we are going to clear it out. If not, take the time to clear out one of the areas you may have missed. They are all listed on the first post here. Another option is to drive all the donations, you have boxed up, to your favorite charity.
I’ve never had a lazy susan in any of my kitchen corner cabinets but I’ve organized plenty of them for clients. They can be a frustrating space to figure out and become jammed with too much stuff.
Do you use your turn table space for food, appliances or dishes?
Empty out the space and wipe down the turn tables.
Toss expired/stale food.
Place items you no longer use or want in a donation box/bag.
If you pulled food or dishes from your turn table, group them into categories. For example breakfast food would be one category and mixing bowls would be another category.
Start returning items to your turn tables.
Label the edges of the turn tables if that will help you and your family keep the items where they belong.
Contain groups of small items in baskets to prevent them from scattering or falling over the side e.g. nuts, snacks, jello, plastic lids, sippy cups, and tea.
If you have very sturdy turn tables, the bottom or even the top turn table might be the ideal place for your small appliances.
Go to my Pinterest board here for some lazy susan inspiration.
We are at Day 27 of the Kitchen Clutter Clear Out. Yesterday we focused on our counters so it makes sense to turn our focus to the kitchen/dining room table today.
Our tables are another favorite spot for clutter, much like the counter. Would you like to eat at your table once again? Invite friends over for dinner or family for the holidays?
It is possible! Don’t give up or beat yourself up for the state of your table. What’s done is done. This will not serve you or help you reach your Clutter Clear Out goals. Time to move forward.
You will proceed with the same steps we used for the counters.
Have a trash and recycling bin near you.
Grab a box or laundry basket to temporarily hold the items that need to be put into other areas. Wait until you are finished with the table and then put those items away.
Start with one tiny area or small pile on your table. Sort the items. Work your way around your table. If it helps motivate you, set a timer for 30 minutes. When it goes off, take a break or reset the timer.
Toss old papers, put dishes in the dishwasher or sink, toss trash and recycling, place items that need to go elsewhere into the box or laundry basket.
Stay focused on your goal.
Put away the items that need to go into other rooms.
When you have finished, say “hello” to the surface of your table and rejoice! You did it!!
Did you unearth anything interesting on your table? Maybe something you have been looking high and low for?
Let’s face it. It’s convenient to set things down on our kitchen counters. It’s a wonderfully flat surface. This is why we are focusing on our counter tops for Day 26 of the Kitchen Clutter Clear Out.
Kitchen counters need more attention than other kitchen areas. I have to de-clutter mine on a daily basis in order to keep up, but this only takes me a couple minutes.
Much of what ends up on our counters, doesn’t even belong in our kitchen.
Here is how to un-bury your counter.
Have a trash and recycling bin near you.
Grab a box or laundry basket to temporarily hold the items that need to be put into other areas. I don’t want you to leave the kitchen and get distracted, once you begin sorting.
Start sorting one tiny area of your counter or one little pile. Work your way around your counter top. If it helps motivate you, set a timer for 30 minutes. When it goes off, take a break or reset the timer.
Toss old papers, put dishes in the dishwasher or sink, toss trash and recycling, and return things to their home in the kitchen or place items that need to go elsewhere, into the box or laundry basket.
You can do it! I know it seems overwhelming but once you begin it will get easier. Don’t scoop it all up and dump it in another room. That will add more stress and chaos. (you didn’t know I could read your thoughts, did you?)
When you have finished your counter, bask in it’s clutter-free glory!
What is the most unique item you found buried on your counter?
Day 25 of the Kitchen Clutter Clear Out’s focus is the dish towel drawer. We tend to over stuff this drawer with towels and dishcloths.
You may have the hang of this clutter purging process and can probably guess what the first step is going to be. Here we go!
Remove everything from the drawer.
Sort it into piles of “like” items.
Are there some items that don’t belong in this drawer? If so, put them aside and return them to their home after you are finished with the drawer. If you put those items away now, you may become distracted and we don’t want that!
Purge until they fit into the drawer without stuffing it.
Donate the stained, torn, or thin towels (Goodwill recycles these into rags) or add them to your own rags, but only if needed.
My towel drawer isn’t perfectly neat but it works for me.
Welcome to Day 24 of the Kitchen Clutter Clear Out! How many small appliances do you own? If the answer is too many, put your purging cap on because today we are going to clear out a few small appliances.
Walk around your kitchen area and make a list of all your small appliances. Look in cabinets, closets and your pantry for any you may have missed.
We all have small appliance that we use regularly and would not want to give up, like our coffee maker. But what about the bread maker, popcorn popper, ice cream maker, panini maker, s’more cooker, electric fondue pot, deep fryer, George Foreman grill, and rice cooker….it’s all to much!
Ask yourself these questions. They will help you make a decision whether to keep or donate or even SELL the appliance.
Did you find some appliances you forgot you owned?
Are any appliances dusty from lack of use?
How about appliances you received as a gift and haven’t taken out of the box?
Are there appliances that are difficult to clean or use? Chocolate fountain anyone??
What about the appliances that are heavy and difficult to store?
Are there appliances you could borrow from a friend, if you find you miss them?
Can you do the job without the appliance?
Did the questions open your eyes about what you really need to keep? Be ruthless.
Welcome back, it’s day 23 and we are definitely in the home stretch of this challenge. You are transforming your kitchen into a less cluttered space. It must feel terrific. Today we will clear out plastic storage container clutter.
Do you have a hard time keeping your plastic storage containers under control? It might be because you have too many. It’s okay to let some go. They are recyclable in many communities and sometimes organizations that feed the homeless and the needy want them for their clients who take their food with them.
Plastic containers are used on a daily basis in my home because they are lightweight, inexpensive and we usually have leftovers. I use these to transport meals to my folks who live close to me. They are also fabulous as organizing containers for craft supplies, school/office supplies and as dividers in junk drawers.
Let’s dig in. You can do this!
Pull out all your containers and their lids.
Match up the lids to the containers. I’ve had my daughter do this for me when she was younger.
Now it’s time to toss/recycle/donate some of the containers.
Let go of the containers that are badly stained or in poor condition, are missing lids, or you don’t use because the shape or lid is just wrong.
Nest the containers in one another and return them to your drawer or shelf. Purge containers until they all fit within the space.
Stand the lids on their side and store in a large container. I have a deep drawer I use for all my plastic lids. It’s not perfect, but it works. Don’t let perfection paralyze you. Strive for function!
Now doesn’t it feel great to look at your de-cluttered storage containers? How many did you purge?
Day 22, the dreaded junk drawer. Do you have more than one junk drawer? Let’s clear them out so they are no longer dreadful. You will be happier the next time you open them.
Junk drawers have been around since the beginning of junk. Where else would you put stuff that doesn’t have a home? Most likely, this home has become one cluttered mess.
You may really dread this task, but it won’t be that bad. You’ll feel very accomplished and proud of yourself.
Grab a trash and recycling bag. You may also want a container for donations, just in case.
Start by emptying one drawer and sorting the junk.
Make groupings (piles) of similar items: pens, tools, paper clips, markers, papers, tape, note paper, etc.
Toss old gum, candy and dried out pens.
Donate extra pens and pencils.
Toss broken items you have not gotten around to fixing. Be realistic (there is that word again) about fixing them. Especially if they have been broken for more than a couple of months.
Return things to their proper home if they don’t belong in the junk drawer.
Use small containers to hold clips, rubber bands and other tiny items.
This is my imperfect junk drawer. The reason my photos haven’t been perfect is to show you how I live. Functionality is more important than having everything super neat and lined up. After I took this photo I tossed the seed packets since our gardening season is over and we won’t need them next year. I use a lot of post-its!