Kitchen clutter~ is it the problem hindering your kitchen creativity?
Are you struggling to prepare meals for your family but get overwhelmed because it's too difficult to gather your supplies, let alone unbury your counter? Are your drawers and cabinets stuffed to the brim, and you can't find a thing?
Our clutter appears in many forms.
Maybe it's the countertop catch-all, cluttered with everything that does NOT belong in the kitchen, that's driving you crazy. Perhaps it's the sink full of dirty dishes, with no where to go. Or maybe it's the dining table you can't enjoy a meal on because it's full of children's supplies and bills to pay.
Whatever the source, it's time to cure the dilemma that's stopping you from creating the meals your family would love!
Ending kitchen clutter is more involved than just organizing a kitchen.
Here, we HAVE to get very detailed. For home organization to work, you FIRST have to make space. Clutter begins with the small things, and then progresses to full-blown disorganization when there is no direction or specific home for things to go.
It's all about habits. An adequately organized kitchen is easily maintained when all family members are clear where items should be put away after use.
If there isn't enough space for everything to have a place, it's time to make changes. Unused, unneeded items should go on their merry way for an efficiently functioning kitchen.
Here is where we take the time to declutter each cabinet shelf and drawer one by one. Similar to clearing our closet clutter, it's time to get down to the gritty and ask ourselves if each item is essential to our daily use, or if we still enjoy it.
1. Remove all duplicate items~
Keep the best and donate the excess.
Some things are a no-brainer in terms of creating extra space. Broken, cracked, or chipped items should go. If you have two of the same item, consider blessing someone else with the duplicate.
2. Reconsider seasonal items and things you've forgotten you even had~
If you uncover an item you didn't remember was in your possession, or haven't used something in well over a year, send it on its way. The TRUTH is, we live in such an easily accessed society, that if, on the rare occasion, you do find you got rid of something you shouldn't have~ it's usually very quickly and affordably replaced. (Go Amazon) Why let the worry of not having something someday cause your cluttered mess?
Again, the same applies to items you use maybe once every couple of years. If you are short on space, be wary of keeping the once a year seasonal items.
Is the item worth your precious storage space? Can you make do without the turkey roaster you use once a year- maybe instead order a turkey from a local restaurant or prebake the day before your big holiday?
If you can't part ways, then absolutely keep it. I'm simply trying to get you to think about things in a different light. If what you're doing now isn't working, it's time to change your thoughts. Little changes may ultimately maximize your space and create the day to day efficiency you desire if you're struggling.
Sometimes the sacrifice of storage space for one day out of the year, or even every two years, isn't worth losing the prime real estate that contributes to a well-flowing kitchen.
3. Do you love it or think you love it?
This item is a bit more complicated (if you let it be). But could be pivotal to ending not just your kitchen clutter, but much of the clutter in your life.
Please don't misunderstand me~ I'm NOT asking you to throw everything away. I'm asking you to examine if the material item is bringing happiness into your life, or adding to your chaos. Quite often, we fool ourselves into thinking something is bringing us warm feelings when instead, it's contributing to our clutter by causing subconscious frustration.
You may love, or think you love your collection of coffee mugs. You would never consider donating them. BUT, would you love the extra space and an efficiently functioning kitchen even more than the mugs?
I was recently getting annoyed while emptying the dishwasher because my full cabinets could no longer fit the clean items anymore. Why was it getting increasingly difficult?
It dawned on me that through the years, our six-member family had each accumulated multiple new mugs. Well, six members, times an average of three mugs each, meant eighteen additional cups needed to find a home. It's no wonder I couldn't return the dishwasher items to the cabinet.
It was time to make the, ahem, painful, choice of finding new homes for my prized stuff. (If this is the worst choice we have to make, we're doing pretty well, right?)
It was time to examine why I was holding onto things and what was causing kitchen clutter disarray. This principle applies to any of our clutter. I decided that while I thought I needed and enjoyed each of my Starbuck coffee mugs, I was, in reality, using the very same cup each day. My one go-to mug. When dealing with clutter, especially kitchen clutter, think about what your go-to items are and stick with them. Do you need the extra other things?
I thought I loved each mug, but as the years evolved, I realized I loved the memories each one held. I was afraid those memories would leave if I sent the physical items on their way. Not true, I discovered- memories remain in our hearts.
I kept one favorite mug and sent the rest (GASP!) on their way. I found I loved my uncluttered space so much MORE than the material things. I haven't missed them once.
With so many family members, we've started a new policy of sorts. When one new mug (or toy, or pair of shoes, or clothing item) comes in, whether being a gift or a new purchase, one must leave. And after I could bear to part with some things, I had the kiddos take my lead for their stuff as well. GO, mom- (haha!)
4. Put things AWAY!
And lastly, don't allow your hard work to go by the wayside!
Not much explanation needed here. Now that you've created space, form the habits and teach your family members to do the same and~
return items to where they belong!
Remember your goals and stick to them! A moment of returning saves hours later!
Please don't hesitate to contact me with questions! I'd love to help!
I wish I could walk through each drawer and cabinet with you. (And if you would love for a Grapevine, TX professional organizer to help you in person, or surrounding cities in the Dallas North Texas metroplex, let me know because I can!)
I want you to know that you CAN make changes as you work on home organization goals. It's not always going to be easy, but when you let go of the clutter, you will gain the time for the things and passions you really want in life, instead of allowing an unorganized lifestyle to rule your day.
How you spend your days are how you spend your years... and life...
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