How to Declutter the Kitchen
I think that decluttering the kitchen is probably the most difficult room to declutter because there are so many aspects and functions in the kitchen. When a kitchen works well and efficiently, you don’t notice it nearly as clearly as when it isn’t working well. My challenge to you is to do a complete and thorough job in the kitchen this week – not only will you benefit from a decluttered kitchen but you’ll be able to immediately feel the affects in your days moving forward. Make the time, move as quickly as you can, and be ruthless with what you allow to stay.
If you haven’t printed out the Declutter Order Checklist, make sure you keep reading and do that. Before you do anything this week, it might be helpful for you to figure out when you’re going to do the tasks. I use my Homekeeping Planner but you can write it on the checklist, in a calendar, on a scratch sheet fo paper. I find it really helpful to block out when I’m going to do specific tasks. This helps me break it down into manageable tasks and steps and so I don’t get overwhelmed.
Throughout the month of January we will be following this free printable – Clean Mama’s Declutter Order (also found in The Clutter Handbook) as our guide. I’ll be posting on Mondays with a couple bonus posts for the week ahead. Make sure you’re following me on Instagram for behind the scenes progress in our home!
If you’re ready for decluttering but not quite sure where to start, I have a simple method to make a lot of progress in a short period of time. Ready?
Here are your steps to a decluttered kitchen:
STEP 1: CLEAN + CLEAR COUNTERS
- Remove everything from your counters and place everything on your kitchen table or another surface.
- Wipe the counters down with warm soapy water and a bar mop towel or sponge. Take a look at what WAS on the counters and quickly evaluate if everything gets to return or if there might be a better place for anything that’s on the counters. Use the KEEP, TOSS, DONATE, RELOCATE Declutter Station bins that you set up.
- Return items to your counters.
STEP 2: EMPTY, PURGE, CLEAN REFRIGERATOR + FREEZER
Divide this task up or do it all together – I think it’s easier to do the fridge and then the freezer. The process is similar except for the freezer, I use a barely damp bar mop towel to wipe clean, not the water/soap mixture.
- Empty the fridge/freezer – take everything out and check dates and decide if there is anything that you aren’t going to use. Bring your garbage can over to the fridge if you need to.
- Put items that will return to the fridge/freezer categories: fruit, veggies, beverages, leftovers, meal prep, condiments (I separate these by savory and sweet), dairy – whatever makes sense for your family.
- Remove drawers and shelves if needed/possible – bring them to the sink and wash or wipe clean and thoroughly dry.
QUICK TIP: If you cannot figure out how to remove a shelf or drawer, do a quick internet search – you can usually find a YouTube video of someone showing how to do it.
- Wipe the refrigerator/freezer down – REFRIGERATOR: I use a bowl with a drop of Castile soap and warm water – if the fridge is stinky I’ll add a sprinkle (a teaspoon or so) of baking soda to the water/soap mixture.
FREEZER: I use a barely damp bar mop towel to wipe clean, not the water/soap mixture.
- Vacuum with a CLEAN vacuum cleaner attachment if needed. Wipe the attachment clean with rubbing alcohol before using in the fridge/freezer. This method gets all the crumbs, dog hair, whatever else you find in the crevices and crannies of this appliance.
- Use a toothpick for tough spots – If you can’t get stuff stuck in the seals or crevices, a toothpick works well. Make sure you are using it almost parallel to the crevice so it doesn’t break off or puncture anything.
QUICK TIP: Moving forward, wipe down your refrigerator weekly as you’re doing a grocery list/menu planning. You’ll be able to maintain your clean fridge status and you won’t have nearly as much food waste. I do this on Friday as part of my Catch-All Day Routine.
STEP 3: CABINETS, DRAWERS, PANTRY, FOOD STORAGE
Depending on how much time you have and your commitment to decluttering, you’re going to want to go through your kitchen cabinets, drawers, and food storage. Make sure your declutter station is nearby and go through everything if you can.
KEEP – Love it, need it, or use it
TOSS – Recycle or trash
DONATE – Don’t love it, need it or use it but someone else could
RELOCATE – Still love it, use it or need it, but it doesn’t belong here