If your kitchen needs a clear-out, try these proven methods

There’s nothing worse than a cluttered kitchen — especially if you fancy yourself a bit of a home chef. Even if you’re not whipping up daily home-cooked meals, the kitchen is the heart of the home, and having it clean and organized always feels good. If you’ve noticed your space is getting messy and needs some organization, there are a few simple things you can do to tackle a full-scale kitchen declutter.

There are several ways to tackle a kitchen clear-out depending on how large or small your project shapes up. Going into the project with practicality about what you actually need to keep, where things should live, and how often you actually use an item always makes things easier. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to use a minimalist eye when sorting through your belongings. A nice, tidy space is always a cause for celebration.

The first order of business is taking everything out of cupboards, drawers, and countertops. It’s hard to know what to keep and get rid of if you don’t know what you have. Of course, if the thought of doing that all at once brings too much anxiety, just try cleaning out drawers first, then move on to your cabinets.

Once you have everything in eye’s view, look at what you have double (and triple) of and decide if you can live without spares. For instance, I recently moved and discovered I was proud owner of 12 spatulas. I don’t know about you, but unless you’re hosting a pancake-flipping competition on the regular, there is no need for that many spatulas. I’m proud to say I’m down to a minimalist four (hey, that’s minimalist to me), and the rest went to a local charity. The same goes for utensils, plates, coffee mugs, and serving ware.

A messy utensil drawer
Noel V. Baebler/Shutterstock

If you have kids, this is especially true of things like Tupperware, sips cups, water bottles, and kid’s plates that you’ve collected over the years. There is no reason to have an entire shelf full of water bottles — trust me. I had one for a year, and my kids only used the ones at the front that they could see.

Next, think about what items you use every single day and position them in the kitchen where they make the most sense. If you drink tea every morning, have mugs and tea in a cupboard near the kettle. If you cook with a lot of spices, make sure they are near the stove (labels out), so you can find what you need easily and you’re not running back and forth across the kitchen every time you need something.

For items you don’t use every day, place them on the top shelf of your cupboards, so you have more room for the stuff you do. For instance, if your holiday plates live full-time in prime real estate in your cabinet, move them to a place you don’t use a lot or, better yet, store them in another room altogether. This is especially true of bulky appliances that take up a lot of space. If you have, say, a juicer, but find you’re only juicing on the weekends, put it in a store room or in another room where you can still access it, but it’s not competing with everyday essentials.

One of the keys to a successful decluttering is making the most of the space you have. There are tons of kitchen-storage options so you can stay organized. The Container Store has an entire section dedicated to kitchen storage and an inspiration page to get good ideas. You’ll be the envy of all your guests and look like you run a professional kitchen.

Food-storage bins on a shelf
Diana Rebenciuc/Shutterstock

Storage is also great for keep food fresh. I keep cereal in bins like these so it stays fresh and is easy to pull out, use, and store again. The same goes for crackers, snacks, candy, and cookies that can be stored in bins like this, so food doesn’t spoil and leaves more room on your shelves.

Once your decluttering project is complete and everything is neatly put away, it then becomes a matter of it staying that way. If you have the time (and patience) to return what you’ve used to its new home, you’ll have a kitchen that brings joy and peace to anyone who uses it.

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