Has the KonMari Method craze got you thinking about organizing your kitchen but you don’t know where to begin?
Your first step is to declutter, because organizing is much easier with less stuff. So let’s talk about how to declutter each area of one of the most important rooms in your house.
Start small, do one area per day. Even if you have a small kitchen, it’s a complicated room so don’t try to tackle it all at once. You’ll be overwhelmed and won’t want to go back.
Let’s start with some common problems in each area, followed by some simple solutions.
1. Tools and Utensils
Problem: “My tools and utensils are overflowing, and I can barely shut the drawer.”
Solution: A great rule of thumb is to only keep what fits in the space designated for that specific item. First start by evaluating each utensil and each tool. As soon as you use a tool, wash it. If not, run your dishwasher every night, so everything is always clean and ready to use. If you’re only using the turkey baster and thermometer once a year at Thanksgiving, consider storing it with the turkey pan and other seasonal items. One set of measuring spoons and cups is all one kitchen needs. Get rid of duplicates, and broken items. Put back what you truly use on a regular basis. How about silverware, how much is enough? One setting per person is a minimalist approach, so consider how often you wash your dishes and how much space you have, then you can increase the number of settings from there.
2. The Pantry
Problem: “The pantry area is such a disaster, I’d rather just keep the door shut.”
Solution: Take out every item, re-evaluate expired things, items you don’t use anymore, and when everything is out, clean the shelves. Do you use your pantry as the dumping ground for everything in your kitchen? If you make sure that everything has a place, this will likely not happen.
Do you have an assortment of cookbooks on your pantry shelves? Do you use every single one of them? If you find yourself searching the web for some recipe inspiration more than browsing through an actual book, reconsider that collection and only keep the best of the best.
Your pantry should also be a home for small appliances that aren’t used on a daily basis. Counter space is for daily items, the rest needs its own spot in the pantry or cupboards.
If you’re lucky to have the sliding pantry shelves, or a walk in-pantry, or any time where you can see everything, then you’re more likely to see what you have. If your shelves are deep, things may get lost in the back. Consider this organizing rule: You shouldn’t have to move more than one item to get to another.
On her popular YouTube channel, Khloe Kardashian recommends clear containers, and labeling everything. Using clear containers for dry goods such as cereal, will be very helpful when you’re looking around to see what you need to re-stock. Label, label, label. This way everything has a place. You don’t need a fancy label maker, just use some paper and neat writing, and tape. Consistent looking labels help with organization.
Problem: “My tupperware situation is out of control.”
This is one area of the kitchen that gets messy pretty quickly, not to mention reusable water bottles, too. Containers, plasticware, and water bottles are often left at someone’s house or getting lost. You end up buying more, or someone leaves some at your house after a party, and it quickly piles up. And rarely do you hear someone say “I just don’t have enough water bottles”. It seems everyone hands out a branded water bottle these days. They’re stored in the cupboard, hardly used.
Solution: Match up your Tupperware tops and bottoms, throw out old, broken, or any without lids. As for your water bottles, same thing. If you think you have too many of anything, then you probably do. Toss out, and keep the ones you love, and get the most use out of. You don’t need a water bottle for every sport you do.
4. Cabinet Space
Problem: “I’ve got way too many glasses, and not enough cabinet space.”
Solution: Water glasses, beer glasses, white wine glasses, red wine glasses, kids’ cups, juice cups, where does it end? Consider starting new with your glassware. Purchase glasses that are multi-purpose. A pint glass is fine for beer, juice, water, an everyday glass. Choose a wine glass that is compatible for both red and white.
5. Below the Sink
Problem: “The awkward cabinets under the sink seem like a black hole, what’s even back there?”
Solution: It’s part of the kitchen, so add it to your checklist and declutter the same way you would the other areas. Your first step is to take everything out and evaluate. Toss out cleaning supplies no longer needed, and empty bottles. If there’s a cleaning item that belongs in another part of the house, put it there. Under the sink is often an awkward storage area because of the pipes, so the limited space is challenging. Use the inside of the cabinet doors for small towels on hooks, a mounted paper towel rack, or a mounted dustpan.
Decluttering your kitchen may seem like a gargantuan task in the beginning, but it all gets a lot less complicated if you follow the right steps.