Kitchen declutter, clear out the heart of the home

It is said that the kitchen is the heart of the home. Yet this area can fall into a cluttered mess just as easily as the rest of the home. I know my own kitchen suffered from clutter for years. Performing a kitchen declutter will help this area become more functional. After all, nobody enjoys digging through overflowing cupboards and drawers trying to find that one item needed to prepare dinner.

Kitchen declutter tips

Whether you have a large or small kitchen, it can be beneficial to clear everything out of it first. That may mean piling those items up in another room or covering every inch of counter and tabletop space. If you are generally short on space in your home, you can do what I did and tackle one drawer or cupboard at a time. No matter how you choose to do it, make sure that you pull everything out of that particular space before sorting through it.

Clean as you go

Another important step is to clean as you go. Every time you have a drawer or cupboard emptied out, take a moment and give it a good cleaning. Between dust, spilled food and everything else, chances are it could use it. Don’t put anything back in its place until you have done this.

Sort through the clutter

Now that everything has been placed out in the open, it’s time to pair it down. Do you really use all of the kitchen gadgets that you own? If not, then only keep the ones you actually use. If you have 45 plates and bowls, but only regularly use 8 of them, then reduce the number that you have to what you actually use. This not only gets rid of clutter but allows you to appreciate what you have more. What you end up keeping will greatly depend on how much you cook and the size of your family. A large family will require more plates and cutlery than a smaller family. If you regularly have company over, then it is a good idea to ensure you keep enough items in your house for that.

Create a maybe pile

Some people aren’t fans of maybe piles when it comes to decluttering. However, I feel like sometimes it’s a necessity. There may be times when you don’t immediately want to get rid of something. That’s perfectly alright. However, to keep your maybe pile from creating more clutter in the long run, create a date to decide. This can be 2 days or a month. If you haven’t used any of those items within that time frame, then get rid of them.

Check expiry dates

You don’t want to put food back in your cupboards that is beyond its expiry or best before dates. So while you are sorting through everything, be sure to check your packages for dates. For items that are coming close to the expiration dates, set them in a special place and make them a priority in your meals. If needed, you can create a meal plan to help you use them up in time. Or donate them to your local food bank.

How we tackled the clutter

Since I wanted to keep track of the process, I opted to tackle one drawer or cupboard at a time. This slowed me down a bit, but in turn, allowed me to really evaluate what I was keeping from each space.

For each cupboard or drawer, I would pile its contents on our kitchen table and then clean the shelves. Next came sorting time. Some items I immediately knew could go. If it was something that had been sitting in a cupboard for nearly 12 years and we hadn’t used it, then it went. It was surprising how quickly the donate pile grew. We had more pots and pans than needed and so a number of those went to donation. A yogurt maker and an old rice cooker were also culled from our collection of kitchen gadgets.

There were items that I ended up keeping multiples of because it suited my needs. One example is measuring cups. I have about 4 sets of measuring cups in my kitchen. This may seem like a lot of most people, but considering that I do nearly all of my baking during the weekend, I need multiple measuring cups at a time. I can’t always stop to wash and dry one while I’m in the middle of recipes. I also have a large number of mixing bowls for the same reason. So, keeping these many makes sense.

Once I had decided what to keep, those items went back into that particular cupboard or drawer and then I moved onto the next one. The entire process took about two days, as I was slowed down by stopping to constantly take pictures and finding places to put what we would be getting rid of.

The end result

Of course, half of the fun of a decluttering project is to show off the before and after. Lucky for you, I took plenty of pictures of the process that showcase each section of the kitchen before and after it was decluttered. Though this doesn’t show every space that I decluttered, it will give you a pretty good idea of how much we got rid of. So let’s see just how much this decluttering helped.

This cupboard has been such a pain to use for the longest time. There were plenty of inevitable plastic container avalanches when I would try to pull something out. During the decluttering process, I got rid of most of those containers, keeping only a few. I have even reduced that number more since this picture was taken.

Quite a few items in this cupboard were rarely or never used. Older pots and a few kitchen gadgets had been pushed to the back, hidden by the items at the front that we actually used. It didn’t take long for me to get rid of what we didn’t need. Now it’s easy to grab a mixing bowl or baking dish.

This drawer was an odd collection of BBQ supplies, cookie cutters, appliance manuals (some to which the appliance was no longer in the house) and a few other random bits. Most of it went, leaving me with a fairly empty drawer.

Our spice cupboard had an overflowing supply of spices, yet many of them we didn’t use and there were plenty past their expiration date. It took quite a while to sort through them all, checking the contents and dates on each container as well as combining partial containers into one. Now it’s simple to reach up and grab the spice we want without having to dig through multiple bags and bottles.

Have you decluttered your kitchen? If not, now is the perfect time to do so. Set aside a day or two and start working on getting rid of those items that you no longer need or use but are taking up valuable cupboard space.

24 Comments

  1. Avatar

    These are some great tips. Checking the expiration dates and then making it a priority to cook them or donate them is a great way to reduce food waste. Love how your kitchen turned out after your decluttering. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Avatar
      Author

      Thanks. It can be so easy to not use things in time, but doing this declutter and really paying attention to the expiration dates made me appreciate what we had in the house, and yes it certainly reduces food waste as well. I can’t wait to share the organized version of my kitchen in the near future.

    1. Avatar
      Author

      I think I will make a kitchen decluttering a regular occurrence as well because things indeed tend to multiply faster here than elsewhere in the house. Thanks, it’s my favorite area of the house.

  2. Avatar

    I really need to address my spices. A wall mounted spice rack sits right by my stove for all the ones I use frequently, but then I have a narrow cupboard with all of the “specialty” spices for Middle Eastern and Asian dishes I make when I’m feeling fancy. I know some of those are past their prime.

    1. Avatar
      Author

      I’m sure that your regularly used ones will be fine, but I find those specialty and rarely used ones often expire before I can use them up. Definitely worth going through them.

    1. Avatar
      Author

      I bet, haha. The only way I got it so neat and organized was getting rid of most of it.

  3. Avatar

    These helpful tips are a good reminder to inspire me to spruce up. Sometimes I need that. 🙂 Thanks!

    1. Avatar
      Author

      We all need reminders now and then. Glad I could help you out.

  4. Avatar

    These are great tips, thank you for sharing! Your kitchen looks so clean, tidy and organised! I’ve recently started meal planning too and I’m finding it a great way to reduce wasting food and not letting things get past the expiry date. Fab post! <3 xx

    Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

    1. Avatar
      Author

      If only it would stay this neat and tidy all of the time, haha, but the only way to do that would be to never use it. Meal planning is a great way to reduce food waste. It has made a huge difference in the amount of food waste we generate as well.

  5. Avatar

    I LOVE decluttering posts. I get so excited seeing people’s decluttering journeys so I’m glad you showed us some pics! Your ‘after’ photos are so satisfying. Cleaning as you go is a really important step, as is checking expiry dates! Thanks for sharing. Pinning this!

    Nicola
    http://nicshealthylife.co.uk

    1. Avatar
      Author

      I’m the same way. I absolutely love seeing decluttering posts and videos and watching the whole process. Thanks, it felt so good to see everything cleared out and organized afterward, of course, it has been even more organized since this and I plan on sharing my kitchen organization post soon.

  6. Avatar

    Wow, such a difference between the before and after photos. I always found the kitchen the most difficult room to declutter, but that could be because I tried to do it all at once! I think focussing in ome drawer or area at a time is a great idea. Thanks for sharing your tips.

    1. Avatar
      Author

      Thanks, I’m very happy with the end result. I agree the kitchen is probably the hardest area of the home to declutter. Trying to do it all at once can be overwhelming for sure.

  7. Avatar

    Wow, you’ve done a great job! These are great tips, too, as decluttering can seem pretty overwhelming at first glance! It’s nice to have it broken down into these steps.

    I only have a small kitchen, so I’m quite strict on what I allow to come into it and take up the precious space, but I feel like some things seem to multiply (especially in the drawers!) Seeing your before and after photos makes me want to go and have a clear out!

    1. Avatar
      Author

      Thank you! It is so easy to become overwhelmed by decluttering, especially once you get going because it gets worse well before it gets better. That’s why I like breaking it down into sections instead of doing it all in one go. That’s a good idea to limit what comes in, but as you say, things seem to appear and multiply when you aren’t looking.

  8. Avatar

    These are great tips! I recently went through my cabinets and tossed a bunch of lids. I still have no idea what happened to the matching containers!

    1. Avatar
      Author

      Thanks. If it’s like us, we threw out the containers that were stained or getting worn out but kept the lids because they were in good shape.

  9. Avatar

    Well done with decluttering and cleaning your kitchen! The kitchen is no small task especially since there are so many small things like seasonings and whatnot in there! We have not cleaned the kitchen that thoroughly like that in a while but it does make me feel a bit in the mood to do so. Thanks for sharing!!

    1. Avatar
      Author

      It certainly is a big area to tackle, that’s why I think going through it in small sections at a time works best. Good luck with your own kitchen decluttering.

  10. Avatar

    I am completely on board with the need for multiple sets of measuring cups. Stopping to wash those can throw off the whole flow of cooking once i get started.

    1. Avatar
      Author

      Yes, that is exactly how I feel. Plus I don’t want to have to rise and dry one that had a wet ingredient in it before I use it for dry ingredients.

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