Kitchens are the hub of our homes, we cook, eat, entertain, do the laundry and, in the case of open plan living, live in them. So it's worth investing a bit of time and energy in to decluttering and organising your space so you can create a kitchen that you enjoy being in and love cooking in!
My easy guide to a decluttered and organised kitchen will take you step by step through clearing the cupboards of things you don’t need. I've also shared my top organising tips to help you get your kitchen looking and feeling just the way you want it to.
What do you do in your kitchen?
OK... this may sound like a silly question, but it’s a key one to consider before you start emptying out all your kitchen cupboards. Take a moment to think about:
the sort of meals you make
what you'd like to do more of
what works in your kitchen at the moment and what gets in the way of things running smoothly
do you bake?
When was the last time you made a quiche, used the flan dish? Do you like making pastry or would you buy a ready-made pastry case?
Having the answers to these questions will help when you decide what to keep or discard as you declutter and will help as you organise your kitchen, making sure that all the things you use frequently are stored close to hand.
Gather – Sort – Declutter
As with all my decluttering tips, start by gathering all similar items together so you can declutter the things you don’t need before organising what’s left.
Resist the temptation to leave things in situ as you “already know what’s in the cupboard”.
Busy kitchens often have scattered storage where similar items are stored in different cupboards around the kitchen. I once found 15 travel cups in a clients kitchen - they had no idea they had that many taking up space in the cupboards until they were all emptied out at the same time.
The amount of time it takes to declutter your kitchen will depend on the volume of things that you have in your cupboards. You may want to tackle it over a few shorter sessions rather than one long one, if so my KonMari Kitchen Checklist will guide you through the 3 main kitchen categories:
Things you cook with
Things you eat with
Food and food storage
A full decluttering checklist can be downloaded here: KonMari Category Decluttering Checklist
Ready to declutter your Kitchen?
Get EVERYTHING out, one category at a time. You'll always see items in a different light once they're out of their usual home and emptying the cupboards means that you can give them a quick clean and see the available space.
Gather similar items together so you can see exactly what you’ve got .
Seeing everything in one go (eg: all the sauces or baking trays, mugs, plates, saucepans, pasta…) will help you feel more confident about the decisions you make to keep or discard things.
Questions to ask as you declutter your kitchen
Which of the saucepans / plates / herbs do I actually use? Keep the items you naturally reach for and donate the rest.
How many do I have?
Do I still use this? Make room for the life you're living now ?
Would I buy it today?
What would I use if I didn't have this?
Do I use any of the cookbooks? Can the recipes be found on line?
12 Things you won't miss when you declutter your kitchen
Now’s the time to say goodbye to out of date food, one-off ingredients you won’t use again, broken crockery, Tupperware that doesn’t match and that breadmaker that wasn’t used in lockdown. If the items don’t fit with the things you do (or would like to do) in your kitchen – move them on and free up space.
Spare kitchen items aren't useful
Spares aren’t useful unless you use them! The storage space in your kitchen is prime real estate for things that you use everyday.
One couple I worked with found 3 cafetières in their cupboards that they’d moved in with years before. They’d completely forgotten they had them as they use a Nespresso machine they love – discarding them freed up a cupboard shelf.
Don’t clutter up the space with items that you don’t use. If you absolutely have to keep something for your annual Christmas family get together then store it somewhere else so that your kitchen works for you on the other 364 days of the year!
Introduce an 'Other Room Basket'
Take this opportunity to remove anything that doesn’t belong in the kitchen – the hub of the home can easily become the catch all place for items on their way somewhere. A quick look at my kitchen found parcels to be posted, letters, suntan lotion. It’s a good idea to have a small basket to collect these things in and redistribute the items to their ‘homes’ at the end of each day (or week if that’s a better fit for you).
I’m Sue, a professional home organiser and KonMari Consultant based in Hampshire.
I trained with Marie Kondo & the KonMari team to help busy people declutter, organise & simplify their homes so they can get on with the important job of enjoying life.
m: 07740 782575