We know who you are. You scroll through countless blogs, home improvement sites, and Pinterest boards, drooling over open shelving and minimalistic decor. You long for your friend’s glass cabinet doors, daydreaming about your someday kitchen. But whenever you open your actual cabinet to retrieve a glass, you’re assaulted by the unopened box of food coloring you purchased four years ago with the intent to make your own frosting.
You need a declutter. The process of pairing down your kitchen is not easy, but we’ve come up with a few simple steps to get you started toward a clutter-free kitchen.
1. Call A Friend
This is a time for non-family reinforcements. You’re going to need someone unbiased to talk sense to you when you can’t bring yourself to throw out your expired collection of specialty spices.
2. Start Out Clean
An hour after serving Thanksgiving dinner, when every inch of counter space is covered in serve ware and the sink is piled high with dishes is NOT the time to begin the decluttering process. Begin with an empty sink and clean countertops. You’re going to need all the counter space you can get!
3. Have A Plan
Before you open the first cabinet, set out four boxes labeled Put Away Kitchen, Put Away Elsewhere, Store, and Sell/Donate. In addition to these four boxes, have a large empty trashcan nearby. Every item you pull from the cabinet must ﬁt into one of these boxes, or be trashed.
4. Ask This Question
How do you decide which box an item belongs in? Ask yourself this question: “When did I last use this?” Anything that hasn’t been used in the last year should be automatically tossed, either into the Sell/Donate box or the trashcan. Fancy napkins and your grandmother’s china dishes may only be used for holidays and special occasions, so get them out of your kitchen and into a designated storage space. The same goes for large serve ware, specialty Holiday items, and decor.
5. Take It Slow
Whatever you do, don’t empty your cabinets all at once. Start on one side of the kitchen and work shelf by shelf, top to bottom. Do not begin the next shelf until the current one has been dealt with completely.
Decluttering your kitchen can be an overwhelming task, but it isn’t impossible. With a little determination, organization, and help, you can achieve your clutter-free kitchen dreams.