A Quick and Easy Kitchen Declutter

Quick and Easy Kitchen DeclutterPart 2: Make Life Easier DeClutter Series

I used to have an amazing kitchen, and was so proud of it.  I had a place for everything, it was custom built for my height and I was in love with it.  Now that we have moved house, I have a 1990’s caramel, unfunctional, tiny and dim kitchen, with a pantry down the other end of the house.  We’re renovating soon, but for the moment, it is a source of stress for me because it is hard to clean and very quickly becomes cluttered with stuff.

We all probably spend most of our time in the kitchen, so a quick and easy kitchen declutter is fantastic to help make life easier.  Well, that’s what I’m hoping for mine!

This is part 2 in my Declutter series, and focuses on how to declutter so that you can speed clean, keep it functional and easy to manage. I’ve included some guides for time, so that you don’t get caught up and make it longer than it needs to be (and to prove that it doesn’t have to be a mammoth project)!

If you haven’t invested in a Howard’s catalogue, Ikea, or Big W then perhaps you should.  Kitchen storage doesn’t have to be expensive.  Even cereal boxes decorated with paper and cut and taped into the right size segments can work, if you’re really on a tight budget. Check out a few ideas I’ve pinned in my Organisation Heaven Pinterest Board.

Getting Started – 10 mins

First of all, you need clean and tidy bench space to be able to unload your drawers and pantry.

5 mins: put everything away and wipe your bench down and put the bins out.  Make a clean start.

5 mins: wash, dry and put away any dishes

We’ll come back to the functionality of bench space later…

Work steadily and try not to get distracted here!  The aim is to go through each drawer to:

1. Take everything out and keep like items together on the bench

2. Give it a wipe

3. Consider what you haven’t used for a LONG time

4. Consider what you really don’t need (follow exactly the same steps we went through in How to Declutter Any Room)

5. Consider a new layout or storage solution that will keep it from getting messy again

6. Put items back into the drawer, organised into sections, uses, size etc

10 minutes per drawer or less

Quick & Easy Kitchen Declutter

A few rules to help you decide what to throw out:

– any unused gadgets

– any gadgets that don’t even work

– containers with no lids

– containers that you hate using, for whatever reason

Cupboards  (30 mins)

Much of this will be take everything out, give it a wipe and re-organise.  Crockery, cups, glassware etc often don’t need much decluttering, but there are few things to consider:

– throw out any broken or chipped crockery, cups or glassware

– throw out any saucepan lids you don’t have saucepans for

– take out any items that don’t really fit – like platters, baskets etc and consider storing them elsewhere, as you may not need them so often

Plastic container drawer – take an extra 10 minutes here and check that you have lids for everything, reorganise it into squares, rectangles, circles, bigs and smalls.  Spending a few minutes to tidy this up makes it so easy to maintain (or at my house, until my husband tries to find something and messes it all up again!)

Extra tip: keep your plastic cups and plates, and container drawers under your bench.  That way you children can access them on their own.  They can then help putting dishes away, unpacking the dishwasher, and getting their own drinks and snacks as they get older.

Pantry (45 mins)

Food takes a little longer to take out, re organise and re-store, but it is a great opportunity to:

1. Throw out food past it’s ‘use by’ date

2. Throw out spices, sauces, jams that you will never use

3. Wipe up stains and spills

4. Relabel

Again, think about how you use it and what you need to access the most when you are putting items back and reorganising them.

You need to be able to know what you have in the pantry, not have things hidden away and forgotten.

Fridge/ Freezer (20 mins)

Your fridge probably isn’t that bad, but for me, it’s the shelf of chutney’s sauces, pastes etc that get’s busy, and at the moment it’s all taking up prime space in the top shelf of my fridge.  Take it all out and put it back, organising into similar products and ease of access.  Don’t forget to consider how the kid’s access it too!

Tips for the freezer

– Throw out anything that you can’t identify, or is over a year old!  That’s my general rule.

Reorganise into how you use it and keeping similar items together.

– Label everything you can identify for quick searches when you’re busy

How to Keep Your Kitchen Decluttered

Now that’s you’ve done all of this hard work, you need some guidelines to keep it that way.  Tell everyone in your family, if that’s what it takes!

1. Keep your benches clear.  I had to stick a note on mine for about a month until my family got the picture!

2. Segment your drawers (like my pic above).  It is a HUGE time saver, because you can see where everything is, you don’t have to push everything around each time you need to find something and make an even bigger mess, and it is MUCH easier to keep tidy when there is a place for everything.

3. Invest in a saucepan lid rack, and a plastic container lid holder (perhaps even just a larger container just for lids)

4. Label everything that doesn’t have a shop label.  Make it easier on yourself – you may not remember in 6 months time when you need something in a hurry!

5. Keep your benchtop clear.  If possible, take away everything and try and find a space for it in your cupboards.  This includes your toaster, tea and coffee containers, utensil holders and even your kettle if you don’t use it much.

The clear space will really help you keep it clear.  Draw the line in the sand and say nothing on the benchtop.  That way, you will be encouraged to continue to put things away and find space for everything before they start to collect dust.

The clear space will be easier to work with, easier to clean, and might even inspire your creativity!

So,after adding these times up, I’m suggesting this take around 3 hours.  I reckon you can do it in less.  However, I do not suggest you do it all in one hit (besides, who has 3 hours to spare anyway).  That’s why I’ve broken it down into sections.  Do one section at a time, but within a week, you will have done it and life will be so much easier!

I’d love to know if you’re up for this challenge!

Take action now, even if you just start on your drawers, you just need something quick and easy to do to get the momentum!

Let me know which section you’re going to start on in the comments below.

Your Next Step

If you want some support to help fast track this process, or help you transition to Dubsado, then can book a  free systems audit with me so we can determine where to start, and what you need to get up and running with your workflows and systems.
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Aerlie Wildy is a business designer. business coach and mother based in the Adelaide Hills. I specialise in designing and systemising business for growth. You can connect with me on Facebook, join my Chief Executive Entrepreneurs Facebook Group, check out my Youtube Channel or Pin with me on Pinterest.