Most of us drop everything in our kitchen. It is the hub of most homes, which is why much clutter ends up on the counters and tables, which can take over your room!! If your home is like most, you will often find school books, mail and even kitchen items taking up much-needed space and causing clutter.
The key is to find a way to not only be able to get to the things you need quickly but keep the kitchen clean and tidy. If you are ready, let’s jump in and get started getting that kitchen cleaned and organized!
CLEANING AND DECLUTTERING YOUR KITCHEN
Step 1: Run a sink of hot soapy water
As you move things around, items may need to be washed off. Having a sink ready makes it easier for you to clean and put things back away.
Step 2: Get rid of things on your counters
Start in one corner of your kitchen. Look at each item on your counter and ask yourself when you last used it. Your answer will help you know what you should do with it.
“I used it yesterday” If it is an item you use frequently, it probably should stay on your counter, or at least in a cabinet that is easily accessible.
“I use it once a month” These are the items that you need to keep, but not on your counter. Instead, store these on a shelf or in a drawer.
“I use this once or twice a year” I like to keep these items stored up high on a closet shelf or in a place that I can find it when I need to, but not necessarily so that I can get to them quickly.
“I have not used this in the past year” Time to donate or throw this item out! No need to keep things you never use as it is just adding clutter.
Getting rid of these items can give your countertops a much less cluttered look, which can instantly make your kitchen feel bigger and cleaner.
Step 3: Consider what to do with every item you touch
There are four options you can consider when looking at anything when cleaning your kitchen: Keep, Trash, Donate. Get a box for your items to donate and place them in there. Have a bag for your trash. Items you will keep should be cleaned and put back on your counter (or their new home on a shelf or cabinet).
Step 4: Check the top of your refrigerator
For some reason, items often end up on top of the refrigerator. Try not to place anything here if you can help it. Instead, think about where that item should live and place it there.
Step 5: Keep the mail and bills together
If your mail is ending up on your kitchen counter, then it is time to find a new place for it. Bills and papers can end up wet or in the trash if not placed where they should be. Find a drawer or desktop where these can be placed.
Having them in one location so they are easier to find makes bill paying time less stressful. Never keep your mail on your kitchen counter – unless it has a home.
Step 6: Invest in storage baskets or containers
If you keep condiments on your table or pens next to your phone, find a container to put them in. Just by corralling items such as this, you can give your kitchen an instant cleaner, more organized look.
KEEPING THE KITCHEN CLUTTER-FREE
Once the kitchen is cleaned and organized, it is important you keep it that way. A clean kitchen can make your entire home feel cleaner and you’ll feel better too!
Never go to bed with a dirty kitchen
Make sure the dishes are done (or at least in the dishwasher), food is put away and the counters and appliances are wiped down before you go to bed. When you wake, you start your day with a clean kitchen, which can get you started on the right foot for the day!
Clean your cabinets out once a year
Make a date with yourself to clean out your cabinets. You can get rid of those items which are broken. If you haven’t used the item in the past year, there is a good chance you can get rid of it (of course, there are items you use only every few years, so those don’t count here). You can get rid of those plastic containers which are stained or cracked — or missing its lid.
Clean with a purpose
When you clean your kitchen, pick something up and decide where it goes. Does it go into the trash? Should it go upstairs to your bedroom? Is it a bill you need to pay? Can this item be donated? Always just put these items where they need to go right away and you’ll be less tempted to accumulate a pile of items “to put away later.”
We keep a basket at the bottom of our steps which we use to toss in all items which need to go upstairs. At the end of each night, we carry it up, put the items away (well, usually have our kids put their things away). It helps ensure that the items not only get where they belong, but the house doesn’t get cluttered with piles of toys or books. Pick up some baskets and label them so you can sort the items when you clean and have a quick way to make sure they go where they belong?
Get your family to help
It isn’t just one person who makes the mess. Work together to ensure that items go where they belong rather than dropping onto the counter. It will require some re-training to get to this, but after some time, you’ll all be in the routine together and your kitchen will be less cluttered.