The Dreaded Kitchen Decluttering Project

Organized kitchen pantry

Sample of a very organized pantry.

The kitchen is usually the family focus point of a house. It is the place where everyone gathers for conversations and meals. It is usually the last room in the house to get re-organized and the first to gather all the clutter. We have given many tips about spring cleaning and de-cluttering, but what about doing the dreading cleaning of the kitchen? It is a daunting task, but with a plan and a step-by-step process, it can be done!

Kitchens are the “collect-all” of the home. Wanna-be chefs love to collect kitchen gadgets and appliances that end up gathering dust on the shelves. Families pass down pots, pans, cake molds, jello molds and utensils that get placed in the back of a cupboard never to see the light of day. Everyone’s breaking point to cleaning up a cluttered kitchen is different, so each strategy for reorganization should be different. The first thing that you need to do is come up with an action plan and make sure that you stick to it! As with any plan, getting started is the hardest part. To make things simpler, start with organizing a junk drawer or one cupboard. Once you accomplish this task, then move on to the next cupboard. Before you know it, you will have completed the entire kitchen!

Make sure that you have the proper “tools” to assist you in your decluttering project. Just like organizing other rooms in the house, have boxes or bags designated for the following: keep, sell, donate, store in another place (such as self storage) or throw away. In fact, just use a sturdy opaque garbage bag to throw your items out. After the items are in the bag, you can’t see them and feel guilty about throwing them away. The sorting process is the hardest part of the organization project. You have to ask yourself the following questions: “When was the last time that I used this casserole dish?” or “Will I ever use this orange juice maker again?” If you haven’t used an appliance or utensil in the past year, then it is time to get rid of it. If you find holiday items that you plan on using at some point, then box them up and put them with your other holiday boxes. If you find that you have multiple pots and pans, but only really use 4 or 5 of them, then get rid of the rest of the pans. Keep only the essential items in the kitchen. The important thing to remember during this process it to be strong and let the kitchen items go!

Once you have gone through the hardest part, the sorting, then it is time to freshen up the drawers, cupboards and cabinets before putting the items back in. This would be a good time to change the shelving paper or paint the cupboards. Wash the items that you have decided to keep before placing them back in their cupboards.  When putting items back onto their shelves, put like items together and have the items that you use most often in a reachable spot.

The next and final step is keeping the kitchen clean and clutter free! Here are a few hints to keep the clutter away from the kitchen:

1. Once you are done with a dish, pan or gadget, put it away in its proper place.

2. If you dirty a dish, wash it right away. Do not stack up dirty dishes in a sink.

3. Keep the counters clean. Designate a small area on the counter as a place to put a purse, school bags or keys.

4. If you add a new appliance, gadget or glasses to your cupboards or counters, then you need to remove an old item.

5. Keep cleaning products out of sight (usually under a sink) and off of the top of the counter.

Being organized is a continuous process. Cleaning it once is not the solution. Keeping it clean is! Once you have sorted all of your boxes from your reorganization project, make sure to move the items out of the kitchen and put them in your storage unit or designate an area in your garage for garage sale items right away.  If you leave them in the kitchen, then the cluttering process will begin all over again! Magellan Storage has 6 Los Angeles and Orange County area locations  that can help you with all of your storage needs. We have packing and moving supplies  that you can use in your reorganization projects! Stop in and see how we can help!