Today we have a special treat with a guest post helping up in our Spring Cleaning! Mandi from Organizing Your Way shares helpful tips on how to declutter in the kitchen. Thanks Mandi!
I don’t know about you, but I love kitchen gadgets. That sounds funny coming from someone who is an admitted kitchen dunce, but it’s true. Even in high school and college, I had a hutch in my room with dishes, glasses and various kitchen gadgets for making smoothies, sandwiches, quesadillas, etc. for my friends. When I got married, I had a Pampered Chef bridal shower and I was a Pampered Chef consultant several years ago, so it’s no wonder my kitchen cabinets and drawers were bursting at the seams.
My natural inclination is to purchase every fancy tool or gadget that comes along because I can see the value in each. However, I’ve learned that space and organization play a valuable role in my kitchen as well, and before we moved into our new home two-and-a-half years ago, I made a commitment to clear out my kitchen clutter. At that time, I donated boxes and boxes full of gadgets and kitchen tools to the Salvation Army, and I’ve continued to scale back since then. Now, I can say pretty confidently that I use everything in my kitchen on a regular basis.
I’m excited to be here as part of Kimi’s Spring Cleaning Carnival. Today, I’m going to share four strategies for cleaning out your cabinets and drawers to make your kitchen less stressful and more functional:
- 1. Clear out the tools and gadgets you don’t use. As you go through each drawer and cabinet, consider whether you really use each item or if you’re just holding onto it because you think you’re going to use it one day. With the exception of seasonal items that you use annually, holding onto items that you haven’t used in six months or more simply adds to your clutter.
2. Look for double-duty items. Rather than filling your drawers with gadgets that only do one things, look for tools that have many purposes. For example, I use the thin end of my orange peeler to help loosen muffins from the muffin tin, and we use our pizza cutter to cut up french toast and other breakfast items for our girls. Because these items make my life easier in more than one way, I don’t feel guilty about the space they take up in my drawers.
3. Only buy new things if you have a space for them. Just as you should be considering your budget when purchasing new kitchen gadgets, also consider the space in your kitchen. If you don’t have room for the latest doodad, what will you get rid of to make room for it? Make these decisions ahead of time rather than just cramming new things into an already full cabinet.
4. Put things in temporary storage. If the idea of an uncluttered kitchen appeals to you but you’re not quite ready to get rid of your beloved kitchen collection, try this experiment. Pack up the items you haven’t used recently and write the date on the box. Store it in your attic or basement and in six months you will know without a doubt that you can live without the things in that box.
5. Do it again. Don’t just declutter your kitchen cabinets and drawers one time. Do it again every three to six months. By cleaning them out regularly, you’ll be able to clearly see which items you haven’t used since your last clean out. Decluttering also builds on itself, and the less cluttered your drawers are, the less you’ll be able to tolerate clutter, making it easier for you to make those hard decisions to let go of a tool or gadget.
What tools and gadgets are you holding onto in case you want to use them some day?
Mandi Ehman is a work-at-home mom to four spunky little girls. She believes that getting organized only lasts if you do it your way – to fit your needs, your preferences and your lifestyle – and she shares organizing and time management tips at Organizing Your Way.