How to declutter your kitchenZen
When you take a good look around your kitchen, what do you see? Is it beautifully minimalist, with clear surfaces and everything neatly put away in its allocated place? Or is it a jumble of stuff . . . the day to day evidence trail of your existence?
Let’s face it. Most functioning family kitchens are not going to achieve the level of minimalism you might ideally aspire to. There will be signs of life in there, and various works in progress. And that is all part of healthy day to day family life : you live in a home not a show house.
But the problem comes when the necessary items involved in those everyday activities gradually become surrounded by a whole load of other “stuff“ that you just can’t seem to shift. And no matter how regularly and diligently you try to tidy or clean your kitchen it just always looks cluttered.
Clutter can really spoil the look of your kitchen. Especially if you have lovely natural stone worktops – such as quartz, marble or granite – it’s such a shame if you can’t see them properly. But did you know that clutter can cause a whole variety of other problems as well? These include:
- Domestic drudgery. The more stuff you have, the more time you will have to spend dusting it, cleaning it, and moving it around to be able to get to other things. Just think how much time and energy you could save if all your excess clutter was gone!
- Wasted time. Clutter can also cause you to waste significant chunks of time looking for lost items such as keys, tools, pens, documents. If you spend around 10 minutes a day looking for lost items this could add up to as much as 153 days over the course of a lifetime!
- Stress. Excess clutter can make you feel stressed by reminding you of all the things you need to get done. But an uncluttered home can boost your mood and enable you to truly relax.
- Domestic conflict. An estimated 61% of UK households argue about clutter at least once a month, and over 33% argue every single week. If you remove the clutter, your home will be a happier place.
- Social embarrassment. If someone drops round to your home unexpectedly, how do you feel? If your clutter makes you feel embarrassed, and you would normally spend ages tidying up and cleaning when you are expecting guests, it’s time to take action!
If some or all of the above sounds rather too familiar, we hope that this article will help! Here are five steps to declutter your kitchen:
Step 1 : Commit time to declutter
Decluttering your kitchen can seem like a daunting prospect but, like most things, once you get started it is not as bad as you may have feared. To do a proper job, you need to commit some time to do the job well. So look at your calendar or diary now, and earmark a good chunk of time for your declutter. Perhaps allow yourself either a weekend morning or afternoon, or a couple of weekday evenings. But pick your time, then stick to it, otherwise your declutter won’t happen.
Step 2 : Plan how you want your kitchen to look
It’s important to have a clear idea of how you want your decluttered kitchen to look before you start work. Where do you want things to go? If you are going to keep items in the same drawers and cupboards they are in now, your declutter will be easier and quicker. But is that the best way to organise your kitchen?
So think carefully about where you want your decluttered items to end up, and then make sure that you declutter in a logical order so that you have free space ready and waiting for sorted items to go into. This may feel like a rather out of control Jenga puzzle, and you may need a temporary holding area for sorted items that don’t yet have a clear cupboard or drawer to go into. But an organised, systematic approach will win in the end.
Step 3 : Be ruthless
When decluttering, it’s always helpful to bear in mind the words of the designer William Morris “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” Hang onto these words as you work through your stuff, and try to be really ruthless in what you get rid of. We’ve already seen all the disadvantages of clutter, so why hoard stuff for years that never gets used.
One thing that can help here is to have an “Undecided” category for those things that you are really not sure about. So as you declutter, sort everything into either:
- Yes – you are definitely going to keep it.
- Undecided – you are probably going to get rid of it, but are not completely sure.
- No – you are definitely going to get rid of it.
As you declutter, move all the “No” and “Undecided” items out of the kitchen. It helps to get rid of all the “No” items as soon as you can, to free up space. But if they are in good condition, rather than take them to the tip, you could consider:
- Giving them away to friends, family or local charities;
- Taking them to charity shops;
- Giving them away on donation websites such as Freecycle;
- Selling them either online, for example eBay or Facebook Marketplace, or locally, for example through ads on community noticeboards.
As for the “Undecided” items, keep them somewhere else – eg a garage – for a month. If you don’t miss them or need to use them, get rid of them. They have had their chance!
Step 4 : Clean and reorganise your storage space
As you declutter, build in time to give empty cupboards and drawers a good clean. You can then put back into them all the items you have decided to keep. Whether you are putting them back in the same place or somewhere different, make sure that they are organised logically and that the items you use most regularly are all within easy reach.
By the way, once you see your lovely clean newly organised cupboards and drawers, you may be motivated to get rid of all those “Undecided” items too, so that they don’t clutter up your space!
Step 5 : Do it all again . . . .
Well, not quite! But to stop clutter building up again it’s important to keep on top of things. Here are five quick tips to help you do just that:
- Don’t let clutter build up. Clear it at the end of every day.
- Put everything back where it belongs when you have finished with it.
- Tackle small quick jobs as soon as you see them rather than putting them off.
- Keep a charity bag on the go all the time for items you no longer need or want..
- If you buy something new, get rid of something old so that you don’t accumulate more stuff.
We hope that the above steps motivate you to declutter your kitchen and keep it that way. For further inspiration on beautifully uncluttered kitchens why not visit Zenstone’s Chobham showroom to see just how good your kitchen could look!