Streamline Your Kitchen by Decluttering

Written by Cheryl Miller

If you’re sticking with our goal to be able to get ready for company any day of the week in 30 minutes or less, then decluttering the kitchen is JOB ONE. The kitchen is the hub of most homes. When it’s working, everything else works better–better nutrition, less weight gain from eating out all the time, easier on the budget, increased likelihood the family will hang out and eat together, and a satisfied feeling that things are well in the world.

You simply can’t keep a clean, highly functioning kitchen if it’s cluttered.

Key Points about Clutter in the Kitchen

  • A cluttered kitchen kills the desire to cook so you eat out more.
  • It’s hard to get kids to help set the table or unload the dishwasher when the kitchen is cluttered and disorganized.
  • A cluttered kitchen makes you feel like a poor life manager.
  • Your nutrition and that of your family suffer if your kitchen is so cluttered that it’s difficult or unappealing to use.
  • You can’t organize clutter, unless you want to keep doing it every day when the excess spills over again, and again. So you must FIRST get rid of the clutter, then get organized.

What Shape is Your Kitchen in?

You can do much to simplify and streamline your kitchen by following these three action steps:

1. Assess Your Kitchen Tools and Appliances.

Do you love them and use them all? Open your drawers and cabinets. Look through the tool caddie on your counter. Pick up each and every hand tool, electric tool, and gadget in your kitchen and ask these questions to help you pare down to the essentials:

  • Is this easy to use?
  • Do I frequently use it?
  • Is it enjoyable to use – e.g., It feels good in my hand.
  • Is it easy to clean?
  • Is it easy to store and does it earns its keep in storage space?
  • Do I have too many of these?
  • Can I do this task just as easily by hand (without the messy cleanup of a machine?)
  • Does this tool really make the task easier and quicker, or is it just a cool gadget?
  • Is it uncomplicated to use, clean and care for?
  • Is it clean, in good shape, and ready for action?

2. Eliminate the Excess and Don’t Buy More.

Think twice before buying new gadgets. There truly is a tool for every task. So we’re tempted to buy lots of tools. Make a pact with yourself that you will avoid impulse buying of kitchen gadgets. On the shelves of the store, gadgets look cute and useful. The promise that “they will do the cooking for you” is appealing.

Instead of speeding up your cooking process, though, they often clog up our drawers, counters, and cabinets. To tell the truth, it’s easier not to bring a tool home than it is to give it up once it’s held a place in our drawers.

Don’t talk yourself into keeping clutter. If some of your tools don’t pass the love-it-use-it test in item #1, then they’re clutter and it’s time to move them out of your kitchen. Don’t fight to keep your clutter with these kinds of statements:

  • I may need it someday.
  • I have space for it.
  • It was expensive.
  • It’s still good.
  • I like the way it looks.
  • I inherited the clutter gene and I can’t help myself.
  • It was a gift.
  • It was a souvenir.
  • It doesn’t take up much room.
  • If I start entertaining again, I’ll need it.

3.Decide where you will unload the excess you want to get rid of.

Making this decision ahead of time may help you loosen your grip on your stuff. Here are some possibilities:

  • (join one of the thousands of local online groups that get-and-give items for free to help keep them out of the landfills).
  • Thrift stores
  • Church kitchen
  • Local shelters
  • Garage sales
  • Friends and family members

Why Live With the Hassle of a Cluttered, Inefficient Kitchen?

Wouldn’t you love to have a less stressful morning and evening routine in a kitchen that is neat and organized? Decluttering your kitchen will make a big difference. Let this quote inspire you:

When half the stuff in your cabinet is stuff you don’t use, it isn’t just innocently lying there-it is stealing 50 percent of your usable space . . . . The one-third bad really hurts the two-thirds good. Just as a small haze can ruin the sharpness of a great picture, too much junk and clutter sprinkled in (like over salting) can ruin the taste and appeal of the good stuff.

Don Aslett, Not For Packrats Only

Take Action – Nothing Changes Without Action

1. Set aside time this month to declutter and organize your kitchen. Follow the suggestions given and invent your own.
2. Have fun. You don’t have to make your kitchen perfect. Just get started.
3. Enlist a friend to help. You can return the favor.
4. If you are not yet a member of the free Packrats, Paper Hounds and Procrastinators’ Club, go here to join:


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