(This is part of the How to Declutter Your Home Series. Read Before You Begin).
The kitchen. A place where we spend a lot of time and where extra stuff loves to accumulate. There’s always a cool new kitchen gadget to make life easier and those counters are oh-so inviting for appliances of every kind. It’s impossible to declutter, right?
No! It is possible to have clear counter tops and cabinets and drawers that aren’t stuffed to the brim. You just have to put in a little work.
Before you get started, take a few minutes to plan a little. Think about your cooking habits. Do you bake a lot? If so, are you frequently using several mixing bowls at a time? Are you a one-pot meal kind of person or do you typically use a few pans when you make dinner?
How about entertaining? Do guests frequent your house, or is it more of a special occasion kind of thing? When you think about those things, you can decide how many mixing bowls, pans and dishes you need.
We kept 6 extra plates and bowls and a few extra mugs for guests. We really didn’t need much more than that. If my entire family comes over to eat, I might ask my mom to bring some extra plates. Because, well, it’s my family and they already know how weird I am.
So, now that you’ve thought that out, you have an idea for what extras you can get rid of. Grab everything you need to get started, put on some good music and get to work.
Time for drawers
Put your boxes on the counter and start sorting. Have your garbage can right next to you, too, so you can toss broken stuff and old papers that you don’t need anymore.
As you’re going through, try not to spend too much time thinking about the stuff that you find. I found that the more I thought about a certain item, the more convinced I became that I needed it. And when that happens, you end up with a drawer full of junk.
Instead, work quickly. Do you need three sets of silverware? Probably not. How about four wine corkscrews? Doubtful. Every one of those cookbooks? Um, no.
Again, if there’s something that you’re just not sure of, stick it in the maybe box to decide on later. Chances are, after you’ve been at it for a while, you’ll look at it and decide that it doesn’t need to stay in your kitchen.
Same goes for cabinets.
Focus on multi-purpose items
On my first decluttering binge, I got rid of so many one-purpose items. Like the electric citrus juicer from Ian’s dad. (The one I have to have, though? Garlic press. I use it almost every day.)
Instead, focus on keeping appliances/items that you use every day and/or for lots of different purposes. Here’s what’s in my kitchen:
Food processor: Used for grating large amounts of cheese, sauces, kneading bread dough and making laundry detergent.
Blendtec: The blender of awesomeness. Used for smoothies, sauces, juices, making rice flour and almond milk and a ton of other things.
Crockpot: Used for cooking meals and making stock.
Waffle iron/griddle: We got rid of our two waffle irons and the griddle and opted for one that has two different sides.
Stick blender: Used for blending soups and beans and making soap.
Salad spinner: I’m lazy and it’s fun. Serves as extra large colander and bowl as well.
Ice cream maker: Coconut milk ice cream. Enough said.
Toaster oven: Used for making toast, heating leftovers and baking when it’s too hot to turn on the oven.
French press: I like that I can easily put it away in my cabinet when I’m done.
It’s ok to keep one or two if you use them all the time. And if, when you’re done, you have tons of space in your cabinets and just have to keep the ice cream maker because it makes you so happy when you use it, fine. But just this once.
Don’t stress about getting rid of every single thing. I still declutter on a regular basis. Only now, it’s not a huge ordeal. I just realize that I don’t need a certain pan or plates anymore and take them out. It’s an ongoing process.