The kitchen is the heart of every home. It’s not just a space for eating – it’s a place for parties, socialising, and all the everyday activities life throws at you – like washing the dog and doing homework with the kids. At Mayfair Kitchen Studio, we have helped many customers in the Cheshire and Wirral areas to create their dream kitchen with their lifestyles and living requirements in mind. A well-designed kitchen is one thing, but how do you keep your kitchen free from clutter? Whether you’re considering a clear-out before a kitchen re-design or want to make more space in the one you currently have, here’s how to keep your kitchen mess and clutter-free so that it remains a calm and inviting space in your home.
Be realistic with time and space
Decluttering a kitchen takes time and is likely to take more than just a day or afternoon. Don’t set yourself an overly ambitious target and try to clear everything in one go. Devote half an hour a day to sorting through items – this will keep your motivation levels high. If you try to do everything in one go, you’re more likely to tire and become bored with the task, which will greatly affect your ability to properly organise items. Before you start organising, make sure you are properly prepared, with labelled boxes and bags. Have a bag for items to donate to other people and organisations, one for recycling and one for general waste disposal.
Don’t begin your clear-out by randomly searching through cupboards and drawers. Work from one side of the kitchen to the other, going through each drawer, cabinet and item in turn. Ask yourself if that item belongs in the kitchen, or whether it could be thrown out, stored elsewhere, or donated. Do not start on the next section until you have finished the last one you were working on.
Ask yourself questions as you declutter
As you sort through your kitchen, ask yourself a series of questions, including:
Have I recently used this?
Bear in mind that we all have appliances that we’d like to use more often, but if you’re harbouring appliances you have never used, or that you have perhaps only used once, these are taking up valuable space. Donate them to someone who will have the time to use them more often, and free up some room in the here and now.
Do I have more than one of those?
It is very common for us to collect ‘extras’ of particular items, i.e. more than one wooden spoon, bowl, container or utensil. Consider how many you actually have, and how many of them you use. If you have lots of wooden spoons and don’t use them, keep one and recycle or donate the rest.
Would I purchase this now?
Our kitchens are filled with appliances and utensils that we have purchased on a whim many years ago. Such appliances over time get pushed to the back of a dusty cupboard, never to see the light of day again. Keep in mind that over time, our cooking styles and requirements change. If you notice an appliance that you probably wouldn’t purchase now in the present time, donate, sell or recycle it. Selling such items is a good option, especially if you have only used them a couple of times and they are in good condition. You could get some extra cash for them.
Remove items that shouldn’t typically be there
Every kitchen harbours items that shouldn’t really be there. Clear out drawers of children’s toys, books, magazines, rubber bands, glue, DIY tools and anything else that doesn’t belong there. Kitchen worktops are a popular dumping ground for items that house members cannot be bothered to put away in other parts of the house. If this sounds applicable to your home on a frequent basis, delegate a ‘misc items basket’ to store such items in that can be sorted out on a regular basis. Not only will this keep your worktops clutter-free, but it will look smarter and more organised, too.
Organise your storage solutions
Give your cupboards a deep clean and closely review the number of cleaning products you have within them. Throw out any cleaning products that you do not use on a regular basis, making sure that you recycle packaging as much as possible. Also take a careful look under the sink – this is usually where disused products and bottles end up. Use hooks and pins to hang items on the inside of cupboard doors (or other doors/walls) to create more space and hang things such as utensils, aprons and coats. If your cupboards contain lots of extra plates, cups, bowls and wine glasses for when you are entertaining, slim these down to what you use on a daily basis. Put any spares up in the loft for when you need them occasionally.
Don’t let the clutter mount up again
Make a kitchen cleaning rota/plan and get all family members to stick to it. Daily maintenance is the only way that your kitchen will stay organised once you have decluttered. Keep storage baskets on shelves where you can neatly store recipes, bills and other items like pens. If your kids do their homework in the kitchen, set up a dedicated space and make sure that homework items are neatly stored in a basket or drawer. If items start to crowd worktops, take action as soon as you notice them to keep your kitchen tidy, organised and a calming space that you enjoy using.