Decluttering the kitchen and your life
Over the years we seem to collect kitchen items, our kitchens become full of clutter. We never seem to get rid of things because we think we might use that item one day. Is it possible that a cluttered kitchen is an indicator of our life? Rearranging and ridding ourselves of useless, even broken items can really make us feel lighter and so much better. Decluttering the kitchen day has arrived!
Start with honesty
When it comes to decluttering the kitchen we need to be honest with ourselves, our culinary abilities and our current desire to use these skills. The smaller the kitchen the more honest we need to be.
Appliances seem like a great idea, and some certainly save us time and make cooking easier. We get swept away with the dream of cooking, so we purchase these special items. Some of these appliances are very rarely used if at all.
What we end up with is a cupboard full of electrical appliances that we never look at again once the fad is over. I laugh at the pie makers that are now a huge hit. I had one of those in the ’90s and after 5 years of very little use, I ended up selling it for peanuts in a garage sale.
I have always had an electric mixer, but now I have a knock-off-thermomix. I know I will never use the mixer again, yet it sits, unloved, in my cupboard. After all, it is too expensive to throw out, but maybe I need to re-think that belief. There are a lot of appliances that would be “nice” to have, but ask yourself if you really need them?
Be realistic with the next appliance purchase
Aldi advertised an electric roti maker. How wonderful. In reality, how often would I ever use this? It is so nice to get roti from my local Indian restaurant. So being realistic about our use is the key to keeping our useless discretionary purchases under control.
Only keep the quantity of crockery you need for day-to-day living. We often receive crockery as presents or like to collect pretty stuff ourselves. If this sounds like you, get rid of the excess and donate it to thrift shops.
Keeping extra plates, bowls, cups, mugs or glasses is just using space in your cupboards. We often have our favourite coffee mug that we use repeatedly each day while other mugs that sit in the back of the cupboard are never used. Get rid of these.
We don’t need special glasses for every type of drink we drink. Having two different size glasses for generic beverages and wine glass is all we need.
The same thing applies to cutlery and utensils. Go through the drawers and work out what is really used and get rid of the items we never use. You know the stuff I mean. It is the vegetable peelers and garlic presses that end up in the bottom or back of the drawer. How many vegetable peelers do you have? I bet you have a favourite that you always use, maybe keep another then throw away the rest.
I have a spare drawer for the extra utensils that don’t fit in the main drawer. It has become a junk draw. My mum had a junk draw, my mother-in-law had a junk draw too. Does this sound familiar? You know the draw that things just get put into, dumped into. Well go through this draw and get rid of most of it, you will probably never use any of it anyway.
Quality Pots and Pans
Pots and pans also have a way of multiplying. A few good-quality non-stick pans is all we really need. Having a good quality large soup pot can be used for stews, spaghetti, jam making or anything, same goes with a good medium-sized steamer set, the pot can be used for anything and the steamer a great colander.
The Special Things
If we have special things for special occasions, then keep them in a separate storage spot in another room. Bring them out as needed and instead of buying more of this type of thing, why not borrow what we need from other family members. Our family has a good dinner set for Christmas that gets taken from family member to family member depending on whose house we are spending Christmas at that year.
Declutter the Counters of Decorator items
Beware of decorative counter items. They use up precious space. A great cookie jar or a set of vintage canisters might be nice to have, but wow they do take up space. You can still decorate your kitchen or personalise it with artworks or fridge magnets.
Revisit your Cooking Plans
Now is the time to be honest, the icing set you purchased to decorate your kids’ cakes, will you ever use them again? Will you ever make cupcakes again? If not, clear out the tins and donate them. How many serving platters do you have and will you ever use them? If you never make pastry again, do you need a pastry sheet?
Stack and Rotate non-perishable Food
Use good opaque stackable containers for your food. Label the containers so you know what you have and make sure you don’t purchase foods that you don’t need. If you have several items of the same thing, make sure you rotate the items as soon as they come into the household. The oldest food items are at the front and the newest items are at the back. This will reduce the chance of foods going out of date and needing to be thrown out.
Spice collections look so appealing and are a real trap. A lot of the spices you will never use, will go out of date and end up being thrown out. Purchase the spices that you use regularly, you may find that your collection is only 10 different spices instead of the whole collection. If you keep your spices in a cupboard, it won’t matter if the containers don’t match.
Now that you have restored order in the kitchen, now is the time to work on your office, your wardrobe and even your business. Enjoy the success of decluttering the kitchen. Put your feet up and enjoy a well-earned break and watch the decluttering flow into the rest of your life