Happy Monday! I am so excited to get started on this Five Week Decluttering Challenge! Are you joining us? Today we kick off the Challenge with Kitchen/Pantry/Dining Area! These areas are the hub of the home, so it is a great place to get started. I am sharing some easy and practical advice for tackling this important area of your home! So grab your Clear the Clutter Calendar and let’s get started!
Determine problem areas
It has been a year since my last big kitchen decluttering project, so I can honestly say our kitchen had not gotten “too bad”. But there are a few areas of our kitchen that always seem to collect clutter despite my best efforts. Specifically, our Tupperware drawer, junk drawer and mail collection area. So this time around, I needed to come up with new solutions for these areas in order for the cycle of clutter to stop.
What are the problem ideas in your home?
One thing I decided with our Tupperware drawer is to only keep the SAME SHAPE pieces. What I mean by this is that I only keep square containers. I used to have circles and squares in every size and it was a serious puzzle game to fit everything into the drawer. By eliminating the one shape, all the pieces fit in so much easier!
Find those little kitchen hacks that work for you!
Next, I needed to tackle our junk drawer. I removed EVERYTHING and I mean EVERYTHING out of the drawer. Yikes! Then, I only put back in what we really needed in this drawer. I made sure to maximize the functionality of the divided containers.
Be sure to maximize the storage tools you already own before buying new ones!
The last problem area I tackled was our mail collection. The problem is that mail and other notices pile up until we take action on them. I need to start putting the One Touch Rule into play. The premise of this rule is that you only get to touch an item one time to get the item where it needs to be. So with mail, you take action on it as soon as you receive it! Whether that is throwing it away, writing a check for a bill or jotting down the important info on your calendar.
Move things around to work for your family
Something else I realized getting ready for this challenge, is that some of our things were places that are not very functional. When things are in bad spots, clutter and disorganization tends to be the result. For instance, we have always had our glasses in a corner cabinet of the kitchen. The problem with this space for drink ware is that it wasn’t a very accessible spot. We are constantly reaching for a cup or glass. But the cabinet is so deep with narrow opening, so it is hard to get the glass you want. The big spot also allowed us to build a HUGE collection of cups and glasses.
By taking out of all the drink ware, I was able to assess what we had and we we truly needed. I got rid of a ton and I was able to move all the drink ware to a cabinet near our refrigerator.This is a much more convenient location! The large corner cabinet is now storing our entertaining pieces like bowls, trays, etc. that we don’t use on a daily basis! I even moved our travel coffee mugs to the cabinet right next to our coffee maker. We love this change!
Don’t be afraid to move things around. Just because you have things in a particular drawer or cabinet now doesn’t mean it might not be more beneficial to be in a different spot.
Are there spots in your kitchen that are not working for your family?
Let go of things you don’t need regardless of monetary or sentimental value
Anytime you declutter, you have to have the mentality that you are willing to get rid of things regardless of value (either monetary or sentimental). Otherwise, you are not going to be reap the rewards of a clutter free home.
Perhaps getting rid of things that have monetary value will help to curb your spending on unnecessary things in the future. If you think you can sell the items for money, then go for it. Just don’t delay in trying to sell them, otherwise the clutter won’t leave your home!
Sometimes sentimental items are harder to part with then monetary things. Pick and choose your battles. Do you need every mug that your child ever gave you? Think big picture and consider other sentimental items that might fill the same special place in your heart. Moms have no shortage of sweet and special gifts from their kids. But it’s okay to pick the favorites and let go of the rest!!
What items are you holding onto because of their monetary or sentimental value? Pick your favorites.
Purge and then Purge Again
Time is always at a premium for a busy mom! So I realistically need to break down the decluttering project into smaller chunks of time. I start with one round of getting rid of all of the outliers–those things you’ve been thinking about getting rid of but haven’t taken action. Then the next day I go back and really start to dig, cabinet by cabinet and drawer by drawer. This second process takes a little more time because you are making bigger decisions. But this second time is where the magic happens and you really let go of STUFF!!
Most people don’t get past the first purge. Then their stuff quickly builds up again.
Be sure to complete the second round of decluttering for the magic to happen!
Remember It is an Ongoing Process
While, it would be nice to say this round of decluttering is the only one you’ll ever need to make again, the truth is that decluttering is an ongoing process. New things constantly enter the home and old things do not always leave the home. Recognize your patterns and be sure to do mini decluttering projects here and there! My kitchen was in pretty good shape because I am frequently organizing and going through things. It doesn’t take a lot of time if you are organizing regularly. Five minutes here and there is all you need!!
Stay on top of your clutter!
Clutter is Not Always What is Seen But What is Unseen
Finally, something I realized during the first week of this challenge, is that decluttering does not always produce noticeable results. I didn’t make any drastic cuts to our counters or shelves. Instead, I organized all of our “behind the scenes” spaces! While these improvements might not produce dramatic before and after results, these changes will make HUGE improvements in your day-to-day life! You won’t groan every time you open an overstuffed drawer or duck your head when you open an overflowing cabinet (been there!).
Are you ready to get started on Week 1??
1.Join our challenge so you can have instant access to our Day by Day Clear the Clutter Challenge Calendar!
When you sign up, you will also receive a weekly e-mail with extra tips and ideas!
2. Connect with our Clear the Clutter Facebook Group for daily motivation and inspiration!
Make sure to check out my co-hosts tips as well!
Keri Lynn SnyderKitchen Decluttering & Organization
Brittany B. Decluttering Tips for the Kitchen and Pantry
Brittany W. Decluttering Cabinets & Kitchen Organization
For more Kitchen Organization Tips, check out my post from last year’s Clear the Clutter Challenge!