Edit and Declutter Your Kitchen

It’s the perfect time of year to edit your possessions.  We’re typically weary of all the holiday decorations and excess and are ready to clear out the clutter.  Let’s begin by focusing on one of the main areas of the house where you spend the most time:  the kitchen.  To get this area clean and clear, follow a few of my basic guidelines. 

First, clear your mind before you clear a room.  By this, I mean get focused on committing to decluttering.  No more hanging on to things you never use or don’t love. 

Work on countertops first.  Look at your countertops with an objective eye, or ask a friend to help you.  We often become blind to our own stuff and don’t realize how messy/cluttered things look.

If you don’t use an appliance on the counter at least once a week, find a enclosed place to store it.  Sort through your kitchen tools and determine what you actually use and get rid of ALL the rest.  Clean all small appliances and containers on the counters (as well as your counter and backsplash) with soap and water.  Do you have more than one cutting board out?  Put the other one away.  Consider storing away or getting rid of any and all knicknacks for a fresh, clean look.  If something left on your counter doesn’t match your color scheme or looks junky, get rid of it and replace it with something more appropriate if necessary. 

Do you have a corner or area in the kitchen where mail, coupons, and other stuff collects?  Who doesn’t?  Now’s the time to take another stab at establishing a system for organizing paper.  Shallow baskets corralled in a bread box or drawer works well.  These are from Organize It.

  The way you tackle the next part is up to you:  either clean out all the cabinets and drawers over a full day, or devote 15 minutes per day to a single cabinet or drawer until they are all done.  You could use the time each evening while your dinner is cooking in the oven to tackle one area at a time.

Commit to putting your dishes away in the dishwasher after eating EVERY SINGLE time.  Teach your kids to do this for themselves.   After I prepare dinner and am waiting for it to finish cooking, I use that time to rinse out and put all cooking prep items and throw away all my mess before dinner begins.  That way it takes less time to tackle after-dinner dishes.

I found a few really fun ideas by Martha Stewart for kitchen organizing.  Need to maximize cabinet space?  Use a tray with a non-slip liner to make the most of your space.

Use a baking pan to corral items that you can pull out to easily to find small items without taking things out one by one. 

Use a cake stand in a convenient place to hold spices and oils you use daily.  When preparing a meal, gather other items needed around the base of the pedestal. 

I hope this gives you a little kickstart to your kitchen decluttering.  Just remember the two most important things:  get rid of it if you don’t use it or don’t love it!



Photo credits:

Country Living, Apartment Therapy, Martha Stewart, Organize It, Chez Larrson, Martha Stewart (last 4 photos)



  1. Andrea

    I use my cute aqua 50s melmac/melamine to feed my kids. Then, they can go “throw” their plates/cups in the porcelain sink with no breakage. They’ve been doing this since they were two! It’s a big help. No searching for lost sippy cups that may be full of rancid milk. Ick.

    Also, I love lazy susans in the pantry/cabinets! Great for canned goods, baking goods, etc.

  2. Lora

    You’re reading my mind–my kitchen needs some major TLC. I’m LOVING the cake stand idea…I may just reorganize the entire counter space. It’s kind of…stagnant.

  3. Kristin

    My kitchen is always in a state of disrepair. I never seem to be able to find anything! Thank you for the helpful tips + ideas! The tray and baking sheet ideas are sheer genius.

  4. Angie Ricci Seehafer

    Kristie!! Great ideas! I love to be organized especially the kitchen. I’ve got a question about themes in a kitchen. I love chickens, got chickens every, when is it too much? How do you decorate with a theme?

    Thank you! Oh, loved your write up on the web…http://www.apartmenttherapy.com!! Very proud of you!!

  5. robbie

    I’m thinking about installing a pegboard situation. Inspired by recent viewing of Julie and Julia and the fantastic saute pan I got for christmas — fantastic, but too big for any of the kitchen drawers!

  6. Blogs

    I am always searching online for articles that can help me. Thank you

  7. Clair Lamoureaux

    I truly appreciate this post. I’ve been looking all over for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You have made my day! Thanks again


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