The kitchen is a mess, with old letters stacked up on the counters, the pan drawer no-longer closes due to all the pots stacked weirdly, the drying rack is a careful balancing act and there are way too many gadgets lining the table.
Studies have also shown that having too much clutter in the kitchen can lead to weight gain, which is just another reason to finally do that spring clean of your kitchen and whatever is growing under the sink.
Okay, so you’re standing in the doorway and looking at all of the cupboards and you may be feeling slightly overwhelmed. It’s a lot, yes, but you can tackle it and feel much better afterwards.
- Set a Timer
Unless you’ve got two days to get everything done, or you’re only planning to do a briefer clean, you’ll probably need a couple of days to get everything done, and this will make it easier for you to not fall into decision fatigue about all the things you only kind of want to keep.
Grab your bin bags and keep baskets and charity boxes, set the timer for 30 minutes (or for a couple of hours, if you feel you can go for longer, though 30 minutes allows you to take breaks as well) and let’s start.
- One Area at a Time
Yes, you could bring everything onto the floor and go from there, but that will probably just make you more stressed. Start with one section of the kitchen, or just one drawer. Take an inventory, then move onto the next step.
- Question It
Not interrogate, but, as Marie Kondo said, question whether you really want or need it.
- Do I use this? Do you use it regularly, not in a wishing world? This is a quick one, your gut knows the answer.
- Do I need this? Do you have three of the same wooden spoons or multiple cookie sheets when you don’t remember when you last made cookies? Again, you will immediately know the answer. If you are holding onto something for fear of ‘one day’, remember that you can probably ask neighbours, friends or guests to bring them along.
The best items to be harsh with are :
- Cleaning Products. You probably have more than you need, and could make some of your own.
- Copy the main recipes that you use then donate the books. A personalised cookbook is also really nice to hand down!
- Cooking utensils. Why do you have three spatulas?
- Dish towels. How many are getting threadbare? Turn them into rags or donate them to a charity shop or animal shelter.
- Baking Supplies. Burnt or old baking sheets, boards that are covered in dust, you can get rid of them, it’ll be okay.
- Old long-term food. They do go off eventually, even pasta or unopened packets.
- Did you ever use that spiralizer? Why do you have two blenders?
- Junk Drawer. Having one is a really good idea, as it provides a space for all those odd bits-and-bobs, but make sure that you check through it as well!
- Pots and Pans. Could you just get a bigger pot rather than the four smaller ones?
- Ditch it
Now you should have a little pile of things that you’ve realised you can live without, what to do with it? The best decisions are to either throw it away or donate them. You could sell it, but that’s often a lot of time and effort that probably isn’t worth it.
- Store it
Now that you’ve pruned that drawer, look at what you have left, then put them back into the drawer neatly. If you feel like it will probably belong in a different category, leave it on the side and tackle that category next.
One part is done, the timer rings, take a break and move on to the next part. Before you know it, the kitchen will be done and your stress will have faded away!