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It’s not easy to keep the kitchen clutter-free. It might be that you have a tiny kitchen with very little storage space. It might be that your kitchen is used as a general dumping ground for various bits and pieces that seemingly have no other home.
Whatever the reason for the clutter, there are actually some really easy (and speedy!) ways to cut down the clutter and have your kitchen working for you, rather than against you. Here are five ideas – each of which can be tackled on its own, no need to do everything at once – to simplify your kitchen space and optimise it for the way in which you use it.
1. Relocate, relocate, relocate
My kitchen is the first room you reach after you walk through the front door. For that reason, it serves as a bit of a dumping ground for various bits and pieces: spare change, whatever comes through the postbox, artwork that the child’s brought home from school… Over time, all these bits and pieces build up if they’re not tackled in a more methodical way.
Instead of dumping them in the kitchen before you find a new home for them, why not give each of these items a clearly defined home elsewhere in your house? Take things straight to their new homes when they come into your house and over time it’ll become second nature, cutting down what for many is one of the big causes of kitchen clutter.
2. Tackle your food storage
Is your fridge full of open jars of condiments or bottles of sauces? When was the last time you went through the contents of your freezer? What about your pantry cupboards – do you know exactly what’s in there, and whether it’s all still in date?
Taking stock of your food storage has many benefits – decluttering being one. You might find that you have multiple jars of the same spice blend, or that you’ve been buying new bags or rice or pasta when there’s actually already a fresh pack taking up space at the back of the cupboard.
Removing everything from fridges, freezers and cupboards, deciding what to keep and working out what you have multiples of also gives you the chance to give your storage spaces a good clean – as well as working out whether the contents could be better organised to make it easier to see what you’ve actually got in stock. Things like see-through storage jars or stackable fridge organisers can help to simplify this going forward.
3. Clear the counters
A bulging utensil jar. Your toaster. A spice rack. Tea and coffee canisters. A pile of chopping boards. A knife block. How many of these things live on your kitchen counter? What else is taking up space? And does any of it really need to be there?
In your head, it makes perfect sense to leave these things on the counter. After all, they’re within easy reach when you need them. But how often do you actually need them?
Most things that live on people’s kitchen counters spend far more of their lives as clutter than they do actually being in use. If you’ve got somewhere in a cupboard or on a shelf where you can keep them, do it. You’ll free up counter space and your kitchen will instantly look far tidier.
4. Have a clear out
It may be that you moved in with a partner and you have duplicates of various kitchen items that you’ve never got round to getting rid of. Maybe you have cupboards full of mismatched plastic storage containers that you never use, or kitchen gadgets that seemed like a good idea at the time that are just collecting dust (spiraliser? Egg cooker? Pasta maker?)
Ditch the deadwood. Most food processors can spiralise vegetables. Many types of pasta can be made without a fiddly, hard-to-clean pasta maker. Plus what’s the use of having two sets of utensils or storage containers with missing lids?
Be ruthless: it can be tempting to think, “well I may use it one day”, or “it’s handy to have a spare” – but if you’ve not used something in months, how likely is it that you’ll use it any time soon?
5. Look for clever storage solutions
Giving all of your kitchenwares a rightful home – and sticking with your decision – makes it more likely that you’ll manage to keep the clutter down going forward. From coffee pod drawers to cereal containers, cleaning caddies to cup holders, there are plenty of nifty solutions out there to keep your shelves and cupboards well organised.