Picture your dream kitchen. I bet it’s not filled with clutter.
There is something refreshing and life giving about a clean, uncluttered kitchen. It sets the tone and culture for the home. It communicates calm and order. It promotes opportunity and possibility. It saves time and ensures cleanliness. It allows you to clear out foods that don't support the healthy lifestyle you are aiming for. The kitchen truly is the heart of your home.
But it is definitely one of the more difficult places in the home to keep uncluttered. There are several reasons for this:
The kitchen is usually located in a high-traffic area of the home
The purpose of the room almost requires messes to be made during its use
The kitchen is often used as a collection area for odds and ends (such as mail)
When you think about your own kitchen, what kinds of clutter come to mind? Are you seduced by shiny gadgets or specialized tools that aren’t really necessary or sit unused? Do you have several duplicates from when you got married and merged your kitchen supplies with your spouse’s? Have you accumulated an extensive cookbook collection even though you use only one or two favorite cookbooks regularly? Do you have foods that you turn to that sabotage your healthy eating efforts in the pantry?
If you answered yes to any of these, then it's time to...
Clear the Kitchen Clutter
Pick a time—maybe start first thing in the morning—when you have at least a couple of hours for the project. That’s what I did—on a Saturday morning when I knew I had time to finish the project.
Make a cup of coffee or turn on some music to put yourself at ease. Clear space on the counters to set out items.
Here are 5 tips to clear your kitchen clutter:
Kitchen Area #1: Fridge, freezer & pantry
Check expiration dates on condiments and toss expired products
Throw week-old produce in the compost
Get rid of products that contain trans fats and GMOs
Wipe down and/or wash shelves
Decant grains, seeds, nuts, flours from plastic or cardboard into glass jars (the food will keep longer and stay fresher and bug free)
Donate products that you no longer eat or use to a local food bank in your area
Kitchen Area #2: Utensil drawers
Empty out your utensil drawer and keep only utensils that are high quality, not broken, and useful and donate the rest. For example, instead of having 5 wooden spoons, keep your best one and donate the rest
Kitchen Area #3: Cabinets
Find at least 3 unused kitchen gadgets or items and donate them
Kitchen Area #4: Cleaning products
Replace old, dirty dish cloths, sponges and wiping cloths with new ones
If you like the smell of your dishwashing liquid, great, keep using it. If you don’t, find one that you like the smell of, is preferably eco-friendly and bleach free or better yet google online how to make your own. It’s not that hard, you’ll see!
Kitchen Area #5: Pots, pans, dishes & silverware
Get rid of pots and pans that are burnt, rusted, badly stained or scratched. Also pots and pans that are Teflon coated, aluminum, or copper are said to be hazardous to your health so best to use stainless steel or cast iron
Throw away mugs, glasses, plates and bowls that are chipped or that you hate
Your cutlery is something you use to eat with every day. If you don’t like the look of yours, replace it with cutlery that you do like
When you spend less time taking care of a cluttered kitchen, you have more time to make nutritious, delicious meals for your family and linger in conversation at the dinner table. When you make room for loved ones in your kitchen, you prioritize relationships by expanding everyone’s opportunities for giving and receiving love. That’s what makes the kitchen the heart of the home. It’s where body and soul are fed simultaneously.