How’s your kitchen looking these days? Need a little boost with your organization?
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There’s no doubt about it. We’re all busy. Between work, kids, carpooling, cooking, homework, and you name it, the minutes of the day rush by, leaving us thinking we barely have enough time to squeeze everything in, no less add anything new.
But then every once in a while we take a good look around the house and realize that this is not how we want it to look. No house has to be spic and span, with everything away all the time, but you shouldn’t feel panicked if the doorbell rings and someone pops over. Your house definitely doesn’t always have to be perfect, but it can always be presentable.
When you look at your house as a whole, the thought of getting it all organized can feel quite overwhelming. But, of course, it does not and cannot be done all at once, or even all in one week. If you break it down into smaller tasks, you will be amazed at how fast you can get it together and how painless it really is to do it.
Let’s get that kitchen together. You’ll be surprised how easy it is.
Refrigerator Door Revolution — Don’t get overzealous and take everything out of the fridge. Do one part at a time. Let’s stick to the door for this project.
Take out the whole sticky mess from the door and put it all on the kitchen counter.
Wipe each shelf of the door, as well as above and below with a Clorox wipe.
Now, one at a time, check the expiration dates of each item. Toss anything that is past its date, as well as anything you bought and just didn’t like. If you didn’t like it the first time, odds are you’re not going to use it or like it the second time. Add replacements and other necessities to your shopping list.
Next, wipe down the keepers with a wet paper towel and place them back on your counter, putting like items together. Now — the moment of truth… put everything back on the door again, placing like items together such as salad dressings, marinades, and condiments. It will make everything easier to find later.
- Sink Solutions and Counter Chaos — Okay, Okay, I know, this one seems like a big one. It’s often an intimidating task, but it will take you much less time than you think. Start by unloading the dishwasher. Put everything in the drawers and cabinets as if you were starting from scratch.
Don a pair of gloves (if you use them), grab a sponge, and start rinsing the dishes from the sink; and then load the dishwasher. With the sponge, try to wipe off anything that seems stuck on. As you’re rinsing the easy stuff, put the silverware, dishes, pots, and pans under the running water so they are “soaking,” even if it’s just for a few minutes. When the dishwasher is full, you’re done. Turn it on; meanwhile, let any remaining items in the sink soak.
Next, the counters: Before you begin, feel free to put some of the items away since this task only involves wiping. Use a Clorox wipe or a rag with Windex. Lift each item and wipe, lift and wipe, removing grime. You get brownie points if you decide to make piles of your countertop papers or clusters of like items you choose to leave out. I promise this task is much easier than you think.
- Tupperware Terrors — Are you keeping containers with no lids? Are you keeping lids with no container? Why? Toss, toss, toss!! Take out your containers and make sure every bottom has a top and every top has a bottom and throw away the loners… sorry! Don’t worry if your “collection” seems small. They multiply in no time!! Next, stack them together by shape to utilize the amount of room on the shelf.
Hint: Go with square-shaped containers, they fit next to each other better. There is a lot of lost space with the round ones. Check out one of my favorites.
- Spice Split — Clearing out your spices can be a tough job, and I’m not talking about the part where you have to take everything out and check the expiration dates; and I’m not talking about the part where you have to wipe down the shelf or drawer where you keep them either; and I’m not even talking about the part where you have to wipe down the rest of the bottles that are not expired — that stuff is easy! What I am talking about is getting rid of the spices that have been used once and then relegated to the back, never to be seen again. Even though it’s hard, you have to be honest and ruthless. You know if you aren’t going to use it again; you know if you hated that recipe, and you know if you’ve never seen it used again in any other recipe. Be honest with yourself. Don’t keep it just because you have room or paid good money for it. Break the cycle and toss it. Here are some great examples of ways to store your spices: here, here, and here.
- Useless Utensils – Utensils are like gadgets. They are fun to accumulate and use in different ways… once.
Kitchen space is a precious commodity, not to be given up lightly. It’s time to reclaim some space. Take out all your utensils and lay them together on the kitchen counter. Separate those silly ones that you never use, as well as the ones that have only one obscure purpose. I’m sure you have another one that can do double duty. Put them in the donate bag and out they go. Honestly, they will never be missed. Take your everyday ones and put them in a pretty canister on your counter. Here is a favorite of mine.
Remember: Whenever you finish a task, stand back, admire your work, and give yourself a pat on the back.
Is it easy for you to keep your kitchen together — or an ongoing struggle? Have any tips you want to share? Post them in the comments below. I’d love to hear!
P.S. I’d love to connect with you — Don’t forget to follow me on Social Media.
It definitely a struggle for me. I feel like I am constantly putting out fires when it comes to clutter and disorganization. Some of that is because I don’t take the time to declutter for a few minutes a day. Some of it is the fact that I have 3 kids haha. Thanks for sharing these useful tips! 🙂
Kayla, Having 3 kids can definitely make keeping the house clutter free hard. But it really seems like you know the key to doing it. It truly is all about keeping up with it. Having a nightly reset, even if only for 10 – 15 minutes each time makes all the difference.
Xoxo – Deb
I LOVE how you break this down so well! I always tell my clients their “outer world is a reflection of their inner world.” For my clients who come to me with weight issues or unhealthy eating habits I ALWAYS recommend they start by decluttering their kitchen. Getting all that junk out of their external world is one of the fastest ways to change themselves internally. And I’ve found people who struggle with their health usually have their kitchen in chaos. So again I love this! I’ll be sharing this in my upcoming reset cleanse as prep work!
Thanks Rebecca, I’m so glad you enjoyed the post! I completely agree with you, I always feel better and am more productive and successful in my tasks when my environment is clear. Otherwise, my mind feels cluttered just like my surrounding area. I’d love for you to include this in your reset cleanse, please tag me so I can follow along.
Xoxo – Deb
This is so helpful – I love the square Tupperware containers tip! I had never thought of that. It’s a mess in that cabinet all the time – ugh! Thank you for breaking all this down. I think it’s easy to feel weird if you don’t know how to do all this, like we should just all know somehow, but I’m one who needs help for sure. Great post!
Amy, So glad you find the Tupperware tip helpful, those round containers just waste so much space in the corners and next to each other. I don’t think people should feel weird about not knowing these things. We can’t all be “experts” in everything. Everyone’s got their own talents, I can’t sing or draw, and to some people it comes so naturally. I always tell my clients, if it’s not your thing, the smartest thing to do is ask for help. It doesn’t matter how it gets done, as long as it does get done. 🙂
Xoxo – Deb
Such great ideas! I really need to clean my refrigerator door and get rid of expired food! Thanks for the ideas.
Sarah, That’s such an easy one. There is no debating on that one, it’s either expired or not. You won’t believe how fast you can knock that one off.
Xoxo – Deb
Great tips on organizing the kitchen I love the spice drawer and somebody please come and help with my utensils situation 😂😂, Thanks for sharing
Denise, Thanks, the spice drawer and the utensils can be a little challenging, it’s the “what if’s” that will get you! I think the spices are probably a little easier as you really do know what recipes you tend to make and when the last time or how often you used the “other” ones. As far as the utensils go, anything you’re hemming and hawing about, set them aside in a bag in a closet (don’t forget about them though!) give yourself a timeframe and if you haven’t even thought about them, or have found another one to do its job then just give them a toss. You’ll feel so much better.
Xoxo – Deb
I really like that shelf rack that goes in a drawer. I think it would be much easier to see the labels like that. Mine are in a cabinet and it’s hard to see the things in the back.
Andrea, The spice rack that goes in the drawer is really great, but if you don’t have a drawer to dedicate to that and yours are in a cabinet I gave links to 2 other ideas which are great as well. The Lazy Susan works really well and the step shelves are great too. Check the links above near the picture of the spice drawer. It says here, here and here. They really are great options. I have the Lazy Susan in a cabinet and I use the step shelf to hold my canned goods so I can see what’s in the back. If you don’t have any of these things, your stuff will definitely get lost in the back. Then you re-buy and spend even more money. Upfront organizing can cost you some money but in the long run, there are so many more benefits, including saving money on re-buying items.
Xoxo – Deb
I love your kitchen its so tidy! Yes, I really need to organise mine and do a big clear out. Thanks for these tips.
Thanks Ciara, Thanks, I love when my kitchen is all together. My mind feels clearer! Take baby steps, and before you know it, you’ll be on your way!
Xoxo – Deb
Thank you for all of these awesome tips! I love organizing and decluttering things this time of year, so these will come in very handy! I especially love that they are simple and quite quick.
Thanks Amy, That was my goal. All these things and more are so doable, the key is breaking them down so you don’t get overwhelmed. Hope you get a lot done!
Xoxo – Deb
I totally need to do this…like an embarrassingly long time ago!!! Ha ha!
Laura, You’re funny. You are definitely in the majority. Maybe try decluttering 15 minutes at a time, if you’re doing it and feel you can go longer than do, if not stop there. If you’re consistent you’ll be surprised at how much you get accomplished.
Xoxx – Deb
Where did you find the lid holder??? That’s my biggest problem, keeping the lids in order.
Darlene, you are so right, the lid storage can be a killer. The particular one in the picture here is no longer available but I just listed something similar on my resources page. Depending on the size of your cabinet or drawer you can get 1 or 2 of these. Check it out, it’s the last item. https://www.letssortitoutbydeb.com/my-organizning-recommendations/ I hope this works for you! This page is where I keep all my organizing favorites.
Xoxo – Deb
What brand of the plastic Tupperware do you use? I love how this looks but I don’t know a good brand of PLASTIC Tupperware.
Hi Stephanie, personally I like the Rubbermaid brand if I’m going to purchase plastic containers. And I always try and purchase the square or rectangle shape to maximize my drawer space.
Xoxo – Deb
My Kitchen and my main clothes wardrobe are like nightmares! Reading your post is like a reminder to clean up! You have no idea how many useless utensils there are in my kitchen 🙁
I hope you found the post helpful. The main thing is to not get overwhelmed! Take it one project at a time. Or one timeslot at a time. You’d be amazed at what you can get accomplished in just 15 min. Keep me posted on how it goes.
Xoxo – Deb