The following is a guest post from Marlee, who runs the Dishes by Hand blog. Make sure to check it out, and thanks for sharing, Marlee!
Guest Post Author: Marlee, Creator of Dishes by Hand
Have you recently noticed yourself fumbling through your kitchen? Dropping pots and pans, looking for lost lids, and finding spoiled fruits and veggies that you wasted way too much money on? As we live in our kitchens we tend to accumulate many kitchen gadgets, serving platters, and vases. As the number of items grows your kitchen seems to shrink. Guess what, your kitchen is NOT too small. You just need to declutter (I swear it will be easy AND it change your life in a positive way.)
It’s important to remember that clutter is scientifically proven to have negative effects on you emotionally and physically. If I can offer you just one piece of helpful advice, it would be to consider living a clutter-free life. It’s easy, and I’m here to give you some tips to declutter your kitchen and reclaim your sanity!.
Negative Effects Of Clutter
Although there are numerous scientifically proven negative effects of clutter, these are the top three I see relating to us as busy moms! I’ll keep it short and to the point so you can get to all the decluttering ahead of you!
1. Exacerbates allergies by creating an environment that collects dust, dander, and mold.
Think about it. When you have a lot of knick-knacks and textures think of all the dusting you have to do! Uncluttered, smooth surfaces are much easier to keep up with in regards to keeping that dust, dander, and mold away. Leaving a much happier (un-sneezing and un-sniffling) family at home.
2. Makes you late for important engagements
When you can’t find something you need for the day it slows you down. How many times have you missed an important meeting or appointment because you couldn’t find your keys? If it’s more than once (twice) recently you should really consider buckling down on decluttering and organizing! I promise it will help.
3. Increases stress and anxiety
Your brain is overstimulated when you visualize a cluttered or messy environment, causing the feeling that things are unfinished. Our brain feels like we have never finished a task and continues working on overdrive. It leaves us feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and increases our stress and anxiety levels.
Six Simple Ways To Declutter Your Kitchen NOW!
It will take a little work to simplify and live a clutter-free life, but it’s worth it. After you are done I promise it will be easy to keep your kitchen clean and clutter-free!
Tip #1. Make Sure Everything Has Its Own Home!
I want to start off with my number one rule in the prevention of clutter. Although it’s boring (and probably a bit cliche) it’s a rule to live by. It’s so important because once you are organized and decluttered if everything doesn’t have a home then you will quickly re-clutter your home!
If it doesn’t have a home, it doesn’t belong in your home. Take an initial inventory of all the gadgets, appliances, serving platters/bowls, and handy tools. If you haven’t used it in a year – DONATE IT. I swear, less really is more.
BONUS TIP: I choose to keep all my platters and bowls in one neutral color scheme. I choose white and clear glass/crystal. This way I can use them for any and all holidays to create a cohesive tablescape and add seasonal decorations to them as needed. It has freed up a ton of storage space.
(This post contains affiliate referral links to the products I used/recommend. If you purchase through these links it won’t cost you any more money but it will provide me with a small commission which will help me keep this blog venture viable. Please read my disclosure policy for more information.)
Tip #2. Family Command Center
Yes, we have a family command center in our kitchen. You need one, too! Why?
It’s what keeps us organized and where we start (and end) our crazy days. It helps us remember important tasks with the chalkboard area of daily reminders. We have an area to keep all the important mail that needs to be gone through. And a large area to post our kid’s school calendars, invitations, coupons, and all those little paper reminders of what we need to do. I now almost never have mail or flyers on my countertops.
Here’s How You Do It
1. Create Incoming Mail Center
Find a wall hanging storage system to store your incoming mail that you must go through. This is the most important part of this kitchen declutter project. Mail is where things always get cluttered. I recommend keeping it relatively small (so you can’t let it pile up), but large enough that you can let one day lapse if you are super busy. Yet, you will always feel so decluttered and organized! When you go to put your mail in, do a quick once-over and toss out any obvious junk mail. It will make your life much easier later on. (We always keep a pen attached here, too, for convenience). I used a Galvanized Metal Envelope Wall Decor.
2. Hang A Stylish Chalk Board For Important Reminders
This part is really important. You can write big bold reminders to not forget diapers (again), write birthday wishes, or even love notes to your family about birthdays.
I used a 12×12 square chalkboard like this 12 x 12 Square Natural Wood Framed Wall Mounted Chalkboard(to make sure it lined up evenly with Galvanized Metal Envelope Wall Decor.)
The kids will love it, and it makes this whole Family Command Center more fun.
3. Family Command Center Motherboard
Ha-ha. Get it. Motherboard. (Sorry, you just got a taste of my crazy puns. Hope you enjoyed that.. but to continue…)
This part takes a little DIY work (unless you want to search Etsy shops and buy one pre-made, but it will cost you a lot more for the size you may need). This project can be finished in an hour or so once you have all the supplies.
You can find the instructions on how to construct the Family Command Center Motherboard through this link. It’s pretty cheap and easy to make yourself if you enjoy a good DIY project!
Tip #3. Declutter Counters
In your kitchen keep your counters clear. Leave out only the small appliances and gadgets you use every day (for example your coffee pot, tea kettle, or knife block). Each drawer and cabinet should be organized with an assigned place for each item. Yes, that even means your toaster if you don’t use it all the time. If you don’t drink coffee, don’t leave that on your counter either, this is completely individualized for the needs of each household.
Leave those counters as bare as possible. It makes for super easy daily wipe downs.
Tip #4. Create an Easy to Manage Tupperware Drawer
The endless battle of organizing the food storage containers in our household was a something I never thought of pre-marriage. We began to see how important left-overs and home-cooked meals were for our budget. So, I went out and bought my first food storage set at the grocery store. They were various plastic containers with different tops. I arranged them nicely on the bottom right cabinet next to the sink. They looked SO organized. We tried all sorts of different recipes, packaged them up, and ate them for lunch.
Then I discovered what the fuss was about… They are INFURIATING!
- You can never find the lid you need.
- They do not stack nicely.
- Every time you open the cabinet they tumble out.
- They take forever to dry.
- People never return them.
- They warp when heated up or put in the dishwasher.
- They smell funny and absorb stains after a few uses.
When we purchased our second home I wanted to emphasize organization and simplify life. I found the most amazing set of food storage containers. I’ve now owned this set for 16 months and I still love them as much as the day I got them! I recommend them to EVERYONE. This is my Tupperware drawer now:
It’s a beautiful thing. Even after 16 months my drawer still looks exactly the same. Everything is nicely stacked, easily accessible, and useful.
This is a Pyrex Simply Food Store 20 Pc Set
It is a durable, easy to clean (and dry), glass food storage system. I would recommend this set to everyone.
Why I Love This Food Storage System!
- They stack so easily.
- It comes with a variety of convenient sizes including (2) 1 cups, (2) 2 cups, (2) 3 cups (2) 4 cups, and (2) 7 cups.
- You can pack up leftovers and put them right into the microwave or even the oven.
- You can freeze left-overs in them.
- The lids do not warp in the microwave.
- They never got stinky (and I use them all the time)
- The food never sticks to the inside.
- They are BPA-free.
- People return them because they are obviously nice and know they will be missed.
Look how easy it is to keep this set organized! I actually look forward to using my food storage system for left-overs because they are great quality and always ready to go!
BONUS TIP: I always keep a small pack of cheap plastic food storage containers for guests to take left-overs home and keep. That way I never even have to worry about them coming back.
Tip #5: Create Fruit & Veggie Storage
I found this amazing product to solve my fruits and vegetables storage dilemma, it is the Glory & Grace Stainless Steel Finish Rustic Industrial Farmhouse Wall Mount Metal Wire Kitchen Vegetable Basket Bins – but for half the price now you could go with the black metal Large Country Rustic Metal Wire Wall Mounted Hanging Fruit Basket Storage Bin w/ Chalkboard Labels, Black
Tip #6. Put Everything Away After You Use it
If every item in your kitchen has a home it shouldn’t be very difficult to put back after you use it. If you do that, you won’t have to do it later! This leaves a consistently clutter-free home environment.
Here’s my one exception for you readers living in two-story (or more) homes. One trick I use for the various things that get brought downstairs can be found in the post Organization Can Save You Trips Upstairs. I’m sorry to link you to yet another page, but it’s worth it if you don’t want to make a ton of trips upstairs yet still live clutter-free.
You Can Declutter AND Keep Your Kitchen Clutter-free
These are some tips to make it happen. Just start working at it one cabinet at a time finding a home for everything in a logical location. Find products and solutions that work for you and make you excited to declutter.
Once you are decluttered you will find yourself in a better mood, less stressed, and more likely to keep your kitchen stocked. Cooking will be enjoyable, and you will do it more.
Do have any tips about decluttering? I’d love to hear them! Leave a comment or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marlee from Dishes by Hand Author Bio
Life is crazy working as a full-time nurse and raising two beautiful little humans. Throw managing the chaotic schedule of renovating a fixer-upper home on a small budget and I begin to wonder how I manage to tie my own shoelaces every morning.
I enjoy what advances in technology have enabled our generation to accomplish. However, I maintain a more traditional lifestyle as a do-it-yourself homemaker with a more vintage style. I own a dishwasher because it’s 2018, however, I still wash my dishes by hand. Why? I do this because I feel it works better and provides great bonding time and teaching moments with my kiddos.
I hope to offer creative solutions for renovations, parenting, and successfully (for the most part) managing a busy household by being thrifty and innovative.
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