Whether you love or hate to cook, your cluttered kitchen countertops are more often stressful than inspiring — and who needs another reason to feel stressed out, right?
So if you’re wondering how to declutter a kitchen, from cabinets to countertops, and how to keep it that way, keep reading! Start taming and decluttering your kitchen with these easy steps so you can get back to enjoying the heart of your home.
Action Steps to Organize and Declutter Your Kitchen:
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4 Steps to Declutter Your Kitchen
Depending on how bad your kitchen is, get ready for some pretty satisfying work. It’s a lot and not easy, but there’s something about transforming a messy and confusing kitchen to a fresh and organized one. Even if your kitchen is only somewhat untidy but you’re starting to avoid spending time in there, just a bit of organization in your kitchen can make a big difference.
1. Gather Your Supplies
Don’t waste time setting up, only to realize you’re missing a cleaning rag, or you grabbed the wrong spray, etc. Get your cleaning supplies together first to forgo the pause & go process.
Also, get in clothes that you don’t care for just in case you end up with bleach stains. If your kitchen cupboards are full to the brim with kitchen appliances, pots and pans, canned goods, old coffee makers, or you don’t remember when the last time you saw the tops of the cabinet shelves was, be ready for anything to go down.
Here are supplies to help you declutter a kitchen:
- Trash: Trash bags… For obvious reasons…
- Space: Somewhere to lay everything out so you can examine things to keep or get rid of.
- Boxes: For storing things in the attic or as donate, sell, or recycle boxes.
- Cleaning Supplies: Get your favorite cleaning products. For example: vinegar or dish detergent for grease, a couple rags to keep in rotation to ensure you always use a clean one, paper towels, etc…
✨ Looking for tips on cleaning your kitchen? Check out our Spring into Spring Cleaning guide!
2. Start Top to Bottom, One Area at a Time
You should declutter your kitchen going top to bottom by sections that can be either left to right, or whatever sections you want to start with that are unique to your kitchen. It’s not really to make sure you don’t miss any area as we’re pretty sure you’ll see what you missed pretty easily when you have all the cabinets open and staring at you, but more so you don’t waste time jumping around to random cabinets in your kitchen.
How to declutter kitchen cabinets:
- Start by taking things out from the top of the cabinets, and work your way down.
- Wipe the objects down before setting them to the side.
- Place objects onto a big surface such as a kitchen table to help organize by use.
- Clean the cabinet the kitchen items were in.
- Repeat as you declutter your kitchen in sections.
- Don’t put anything back until everything is out and in organized piles.
How to declutter kitchen countertops:
- Take everything off of all of the counters.
- Sort all of the objects with the rest of your kitchen cabinet clutter.
- Wipe down and clean the countertop.
- Repeat steps 1-3 as you declutter your kitchen in sections.
- Wait to put anything back until everything is out and sorted.
3. Separate Everything in Piles
In order to avoid completely struggling with how to declutter kitchen counters and cabinets, let’s set up for success and talk about what’s worth putting back. The most important step to achieving a clutter-free kitchen is sorting. You can also declutter a kitchen minimalist style and have just the kitchen essentials, or declutter enough so your countertops are clear-er.
You need to make four piles: keep, trash, recycle, donate. Some items are going to be so easy to just say “pfft, trash.” but boy, some of these little gadgets you may have acquired over the years are going to test you. It’s strange but sometimes you’ll find a weird attachment and not want to get rid of the old microwave you’ve had since college. Like, who cares? It’s a freaking microwave. But it was your microwave.
Need to get rid of kitchen appliances? WE’LL TAKE ‘EM ❯
So, it’s important to remember how much space your decluttered kitchen counters have and how much stuff your kitchen is limited to in order for it to be clutterless.
You’re only allowed to put in the “keep” pile are things that answer reasonably to the following questions: Do you have more than one of these? Do you use this item at least once a week? If no, when you do use it, how often is that, and is it worth the space it’s taking up?
Try and keep the mickey mouse waffle maker and sugar blowing kit type stuff to a minimum and only have things that you really use to make kitchen organization easier. In case you’re not sure what a basic kitchen set looks like, here’s an idea to start:
Keep these kitchen essentials:
- Chef’s Knife
- Cutting Board
- Glass Baking Dish
- Prep Bowls in 3 Sizes
- Sheet Pan
- Oven Mitts
- Glass Baking Dish
- Non-stick Frying Pan
- Can Opener
- Wooden Spoons
- Measuring Cups
- Measuring Spoons
Don’t skip decluttering your pantry! Even if you took too many trips to Costco, sort through it and make sure you’re not stockpiling things that you are never. ever. ever. going to cook.
Take these items to a homeless shelter where people are actually going to eat them instead of letting them sit in the back of your pantry.
Also, if your home has ever raised little ones, you’re bound to find old baby bibs or even small baby toys that got forgotten in the back of a drawer somewhere. Give them a good cleaning and then donate them!
Your taste in cooking might have changed and something that you used to use all the time is forgotten somewhere now, or you find that you had a million and one different types of measuring spoons. It’s time to send those items to a donation center or maybe they’re destined for the garbage can. If you’re not sure how to properly dispose of your kitchen clutter, keep on reading.
4. Get Rid of the Kitchen Junk
Once you’ve decided what to keep on your kitchen counters, you need to get rid of everything that didn’t make the cut. It’s very important to note that kitchen appliances like stovetops, ovens, refrigerators, grills, toaster ovens, and more need to be recycled.
Some states have a system for picking up old kitchen appliances but you need to call your local waste management company and ask about their pickup days. Sometimes it’s free, sometimes there’s a fee.
If the blender, stovetop grill, microwave, knife set, etc. are in good enough condition, you can donate them to a local charity or donation center. A few places do offer pickup services for bulky things that are being donated, but usually for a fee and with a long wait time.
So, keep in mind that if you don’t own a truck, you’re going to be waiting around for someone else that does have one to become available.
If you’re looking for how to declutter your kitchen fast, you should hire a junk removal service like LoadUp to pick it all up and make disposal easier. When you book a removal appointment with us, you get professional movers as soon as the next day, that quickly but safely haul your unwanted goods out for responsible disposal.
The best part, LoadUp strives to dispose of all removed goods in eco-friendly ways whether it be through taking it to recycling centers, donation centers, or the next best available option. We believe that the environment takes care of us, so we should take care of it too.
✨Looking for a more detailed guide on how to get rid of kitchen appliances? We’ve got it here!
Organize Your Kitchen Cabinets, Drawers, & Counters
Now that you’ve narrowed down the number of things you own, you can move on to asking how to keep the kitchen organized with clutter-free countertops.
What to Keep on Kitchen Counters
At first, put as few things on the counters as possible. As you put things back, put more in your cupboards and leave the counter space only for a few appliances based on how often they’re used and how much you like their aesthetic.
Group items by use and put them as close as you can to where they’re used. For example, since dishes are in and out of the dishwasher a lot, we suggest putting them in the cabinet closest to the dishwasher for ease of loading and unloading.
After everything is put away, you can always reassess what you want to leave out on the counter and what you want to be hidden in the cabinets.
The kitchen countertop organization is what makes or breaks the minimalist kitchen look. If you really have to put more than a handful of things out, research kitchen counter organizers or assemble them in an aesthetic way to offset the clutter with a pattern. You’ll be surprised at how easy some DIY kitchen organization ideas you can find online are.
For example, if you hate bending down for your cutting board, purchase one that you like to see and lean it against the wall alongside some plants so it doubles as use and decoration.
To help with kitchen countertop organization, avoid putting the blender, the teapot, crockpot, juicer, waffle maker, all lined up on countertop to the point that your kitchen looks like breakfast at the Holiday Day Inn.
Invest in organizers to layer things in more efficiently in your cabinets and drawers. They help keep everything in sight and your most-used utensils and dishes organized and in reach. You can find plenty of drawer organizers at stores like Target and Walmart. Make sure you measure your kitchen drawers to ensure the utensil holders will fit nicely.
Good Luck and Happy Decluttering!
If you have ever felt stressed around a chaotic kitchen countertop, know it’s been shown that clutter triggers the stress hormone cortisol.
Finding out how to organize kitchen counters and the rest of your space isn’t just good for your stress levels, but you’re actually more likely to lose weight in a kitchen with organized counters and cabinets. A study found that people eat twice as many calories in cluttered kitchens compared to organized kitchens.
Feeling out of control brings about many unhealthy habits, but luckily decluttering is a surefire way to defeat out of control areas.
Just imagine how refreshing it’s going to feel walking into your organized kitchen after a long day. There’s nothing in your face, fighting for your attention, stressing you out.
Plus, once you get in the groove of removing and throwing things out, you might even have a hard time stopping. But hey, if you end up decluttering the rest of your house, we won’t stop you. In fact, we’ll help you.
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