Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Decluttering My Kitchen

The organizing books I've been reading lately and Org Junkie's Monthly Organizing Round-up inspired me to work on my kitchen.


As far as organizing goes, I think my kitchen works fairly well. There's a place for everything and everything is in it's place (or the refrigerator or the dish drain).

But it's been making me a little crazy lately. So I set to work organizing my kitchen Friday afternoon.

I emptied most of my cupboards onto the counters.
I put like items together (all the platters in one stack, plastic bowls in another, etc.).

Then I looked each piece over and decided what I use every week, what I use monthly, what I use seasonally, and what I haven't used since we moved into our home 5 years ago.

Anything I don't use weekly and monthly (or the current season) would be stored in the basement on utility shelves and anything I haven't used for months would move to the Salvation Army thrift store. = )


As I decided to give away an item, I placed it in a waiting box.

Then I evaluated my cabinets. I'm barely 5 feet tall so anything high in my cupboards requires climbing on a chair to retrieve.

Annoyance! I made a plan to put occasional items in the high spots and regular items in the low spots.

After evaluating where to put everything I filled the cabinets again only putting back items I wanted in the kitchen.

I am very pleased with the outcome!

The decluttering process was not an easy one. I had to throw away several items. Like a plastic bowl with a cracked rim. It's still usable but the crack aggravates me like crazy.

I used the Irritation Test. If an item annoys me then why keep it just because it's still usable. After all, I rarely use it because of the irritation. At least that's what I told the guilt that came when I thought about throwing away a "perfectly good" bowl.

One thing I realized through this process is how few of my kitchen items are used on a regular basis. Over the past five years I've complained innumerable times about how little cabinet space I have but now I realize I (mostly) have enough space, I just had too much stuff I never used.

I also had to declutter the utility shelves in my basement. I should mention that several years ago I worked as a Pampered Chef consultant. Thus I have a lot of really nice kitchen equipment. It was a little difficult passing some of it along to the Salvation Army (like an apple corer, microwave cooker, and v-shaped cutter) but I've never used two of those items in my own home so there wasn't much point in keeping them.

Once the utility shelves were decluttered I moved everything left out on the counters in the kitchen down to the basement.

Again, I'm very pleased with the outcome. What tips do you have for organizing kitchen cabinets?

18 comments:

mer said...

My kitchen is pretty small, though I might have more cabinet space than you do. I keep things like my bread machine (use for pizza dough and sometimes bread), my griddle, crock-pot, and other stuff on a shelf like that in my basement too!

Okay...can't believe you don't use the micro-cooker. I use mine ALL the time! I have both sizes, and I use the small one to melt butter, and cook frozen veggies.

My friend is having a PC party on Friday, and she gave me a catalog. Wow...they have some new stuff that looks really nice...but SO pricey!

Amy said...

Wow! How exciting! It looks so great...and so easy to get to everything you need! Love the before and after pictures....

Alicia said...

Not to gang up on you, but I was shocked to hear you don't use the micro-cooker either. Besides the stonewear, it's my favorite PC item!!! It makes the yummiest corn, short of grilled.

Now that I've mourned the loss of your micro-cooker, you've done an awesome job!!! Great organizing, and thank you for taking us through the process. You actually make clearing out my cabinets look fun.

Marc and Charity said...

love the "windows" sign above your sink! i need one of those...

The Chatty Housewife- said...

Wow, you do so good for how little cupboard space you seem to have. I can't believe it! You would be appalled at my kitchen cupboards! :)

Lylah said...

great job in a small place. love the window sign....blessings...

proverbs31 said...

Great job!

I, too, used to be a PC consultant. Not long enough to collect TOO much stuff, but long enough to collect some things I don't use. I gave my sister in law my mandolin slicer thing, and my grandmother my small oval stoneware baker. I have a few other things I hung onto temporarily but may still end up giving away. But my micro cookers? I'm keeping those. ;)

I love the way you pulled everything out and did it all at once. Truth is, I had WAY too much stuff - I'd have been swimming through the clutter to get things organized. :)

imadramamama said...

The Irritation Test...LOL! I think that is something we should all use daily....

Great job on your kitchen and congrats on making the "Top 12"!

Michele said...

I too love the Irritation Test! In fact I wrote a post about it today -

http://www.michelesmix.com/2008/03/irritation-test.html

Thanks for the great new term!

Michele

fullheartandhands mama said...

Nice work. It almost makes me wish I'd done the whole kitchen instead of a cabinet. I'm sure I have few things lurking in there that haven't seen daylight in quite some time.

Alicia said...

Congrats for making the top 12!! Awesome!

Organizing Mommy said...

Nice job and nice looking blog--red! Good job on the organized kitchen.

Brenners said...

Wow! You amaze me!

You want my micro-cooker? :~P ;~) I don't use it.

Becky @ Boys Rule My Life said...

Wow! You got busy! Looks great!

Ter said...

Looks great!!
I want utility shelves in my basement too, but I can't seem to look past the prices.
Congratulations on making it to the Top 12! :)

SnapHappyInkyMomma said...

Great job!

Love the "Irritation Test."

Lady Jennie said...

This looks really good afterwards. I occasionally go through my stuff, but not nearly enough, I think.

Stephanie said...

Thanks, Lady Jennie! It's been a long time since I wrote this post. Since then I've accumulated more stuff and need to do a little organizing, purging and cleaning in my kitchen cabinets. It's an on-going project to keep my house organized. :)

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