Kitchens are notorious for collecting stuff. Countertops are piled to overflowing. Cabinets are stuffed. Junk drawers take up too many drawers.
Our last downsizing required that I keep most of my kitchen stuff stored. I opened up my new kitchen with 6 glasses, 6 cups, silverware, 8 plates, 8 cereal bowls, 3 Tupperware bowls, one set of measuring cups and one large 5 rack shelf to hold the rest of the items. Most of my kitchen cabinets are now empty.
I call it my “Condo Kitchen.” The reason I call it my Condo Kitchen is that when you go on vacation and rent a condo at the beach, you only get the essentials. That’s it. No extras. No Christmas plates. No 14 Tupperware bowls of various sizes with mismatched lids. No junk drawers.
So isn’t that how we should live every single day of our lives? Like we’re on vacation.
To use my method outlined below will take a friend’s help. Don’t tackle this alone. You’ll get overwhelmed easily and give up. Schedule it for a full Saturday morning or a weekday evening. Once again, don’t tackle this alone (and make sure the friend whose helping you knows what the goal is…a Condo Kitchen).
The Kitchen Declutter Method Supplies:
#1: Get at least 10 empty cardboard boxes
#2: One roll of clear strapping tape
#3: 1 Sharpie marker
#4: Folding table if you have one, nice but not necessary
#5: Kitchen cleaner and paper towels
The Kitchen Declutter Method:
#1: Empty all the contents of every cabinet onto the kitchen table or folding table. Yes, this means you have to take everything out of the cabinets.
#2: Clean the insides of the cabinets with kitchen cleaner and paper towels.
#2: Classify the cabinet contents with post-it notes (this is what you’ll want to put back in each cabinet so your friend can help)
#3: Choose the number of each item you’ll need (i.e. 8 plates, 6 cups)
#3: Label the boxes “To Give, To Store, etc.”
#4: Be sure to get rid of any novelty items you never use (i.e. the Belgian waffle maker you’ve used once or the Salad Spinner you’ve never used).
#4: Pack away the rest.
#5: Store away the packed boxes in the basement, or better yet if you really want to feel free…take them to the local thrift store donation center that same day.
#6: Restock the shelves with your new sparse kitchen contents.
When you’re done, you’ll notice an amazing thing. You can breathe. You can cook. You can think. You can spend time in your kitchen without getting overwhelmed.
Use this Declutter Method on any room in the house. But don’t do it alone. It’s too overwhelming. That’s what friends are for.
PS. If you’re too embarrassed to let your friends see your stuff in its current condition, hire a teenager to help. They’re extremely agile (for getting up and down) and won’t cost you an arm and a leg.