10 Kitchen Decluttering Tips

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This past Saturday, I worked for about five hours decluttering my kitchen. Yes, five hours. I was over the clutter, the mess, the avalanches when I open the spice cabinet and the lack of countertop space!

I can’t even tell you how satisfying it is to have a clean, neat, uncluttered kitchen. So, I thought I would share 10 Kitchen Decluttering Tips that may inspire you to work on your kitchen.

1.  Begin By Throwing Out

Junk mail, old food, moldy specimens in the refrigerator {ha!} and general clutter all need to go. Grab a garbage bag and get busy.

2.  Create A Donate Box

As you’re going through everything, set aside items that you don’t use that are too good to throw away. Donate unused items to local charities or thrift stores or sell them in a yard sale.

3. Clear off Kitchen Counters

There’s nothing worse, especially when you have an extremely small kitchen, than trying to prepare a meal and not having a single bit of free counter space.  Focus on clearing kitchen counters of any unused appliances as well as any other unnecessary dust catchers.

This past weekend, we put away my stand-up Kitchen Aid Mixer, the microwave, the juicer and the bread machine. They were taking up a lot of space and were rarely used. Now I feel like I have double the counter space!

4. Organize Cabinets

It is really easy for cabinets to get disorganized – fight “the avalanche syndrome” by going through each individual cabinet, sorting and re-organizing.

Quick Tip: If you’ve lived in your home for a while, you will know how you work in your kitchen.  Organize your cabinets according to how you cook and what your work zones are. Don’t be afraid to rearrange your cabinets to make your time spent in the kitchen more efficient.

5.  Clean Out The Fridge

I try to clean out our refrigerator on a weekly basis, but I confess that sometimes I overlook growing mold specimens in dark recesses. Occasionally, I find a super-outdated bottle of dressing or sauce in the door. Ahem. It’s always satisfying to pull everything out of the refrigerator, scrub it down, toss the old food and replace fresh, in-date food.

6.  Organize The Pantry

Oh, you lucky ducks who have pantries. I’m slightly jealous. I don’t have a pantry, but I dream of someday having a walk-in style. Wouldn’t that be neat?  Go through food items, throw away rotten potatoes, your five million plastic Walmart bags, and get that pantry organized. You might even find food you didn’t know you already had.

7.  Consolidate Spices

I spent an hour working on consolidating and organizing my spices. Did you know that it’s not necessary to have three bottles of chili powder? I bet you also knew that a plastic lazy susan does no good displaying spices when you have more than ten bottles. Ha!

I bought a spice rack and I’m working on the labeling part. I don’t understand why it’s so difficult to find empty spice racks with labels that you can customize. To the Target spice rack designer…I don’t use coriander, savory spice or fennel. Thank you very much!

8.  De-junk The Junk Drawer

Everyone has a junk drawer, right? It’s the drawer that houses junk mail that you were too lazy to throw away, tools, clothespins, pens, markers, scissors and more. It’s the easiest place to hide clutter when you hear the doorbell ring. We all have the same secret.

Don’t forget to clean out the junk drawer in your kitchen because you might soon need it for more junk! 😉

9. Use A Basket For Mail

Instead of spreading the mail all over the kitchen counter and table, buy a basket that you can use for important mail.  Begin going through the mail right away and trashing the junk. It will cut down on clutter as well as time and energy later.

 10.  Create A Daily Decluttering Routine

This step is probably the most difficult for me, but I’m finding that it pays off big time when I stick to it.  Put dishes away, discard junk mail, toss or compost food scraps and wipe down countertops every single day. I love doing this at the end of the day so when I wake up in the morning the kitchen is sparkly and ready to use.

I hope these tips have helped and inspired you. I would love to hear from you!  Do you have a kitchen decluttering tip to add to the list?  How do you keep a clean kitchen every day?

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  1. Okay, so I don’t have 5 hours to work on my kitchen, but it does need to be done. Thanks for the kick in the pants! 🙂

  2. I usually declutter the kitchen each January. The that I usually just re-organize and don’t declutter are my utensil drawers. I have always felt that I needed all those tools. Then, I read 321-Stop last month and realized that I don’t really need 2 drawers of utensils when I rarely use half of them – some things never! That is my next de-clutter project!!

  3. I’m a big fan of having nothing on the counters. I do leave my kitchen aid (it is the big size so it does not fit in the cupboard), but I use it nearly daily.

    We don’t have a junk drawer, and I always clear the counters completely after each meal. You are so right, it does pay to keep up with it.

    I’m a bit of a minimalist and my hubby is a neat freak so between the two of us we keep things looking pretty good. The fridge is harder for me to keep up with. I should do a weekly clean out…
    Johanna´s last blog post ..Overwhelmed? Do Something.

  4. Great tips! I agree about the counters and trying to do daily things to keep clutter under control- sometimes easier said than done.

  5. These are great tips – thanks for sharing them! On a random side note, the colorful pillow in the background of this picture is so pretty. Do you mind sharing where you found it? Thanks in advance! 🙂

  6. My husband, with the help of a furniture building friend, made me a spice cabinet with doors to match the kitchen and utility rm cabinets. It was the best Christmas present ever! It has 4 sm shelves about 36″ each for about 12′ of storage for spices. I mostly use Penzy’s spices and they are now in Alphabetical order. It’s better than diamonds!

  7. I used to decorate a bit more in my Kitchen but since ridding it out clutter I love it more! The minimal look is not for all but it is sure efficient. To make it more visually appealing I make sure the things I do have I love. Functional things can be so pretty and simple.

  8. One thing that has really made a huge difference in the kitchen is getting a set of adonized pots and pans. These are amazing! The food cooks so much better in them and they are a breeze to clean…just wash out with a soapy dish cloth and rinse! No more scrubbing!
    Renea´s last blog post ..Copywriting Services Devon

  9. I need to work on this in my kitchen. I feel like just a month ago I had the counters clear but they are once again cluttered. I too need a good spice rack system. I decided I did not like the one I had because it did not fit all the spices I use and it did not fit in the cupboard, now I am looking for something new! Thanks for the great guide.
    Emilia Brasier´s last blog post ..Music Friday: Pizza, The Best of Gemini

  10. I SOOOOOOO need to declutter my kitchen – and my bathroom and my other bathroom and my spare bedroom closet……oh heck I just need to start at the top of the condo and go all the way to the bottom. Thanks for the inspiration.
    Kim´s last blog post ..To be or not to be?

  11. Love all these tips. I want to start decluttering and get things cleaned up in my kitchen. It would be a good spring cleaning project for me. Thanks for all the great tips and motivation.

  12. One tip I found with my mail was to purchase 5 (you can choose however many you’d like) cardboard magazine files. I used scrapbook paper to make the fronts all pretty and then labeled them: Bills, Checks, Statements, Junk and Misc. Now whenever mail comes into the house it gets sorted into one of those magazine files. It’s so much easier to find the things I need and so much easier to do the junk mail shredding 🙂

  13. The best way I have found to organize spices is to use a kitchen drawer and lay them side by side. Forget the spice organizers that go in drawers, so many bottles are too tall and won’t clear the drawer opening. This works great for me.

  14. In the canning section, Ball makes the cutest labels w/ just a little decoration on them. They would make great spice labels. The best part is when you want to change them, they will break down when soaked in water. They come in a Granny Smith green apple shade box the size almost of a deck of cards and you get a maybe 50 for just a few dollars. I know Walmart & other retailers have them, in the kitchen gadget section.

  15. Cleaning out the fridge is no fun but need to be cleaned , otherwise bacteria may settle and of course the smell of the food just linger inside. I put charcoal in a small container and leave it inside . This absorbs the bad smell or odor inside the fridge.

  16. I relocated our microwave from the countertop a couple of months ago. I felt like I had twice the counter space in our tiny kitchen! It has made a huge difference. 🙂

  17. Costplus World Market has spice containers that you can label with stickers. They usually have a couple of styles for the bottles.

  18. Well written Myra! You are so true about the 3 bottles of chili seasonings… Lol! We don’t have our kitchen aid stand mixer or any small appliance on our counter anymore… Our kitchen is a good size but I always say it would have to be huge to be able to have em sit out. Not even the toaster! 🙂 I love the empty counters! I’m happy for you and your clutter free kitchen! Happy cooking, Myra 🙂

  19. When you plan to clean the kitchen, do not forget about the most important thing – prevention of cleaning household appliances. Do not wait for the dryer not heat up, provide prevention in a timely manner, your wallet will say thank you for significant money savings

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