A Kitchen Stuffed to the Brim

The Friday before last, I spent the entire day with a close family member helping him declutter a kitchen stuffed to the brim. It was long overdue.

We “refreshed” the kitchen a few years ago, installing a new countertop, sink, faucet, and backsplash. We also repainted. It made such a huge difference. At the time, I distinctly remember asking if we could tackle the cupboards and drawers, but alas, I was turned down flat. To me, a kitchen renovation is never complete unless you organize the insides too. Oh well, better late than never.

It was the perfect example of a kitchen stuffed to the brim – so stuffed that it could hold no more. Pots were piled on top of each other, food was tumbling out of overflowing cupboards, and containers were piled high – many of them with no tops. I can’t quite understand where the tops go. They are akin to lost socks, I suppose.

During our decluttering, we found mouldy food in cupboards (where food shouldn’t have been). We discarded glasses and mugs, utensils and cutlery, pots and pans, and expired food. By the end of the day, we had several bags of recycling and garbage. We filled the kitchen compost bin several times, and the back of my van was full of donations.

A counter top with bowls and food storage containers that nest showing that you can increase cupboard space without having a kitchen stuffed to the brim.
Bowls and food storage containers that nest increase cupboard space.

Organize with Nesting Bowls and Containers

Considering that the kitchen is truly the hub of the home, organizing it well makes life easier. Here are a few tips that might help.

  1. Buy fewer gizmos and gadgets. You can still prepare food quite adequately with minimal implements.
  2. Replace your mismatched mixing bowls and food storage containers with ones that nest.
  3. Attach hooks to the inside of cabinet doors to hold oven mitts and tea towels.
  4. Clear the counters as much as possible and store appliances in cupboards unless you use them daily.
  5. If paper accumulates on your kitchen counters, create a new path for paper where it goes immediately on a sideboard in the kitchen or in a home office (even better).
  6. Set aside time every week to maintain your organized kitchen. It is a room that requires constant tidying and regular purging.

If you have a kitchen stuffed to the brim, set aside an entire day to declutter and organize it. Typically, I suggest breaking an organizing project into smaller time slots. However, the best way to deal with the kitchen is all at once. By the end, you will probably have a tired back and sore feet so make sure you reward yourself afterwards, maybe with a delicious beverage on your favourite chair.

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