Clutter stresses me out. Big time. I wasn’t always this way (or at least not this bad), but I am now to the point where excess clutter and too much STUFF literally makes my pulse rise.
One of the places where I battle with clutter the most is in the kitchen. I will be the first to admit it… My name is Paula, and I love kitchen gadgets. If you are a reader of my other blog, Paula’s Plate, you know that I am in the kitchen – a lot – and this is my conundrum: when my counters are covered, cabinets are overflowing, and drawers are packed with stuff… my stress levels rise. Paula + Kitchen + Stress = Bad combination
Earlier this spring I reached a breaking point and finally set a goal for myself: cut my utensils and kitchen supplies in half, and take almost everything off my countertops. Let me tell you, this was no small challenge, so I’ve taken it in stride. One day I tackled the cabinets, another day I did the drawers, I then cleared out the pantry, and finally worked on the countertops.
I can’t tell you how good it feels to open my cabinet doors and see organization. What’s more, my husband can figure out where everything goes, too! Before “Declutter 2017,” Ryan would have to ask me where things went, and I would reply: “If you turn this mixing bowl at a 45° angle and stick this pan in first, and then gently slide the dish on top, the door will close properly.” Ridiculous. Not anymore! Now everything has its place, and my countertop simply holds a microwave. Boom!
Do you want to join Declutter 2017 but don’t know where to start? I’m here for you. Let’s start in the kitchen. Here is a list of 10 things on which to cut back. Less Mess=Less Stress.
Look! A 5-blade kitchen shears that chops herbs in seconds… But can’t you also use a knife?
And hey! A handy-dandy burger maker that ensures perfectly identical burger patties… I’m willing to bet you could shape those with your own two hands just fine (or even use a large mason jar lid!)
Do you honestly need 8 spatulas, 6 differently shaped ladles, and 4 whisks? Let me help you out. The answer is NO.
Cut back. Look at each kitchen gadget and ask yourself – do I really need this? Does it really save me that much time in the kitchen? If the answer is no, put it in the donate pile.
Mismatched/ missing/ unused Tupperware
I don’t think I need to elaborate on this one. If it doesn’t have a matching set, get rid of it.
I was awful about cookie sheets, pizza pans, and baking dishes. I make A LOT of cookies, especially during the holiday season, so I was always able to justify buying one more sheet. But let’s face it…I only have one oven! Do I really need 7 cookie sheets? NO! Donate pile.
Excess travel Mugs/water bottles/mugs
Somehow Ryan and I manage to acquire mugs likes we’re planning to have all of Boston over for tea. Again, not necessary. The same goes for the many water bottles piled up in the back of your cabinet, or the leaky travel mugs that you keep around for “just-in-case.” I promise – you don’t need four leaky travel mugs. One non-leaking mug will do just fine.
Enough said. You might be surprised what you find in the back of your pantry
Ryan and I tend to put the mail on the corner of our island in the kitchen, and it piles up. Now when the mail comes in, we recycle the junk and file away the important stuff. No more island clutter – hooray!
The junk in your junk drawer
Get rid of questionable batteries, those random twist ties, and pens without ink. Add a little sanity to that junk drawer. You will thank yourself when you need to find that Sharpie later.
This sort of encompasses my comments for both cookware and mugs, but it really goes for all things in your kitchen. If you have more than one of the same thing, ask yourself – do I really need three crockpots of the same size? REALLY? If the answer is yes, then keep them. If the answer is no, put the extras in the donation pile.
Unused small appliances
Do you need a hand mixer and a stand mixer? How often do you use that ice cream maker? Have you ever used that yogurt maker? (ahem…I never did – I donated it brand new…) If you’re not going to use these appliances regularly, they’re just taking up space. Get rid of them.
Ryan and I often leave invitations, receipts, and coupons up on the fridge WAAAAAY past their expiration. There is no need for this. Take them down and remind yourself what color your fridge is again.
10 easy steps; this is completely doable, right? If you’re overwhelmed, take it in stride and do one item at a time. If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, make a day of it! You will feel incredible when it’s done.
If you’re looking for an organization that accepts donations, I often use the Vietnam Veterans of America. They make it very easy – you just click on their website and schedule a pick-up. You leave your donations outside, and they come right to your house. It’s a great cause, and they make it so easy!
How is your kitchen situation? What do you do to de-clutter? Do you have a passion for unnecessary kitchen gadgets? Let me know below!