Yes, I am certifiable for starting in the kitchen. Normally I’ll start with something small, like a closet. But you see, we made the crazy decision to remodel the kitchen last week. And so, it was the perfect place to start the lightening up!
Goodbye, 1962 kitchen…
I had to pack everything into boxes and stash them in the playroom while the remodel was happening, so it was pretty easy to do the first steps:
- Bring out those 3 magic boxes: Put Away, Give Away, Throw Away
- Start at one end of the kitchen and take stock of each drawer or cabinet, one at a time. Ask the following questions:
- Is there anything in here that doesn’t belong? Take that item out and put it in the Put Away box.
- Is there anything in here that I no longer use, or don’t like, or have too many of, but still has use? Take that item out and put it in the Give Away box.
- Is there anything in here that is broken, or expired, or just garbage? Take that item out and put it in the Throw Away box.
- As I go through each drawer or cabinet, I re-confirm the purpose of that space. Is it for glassware? bakeware? food? etc. I take time to make sure the space is being used well and is serving my family’s needs.
- Also as I work, I keep that notebook (or Notes on my phone) close by. If I notice I’m almost out of something, I’ll make a note. If I notice that it would be helpful to have a few more of something, I’ll make a note. Does a hinge need repair? Note. Does a drawer need new liner. Note.
- When I’ve gone through all the drawers and cabinets (or at least all I’m going to go through for that day!) I take a look at what’s in the 3 boxes. I take the items from the Put Away box and put them in their proper homes. I take the items from the Give Away box and put them in my pre-decided holding area until I’ve got enough stuff to make a donation run (or take pics and post online to sell!) And I take the items from the Throw Away box and… well… throw them away! Or recycle, if possible.
- Don’t forget the notes! I add items to my to-do list as needed and schedule a time to get them done.
As I said, with the kitchen remodel, I was forced to take everything out of each cabinet and drawer, so it was a perfect time to put away, give away, and throw away. Here are a few examples:
- After a good look at all of my serving bowls, I decided that there were two bowls and a circular casserole dish that I rarely used. And a good handful of other things made their way into the give away box. Donate!
- How many sets of chopsticks does a family of 5 really need?? Donate!
- I’ve been using two cracked, chipped bowls that really aren’t safe. If they broke, someone would most likely be cut. Trash!
- There were several spice bottles that I’ve had for far longer than they’ve been spicy. Trash!
- When it came time to put everything back IN the kitchen, I took some time to re-evaluate the cupboards. Thanks to the new design, I finally got to put all the food in one pantry cupboard! (Instead of 4 smaller cupboards all over the kitchen.) I also put things like storage containers and cutting boards where I found I used them the most.
Only the plates and bowls we need and use.
One final note about kitchens. They can be an overwhelming room to de-clutter. If it’s more doable to just tackle ONE drawer or cupboard a day, then just do that. Take it at whatever size you’re ready to tackle and just keep reminding yourself how marvelously LIGHT it’s going to feel once you’ve removed all the items that you put away, give away, or throw away. It’s a GREAT feeling!
And p.s. the new white kitchen we just installed is so LIGHT! I’m a happy cook.
Voila! Almost finished…