Many people spend the majority of their time at home in the kitchen. ‘The kitchen is the heart or hub of the home’ may be something of an overused expression, but there’s more than a lot of truth in it. In many family homes, the kitchen is where the family gathers. It’s where you cook and where the kids do their homework. It’s where the family eats. Of course, any space that’s busy and hectic can quickly become cluttered pretty quickly. However you look at it, clutter is not a good thing. This is why it is so important to declutter your kitchen every once in a while.
Declutter: How clutter affects us day-to-day
A messy kitchen is more than just a bit of an eyesore. It’s no good for your state of mind either. Cluttered and messy kitchens lead to cluttered and messy minds and lives. Studies have also shown that people who have cluttered and chaotic kitchens pile on double the amount of calories as people whose kitchens are neat, tidy and clutter-free. A messy mindset can lead to a tendency to eat more, especially unhealthy and junk foods.
In fact, there are actually a whole host of studies that emphasise the negative impact and the psychology and science of clutter. We don’t need to concentrate on this too much – suffice to say that clutter really brings no benefits whatsoever. This is why you need to declutter that kitchen!
Declutter your kitchen and do your bank balance a favour
Believe it or not, another great reason to declutter your kitchen is that you can actually save yourself some money in the process. Studies show that not only does clutter in the kitchen lead to poor dietary choices and sap your energy, it can actually cause you to fritter money away on unnecessary purchases too. Not only that, cleaning up and organising your kitchen can give you the impetus and incentive you need to cook more at home. Home cooking is, more of often than not, healthier cooking. If the kitchen is clean and tidy, you are more likely to try cooking with the kids too – a great way of reinforcing the importance of healthy eating and setting them off on the right path to a healthier lifestyle.
How to declutter your kitchen and simplify things
Okay, it’s a busy space, but before you know it the kitchen can become a very untidy place and something of a dumping ground. The worse it gets, the more daunting and unappealing a task decluttering becomes – but it is definitely worth the effort.
The first bit of key advice is not to attempt to do too much too quickly. If you want to do a thorough, proper and comprehensive job, it is probably best tackled over the course of a few days. Short bursts of intense activity are the best way to go. This way you keep your energy levels up and keep the momentum going.
Preparation is important too. Having some boxes poised and ready: to recycle, to donate, to relocate, etcetera, will make things a lot easier as you get going.
Focus on a section at a time
The main reason decluttering attempts are sometimes doomed to failure is because they are too random. While it’s easy to start opening the first cabinet you see and moving stuff about, before you know it you will have only defeated your own object. You will have just created a whole lot more chaos and clutter!
As the saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail. This is very true when it comes to decluttering the kitchen. Okay, so you don’t need to hold planning meetings with all the family or come up with a military-style strategy here. But you do need some sort of strategy.
Even if the strategy is simply to attack one drawer and cabinet at a time, it gives you more chance of completing a thorough job. The old adage that you often need to make more of a mess to properly tidy and sort somewhere out is true – but you do need to keep things manageable!
You need focus: one area, even one item, at a time.
Questions to ask yourself
You need to be methodical and meticulous about any decluttering operation. For each item you come across, ask yourself the questions: Do I use this? Do I actually use it now? Will I use it in the future? Over time most households accumulate a hell of a lot of stuff. Tools, appliances and various items that we ‘hold on to’ – often, if we’re honest, in the knowledge and likelihood that we probably won’t ever use them much, if at all.
There comes a point where you just need to let go! There’s little point hanging on to stuff that will just add to the clutter and take up space in drawers and cabinets.
It’s also worth asking: How many of these do I have? How many do I really need? Again, we often accumulate new items, without getting rid of the old. There has to be a limit to how many plastic food containers or mugs any one household needs!
Some things will have sentimental value and you might also be reluctant to dispose with certain items that were quite pricey when you purchased them. But the bottom line is – when it comes to the decluttering the kitchen you need to be ruthless.
Reorganise and put things where they belong
In many kitchens in most homes, there are plenty of things that probably shouldn’t really be in the kitchen at all. Magazines, mail, and all sorts end up being brought into the kitchen and simply left there. Now is the time to repatriate such items to their rightful home.
The crucial point is that clutter tends to attract even more clutter. Certain areas become dumping grounds for the entire family. Now is the time to fight back and restore order!
While you’re at it, reorganise the kitchen space so that items that should be in the kitchen are moved to the most appropriate spot within the kitchen.
Use systems for success
One of the most frustrating things about clutter is that it seems to come back, seemingly just as soon as you’ve cleared it away. The thing is no matter how streamlined and simplified you’ve made the kitchen after a major decluttering mission – and no matter how sparkling clean it might be – there is only thing that you can absolutely guarantee will happen…
The clutter will come back!
This is why you need put systems in place to keep on top of things. Day-to-day, or weekly (at the very least) maintenance is really needed if you want to prevent the build-up of clutter once again.
Think about having a dedicated space for particular tasks or activities.
Top tips from keeping clutter at bay in the kitchen
Here are some simple ways of simplifying things in the kitchen. These steps will help you to keep clutter at bay. When you declutter you should give yourself more room in your kitchen cabinets. It’s a good idea to take any items from the countertops, if they are not things you use regularly. These items can be given a new home inside cabinets. Another tip is to streamline the number of cleaning products that you have. Most people have way more than they need, or actually use.
Now you have gone to all the trouble of decluttering the kitchen, it makes sense to look at other ways to keep things neat and tidy in the future in the kitchen. Hanging utensils on walls, or even the inside of units, is a great way of freeing up even more space. Hanging up the kids’ schoolbags on the back of the kitchen door keeps them off the floor but means they are still accessible.
Of course, at Kitchen Warehouse we have a wide range of units and kitchen accessories to choose from. If a kitchen re-design or refresh is on the agenda, we can help you create a dynamic and efficient kitchen space that will give you more chance of keeping it clutter-free in the future. We can help you to create a kitchen design that both looks good and completely suits your lifestyle needs. Deciding on where you want things around the kitchen and how best to utilise the space will help you to create a space that it will be easier for you to keep organised and tidy. Get in touch with the team to get some friendly advice.