There’s no better time than the start of a new year to streamline, simplify, and finally ditch the clutter that’s been dragging you down. So, start in the kitchen: the center of your home (and the room that likely needs it the most)! With these 3 simple tips you’ll be well on your way to clutter-free counters and cabinets stocked with only your true kitchen essentials:
De-cluttering Your Cabinets & Cookware
When streamlining your kitchen, it’s best to take things one section and a time and start from the messiest and most-hidden areas. So, dig deep into those cupboards and determine what you truly use in your kitchen. That stand mixer you got from your wedding registry and never tried? Craigslist. Fancy mandolin and miniature panini press? Sold. Go by this rule: if it hasn’t been used in the last six months, it’s gone. You’ll thank yourself when you’re not digging through endless piles of pans to get to the tried-and-true ones you use every week.
De-cluttering Your Pantry, Refrigerator & Freezer
Freezers tend to be a dumping ground for sad leftovers and make-ahead meals. So, start at the place where leftovers linger and de-clutter your freezer once and for all. Throw out anything covered in frost before moving on to the fridge. Here, start by removing everything (even last night’s leftovers) and wipe your shelves clean before starting from scratch. Put the items you reach for most (like bottled waters or sodas, fresh fruits and veggies) in the forefront, organize meats and cheeses by expiration date in your deli drawer, and ditch any expired condiments (or ones with crusted-over caps!).
Next, it’s time to pore over the pantry. Organize dry food items like pastas, cereals, and grains in well-sealed glass containers, stack your boxed foods with the soonest expiration date toward the front of the shelf, and try to keep your treats organized by type (i.e.: group baking goods like flour and sugar, canned vegetables and soups, and pastas and grains in sections).
De-cluttering Your Countertops
Last but not least, tackle your tops: the counters where clutter and chaos accumulate faster than you can clean. Start by storing small appliances you haven’t used in the last month or two and keep only the daily essentials displayed (think: coffee makers or free-standing microwaves). Once de-cluttered, give your surfaces a clean, sparkling shine and display any non-refrigerated produce you use daily (like apples or citrus fruits) in sleek, decorative bowls that coincide with your kitchen decor.