Happy Monday, y’all! I’m so excited to share how I tackled the first week of the Clear the Clutter Challenge and give you some practical tips for decluttering your kitchen and pantry (and dining room, too)! For the next five weeks, I’ll be joining my co-hosts Brittany, Jaclyn and Keri to share our organized spaces and best tips for kicking the clutter to the curb in the new year.
Be sure to join our Facebook group here for even more organizing tips, behind the scenes details and a place to engage with our community and ask questions. Also, sign up here for challenge updates and you’ll also get a FREE printable calendar with decluttering tips for each day!
Six Tips for Decluttering Your Kitchen and Pantry
I’ll be honest, I feel so far behind already this new year because we had a late Christmas celebration, took down most of our decor and then hopped on a plane to explore Dallas, TX for several days! I was able to squeeze in a few hours here and there last week organizing our kitchen, pantry and dining room – and trust me, they definitely needed it after a busy holiday season with lots of cooking and baking. Here are the guidelines I used for decluttering these spaces in my home!
1. Go Through Every Cabinet and Drawer
I like to keep my house clean and organized, but even I have to admit that sometimes shoving things in a cabinet or drawer puts it out of sight and out of mind easily – and months later, I get overwhelmed with the mess I’ve created! I went through all of the cabinets and took inventory of what we had, what we use (or never use) and what things have seen better days. We honestly have some kitchen gadgets and dishes that we got as wedding gifts that we rarely or never use, so I’ve sold or donated several things over the past few years. My girls have a collection of sippy cups and there were some that were so worn out or ones that weren’t leakproof to begin with, so I quickly threw those away while they weren’t watching!
2. Put Things Back Where They Make Sense
In most cases, I took everything out of the cabinet or drawer, went through it and then put everything back in a more orderly and strategic manner. In other areas, I considered what tools we use certain things for and where they should be stored and shifted items around. We have a tiny drawer directly next to the stove and I moved our spatulas and wooden spoons there for easy access when cooking. They used to be a larger drawer with other kitchen utensils and tools and you had to rummage around for one when you needed it – so having them in one organized place makes things easier!
3. Check the Dates on All Food
You’d be surprised at how many expired items are lurking in your fridge or pantry – and sometimes, you find things you didn’t even realize you had. I’m embarrassed to admit, but there was a bag of steel cut oats in my pantry that expired in 2016. Yikes. Don’t forget to check your spices, too! I ended up taking everything off the shelves and out of the fridge, checking the dates, throwing some things away and then wiping down the shelves and the fridge with warm, soapy water. Then, I tried to put things back in an organized fashion, for example, by putting baking ingredients together, breakfast items together, canned goods together, and so forth.
4. Invest In Inexpensive Storage Bins
We revamped our pantry last year by removing the white wire shelving and building wooden shelves that we cut and stained to fit the space. Once we had the shelving complete, I decided I really wanted to put storage baskets on the shelves to better organize the food in the pantry. After browsing different stores, I decided I really didn’t want to spend almost $100 on baskets and went to the dollar store and grabbed some for $1 apiece instead. Unfortunately, I had trouble finding white ones in the sizes I needed, but really, the colored ones get the job done in the same way so it’s no big deal! I also grabbed a few small storage bins for our spice jars, too, which I placed in the upper cabinet beside the stove for easy access while cooking.
5. Go Through Paperwork, Mail and Receipts
One of the fastest ways for our counters to get cluttered is by dropping mail, receipts and other papers down and not putting them in a designated spot (or in the trash!). I helped to minimize this by purchasing a hanging mail organizer for a wall in our kitchen, but after a while, inevitably things make their way into the organizer that should actually be thrown away. I went through it all, separating things into several piles: a trash pile, a to-do pile and a pile of things that can be filed away. The only things that stay in the mail organizer are the items that need action taken – and I jot down reminders in my planner to stay on track.
6. Don’t Neglect the Dining Room
You didn’t think I’d forget to discuss dining room decluttering, now did you?! To be honest, our dining room doesn’t have much storage space (since I don’t have a china cabinet or buffet in there), but I do have table linens and centerpieces that I need to keep track of. I found a set of placemats that I rarely, if ever, use and they don’t really match our current decor so I plan to either sell or donate those. If you have china, serving dishes, linens, etc. stored in your dining room, now is the time to go through it all and part ways with the things you never use or things that don’t have sentimental value.
Make sure to check out my co-hosts tips as well!
Join Us for the Clear the Clutter Challenge! Here’s How:
Join My Email List – This will ensure you receive all of the latest info on the home organization challenge. You can sign up here.
Invite a Friend – Invite a friend or two to join you to help stay on track!
Join the Facebook Community – We have a wonderful community that is ready to support you! Join here.
Print the 2019 Printable Calendar – You’ll get this when you sign up here.
Follow along on Social Media – Instagram
Meet the Hosts of the Clear the Clutter Challenge
Jaclyn of Coffee, Pancakes, & Dreams
Jaclyn lives just outside of Cleveland, Ohio. She is a mom of three + married to her college sweetheart. She blogs about family activities and traditions, home decor, and favorite finds at Coffee, Pancakes, and Dreams.
Brittany of Dreams + Coffee
Brittany is the face of Dreams + Coffee, a lifestyle blog focused on family, fitness, healthy living and style. She has a passion for staying fit, eating healthy, pretending to know a thing or two about fashion, and most importantly, spending quality time with her husband and daughters. She is thrilled to be living out her passion for writing and editing through the blog as well as through her freelance writing career.
Brittany of Our Home Made Easy
Brittany is passionate about helping everyday women create extraordinary homes the easy way! As a busy working mom, she understands that when possible, getting something done is better than making it perfect. She & her family live in Ann Arbor, Michigan in a home they built 5 years ago. Brittany writes at Our Home Made Easy where you’ll find quick dinner recipes, easy DIY projects, and home decor inspiration that anyone can create!
Keri of Keri Lynn Snyder
Keri lives outside of Charleston, South Carolina with her husband and three kids. She is passionate about helping moms step out of survival mode and into a thriving life. She believes moms can thrive, even in the messy parts of motherhood. Keri shares helpful tips for your home life, family life, and personal life over at Keri Lynn Snyder.