Cut the Kitchen Clutter

You might be getting ready to host a holiday party or maybe are just trying to spruce up your home. Whatever the reason for cleaning up, there is one room in your home that usually requires special attention: the kitchen. The kitchen tends to be the room where many frequently congregate regardless of the size of the house or the dimensions of the kitchen itself. Because of this, you will want to make sure your kitchen is in tip-top shape for company and that you have enough space to prepare those special edible treats for your family and guests.

Want to know a little secret? There is one way to instantly seem like you added multiple square feet to your counter space: declutter. Not only will it look cleaner and more inviting, but it will be easier to clean when there is less lying around collecting grease and dust. Let’s face it, many of us feel like we never have enough counter space as it is, so when trying to prepare a more elaborate meal with multiple pots, pans or bowls, the kitchen counter’s usable space tends to shrink pretty quickly. By simply removing large bulky items like small appliances that are rarely used or the hefty knife block and massive utensil holder from the counter, your kitchen prep area will seem much more substantial and clean.

Cabinet and storage space is usually at a premium in the kitchen, but if you can possibly find some space to store those infrequently-used small appliances like toasters, electric can openers, and especially those large stand mixers, blenders and pressure cookers, you will be much better off in the end. Take the time to look through your cabinets and pantry area. Maybe you can organize your pot lids more efficiently. Examine your random collection of mixing bowls, and seriously, how many colanders do you really need? Perhaps you use the same few pots and pans over and over again, in which case donate the others and simultaneously free up some storage space.

Clear out your utensil drawer. If wooden spoons and spatulas are taking over the drawer, do something about it. If you only keep the essentials you will have more room in the drawer to rid your counter space of the utensil holder and keep your utensils dust-free in a drawer, too. While you are at it, donate the jar that held the countertop utensils. Perhaps someone will use it as a vase for fresh flowers in their kitchen and it will put a smile on their face. The same rule goes for the knife block. Store the individual knives on a magnetic wall strip or place them in a drawer organizer with blade covers on them and ditch the giant wood block. Maybe you don’t even need all of the knives you have in the first place. In fact, you really only need 3 good quality knives for all of your cutting needs. You will need a chef’s knife for chopping and dicing, a paring knife for the smaller cutting tasks like peeling, seeding and trimming fat from meat, and lastly, a serrated knife for cleanly slicing foods such as bread and tomatoes. If you work on your knife skills, you will also be able to rid your kitchen of many space-eating gadgets like a separate chopper, shredder, garlic press, and herb scissors because your knives will chop, slice, mince, and cut with ease.

Are you guilty of displaying those monstrously oversize canisters on your kitchen counters? Sure, they might look nice and hold some frequently-used items, but are they really necessary? Can you possibly store those same items elsewhere and out of sight? Of course you can! Do not forget about the spaces that may not be fully utilized like on top of the refrigerator, above the over-the-range microwave, and wall or even ceiling spaces can all be used for hanging baskets for fruit and adding sturdy wall shelving for storing almost anything in high style.

Another helpful tip: use the same rule of thumb in the kitchen as you do with your clothes closet. Be honest and rid your kitchen of anything that you have not used in a full year. Chances are, it will not get used in the future either. Be merciless and rid your mind of the “what-ifs.” You won’t use it! You will be so happy you purged and reduced when you are in your newly spacious kitchen and have oodles of clean, workable counter space to show off your chef-inspired culinary skills or perhaps more room for your takeout banquet spread. No judging here.

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