Declutter Kitchen: 33 Steps to Get Started

pretty minimal kitchen

People are drowning in clutter and don’t know where to begin the decluttering process. You are not alone if you are frustrated about having too much stuff in your space, short on time and don’t know where to start. A decluttered kitchen will make your kitchen organization so much easier!

The kitchen is a great place to start. Why? The kitchen is the heart of the home. There is so much opportunity of stuff to discard kitchen clutter. Just the junk drawer alone is loaded with stuff crying ‘get rid of me!’

From mismatched plastic food storage containers to cooking utensils the kitchen drawers are a great way to start freeing valuable space. Don’t all cooks love as much clean counter space as possible?

Many people really want a clutter-free home and struggle to find the motivation and time to declutter and organize their living space.  

With this list of 33 smaller items to tackle first there is a good chance you will feel motivated to continue on.

The importance of decluttering and the benefits

Decluttering your home can be a scary thought, but it is an essential step towards leading a more comfortable and organized lifestyle. A cluttered home can drain your energy and affect your overall quality of life. By decluttering your living spaces, you can create a more comfortable and peaceful environment that promotes relaxation and productivity.

Reduce stress

Decluttering your home has numerous benefits, including reducing stress and anxiety, increasing productivity, and improving your overall well-being. A cluttered home can cause stress and anxiety, leading to feelings of overwhelm and frustration.

By decluttering your home, you can create a sense of calm and simplicity that can help you feel more relaxed and at ease.

Increase productivity

In addition to reducing stress, decluttering can also increase your productivity. A cluttered home can make it difficult to focus and can lead to procrastination. By decluttering your living spaces, you can create an organized environment that promotes productivity and encourages you to get things done.

Mental and physical well being enhanced

Decluttering your home can also improve your overall well-being. A cluttered home can make it difficult to find things, leading to frustration and wasted time. By decluttering your living spaces, you can create a more organized and efficient environment that saves you time and energy.

I cannot think, let alone work or relax, amidst clutter. Clutter to me is like really loud music tuned to a genre of music I dislike. The visual overload gives me the oogies!

From the pantry.

Food items with expired expiration dates 

By the way the local food pantry will love your donations of the fresh, not expired, goods you thought your family would love and didn’t.

Outdated and unused spices and seasonings in your spice drawer.

Empty or nearly empty condiment bottles.

Less than stellar condition

Why do we keep broken mugs? For one thing the jagged chipped porcelain is a safety hazard. I realize this piece had meaning to you 150 years ago. Does it really still serve you well? I’d say no if there is a possibility the mug could cut you or an unsuspecting loved one.

Chipped or mismatched dishes and glasses.

Unused or duplicate kitchen gadgets.

Old and worn-out dish towels and potholders.

Oh what a mess!

Come on! How many leftovers can one possibly have at any given time! Get rid of the containers that have no lids and the lids that have no containers. You deserve better than this!

Excess plastic storage containers without lids.

Cookbooks you no longer use or need.

In the old days cook books served a purpose and filled a need. Today with the click of a few key strokes we can find a recipe for anything on line! I took this as a great excuse to get rid of all those old flimsy paper cook books that used to come free with small kitchen appliances.

If my mom had been a great chef and had tons of cookbooks with handwritten notes on the margins I would have thought twice about getting rid of all the cookbooks.

This was not the case though for me. This seems like a good time to mention again that clutter is only clutter when you assign stuff with the title of clutter. In other words if you love something keep it!

How often do you use a pasta maker?

Single-use or novelty kitchen tools.

Takeout menus and outdated restaurant flyers.

Old receipts and shopping lists on the fridge.

Do you still use your rusty ice cream maker?

I have an old Universal meat grinder that we used when I was a kid. A couple times a year we would all take turns turning the big handle. I kept this. The popcorn maker I haven’t used since the nineties, I tossed.

Next to the air popper was a set of fondue forks. I tossed those as well. Do people still make fondue?

Broken or unused small appliances.

Unused or duplicate coffee mugs.

If you want your kitchen drawers to close easier

Seriously, how many wooden spoons and pot holders do you need? Duplicate items are a big source of your over flowing kitchen cabinets.

Then there are the gadgets we just don’t use. I no longer find it necessary to house a potato masher and a whisk in my kitchen drawer. Honestly I think in my whole life I have never whisked anything.

Unmatched or worn-out silverware.

Excess plastic utensils from takeout orders.

Scratched or worn cutting boards.

Refrigerator magnets are a good example of clutter blindness

Clutter blindness is when stuff has surrounded you for so long you no longer even see your once regarded treasures. Does everything you have displayed still warm your heart? You may want to rethink the picture on the fridge with your ex cut out? Maybe not.

Stained and damaged oven mitts.

Unused or broken magnets on the fridge.

Empty or near-empty wine or beverage bottles.

It is time to discard some things. It just is.

Expired medications or supplements stored in the kitchen.

Excess reusable shopping bags.

Unused and outdated cookware.

Some ‘I’ll use again items’ are magnets for creepy crawlers

Empty or expired tea and coffee packets.

Duplicate or broken wine openers and corkscrews.

Worn-out or dull knives that can’t be sharpened.

Who doesn’t love a good bottle of wine?

You probably don’t need 127 cork screws though, especially the broken ones.

Unnecessary plastic straws and utensils.

Unused specialty appliances (e.g., sandwich makers, popcorn machines).

Excess or outdated decorative items on countertops.

How many wooden spatulas does a cook need?

Extra and unused water bottles or travel mugs.

Empty or expired vitamins and supplements.

Practical tips for decluttering

Decluttering your home can be a huge task in your mind, but with a few practical tips, you can make the process easier and more enjoyable. Well, enjoyable may be a stretch. Although I do love throwing stuff out and organizing!


Mindset shift

Make up your mind once and for all you are going to do a great decluttering job, live a simpler life, and not live in a cluttered messy home.

Start small

Begin by decluttering one area, room or object at a time. This will help you avoid feeling overwhelmed and make it easier to see progress. You do not have declutter an entire house of stuff on a Saturday morning!

Get rid of stuff

Be ruthless when it comes to getting rid of things you no longer need or use. If you haven’t used something in the past year, it’s probably time to let it go.

3 labeled trash bags-sell, trash, donate

Sorting objects makes decluttering easier

As you declutter, sort your items into categories such as trash, donate and sell. By using 3 heavy duty trash bags your give aways will be ready to take to your local donation center. Consider selling the things that are too good to discard and still have lots of life left in the,

Tips and tricks

Tips and tricks that are tried and true will help you reduce the number of kitchen items you need and can make decluttering easier. For example make a sorting plan to keep items organized, or use a timer to help you stay focused and motivated. Add your decluttering time to your calendar and set an alert to sound.

Use the 33 items list to get you started

This will help you stay on track and motivated. You can free up kitchen countertops one day and go through your collections of plastic containers another day. By continuing this process on a regular basis your entire kitchen will soon be your new clutter-free kitchen!

Take small steps

A lot of time people consider decluttering to be an all-or-nothing process. Nonsense! Take small steps each day, such as decluttering one drawer or shelf and you see progress over time. You can free u

Create a decluttering schedule

Set aside specific times each day, week or month to focus on decluttering. This will help you stay consistent and make steady progress.

By following these practical tips, you can make decluttering your home a more manageable and rewarding process.

Decluttering doesn’t necessarily mean throwing everything away. Items that are still in good condition but no longer serve you can be donated, gifted, or recycled appropriately. The goal is to create a more functional and organized kitchen space.

Good luck!

pic of author

Marj Bates is a life long ridiculously organized declutter-er and artist. Less is more are words Marj lives by in everything she does except collecting dogs. “Dogs are like potato chips! Can’t have just one.” says Marj. Marj wonders if growing up with a fanatically clean Jewish mom means her decluttering and organizational skills are in her blood.

For more Declutter Buzz & Freebies check out our safe and private Decluttering community on our Facebook page. We are a safe and private space of like minded folks tackling this all encompassing clutter thing once and for all. No shame allowed! We will have a few laughs too!

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