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Clear Your Kitchen Clutter (for better health + happiness)

Week two of the CYL Small Projects Series and it’s time to clear your kitchen clutter!

Small projects allow you to see quick results in an hour or less. If time is an excuse for putting off your clearing efforts, this method is just what you need.

Instead of treating your clutter as a complete overhaul that you’ll get to “someday” (aka never) you can take baby steps today. You’ll build confidence, enjoy your space more, and be open to the positive energetic possibilities that result when you clear your life.

Today our focus is on kitchen clutter.

Cooking, eating and gathering in a home’s kitchen is a tradition held dearly to our hearts. An unorganized and stressful kitchen creates non-stop stress.

Friends and family dropping by unannounced? Sadly, instead of enjoying your time over a pot of tea and morning glory muffins, you’re embarrassed about the pile of unwashed dishes and paperwork covering half your counters.

Feeling creative and want to try a new recipe? Good luck finding the right ingredients when you need them. 

Plus, there’s the downside of expired food waste hidden away in a corner cupboard.  Expired food is bad for your wallet and the earth, ugh.

A clear and organized kitchen is good for your health, cooking and the environment. What great reasons to take action and make this happen!


Take a moment to visualize life in your cleared kitchen:

You walk in and see a clutter-free space. The counter tops are spotless and your workspace is ready for you.

Reach into any cupboard and know what utensil, appliance or ingredient is waiting for you. The energy of your kitchen is calming and uplifting. It’s exactly what you’ve always wanted.

Grocery shopping is simpler and straightforward because you know what stock you have at home.

You CAN have this kitchen.  

For some, hiring a professional organizer to overhaul their kitchen is a worthy investment.  But anyone can begin clearing today with small, simple clearing actions.

How to Take the Overwhelm Out of Clearing Kitchen Clutter

Divide your kitchen mentally into these zones: food storage, food prep, serving wares & cooking appliances.

The best kitchens have an energetic flow between these areas. You should be able to cook & clean without bouncing around to find what you need.

But before you go rearranging all of your storage areas – you have to CLEAR away the excess first. This will always make organizing easier. Seriously, always.

Here are examples of small clearing projects you can use the Clear Your Life Method on:

• Pantry
• Counters
• Spice rack
• Coffee mug cupboard
• Fridge
• Freezer
• Small appliances
• Under kitchen sink
Junk drawer
• Utensil caddy 
• Silverware drawer
• Reusable container (Tupperware etc.) storage

Choose a project you can complete in an hour or less.

Then, once you finish you can decide if you have the energy to try another small projects to get more done.

The key is to not pull your whole kitchen apart and run out of time! The benefit of clearing in small areas is that you won’t be stuck with a bigger mess than when you started.

Because living around that extra mess you created is sure to frustrate you and prolong your efforts even more.

Commit to small. Finish your project. Consistency is key!

Related:  Clear Your Bathroom Using Small Projects

While removing the excess is a non-negotiable to clearing your life, it’s not the only step. It’s time to understand how your kitchen became cluttered and what changes to commit to moving forward.

Keep reading for key insights into how to keep your kitchen clutter-free.

5 Sneaky Reasons You Have Kitchen Clutter

1. Holding onto kitchen wares that you don’t need or use

Kitchen supplies are a common gift traded between friends and family. If you don’t keep your cupboards and drawers in check, it’s easy to collect multiples or unitaskers that barely see the light of day.

To keep your space clear and efficient, be critical of what you keep on hand when it comes to appliances, utensils and other kitchen knick-knacks.

I’ve seen homes with three identical glass measuring cups in the cupboard. The family only needed one, but they had accumulated over time.  Removing what you don’t need or use easily creates extra space in your kitchen.

2. Thinking you just need more shelving, instead of less stuff

It’s easy to blame your clutter on inadequate storage solutions. You think that adding more shelves and pretty bins from The Container Store will solve your kitchen clutter problems.

As Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist says: organized clutter is still clutter.

You must clear first.

This is the process I take my 1:1 clients through, and my highest recommendation if you’re clearing without a pro at home with you. Clear first, organize second.

3. Not following FIFO

At every café and restaurant I’ve managed, there is one common kitchen rule – First In, First Out

Finish one jar or package of product before opening another.  It’s simple, and will transform your kitchen storage spaces. This is a straightforward rule that ensures you don’t hold onto to doubles or triples of the same food or condiment.

You’ll waste less expired food and create space in your fridge and cupboards. It’s a win- win.

4. Your items don’t have a home

“A place for everything, everything in its place.“

The key to a tidy and functional kitchen is assigning every item a home. From your salt and pepper shakers to your blender and mixing bowls; no item should shuffle around aimlessly.

Here’s how this point relates back to my simple 4-step clearing process.

The fourth step of my Clear Your Life Method is Complete. This is when you’ll return the items you’re keeping and assign them a home in their newly cleared space.

If this is a new concept to you, consider labeling the areas with masking tape or a label maker while you adjust to items having a forever home.

CYL Small Projects Kitchen Pinterest

5. Saying you’ll clean up “later”

Upkeep of your cleared space means putting items away right away and not letting chores pile up.

Remember, like Peter Walsh says:  “later is the best friend of clutter.”

If you can complete a small task in 30 to 60 seconds, always do it right away. 

These tiny actions and habits build on each other so your freshly cleared spaces can stay that way.

Small actions WILL create the kitchen of your dreams

You don’t need the perfect circumstance to clear your kitchen clutter.  

Finish reading this post, get up and create change in your kitchen and complete one of these small projects.

There’s an unmistakable energy that surrounds taking action. You’ll move past fear and procrastination and create new exciting opportunities.

Choose one of these small projects and follow the CYL Method. Then step back and feel the rush of pride of completing what you set out to do.

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Clear Clutter in an hour or less!
This guide shows you the exact 4-step process I use with my organizing clients. If you try to clear clutter but end up working in circles and feeling frustrated, try The Clear Your Life Method instead.
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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Becki Goddard Nagel

    Great post Jen. This method truly does work and is vey similar to the way I keep my home clear of clutter.

    1. Jen

      Thank you Becki, I’m so glad you liked it. You are a shining example of how beautiful your home and life can be if you clear with consistent actions. xo

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