Our third Spring Spruce Up post is all about decluttering the kitchen! Check out Cara’s tips on how to make your kitchen space more usable again.

Also, if need some more at-home projects to tackle during the quaratine, check out our last post here, about deep cleaning your dishwasher.

Before:

 

Our kitchen truly is the hub of our home. It’s where we gather as a family to cook and enjoy meals together and share stories from our day. But it’s more than that, too. It’s also where the kids do homework, and where we do our online shopping and pay our bills. Sometimes our kitchen doubles as a home office.

Mixer corner BEFORE

Because we spend so much time in the kitchen doing so many different activities, our countertops can quickly become cluttered with a little bit of everything – not just dishes and water bottles, but also papers, books and magazines, unopened mail, keys, and all sorts of miscellanea.

Dishwaser/Sink area BEFORE

Unfortunately, a cluttered kitchen is counter to our well-being. Studies have demonstrated that a messy living environment contributes to elevated cortisol levels, higher stress and a sense of loss of control. Conversely, a tidy space positively impacts our moods, our productivity and our motivation. One study even determined that we are more likely to overeat in a cluttered kitchen than in an orderly one!

 

After:

 

With the whole family home and sheltering in place for the near future, we spent time today decluttering and organizing the kitchen. It’s easy, and it’s such a day brightener!

Dishwasher/Sink counter AFTER

Here are a few simple tips that make a big difference
when decluttering the kitchen:

 

1. A Place for Everything and Everything in Its Place  Notice what items tend to end up on your kitchen countertops, and designate a place for each: A basket or hooks for keys, a drawer for notebooks and papers, a jar for coins. Practice putting things away now, rather than setting them down to deal with later.  File or recycle the mail, hang coats and bags in the closet rather than on the backs of chairs, put dishes in the dishwasher.   

2. Allow Yourself a Junk Drawer  It’s okay to designate one drawer or a decorative bowl for miscellaneous items – better there than out on the countertops! Just limit it to one small space, and get in the habit of sorting and emptying it regularly.

 3.Your Refrigerator Is Not an Art Gallery  A refrigerator full of papers, notes, photos, lists and magnets just looks messy.  Keep your fridge free from visual clutter and instead relocate these momentos to a designated magnet board elsewhere.

3. Prioritize Your Counter Space  Limit your countertops to only those items and appliances you use the most, and put everything else into your cabinets. If necessary, free up storage by getting rid of duplicates and placing rarely used items into long-term storage elsewhere. 

4. Organize Your Countertops  Corral and group items on your countertop strategically, using trays, turntables and baskets to give items a designated place and to cut down on visual clutter. This also safeguards against the accumulation of clutter – if it doesn’t fit on the tray, it must be put away!

 

I hope this post inspires you to tackle your kitchen clutter. I’d love to see your before/after photos in the comments!

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