Decluttering your kitchen is one of the most important spaces in your home to tackle. The kitchen is the heart of the home. It is where the family gathers, communicates, nourishes, celebrates, works, etc. Once your kitchen is decluttered, you will better be able to maintain an orderly pantry for a long period. This helps you see the food in your house, aids with grocery shopping, reduce food waste and over-purchasing, and also helps with any nutrition goals you may have.
No matter the size of your space, follow these 5 steps to keep the kitchen clutter-free:
1. Purge the Expired
The first step in the decluttering process is to discard items in your pantry and fridge. It is important to go through every item and check the expiry date. It is personal preference on how long you wish to keep food past the expiry date. Check for old produce hiding in the back of the fridge and every cupboard and shelf for dry goods. Once you have gotten rid of expired food, group the remaining foods by category; nuts and seeds, baking, teas and coffee, crackers and snacks, pasta and grains, produce, oils and sauces, etc.
2. Use a Storage System
Using a storage system is the most effective way to keep the kitchen clutter-free. This could include, containers, jars, bins, baskets, etc. Storing all of your pantry dry goods in clear airtight containers is a wonderful solution that allows you to; see what foods you have in your pantry, keeps food fresh, makes grocery shopping more efficient, eliminates over-purchasing, and aids in clarity of food choices. When your pantry is packed with an array of colored boxes and packages, over-snacking and confused food choices are heightened. Using clear containers also saves space in your pantry and is aesthetically pleasing – the overall look of your pantry will be consistent! Containers, glass jars, and clear bins can be used in the fridge too which helps with eliminating clutter and maintaining a cohesive aesthetic.
3. Learn to Love Labels
Labeling is a MUST, how do you know if you’re drinking regular or decaf? The style of your label is entirely up to you. White vinyl labels on a clear container are currently trending high as the overall look is bright, airy, simplistic, and beautiful. Consistency is key with labels, choose one style, size, and font for all storage. Who knew a container of cashews could be so stunning!? If you refer to the nutritional label on your boxed goods, simply cut it off the box and tape it to the back of the container. You can also jot down the expiry date on the back or bottom of the unit for your reference.
4. Find a Space for the ‘Extras’
This tip is critical, otherwise, your kitchen organization will be unsuccessful, really quickly! You need to find a space, whether it be a cupboard, drawer, shelf, or storage room to store the extra packages that are not yet emptied into your container storage system. What does this mean? Often your pretzel container will be filled to the brim, but there are still pretzels left in the bag. We can’t be throwing out perfectly good pretzels now! The package needs a separate home with the rest of the packages of food that are not yet empty. The place where you store your ‘extras’ CANNOT be the same space where you house your containers/food storage system. It will take up too much real estate in the pantry, it will look extremely messy, and truly defeats the purpose of using containers in the first place!
5. Go Through the Pantry and ‘Extras’ Every 4-6 Months
It is important to maintain your pantry organization, and therefore you should do a pantry/kitchen tidy-up every 4-6 months. This means, making sure no food is expired, going through your ‘extra’ packages, and ensuring you top up your containers. This will guarantee the consistency and freshness of your pantry and food items.
As a side note – this process can still work with using baskets or long bins for your food items, instead of containers. It is entirely personal preference for the fine details of the storage you use in the kitchen, the most important part of this is that there is a system in place and it is functional for you and your family.