The Easiest Way to Declutter the Kitchen (with Free Printable Decluttering Calendar!)
Declutter the kitchen with my free printable decluttering calendar, and have a perfectly clean and organized kitchen by the end of the month!
It’s time for another monthly decluttering challenge! Last month we focused on a small-but-mighty space– the pantry (which you can find here). So I thought this would be a great month to tackle the rest of the kitchen!
The goal of these monthly challenges is to take one area of the house and break it down into little decluttering baby steps so that it is easy to manage and stick to but still gets you great results!
The Easiest Way to Declutter the Kitchen
Of all of the rooms in the house, decluttering the kitchen can feel the most daunting because there are so many things to store! By breaking down the process into smaller, more manageable chunks, the intimidation goes away, and you will have the decluttered kitchen you’ve been dreaming of in no time!
I keep all of our decluttering calendars neatly organized in a “decluttering vault,” and you can gain access to them by clicking the button below.
[If you’re looking for even more printables to help you get organized, head to our full library of 65+ free printables!]
How to Use the Kitchen Decluttering Calendar
You’ll notice a few things when you download your kitchen decluttering calendar:
There is a simple task to complete every other day.
I know life can get crazy and schedules fill up, so by assigning a task only every other day, you essentially have two days to complete each one. If you get busy and miss a day or you have a lot of a particular item and it ends up taking a little longer than you expected, you have a built in day to catch up and won’t fall behind.
The calendar is undated for a reason.
I intentionally didn’t put specific days of the week on the calendar. The August calendar runs from day 1-31. But I didn’t include a line that says “Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc.” on purpose so that the calendar could be used for any year (or any month, for that matter)!
Feel free to just use this calendar as a guide.
If you find yourself with extra time one day and know you’ll be busy in future days, you can definitely do 2 or more of the tasks on one day. Then check them off and then pick up again after your busy days have passed.
The calendar is meant to get you started down the right path and give reminders of what to do next. It doesn’t have to be a hard and fast rule.
Declutter the Kitchen: Quick Tips
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.
I thought I would lay out the process I like to use when decluttering the kitchen. You can feel free to follow it exactly, tweak it to fit your liking, or completely disregard it and use your own strategy!
1. Take all of the items from the day’s category out of the cabinets.
I have found that the decluttering process is a lot easier if I can see everything I have all in one place. Once I can see everything we own that category, I can determine how many of the item we actually need to keep around and what can go.
So for example, if I was decluttering our cups, glasses, and mugs, I would take everything that we drink out of and put it on the island. Then I would be able to see which drinking vessels we were still using and which ones I didn’t even remember we had. 😉 This would then allow me to…
2. Declutter the kitchen like crazy!
I try to get rid of anything and everything that we don’t truly love and/or use often. As I go through each category, I try to be as ruthless as possible because I know the less stuff I’m trying to store in my kitchen, the more likely it is to stay organized in the long run!
Anything that is broken or unusable can be thrown in the trash or recycled, and items that are still in great shape but just aren’t used by our family anymore can be donated or sold.
(I like to keep running “donate” and “sell” boxes throughout the month and then make one big donate trip and/or list everything on Facebook or Craigslist all at one time at the end of the month. But if it’s easier for you to do it as you go, that definitely works too!)
3. Put items back in an organized way.
This decluttering challenge is a great excuse to rethink how your kitchen is arranged. If everything is working well for you in the place you currently keep it, great! You can simply put items back where they go, perhaps corralling smaller items in a bin or organizer.
Lids for our food storage containers are stored in a small bin, as are the kids’ dishes!
Try to pay attention though, and look for systems that may be able to be improved. For example, when I first set up our kitchen, I put our coffee machine right by our fridge. But after a few months of living with it this way, I realized that Donnie was walking all the way across the kitchen to get water for his coffee at the sink and then all the way back over to the machine to make his drink.
I switched some things around and put the coffee machine and supplies right by the sink, saving him a few steps and streamlining his morning routine a little bit.
As I go through the decluttering process and put items away, I now try to ask myself, “Are these items stored near where we use them in the kitchen on a day-to-day basis?” If the answer is yes, great! They stay where they are. If the answer is no, I try to shuffle some things around and find a more convenient spot for them.
How do I organize a small kitchen?
Small kitchens can be a challenge, but they also have forced me to get creative and think outside the box a bit to come up with solutions that allowed us to stay organized in a not-so-huge space.
Here are a few things that worked for me to organize our small kitchen:
Keep fewer gadgets.
I went through and got rid of any tool or appliance where I could use something else to accomplish the same purpose.
I got rid of our blender because I had a Magic Bullet. Similarly, I got rid of our George Foreman grill because I could accomplish the same thing on our stovetop, in the oven, or on our actual grill. I also got rid of a lot of little gadgets that could be replaced by a simple knife or spoon.
Because I had less, it was easier to use the items I kept and keep them organized.
Use a “backup tub”.
Kitchens seem to have a lot of items that you only use once or twice a year but still need/want to keep around. I put items like these (I’m looking at you, cookie cutters and fondue pot!) in a tub in our garage that was easily accessible and clearly labeled.
That way I could still keep the items, but they were out of the way and not taking up precious space in my kitchen.
Rework the pantry situation if possible.
In the townhouse, we turned our entry coat closet (which was right by the kitchen) into our pantry to have more room, not only for pantry items, but for some of our small appliances as well.
Our coats were then split between a mini mudroom we created in our former miniature pantry and a nook in the basement, right where we exited our house to the garage.
You might not have the layout to do this exact swap, but you could still get creative by bringing in a rolling cart, utilizing a piece of furniture in a neighboring room like a dining room sideboard, or creating a narrow rolling unit that slides between the refrigerator and the wall.
Think about the space differently.
In a small kitchen, there is sometimes only one spot where larger items like pots and pans can actually fit or one drawer that is convenient to hold silverware. I started with those items that had to be placed in a certain spot and moved on from there. You can read more about my strategy for organizing a small kitchen in this post.
Give yourself a reward!
I know I can become a little more motivated if I promise myself a reward when I’ve finished all of my decluttering tasks! You can use the “Notes” section of the decluttering calendar to decide what your reward will be.
- A special date night with your significant other (especially if they’ve helped with the decluttering process!)
- Or if the whole family has pitched in, a special family trip to the zoo, museum, trampoline park, movies, etc.
- A manicure/pedicure
- A girls’ night out
- A day off to spend however you’d like
The possibilities are endless! Choose something that motivates you to keep going throughout the month!
5 Ways to Maintain Your Beautifully Decluttered Kitchen.
Now that we’ve worked hard to declutter our entire kitchen, the last thing we want to do is fill it right back up with more clutter! I know this can be hard, especially if you have kiddos (and/or a significant other!) that has trouble putting things back where they go. It can definitely be a battle in our house!
Some ideas you could try to help everyone in the family to put items back:
- Involve them in the organizing process and let them weigh in on where things should go. This lets them have some ownership over the space and makes them more likely to put things back.
- Use labels. I like label maker labels in the kitchen because they are small and discreet. Picture labels can work well for kids who are too young to read, even if it’s only for their own items.
- Once you’ve gotten everything where you want it, do a family kitchen “tour”, showing everyone where everything goes. You could even make it a game and have a “quiz” or play “memory” with kids to see if they can remember where items go.
- Unload the dishwasher/put away the dishes together as a family the first few times so everyone gets used to putting things back in their spots.
- Have the kids take turns checking that everything is in its spot once or twice per week. This reinforces their knowledge of where everything goes, gets everything back in its place at least weekly, and, again, gives them ownership in the process.
That’s it! It’s a simple process, but I’ve found that having a guide– like a decluttering calendar– to walk me through it makes me more likely to follow through and stick to the plan.
Again, you can request your decluttering calendar and gain access to the “decluttering vault,” which will contain every new calendar when they come out each month, by clicking the button below.
Kitchen Decluttering: Frequently Asked Questions
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More Kitchen Organization & Inspiration
Which decluttering themes would be most helpful for future monthly challenges? Let me know in the comments!
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.
As much as I try to get rid of stuff a good purge once a year in the kitchen ALWAYS helps!
Yes! An absolute must for sure! Hope you’re having a great weekend, Ellen! <3
Great one. To me, an organized kitchen makes the way of working in the kitchen nice than usual. That ultimately results in taste. 😉
Thanks for sharing.
So true! 🙂 Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!
Decluttering and purging our ‘extra’ kitchen stuff so that we could downsize from a large house to an RV was a bit of a challenge for our family last year. I wish I came across these tips sooner! Yet, I do have to say that once it was done I felt SO much better!
Getting rid of clutter helped our family have more time and energy to devote to travel and making memories together as we explore the USA full time in our RV.
An RV kitchen fits under your ‘small kitchen’ category and we make it work great now that we have less ‘stuff’. I’ve found that the best way to stay clutter-free in the kitchen is to ONLY keep things that are essential and often multi-functional. For example, we just bought our children bright colored sporks (spoon-fork combos) that are each a different color. We now can get rid of all the extra unnecessary silverware!
Oh, wow! An RV kitchen is on a whole other level I’m sure! I think you should probably be the one giving tips! 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by, Jill! Hope you’re having a wonderful week! <3
Would you be able to take a close up picture of the wreath on the kitchen cabinet? It looks beautiful! Where did you purchase it?
Thank you so much, Karen! It is this wreath from Pier 1: https://www.pier1.com/preserved-pink-flowers-22%22-wreath/3264034.html?cgid=wreaths-garlands#nav=top&prefn1=curatedColor&prefv1=Pink&origin=gridswatch . I hope this helps! Have a great day!
These are some really great tips Abby! I’m waiting on my “dream kitchen” to be completed, and then I will DEFINITELY be implementing this. I could start with the kitchen I have now but…I’m not done pouting about the fact that our addition is not complete yet LOL. Great printable and post!! Happy Friday
Totally understand, Kelly! That process can be frustrating but it will be SO worth it in the end! 🙂
The backup tub!!!!!!! This is genius! I am starting mine right away, goodbye turkey roasting pan. I no longer have to look at you on top of my cabinets.
I really need this calendar. I’m pretty sure that I have reorganized my kitchen a dozen times since we moved in last year. A calendar to go over each thing and get it all done in a short period of time might finally help me get organized and STAY organized. I love taking everything out of cupboards because I feel like it is so much easier to decide what should be put back in the cupboard rather than what I should take out and get rid of. Thanks for this!
Yay! So glad it will be helpful for you, Ali! Love to hear that. Happy organizing! <3
I love your tips for organizing a small kitchen! I feel like we did a great job of keeping our kitchen clutter under control until our son came along! So many baby bowls, bottles, and random pieces that don’t really fit anywhere. I think I have some new inspiration for making our kitchen feel cohesive again! Thanks!
Yay! So glad it was helpful for you, Brittany! Happy organizing! 🙂
I love this. We live in a small townhouse in Scandinavia, and pantries are unfortunately not a European thing… 🙁 So keeping everything organized is my only hope… haha.
We do pretty much what you outlined here whenever it is needed and it works. The biggest thing for me is probably asking myself if this item is where it makes the most sense when putting it away. And if it isn’t then I put it in a pile and find another place for it or get rid of it.
I organized my mom’s kitchen a month or so ago and she is the kind of person who has 5 of EVERYTHING and a big kitchen to match. but it was really hard for her to go down to even just 3 of everything, so the compromise was to take all the stuff she didn’t need and put it in a box in the laundry room and if she hadn’t missed it in a month then we could get rid of it. That seemed to calm her nerves and mine. haha.
Thanks for always great posts.
Kristine the Dane
It sounds like you are on the ball! It is so true– every home and every person can be so different, and you just have to find what works best for you and your family! Hope you’re having a great day, Kristine!
Oh, if only kitchen counters could look this uncluttered and organized. I have hubby and then a grown son still at home – makes organizing a little more challenging as they don’t really see the need for that. Haha. I would love to find a solution for my steak knife “thing” that sets on the counter. And I use my Kitchen Aid mixer too much to store it and I use my tea maker a couple times a week or more. I am constantly looking for solutions.
It can be so tricky! My husband just decided that he needed a different type of coffee machine, so now I’m trying to figure out the best new layout for our counters too! 🙂 I moved our steak knives to a drawer organizer a few years ago and that helped, so if you can make a little bit of drawer space, that may be an option? It’s always a work in progress here for sure! Have a great day, Karen!