How to Declutter Your Kitchen the Best Way

Is your kitchen feeling cluttered and disorganized? Do you find yourself struggling to find the things you need when you need them? If so, it may be time to declutter your kitchen.


A cluttered kitchen can not only be frustrating to navigate, but it can also make cooking and meal prep more difficult and time-consuming.

Decluttering your kitchen may seem like a daunting task, but with the right approach, it can be a manageable and even enjoyable process. 

By taking a systematic approach and breaking the tasks down into smaller steps, you can tackle your cluttered kitchen and create a more organized and functional space. 

You will leave with tips and strategies for decluttering your kitchen, from purging unused items to organizing your remaining belongings in a way that makes sense for you.

For other great resources to manage your home, be sure to check out my deep pantry organization tips, how to organize clothes, and how to manage open shelves in the kitchen.


Understanding the Need to Declutter

The kitchen is often considered the heart of the home, where meals are prepared, and families gather to eat and socialize. 

However, a cluttered kitchen can make it difficult to enjoy this important space. If you have a small kitchen, clutter can be even more of an issue.

Kitchen clutter can take many forms, from piles of dishes and utensils to overflowing cabinets and drawers. 

It can be challenging to keep everything organized and in its proper place, but taking the time to declutter in an organized way can make a big difference.

When you have too much stuff in your kitchen, it can make it difficult to find what you need when you need it. This can lead to frustration and wasted time. 

A cluttered kitchen can also be a safety hazard, with items falling or spilling out of cabinets and drawers.

Kitchen decluttering can help you make better use of the space you have available. It can also make it easier to clean and maintain your kitchen when each item has its designated place. 

By getting rid of items you no longer need or use, you can create a more functional and efficient space.

a pantry with pull out drawers full of food.

Starting the Decluttering Process

Decluttering your kitchen can be a daunting task, but with a little planning and organization, it can be done efficiently and effectively. 

Here are some steps to get you started:

Identifying the Problem Areas

Before you begin decluttering, take a step back and assess the situation.

Look around your kitchen and identify the areas that need the most attention. 

This could be your pantry, cabinets, countertops, or even your refrigerator.

Is there a spot that tends to be a dumping ground for things that don’t have a rightful place? 

Common areas that become cluttered are drawers full of kitchen gadgets, the spice cabinet, and deep pantries where expired food often gets lost.

Once you have identified the problem areas, create a list of the items that are causing the clutter. This will help you stay focused and ensure that you don’t overlook anything.

Set a Decluttering Schedule

Decluttering your kitchen can take time, so it’s important to set a schedule that works for you. 

Depending on the size of your kitchen and the amount of clutter, you may need to break the process down into smaller, more manageable tasks.

Consider setting aside a few hours each week to declutter a specific area of your kitchen. An easy way to do this is to designate a specific day of the week to tackle one of your target areas.

This will help you stay on track and avoid feeling overwhelmed.

On a regular basis, make it a habit to declutter your kitchen. This will help prevent clutter from accumulating and make the decluttering process easier in the future.

tea kettle with lid off sitting on a kitchen counter

Tackling Small Appliances

Small appliances can quickly accumulate in the kitchen, taking up valuable countertop space and storage space. 

It’s important to evaluate the usefulness of each appliance and find a new home for any that are no longer needed.

Evaluating the Usefulness

Start by taking a look at each small appliance you have in your kitchen. 

Ask yourself these questions to determine if it’s still useful:

  • How often do you use it?
  • Does it serve a unique purpose that can’t be accomplished with another appliance or tool?
  • Does it take up valuable counter or storage space?
  • Is it in good working condition?

If you find that an appliance is rarely used or doesn’t serve a unique purpose, it may be time to consider getting rid of it.

Finding a New Home for Unused Appliances

If you have small appliances that are still in good working condition but are no longer useful to you, consider finding a new home for them. Here are a few options:

  • Donate them to a local charity or thrift store.
  • Sell them online or at a garage sale.
  • Give them to a friend or family member who could use them.
canned goods on a pantry shelf

Organizing Kitchen Cabinets

Sorting Out Items

The first step in organizing your kitchen cabinets is to sort out all the items in them. 

Take everything out and categorize them into groups such as dishes, glasses, coffee mugs, food items, and so on. 

This will help you determine how much space you need for each category and which items you need to get rid of.

For duplicate items or items such as dish towels, keep those that are in good condition and get rid of the items that need to be trashed.

This will help you free up some space and make it easier to organize your cabinets.

Maximizing Cabinet Space

Once you have sorted your items, it’s time to start organizing them in your cabinets. 

Here are some tips to help you maximize your cabinet space:

  • Use shelf risers to double your storage space. This is especially helpful when you are storing food storage containers or casserole dishes that don’t stack easily.
  • Install pull-out drawers to make it easier to access items in the back of your cabinets.
  • Use cabinet door organizers to store spices, utensils, and other small items.
  • Store food items in clear containers to make it easier to see what you have and how much you have left.
  • Stack your coffee mugs to save space.
stainless steel pot on a stove in a white kitchen

Managing Kitchen Counters

Clearing Counter Space

Kitchen counters tend to accumulate clutter over time, making it difficult to use your valuable space efficiently. 

  1. To declutter kitchen countertops, start by removing everything from the surface. This will give you a clean slate to work with. 
  2. Then, sort through the items and decide what you need to keep and what you can get rid of.

Items that you use frequently should be kept on the counter for easy access. 

However, items that you rarely use should be stored away in a cabinet or drawer. This will free up valuable counter space and make it easier to work in your kitchen.

Arranging Essential Items

Once you have cleared your counter space, it’s time to arrange your essential items. 

These items should be the ones that you use most frequently in your kitchen. 

For example, your coffee maker, toaster, and knife block may be items that you use every day.

To arrange your essential items, consider the frequency of use and the amount of space they require. 

Place the most frequently used items in a convenient location on the counter, while the less frequently used items can be stored away. 

corner kitchen sink and a flower arrangement

Cleaning the Kitchen Sink Area

Keeping your kitchen sink area clean and organized is essential to maintaining a tidy kitchen. 

Here are some tips on how to declutter and clean your kitchen sink area:

Removing Unnecessary Items

The first step to decluttering your kitchen sink area is to remove any unnecessary items. 

Take a look at everything on your sink and nearby countertops. 

Do you really need all those items? Consider removing any items that you don’t regularly use or that don’t belong in the kitchen.

Some items you may want to remove include:

  • Old sponges or scrub brushes
  • Empty bottles or containers
  • Dishes that need to be washed or put away
  • Non-kitchen items such as mail or paperwork

Once you’ve removed any unnecessary items, you’ll have more space to work with and your sink area will look much cleaner.

Organizing Cleaning Supplies

Next, it’s time to organize your cleaning supplies. 

Keep all your cleaning supplies in one location, such as under the sink or in a nearby cabinet. 

This will make it easier to find what you need when it’s time to clean.

Here are some tips for organizing your cleaning supplies:

  • Use a caddy or basket to keep all your supplies in one place
  • Label bottles or containers so you can easily identify what’s inside
  • Keep dish soap and other cleaning supplies near the sink for easy access

By organizing your cleaning supplies, you’ll be able to clean your sink area more efficiently and keep everything looking neat and tidy.

Remember, a clean and organized kitchen sink area is essential to maintaining a clean and tidy kitchen. 

vertical shiplap in kitchen with open shelving

Optimizing Kitchen Drawers

When it comes to decluttering your kitchen, optimizing your drawers can make a big difference in creating a more organized and functional space. 

Here are some tips on how to optimize your kitchen drawers:

Dealing with the Junk Drawer

The junk drawer is a common problem in many kitchens. 

It’s easy to toss things in there when you don’t know where else to put them. 

However, this can quickly lead to a cluttered mess and a drawer that won’t open because a spoon got jammed in the drawer. 

  1. Start by taking everything out and sorting through it. Decide what you actually need and what can be thrown away or donated.
  2. Once you’ve sorted through everything, use drawer organizers to keep things in their place. You can use small trays or containers to group similar items together. This will make it easier to find what you need and keep the drawer organized.

Sorting Cooking Utensils

Another way to optimize your kitchen drawers is to sort your cooking utensils. 

  1. Start by taking everything out of the drawer and sorting through it. Decide what you actually use and what can be stored elsewhere or donated.
  2. Use drawer organizers to keep things in their place. You can use a utensil holder to keep your cooking utensils upright and organized. 

Maximizing Storage Space

If you find yourself struggling to fit all of your kitchen items into your cabinets and drawers, it may be time to declutter and maximize your storage space. 

By utilizing vertical space and incorporating tools such as lazy susans, you can create more room for your kitchen essentials.

Utilizing Vertical Space

One of the most effective ways to maximize storage space in your kitchen is to utilize vertical space. 

This means taking advantage of the space above your countertops and cabinets. 

Here are a few ways to do this:

  • Install shelves: Adding shelves above your countertops or cabinets can provide additional storage space for items you don’t use every day, such as cookbooks or decorative items. Smaller shelves, such as a spice rack helps keep things organized.
  • Use hooks: Installing hooks on the underside of your cabinets or on the walls can provide a place to hang pots, pans, and utensils.
  • Hang a pot rack: If you have a lot of pots and pans, consider hanging a pot rack from the ceiling to free up cabinet space.

Incorporating Lazy Susans

Lazy susans are rotating trays that can be placed in cabinets or on countertops. 

They allow you to easily access items in the back of the cabinet without having to move everything in front of them. 

Here are a few ways to incorporate lazy susans into your kitchen:

  • Use them in corner cabinets: Corner cabinets can be difficult to access, but a lazy susan can make it easy to reach all of your items.
  • Place them in the fridge: A lazy susan in the fridge can make it easy to access condiments and other small items.
  • Use them on countertops: A lazy susan on your countertop can provide easy access to frequently used items, such as spices or cooking oils.
antique artwork decor

Maintaining a Decluttered Kitchen

Once you’ve decluttered your kitchen, you’ll want to maintain its organized state. 

Here are a few ways to help you keep your kitchen clutter-free:

Implementing a Regular Cleaning Schedule

A good cleaning schedule is essential to keeping your kitchen tidy. 

You should aim to clean your kitchen at least once a week, but you may need to clean it more often depending on how much you use it. 

A few tasks to consider putting on your to-do list are:

  • Wipe down counters and surfaces
  • Sweep or vacuum the floor
  • Mop the floor
  • Clean appliances, including the stove, oven, and refrigerator
  • Wash dishes and put them away
  • Take out the trash and recycling

Involving Family Members

Getting your family members involved in the cleaning process is a great way to keep things tidy while not bearing the entire burden on yourself. 

Here are some ways you can involve them:

  • Assign tasks to each family member. For example, one person can be responsible for washing dishes, while another can be responsible for taking out the trash.
  • Have a family meeting to discuss the importance of keeping certain areas tidy.
  • Create a reward system for family members who help keep the kitchen clean. This is especially helpful for those little kiddos who need a bit of extra encouragement to do a job well done.

Importance of a Clutter-free Kitchen

Decluttering your kitchen can be a daunting task, but it’s worth it in the end. 

If you make it a priority to take simple steps each day to manage the space, you will find that it doesn’t take a lot of time to keep things in their place.

You’ll also see that a clean kitchen makes the entire house feel fresh.

By following the steps outlined in this article, you can create a clutter-free and organized kitchen that will make cooking and meal prep much easier.

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