Today’s the last day on the kitchen! It feels really good to have the hub of the home cleared and ready to use, and to know where all the cooking tools are. Since the food is inventoried and ordered, it’s much easier to organize everything else.

I can’t emphasize enough how important the decluttering phase of this three-step process is, as described in my e-book. Particularly in the kitchen. It’s so easy to convince yourself that you need that gadget that does one thing and that you use once a year. Or to hold on to scads of plastic containers with missing lids, on the off chance that you need those one day. Wouldn’t you be kicking yourself if you tossed out those 25 yogurt containers, and the next day, someone holds a gun to your head and asks you to produce 25 yogurt containers or you’re a goner?

You can see the ridiculousness of the justifications we make for keeping things. Right? Ask yourself whether the “just in case” scenario you’re concocting in your head is more stressful than holding on to those whatever-they-are. Does the clutter cause you more stress than the potential arrival of the emergency container event with no extra containers on hand?

My point: The clutter is probably more stressful than being prepared for situations that are easy to remedy, even when you’re “unprepared.” And nine times out of ten, the emergency container situation never arrives.

As I mention in the e-book, everything in our homes pays rent for occupancy inside our four walls. It really does matter that it’s just sitting there, not being useful or beautiful to your family. Getting rid of needless things frees up visual clutter, useful space, and peace of mind.

This is especially true in the kitchen, the room with plentiful doors behind which we can hide clutter. Where we house gadgets and tools we just may not need. Mandi at Organizing Your Way wrote an excellent piece yesterday, guiding you through some questions to ask about whether you should keep your kitchen tools. Ask yourself those questions.

My Kitchen

After I worked on food storage, I moved on to inside the rest of the cabinets.

Pots, Pans, and Other Baking Supplies

before:after:
pots beforepots & pans, after

Kids’ Dishes and Food Storage

This cabinet wasn’t too bad, so I just emptied it, cleaned it, and set it back up. If you’re similar to our household, this cabinet gets disheveled every 30 minutes, since it’s at arm’s reach of our 17-month-old. So I don’t go nuts over it.

before:after:
kids cabinet beforekids cabinet after

Surplus Food, and Gifts & Home Decor

We have more room than we need in our kitchen, so we use one shelf to store home decor waiting to be used, like candles and frames, and a stash of gifts for children’s birthdays and other random occasions. Toys are expensive here, so when we were in the States for the holidays, we stocked up on inexpensive gifts like craft kits.

The bottom shelf is home to extra food we stockpile, bought when it’s on sale.

before:after:
gifts/surplus cabinet beforegift/surplus cabinet after

And unfortunately, I didn’t take any “before” shots of the entire kitchen. I did get a few “during” shots, which actually look worse than the before – the contents behind the cabinet doors have to go somewhere when we’re organizing.

during:after:
kitchen duringkitchen after
during:after:
kitchen duringkitchen after

the grand finale:
kitchen

Whew… It’s wonderful to have the kitchen back up to speed. Today, Mandi has written some good reminders about where to clean, and shares a nifty cleaning hack for stainless steel appliances.  And I love what she says here -  “Try taking a radical approach and packing up as many of the gadgets as you can to see how having more space actually makes your kitchen more user-friendly than the gadgets themselves do!

We’re taking the weekend off of spring cleaning to rest, have some family time, and gear up for next week. If you’ve got the e-book, you know what rooms are next – so if you’ve got the time and motivation, feel free to get a jump start on next week! We’ll be working hard, but it will be SO worth it.

What are some things in your kitchen that you’re getting rid of?

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