Published Date 1/8/2019

You know you want to. It has been on your mind for months but the holidays got in the way. Your kitchen — often one of the most cluttered rooms in your house.

Well, it’s a new year, and even if the prospect of decluttering seems overwhelming, take heart. You can take this in baby steps. Realtor’s Whitney Coy cites professional organizer Whitney Haworth, who says there is no reason to think you have to tackle the whole house (or even a whole room) in one go. She breaks down this monumental task into easy, bite-size tasks.

It only takes 15 minutes to organize your spice cabinet. Sort through your spice rack and discard expired spices (unlike food, most spices don’t actually expire, but they do lose their flavor after about 3-4 years, so it’s a good idea to go through and pitch the old ones every now and then.

15 minutes is also the perfect amount of time to clean out the cabinet under your sink — that place you tend to throw things when guests are coming over. “Remove old or never-used cleaning supplies,” says Haworth. “Who needs four different kinds of stainless-steel polish anyway?”

If you’ve got 30 minutes to spare, go through the mound of mail and paperwork that has likely taken over at least some portion of your kitchen counters. “Depending on how long you’ve been letting it pile up (and how likely you are to pitch unnecessary papers), just one 30-minute session should be enough to clear that clutter,” says Haworth. “Invest in a mail sorter for the counter or wall that will give you a place to put everything you keep—and a way to keep it from piling up again.”

Now on to the kitchen cabinets. If you can’t dedicate hours to it, 30 minutes a day will do. Declutter one section at a time. First, tackle the pots and pans by making sure everything has a lid and getting rid of anything you don’t use. Plates are next, along with bowls, serving ware, cups and mugs, bakeware, and finally plastic items. Pitch items that are stained, cracked or missing a lid.

Decluttering a pantry may take up to an hour. First, take everything out of the pantry. Then group like food items together (baking, cooking, snacks). Finally, put the food back in a way that makes it easy for you to find things. Invest in some bins or see-through containers to keep everything organized. Oh, and while you’re at it, check dates and toss anything that has passed its expiration date.

Small appliances can be a pain to organize, but somebody’s got to do it. “Go through these devices—blender, mixer, coffee maker—make sure that you have all parts, and test the appliances to make sure they still work,” says Haworth. “If it’s broken and can’t be fixed, get rid of it. If it works, but you can’t remember the last time you used it, consider donating or selling it.” She admits small appliances tend to take up a lot of room, so getting rid of just one or two will make a huge difference.

Source: Realtor, TBWS