We all know the kitchen is the heart of our home.  A cluttered kitchen, then, can be seen as the organizational equivalent to overeating, no exercising, and not enough sleep.  Let’s stay in shape!  It takes just 15 minutes a day of de-cluttering as follows:

1. Cardboard Box Test: Taking a page from the “De-Clutter King” Peter Walsh, he suggests we implement the “cardboard box test“:  “Take all the utensils out of your drawers, put them in a cardboard box.  For the next month, whenever you use one of these utensils, put it back in the drawer. If after four weeks it’s still in the box, you don’t need it.”

2.  Edit Your Tupperware: Raise your hand if you own tupperware tubs with spaghetti sauce stains, burn dents, or cracked covers or edges?  Yup.  That’s what I thought.  Nothing clutters cabinets more than mountains of these containers.  Edit out those old tubs and recycle them.  If you need to replace a few, Glad Ware has all kinds of sizes available at most groceries stores starting at $3.99 for a pack of three.

3.  Ban the Pots & Pans-Seriously, how many pots and pans do you actually use?  Most likely, between 3-4 on a weekly basis, yes?  Pots and pans create overstuffed, booby trapped cabinets that make working in your kitchen a veritable obstacle course.  Like #1. above, try the “cardboard box test” with your cookware and see what items you actually need.  If you can’t bring yourself to throw out those 5 other fry pans, store them in a box in your garage marked “kitchen stuff” (pun intended).  Otherwise, donate them to the Salvation Army or other charitable organization.

4. Condense your Plates and Glassware: Depending on the size of your family, the number of plates and glasses you store will vary.  The theme of today’s blog is this:  less is more.  Edit your plates and glassware to a minimal number (8-12 items each), and find that your cupboard space will feel spacious and easy to manage.  This will also reduce the amount of dish washing as well.  Oh, my!

5.  Pick Through your Pantry: The last time I checked, I had a can of green beans marked 03/06-four years old!  Oops.  Think of all the wasted “storage real estate” we could instead use for edible food items. Interestingly enough, I bet if you spent one 15 minute de-clutter session on your pantry, you’d be able to clear, clean, and organize it easily.  This includes:

a. old spices-when the garlic powder can no longer be sprinkled…it’s throw-out time.

b. stale breads & cereal-use for breadcrumbs, croutons, and/or duck food.

c. outdated canned goods-can we say botulism?

d. drippy sauces/syrups-you know what I mean…get the sponge!

6.  Recycle your Trash: This may be another “no-brainer”…have a designated bin for both trash and recyclables.  It still amazes me how much my family can actually recycle as opposed to dumping our stuff in the trash.  If your neighborhood does not recycle, contact your city hall to request they start a program.

7.  Clear your Countertops: This is last on today’s list because after de-cluttering numbers 1-5, you’ll have enough cupboard and cabinet space to put away those kitchen gadgets and foodstuffs that once overburdened your countertops.  Ahh…prep space at last.

A healthy kitchen makes a healthy home.  Peter Walsh concurs, “You can’t be a lean person if your house, especially your kitchen, is full of fat. And so as the master bedroom drives the house, the kitchen nourishes the house. Not just in terms of food but in terms of your whole mental outlook.”

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