How to Declutter Your Kitchen Quickly

A cluttered kitchen can make your entire home feel out of control. It causes stress when you try to fix meals, makes meal planning hard and overwhelming, and forget trying to clean it all up at the end of the day! It’s still going to look messy because nothing really has a home. But there is any easier way. Taking some time to declutter the kitchen today will save you time every single day in the future. It’s worth the time investment! Plus, I think there are some ways to make decluttering your kitchen quick, efficient, and practical.

How To Declutter Your Kitchen Quickly

Quickly Declutter the Kitchen

While I hope you find decluttering inspiration here, more than anything I hope you find encouragement. Encouragement to simplify your home so that you can spend more time on what matters most. A cluttered home only causes us stress and overwhelm. Instead, I hope you are encouraged and motivated to declutter the kitchen in your home. Instead of feeling overwhelmed, I hope you find cooking more enjoyable, meal planning easier, and more time to spend in fellowship around your kitchen table with those you love most.

Before you get started, gather the following supplies:

  • Trash Bag (for trash!)
  • Box (for donations)
  • Second Box or Tub (for the halfway home…we’ll talk more about that in a minute!)
  • Cleaner + Rags

As you declutter the kitchen, use these 12 tips to help you!

1.Go One Cabinet or Drawer at a Time

Please don’t begin by pulling out every single item in every single cabinet and drawer in your kitchen. That will cause serious overwhelm and cause you to stop this project all together.

Declutter By Cabinet

Instead, purge one cabinet or drawer at a time. Pull everything out, wipe down the space, remove what you don’t use or love, and put everything else back neatly. Be ruthless! If you haven’t used it in the last 6 months, ask yourself what’s going to change to make you use it in the next 6 months? For most of us, the answer is nothing. We are creatures of habit. We reach for the same cups to drink out of every day, we use the same bowl to mix up a batch of cookies and we cook dinner in the same skillet each night. So all those extras that aren’t being used can go!

2. Set a Timer

If the entire project overwhelms you and you just don’t feel like you can get it all done in one day, then use a timer. Set it for 15-30 minutes at a time and work as quickly as you can. Go through one or two cabinets or drawers at a time. Don’t worry about organizing right now. First we purge! When you declutter the kitchen, you don’t want to get distracted by other projects.

3. Eliminate Duplicates

One of the quickest ways to purge your home is to eliminate duplicates. How many blenders do you have? What about toasters, pots and pans, kitchen gadgets, or dishes? How many can you realistically use at one time? If you have duplicates of items, it’s time to part with the extras.

Eliminate Duplicates

Favorite Product: Adjustable Tiered Shelf

I do keep a handful of wooden spoons, a few spatulas, and a couple pancake turners because I do actually USE more than one when I’m baking big batches of desserts. However, I’m very careful with what I keep and re-evaluate often. Make sure you aren’t holding onto extras just in case! We will talk about “just in case” clutter in a minute.

4. Reduce Your Food Inventory

I used to keep far more food on hand than we could realistically use. But I think it was a safety thing for me. I always felt like if my fridge and pantry were overflowing with food it meant I always had enough. But most of us go to the grocery store at least once every week or two. And if you’re living on a budget, then you know that the grocery money will be there for you when you need it. Instead of hoarding food, I try to only keep on hand what my family will realistically use within the next week or two.

If you’re cabinets, fridge, and freezer are busting at the seams, I recommend doing a pantry challenge. Eat up everything you have over the coming weeks or months until you’ve reduced your food inventory to only a week or two. During this time only shop for fresh produce and dairy. Once you’ve eliminated all that extra food, you can start shopping and planning meals more easily.

Reduce Food Inventory

I shop regularly at Aldi and Walmart. I’ve found that both of these stores have everyday low prices so there is no need for me to stockpile items in my home.

Since reducing our food inventory, we’ve noticed that our grocery budget has decreased, meal planning is faster, and food preparation is easier. If you’re struggling in these areas, try reducing your inventory! Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best.

5. Clear Off Your Counters

If your counters are covered with appliances, kitchen tools, decor, and other miscellaneous items, then I’m betting it’s not very easy for you to actually cook in your kitchen. What you have on your counters is probably what you are using fairly regularly. Start finding homes in drawers and cabinets by removing the things in those spaces you aren’t using regularly.

Sometimes we have to go to the extreme to see what works for us. Remove everything, then slowly add in a few items. Depending on how big your countertops are, I recommend limiting the amount of items on your counters to 3-5 items at most.

Declutter Your Countertops

Favorite Product: Water Bottle Storage

On our countertops, you’ll find a coffee pot, an old crock that belonged to my grandma filled with my wooden spoons, a small decorative sign in the corner, and a paper towel holder. That’s it.

It’s true that clutter attracts clutter. If you see a countertop that’s already got lots of stuff on it, then you are more apt to just set other things down and leave them. Over the course of the day or week, your kitchen can become a dumping ground quickly. Instead, try removing as much as you can from your countertops and live clutter-free. Simple living takes intentionality. It’s not going to happen overnight. But consistency will pay off if you keep working at it each day.

Similar: Simplify Your Kitchen with Clutter-Free Countertops

6. Remove Paper From Your Kitchen

Paper can be one of the biggest headaches in a kitchen. It piles up quickly, causes us complete overwhelm, and we just don’t know what to do with it. We have to remove it from our kitchen completely.

Start by finding a box. Gather all of the paper on your countertops, refrigerator, stuffed inside drawers, etc. Place ALL the paper inside the box and set it aside. When you declutter the kitchen, you don’t want to be distracted by larger projects. The paper needs to be dealt with. But first, we are going to tackle the main project we are focusing on today. Don’t let the paper clutter send you down a rabbit hole. This will cause you serious overwhelm and you’ll give up before you even get started.

7. Organize Your Recipes

If part of your paper clutter in your kitchen is your recipes, then it’s time to get them organized! The struggle to meal plan and prepare dinner each night is often linked to disorganization. A lack of knowing where your recipes are, what meals you actually have food to fix, and clutter-free countertops to prepare meals all are signs of disorganization.

Organize Your Recipes

Instead, organize those recipes into one central location. I use a recipe binder and LOVE it! But you can use whatever works best for you. Last week I talked all about how we’ve simplified meal planning to make it quick and easy so head over there to learn more!

Psst…Need more help in the meal planning department?! Check out our Meal Planning + Recipe Organization Kit!

8. Store Rarely Used Items Out of the Kitchen.

We want our kitchen to be simple, efficient, and easy to use. However, when we store too much in this space, it makes it hard to get to things causing frustration. Cabinets become overflowing and the stuff we use every day ends up stored on the countertops or at the front of the cabinets with all the “extras” shoved in the back creating one big mess.

By removing those items we use occasionally and storing them in a closet or basement, we free up room to breathe. Now, don’t use this as an excuse to keep everything. Even though I do store some larger appliances in a small hallway closet, I’ve still given myself boundaries. I have two shelves where I can store things. And if those items aren’t being used at least a handful of times each year, then they really aren’t worth me keeping them. So I do make sure to re-evaluate this space often.

Utilize Storage Outside Your Kitchen

A few of the things I store in a closet near my kitchen include our paper goods (plates, napkins, plastic silverware, etc.) a large dutch oven, our crock pot, an electric griddle, a waffle iron, a food processor, and our ice cream maker. Some of these things are used once a week or more. Others are used once every month or two or a several times during one season. But I’d rather walk around the corner to grab it off a shelf than to dig in the back of a cluttered cabinet that’s overflowing with stuff!

9. Use a Halfway Home.

This is the secret weapon to completeing this job quickly! I talked about how I used a halfway home to purge my closet in less than 30 minutes last month. But now we are going to use that same technique to declutter the kitchen!

A halfway home is just a tub or box you use to place “I don’t know” or “Maybe” items inside. You can be ruthless with this because they aren’t actually leaving your home right now. If you feel like you might still use it, you can always grab it from the box.

Declutter Your Kitchen Quickly

Make sure to set a date to purge the box about 3-6 months from now. Label the box with that date and store it in your attic, garage, or basement. Then set a reminder on your phone to purge that box on that date.

Pro Tip: When it’s time to purge your halfway home box, don’t open it! Don’t look inside! It will be too tempting to keep things. If you haven’t used it, needed or, or even thought of it over the past several months, you don’t NEED it! Take it to the donation center and drop it off.

Let go of the excess without the stress!

Similar: Closet Clutter Clear Out | Simplify Your Wardrobe in 30 minutes or Less!

10. Purge “Just in Case” Items

Have you ever thought, “I haven’t used this in ages, but I’m keeping it just in case…” Those “just in case” items are completely cluttering up your kitchen! And if you are realistic with yourself, the time almost never comes where you will actually use that item.

Instead of keeping things “just in case” let it go to someone else who can and will use it now. The reality is that these just in case items are often small, inexpensive things. And if we were to ever need something similar again, it would probably be very easy for us to get our hands on another one. Or better yet, we might be able to make do without it all together!

If you are struggling with your “just in case” items, add them to your halfway home. Just knowing that they are still there for the time being will help to ease your mind. But then make sure to purge that box in 3-6 months when you can confidently let go of all that excess.

11. Don’t Over Estimate the worth of Your Items.

When you declutter the kitchen, you’ll likely come across some items that hang you up. I think sometimes we look at what we spent on something and overvalue it’s place in our home. But it’s important to remember:

You waste your money when you buy an item, not when you get rid of it.

The money you spent on that item is already gone. But the space it’s taking up in your home is real. And if it’s not being used, then its time to re-think its place in your home.

Just because you spend $XXX on an appliance doesn’t mean you have to keep it forever. We all make purchases we regret. Even after we’ve simplified our home and curbed our consumeristic tendencies, we still make mistakes. But don’t let that mistake live in your home forever. You don’t deserve to feel shame over the money you spent on it every time you open you cabinets. You deserve to cook in a simple, peaceful, efficient kitchen.

Instead of holding onto these items, sell them. Or better yet, donate them to charity or someone who will use and love them often!

12. Organize for Efficiency

Once you’ve purged your entire kitchen, you will likely want to re-arrange things a bit. This is the fun part! But we want an efficient kitchen; one that functions well for us. So finding good homes for things where we can easily access them is essential.

Every kitchen is different. Some of us have more storage than others. But the kitchen you have, is the kitchen you have so that’s what we are working with.

Organize For Efficiency

Favorite Product: Turn Tables

Make sure the pots, pans, and spices are stored near the stove. You want the coffee and coffee mugs to be in a cabinet near your coffee pot. Dishes, glasses, and silverware should be near your dishwasher or close to the kitchen table for easy access. These all seem like very obvious, but I think when we move into a home we put things away as quickly as we can. And then we become so accustomed to having things in a certain place, we don’t feel like we can change it. It’s okay to move things around! It will take a few weeks for you to get used to it, but we if we want to make our kitchen efficient and easy to use we have to be will to make these changes.

Don’t be afraid to store things outside of the kitchen if they are rarely used items. I’m all for purging things that aren’t being used! But I’m also a realist and know that I personally have a handful of things I only use every once in awhile. I store those in closet near my kitchen. Don’t be afraid to move things to a garage, basement, or closet if your kitchen just isn’t big enough to hold everything.

Now, don’t use this as an excuse to keep excess. If it’s not used, purge it! And give yourself limits on what you can store outside of the kitchen.


I hope you found some motivation and encouragement to get your kitchen decluttered! Make sure to check back next week as I will be talking more about organizing your kitchen plus giving an entire tour of our organized kitchen!

If you use these tips to declutter the kitchen in your home, I’d love to hear all about it! Send me an email {[email protected]} with how it works for you along with before and after pictures if you want!

https://youtu.be/Wueiuv6DWlU

What is your biggest struggle with decluttering your kitchen?

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