Having a kitchen clear-out isn’t exciting and I’m sure many of us can think of better ways to spend our free days than wearing gloves and scrubbing kitchen worktops and floors. When I think of the reasons why I don’t particularly like cleaning the kitchen, I realised that it’s not because I’m lazy but because there’s so much stuff for me to move each time I have to wipe or scrub something. I counted the items I had and realised that I had 5 kitchen gadgets and too many jars on the worktops. On top of that, I also had some cook books I never read and other utensils I don’t use.
It dawned on me that I needed to clear the kitchen out in order to make the cleaning process easier for me. I also realised that by clearing and cleaning the kitchen, I will make it look more minimalist and fresh, which makes me feel more free and calm when I cook and prepare food in there.
Let me share with you the ‘things to think about’ when cleaning and clearing your kitchen…
Think about how many cups and plates you really need
Look inside your cupboards and see how many plates you have. Too many right? I bet you’ll find that you have so many plates and cups you don’t even use at all. If you have a great collection of fine china and hosts many parties then I’m sure you need all the plates you currently have but if you don’t, why not donate some of the ones you don’t really use to free up some space?
My fiance and I rarely have guests over at our house because when we do meet up with friends, we go to restaurants with them. I do have a very dear friend who came over the other week and she laughed about how I didn’t have many plates left at home after my clear-out. When I looked inside our cupboards, there were so many plates we don’t use. I ended up getting rid of about 6 plates, 4 bowls and mini plates. Now, we only have two big pasta plates which we mainly use for dinner and we have five large Japanese bowls. We also have two plain white plates for cakes and for anything we may use them for and we have four mugs and four glasses. Those are the only plates, mugs and glasses we need but if you feel that you need more and you need a complete 24 piece dining set, that’s fine too but always think about what you really need because you never know how much space you can save by eliminating the ones you don’t use.
Also, we like to keep it simple in the kitchen. Perhaps think about the aesthetics of what you have. You may stick to only having white dinner pieces instead of multicoloured ones. Sometimes, this helps me decide whether I keep something or not. This isn’t being wasteful really because I recommend that you donate the ones you don’t keep but if you’re finding it hard to decide which ones to keep, looking at whether they fit with the whole collection you have will help you.
Think about how many forks, knives and spoons you really need
This is another thing many of us tend to collect and keep forever for some reason. I know that I’m now on my third set of cutlery. When we first moved, we only had a set of four knives, forks and spoons and when I cleared the kitchen the other day I found that we had so much more so I picked out the ones which were scratched and old and took them to recycling. Think about it, it’s easier to keep a few than to have so many. I know I tend to wash the ones I’ve used and keep them on the draining board to dry. When I need to use them again, I often just take it from the draining board so I end up using the same one all the time. What happens to the other ones we don’t use? They remain in the cupboard just gathering dust so of course, it only makes sense to keep a minimum amount and save some for guests if you need to.
I’m not saying get rid of all the cutlery you have because I know many of you will have guests over for dinner but if you can, really think about whether you really need a LOT of cutlery.
Think about whether you need all those kitchen tools
I love Homesense- it’s the home version of the discount store TK Maxx. Whenever I go to Homesense, I feel like I suddenly turn into a Pro Interior Designer and Chef. I have to resist the urge to buy all the kitchen tools I see when I go there. They’re all so amazing and the designs are often so good that you end up thinking ‘Oh, I need that!’ When I looked inside my cupboards the other day, I was surprised to see I had tools I don’t even use so I cleared those out. Some of them even had tags on and I don’t even know what they are used for so I donated them all to charity. Keep the tools you use and get rid of the ones which you only use to dress the kitchen up. I now find that it’s better to keep a clean and clear space than to keep unused items. Cleaning worktops and kitchen cupboards will be an easier task when you don’t have too much stuff in the way.
The less tools you have, the easier it will be to identify which ones you have used so much and need to replace too. It will also help simplify your cooking. You will notice how you will end up being forced to wash the tools you use as you cook too and you won’t end up with too much to clean and wash.
Think about whether you really need multiples of everything?
Okay, we’re all guilty of this…keeping multiples of everything as mentioned above but also keeping things for those ‘Someday, I’ll use this for…’ moments. I know we all want to save the planet by recycling things but if you’re finding it hard to actually re-use items and they’re just sitting there for months waiting to be used, take them to the nearest recycling centre instead. There’s no point in hoarding items because not only do they take a lot of space in your kitchen, it’s also hard to clean around the house with those items getting in the way. I remember attempting to clean the floor and there were so many bottles by the kitchen door, I had to pick them all up, put them in a bag, clean the floor then put them all back on the floor after. It was exhausting and pointless.
Clear out the spices
Many people forget about clearing their spice cupboards. It is important that you check the expiry dates on each one so you can throw away the ones which are no longer good to use and eat. A lot of people also forget to clean the spice cupboards because sometimes, we assume that they won’t be dirty because everything are in containers. Wrong. Many of us forget that when we use spices or sauces, they can sometimes drip on to the bottom of the containers and when you put them back in the cupboards without wiping them, they stain the insides of your cupboards. Check your spice cupboards every month and if you can, maybe every two weeks, depending on how much you cook. Clean them inside to prevent the bacteria from spreading all around the kitchen.
Make sure you also clean all the handles in your kitchen as a lot of bacteria breed in those places.
Think about storing things in specific jars to keep the kitchen stylish and fresh
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with keeping certain food items in their original packaging but if you can, maybe think about transferring your coffee, tea, sugar, pasta or other foods in clear glass or matching containers. There’s something nice about clear glass containers, you get to really see what’s inside and how much you have left in them. I also find that they make the worktops look nicer and everything looks in place when you have matching items sitting together. Sometimes, original brand packaging can make things look messy and sometimes, these things aren’t see through so you forget about replacing the items when you need to. It’s also so easy to glance and over and see that ‘Ah, I need some more sugar!’ so you can add that on to your list quickly.
Think about what you’re keeping in the fridge and how often you actually clean it
Like spice cupboards, fridge freezers need to be cleaned and cleared regularly. Some people don’t bother about cleaning fridges but this is where most of our food is stored so it only makes sense to make sure they are thoroughly cleaned and cleared of expired food items.
Make sure you seal your food items in good food packaging to keep the fridge from smelling bad. To keep the fridge smelling fresh, I always keep sliced lemons in there.
I found that I never regretted getting rid of the items in my kitchen which I don’t use so it only goes to show that I didn’t need them all in the first place. So…go ahead and feel free to clear your kitchen too!