Organizing Tip: Clear Out Kitchen Clutter

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Kitchen breafast, photography by R. Isip
Wouldn’t it be nice to finally clear the clutter and make use of your breakfast table?

Do you have a cluttered kitchen?

Is it difficult to properly store and cook food, as well as access utensils, dish ware, pots and pans?

Today’s post is a collection of common kitchen areas and materials you might want to de-clutter. Some areas and materials will obviously take a bit more time than others to de-clutter, but don’t let that deter you from clearing things out and regaining space in your kitchen.

Pots and Pans (and Lids)

How many of your pots and pans do you use on a regular basis? Weed out the ones that aren’t used regularly, such as for holidays or special occasions and move them to dead storage in a pantry, attic, basement or in the garage.

Utensil Drawers and Holders

What items haven’t you used in the past week, month or year? Appropriately recycle or trash broken or non-functioning materials. Ditto for utensils and kitchen tools you know you’ll never use.

Kitchen Cabinets/Shelves

Chuck plastic containers that are missing lids (you know the ones I’m talking about!). Similarly, dispose of any containers that are cracked, broken or otherwise non-functional.

Small Kitchen Appliances

Do you have any broken or non-functioning appliances in your kitchen? Repair or replace, or do without. Check to see if you have any duplicate appliances lying about (hey, these things happen) as well as for appliances you plain forgot about and are no longer interested in keeping.

Spice Rack

Get rid of old/expired spices, herbs and seasonings — these items lose their potency and flavor over time. Do you have a bunch of spices that are still perfectly useable but that you no longer want? Give ‘em to a friend who loves cooking and trying out different foods/flavors.


Weed out cookbooks you’ve never used or don’t particularly like using. Donate the books to a local library, bookstore or recycle them.


Inside: Be brave and dive into the back of your fridge and the door as well, properly disposing of any of long-forgotten or spoiled foodstuffs. While you’re in there, you might want to give your fridge trays and holders a good wipe down.

Outside: Clear off old and outdated information, coupons, notes, reminders and the like from your fridge door. If there’s something that can be filed, do so, otherwise items should be trashed, shredded and/or recycled.

Table and/or Counters

Tackle that stack of papers, books and other ephemera. Sort items into the following piles: trash, storage (in the kitchen or other part of the house), filing or data entry into your computer or other electronic device.

Now to you…which of these items will you tackle first in your kitchen? Perhaps there is another area in the kitchen that I missed that you’ll now de-clutter? Leave a comment below and join in the conversation!

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Rashelle Isip is a New York City-based professional organizer and productivity consultant who helps people get organized so they can stress less, have more fun, and be happier at home. Her work has been featured in Good Housekeeping, Fast Company, Cosmopolitan, The Washington Post, Business Insider, and The Atlantic. Get access to her free guide, 10 Simple Ways to Make Your To-Do Lists More Effective, by clicking here.