Unless you’re the master of tidying and (more importantly) keeping things that way, your kitchen has probably seen better days. With cutlery, utensils, your kitchen mixer, and appliances, it’s hard to maintain the kitchen organization, but there’s no need to go all out with a renovation just yet. Why not try to install some of these kitchen tidy ideas and discover how to declutter your room and worktops easily…
Seeing a perfectly organized and tidy kitchen does something to a person – it gives a sense of calm, organization, and confidence. It can also generate some jealousy when the kitchen isn’t your own. How does it stay so clean and tidy? Where are the mess, the clutter, and the crumbs that find their way onto countertops no matter how many times you wipe? It seems almost magical, but it’s likely the owner has simply got their hands on some organizational gadgets and got into good habits. You can too, and here are a few kitchen tidy ideas to help you on your way:
Hide the mess in a drawer
From errant garlic presses to spare batteries, take-out menus and sauce packets – every kitchen has little bits and pieces which don’t have a home. One way to get over this is to allow yourself to have one messy drawer in the kitchen for all those handy gadgets and flyers which don’t have a regular home.
The hard part is keeping it to one drawer. Try not to let it overflow, and make sure the drawer rollers are clear so it opens properly. You could attempt to make your messy drawer into organized chaos with a sectioned insert – you can find these in most homewares departments.
Keep the doors closed
For that clean, crisp kitchen visual, it’s a good idea to keep all your cabinet doors matching, solid and completely closed. Glass inserts in doors reveal the mess hidden inside which takes away from the tidy aesthetic. You want to hide the non-matching crockery and cups in there as it looks neater.
If you’re more into open shelving to break up space or make the most of unusually-shaped rooms, then try and keep them minimal. We’re talking about matching plates and bowls, simple unified color usage, and using containers to hide loose items.
We all love the surface area in a kitchen to spread out our ingredients and feel like we’re in an episode of MasterChef. However, more often than not, we reduce the space available by cluttering the surface with kettles, kitchen mixers, pots, pans, and more.
Move all your non-essential appliances inside a cupboard or pantry and only leave out the ones you use every day. To reveal even more space, you could get rid of the kettle and invest in a kitchen tap that also serves up boiling water as well as ambient. Or stack your chopping boards vertically instead of leaving them flat.
Keep the walls and doors clear
You might be tempted to get a pinboard or cover your fridge in magnets to keep track of all the school letters, bills, and birthday reminders, but that’s not the best idea for a clutter-free space. These kinds of wall and cabinet decorations tend to draw the eye and accumulate until you can’t see anything clearly, and it’s just a mass of disorganized paper. Not ideal, right?
Instead, have a calendar or compartmentalized wall organizer to keep all your bills and reminders in check. As for the artwork from school, maybe ask the kids if they can keep their school drawings and play magnets in their room instead? You know, so they can track how good they are getting at it all.
Avoid piles and stacks
Piles of pans, pots of utensils, and cleaning supplies do seem to end up grouped in stacks or pile – then they often start to multiply as you unconsciously continue to stack and say ‘I’ll sort it later. You could throw it all in a drawer or cupboard to clear the space, but are you fixing the problem? There are more inventive solutions to help give everything a proper place, such as pan hooks, cleaning caddies, and bag/foil/wrap multi-holders you can install in the side of cabinet doors or on the wall.
Look in your local DIY shop or online and see if you can find storage solutions that help you keep things in lines or compartments – this kind of linear and separated organization will lessen the messy vibe.
Adopt healthy habits
There’s a saying from tidying Queen Marie Kondo, that goes “Don’t put it down, put it away”. The idea is that everything has its place, and it will take you but a few minutes to return the item to its home instead of putting it down anywhere. It’s both a space saver and a time saver as it means you have less to do later.
Think about it – instead of leaving your dirty glass on the side, put it in the dishwasher or hand wash it quickly. Consider if you’re actually going to read that piece of junk mail, or can it go straight in the rubbish? Remember, your coat doesn’t belong on the back of the kitchen chair, so put it on the hook instead. Little things all add up to big clutter, so getting into healthy habits like these will reduce the clutter overall.
Don’t do it all at once
Cluttered kitchens look so much worse when they’re unclean, but don’t take that to mean you have to do a deep clean all at once. Make it manageable by doing a little bit often, and the clutter and cleanliness will stick around for much longer.
For instance, do the washing up one night and put all the dry items away the next day. Clean the counter after you finish cooking, but leave cleaning the floor for the next day. If the oven needs a clean, wipe the outside on the first day, and coat the inside in an overnight treatment instead of scrubbing all at once. Doing cleaning tasks in stages lessens the load and the pressure on you too.
Start and end your day with a kitchen ritual
The last two tips sort of feed into this one too, as they’re all about mindfulness. Having a ritual and being mindful of your space and any potential clutter can help you be more relaxed and feel in control – all the things you want to feel when you have a clutter-free kitchen, right?
Start your day with little things like putting away the clean and dry crockery from the night before while you brew a coffee, then water any plants that need it too. Then at the end of the day, you can do any last-minute washing up so you can go to bed knowing there’s no mess. Emptying the bin is a good one, so you don’t wake up to any nasty smells. You could even prep the coffee machine and some overnight oats for your breakfast – what a great way to wake up!
Pay attention to your kitchen and how you use it, then take small actions to make that use easier and more streamlined.
Don’t leave the kitchen worse off than you found it
By this, we mean don’t make a mess and leave it for the next person to clean up – that’s just rude. You should aim to leave the space a bit cleaner or tidier than when you found it, whether it’s by emptying the bin or wiping the countertop – this will help you build healthy habits and help your kitchen on the way to clutter-free paradise too.
Here are some quick positive things you can do:
- Empty the bin
- Clean the counters
- Turn on the dishwasher
- Put away the clean pots
- Throw out the old mail
- Water the plants
- Turn off the light to save energy if someone left it on
These are minute changes for the most part, but they will make life easier for you and the next person in the kitchen.
Don’t stack the room with too much stuff
This one is quite harsh – when you buy something new, you should throw out something old. It’s the only way to ensure everything has a space of its own and is useful as well. There’s no point keeping an old pan if you have a new one or an old towel if you’ve got new ones. This balance helps prevent the kitchen from becoming overly filled or cluttered and makes you more mindful of what you have.
Learning how to declutter your room is an ongoing thing – it’s less about cleaning and kitchen tidy ideas or organization, and more about behavior and how you treat your kitchen space. Sometimes, you do need a renovation to get the storage and space you need. But other times, all you need is to put away the kitchen mixer and all those chopping boards and wipe the surfaces to get that clean, clutter-free kitchen feeling.