We all know how fast kitchen worktops can get filled up with stuff and render almost unfit to prepare food. It’s interesting to note how quickly we become accustomed to working in such a cluttered environment. It is not until we walk into someone else’s alarmingly clean kitchen, or meander through the pages of an inspirational interiors magazine, that we stop and look with dismay at our own space with fresh eyes. But, everyone has advice on clutter-free kitchen tips, who you should trust?
But don’t be dismayed because, while clean, empty, minimalist surfaces might seem like an impossible dream, there are a number of straightforward things that you can do to achieve the minimalist room of your dreams. A good place to start is our:
10 Super Simple Clutter-Free Kitchen Tips
1. Initiate a Strict One-in One-Out Policy
It is a very simple habit to get into. One that translates very easily to other areas of the house such as the kids’ toys and your wardrobe. When you purchase or acquire some new appliance, utensil, set of glasses or piece of crockery for the kitchen, something else must go. Whether you sell it, bin it, recycle it, re-gift it or put it in the charity box, something must go. This way you can keep the ‘stuff’ at bay.
2. Don’t Put it Down, Put it Away
One of the most important (AND EASY) clutter-free kitchen tips is to get into the habit of putting things away… rather than just putting them down on the kitchen surfaces; and this goes for the whole family. It goes double for dirty mugs, and crumb covered plates. If you have them in your hand, put them directly in the dishwasher rather than on the worktop to be dealt with later.
3. A Place for Everything and Everything in its Place
To get to grips with tip number 2 you also have to find a place for everything and if you don’t have space, it’s time for a clear-out. It is very easy for the kitchen to become a dumping ground for a vast array of objects that do not belong there: homework, books, craft items, hair brushes, paperwork, etc. It is especially so when you have a family with kids. You may have to look at your storage solutions elsewhere in the house to free up some of that vital space in the kitchen. Once you’ve eliminated the unnecessary items from your kitchen, you can start to find places for the stuff that does belong there.
4. Don’t Let it Pile Up
Mess just attracts more mess. You know how it works, if you leave just one item on the surface, it is an open invitation for others to do the same. This is how one electricity bill that needs attention and is left on the side can turn into and a nest of clutter that looks like you just emptied your handbag or the contents of your pockets straight onto the kitchen surface. So, our next clutter-free kitchen tips are to put systems in place to deal with this kind of thing, such as labelled box files for outstanding bills, a box or hooks for your keys and a jar for small change.
5. Allow Yourself Just One Messy Kitchen Drawer and Keep it Organised
Of course, the list of items that you find useful to have in the kitchen, that have nothing to with cooking, can be as long as you make it. Who doesn’t want wrapping tape, screwdrivers, tape measure, string, batteries, pens, keys, phones, take away menus, etc. close to hand in the kitchen. It is after all the room that is at the very centre of family life. So, allow yourself one drawer in the kitchen that is home to all these small but essential items. Then KEEP IT ORGANISED. Have a quick rummage through this drawer occasionally while waiting for the kettle to boil, or the toast to come up. Always bin something out or put it in its proper place. Never on the worktop!
6. Ban Fridge Magnets
Other great clutter-free kitchen tips include enhancing the clean look in your tidy kitchen by banning all fridge magnets. You may only start off with a couple, to pin up useful information, but they have a habit of multiplying. Plus before you know it the whole fridge is covered with fading photos, out of date takeaway menus, curling kids’ artwork and endless lists. This is a quick fix that will make a big difference to the overall impression on anyone walking into your kitchen. All those items could find a place on the notice board which you can put in a more suitable place.
7. Keep the Visible Appliances to a Minimum
If you are a fan of kitchen gadgets – coffee maker, deep fat fryer, blender, juicer, mixer, etc. Make an honest assessment of which ones are in use the least and find a place elsewhere for them. Anywhere but the kitchen worktop. Of course, if you have toast and tea every morning, then the toaster and the kettle should make the cut and remain on the show. But perhaps the lesser user bread maker should be relegated if it only gets used once in a blue moon.
8. Don’t Store your Utensils on the Kitchen Top
In a similar vein, another good idea is to go through all your kitchen utensils, get rid of the ones that are no longer in use or on their last legs, and then organise them. Of course, for an efficient kitchen, you need to have your most trusted tools close to hand. That can either be in well-organised drawers or hung up above the work surfaces. The same goes for hanging up bulky pots and pans that might otherwise be taking up space in your cupboards.
9. Little and Often
Once you have dealt with the clutter, you will stand a better chance of keeping your kitchen clean. To make this job less onerous, it’s a good idea to pick one cleaning chore a day rather than save it all up to do in one go. Also, take a few minutes just to give the surfaces a once-over, in the morning after breakfast, and again before bed, You’ll find it much easier to stay on top of the whole thing.
10. Make your Dining Table a Clutter-Free Zone
And finally, designate your kitchen dining table as a clutter-free zone. This is a strict rule that should apply to everybody. It’s very tempting when arriving home to go straight to the kitchen and dump keys, bags, and post, etc. on the kitchen table. Refer yourself, and all other family members to rule number 3 on this list. A place for everything and everything in its place. Keep this area sacrosanct for eating with friends and family. The only exception to this rule might be a vase of fresh flowers or a bowl of fruit to brighten up the room.