Do Yourself a Favor–Clear Your Kitchen Clutter!

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I recently read an article by one of my fellow organizers, Bev Hitchins,  from ALIGN, A Unique & Integrative Approach to Clutter and Balance. Her article reminded me that organizing is something that you do for yourself, but the benefits can carry over to other people.

Summer is fast approaching. If you plan to do any entertaining or hosting of gatherings, now is the time to clear your kitchen clutter. “Too soon,” you say?  Not really!

The kitchen is a complex space. You store food in the refrigerator, freezer and pantry.  You keep pots and pans in one place, storage containers in another, and plates and glasses in still another. Cleaning supplies might go under the sink and cleaning tools like mops and brooms might have their own cupboard. Each area takes time to assess and address.

Recently I started working on my own kitchen clutter.  Here are a few tips I picked up to get you started:

  • Parcel your approach. Give yourself small projects like cleaning the refrigerator or just going through your can goods.  Let go of the notion that you can do your entire kitchen in one day. This can be exhausting work.
  • Toss anything that has expired.  This includes all can goods as well as pasta and other dry goods like cereal, rice and flour.  I shocked myself when I saw an expiration date of 2006 on at least one can.
  • Review your pots and pans. Get rid of worn-out, especially aluminum, cookware. It has been documented that victims of Alzheimer’s disease have four times the normal amount of aluminum in their brain nerve cells.  Replace them with glass, iron or stainless steel cookware.
  • Assess your cleaning supplies. Perhaps it’s time to go green. Throw out your chemical-laden cleaning products. Start investigating natural antiseptic ones, perhaps containing pure essential oils.  Take a look at your rags, mops and brooms.  Are they in good shape?  If not, treat yourself to new ones.
  • Check out your dishes and flatware. You might have just the right amount of both, but take a look anyway.  Are you using those odd plates and bowls?  Is your flatware clean and organized?  How many serving utensils do you have?  Not enough or too many?
  • Empty out your junk drawer. This task may take all afternoon, but it’s well worth it.  Ask yourself the tough question, “Why am I holding onto this?” and then promptly kiss it goodbye.

I am still working my way through my kitchen, but now when I open my refrigerator or cabinets, I feel relief instead of frustration.  I can see easily what I have and what I need.  Having a friend come for dinner is fun and not so labor-intensive.

I urge you--do yourself a favor. Start clearing the clutter in your kitchen now. You’ll find cooking a more enjoyable experience!

Bev Hitchins is President of ALIGN, A Unique and Integrative Approach to Clutter and Balance.  When her mother died in 1990, she drove a huge truck with contents from her mother’s home in Florida to Virginia where she promptly put it in storage for 9 years.  Only in 1999 did she begin the de-cluttering process, which led to starting a thriving de-cluttering/organizing business in 2005.  You can get a flavor for her approach and philosophy from her website: and her blog

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Janet Schiesl

Janet has been organizing since 2005. She is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Basic Organization. She loves using her background as a space planner to challenge her clients to look at their space differently. She leads the team in large projects and works one-on-one with clients to help the process move quickly and comfortably. Call her crazy, but she loves to work with paper, to purge what is not needed and to create filing systems that work for each individual client. Janet is a Past President of the Washington DC Chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and was voted 2016 Organizer of the Year by the Washington DC Chapter of NAPO.


  1. Seana Turner on April 29, 2019 at 9:18 am

    The kitchen is my favorite room to organize. Fewer sentimental items, and many of them have expiration dates. I think this is also one of the most rewarding rooms because once a system is in place, we are likely to use it because we understand “putting things back” in the kitchen. Few of us leave clean plates and pots scattered randomly about. What feels better than walking into a kitchen we feel good about?

    • Janet Schiesl on April 29, 2019 at 9:06 pm

      Very logical Seana. I have never thought about it that way. I also like to organize kitchen because it makes a difference in the lives of everyone who lives there.

  2. Sabrina Quairoli on April 29, 2019 at 3:08 pm

    I feel the same way as Seana Turner. I love organizing the kitchen. In the spring, I love to revisit the pantry supplies to see if I can get rid of anything. This past weekend, I purged my junk drawer and now I have so much room. Yay.

    • Janet Schiesl on April 29, 2019 at 9:07 pm

      Awesome Sabrina. My junk drawer is one of my favorites! A satisfying, quick project.

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