Organizing your kitchen can seem overwhelming. Even small kitchens usually have multiple cabinets and shelves and many different potential clutter spots: food, cleaning supplies, utensils, etc. But creating a cleaner kitchen doesn’t have to be a burdensome all-day project. You can do a lot in 30 minutes. Remember that you are not wholly organizing the kitchen or cleaning everything in sight by simply taking a few simple steps in a few minutes to help yourself maintain a cleaner kitchen in the future.
You can do this without any special tools, but you may want to keep a pen and paper near you to jot down any thoughts about your future organization. For example, while you work, you might realize that drawer dividers would be a wise purchase or that you are running on dish soap. Please make a short note of anything you discover so you can remember it later.
Getting Started with an Unwanted Mailbox
Fast creation of unwanted mailbox. Take out all the contents first. Then throw away whatever you don’t need. From the remaining objects, select those that are in no way connected to the kitchen, and return them to the desired location throughout the house. Anything that remains has a more likely place in your kitchen deserves to stay in a drawer. Arrange the actual items in the box so that they are not a jumbled mess.
Tackle the Cabinet Under the Sink
Throw anything oozing, empty, or otherwise not worth saving, and quickly accumulate the rest.
You don’t need to be perfect in this regard or any correction you make in this half-hour. Just line up detergent bottles, tin foil boxes, and other materials in rows so you can see and access what you have.
Quickly Scan Your Closet and Pantry
Are any of the products expired? Any dented jars or otherwise terrible packaging?
Drop all of these items. Now stack what’s left in the sections (e.g., baked goods, canned goods, tea), or at least make sure it’s all straight and clear.
Organize Your Fridge or Freezer
If the fridge or freezer is in inferior condition and has not been cleaned permanently, you can leave them at another time. But they are mostly fine, and you can quickly go through them and check out anything hideous or ancient. It is not necessary to remove everything from the fridge or freezer (unless, again, they are not very dirty). Just check whatever needs to be thrown away while you organize the meal so you can get to it.
Move on to Your Dishes and Utensils
You don’t have to make any vast decisions here. Just look at something out of place or something you don’t need. (I tend to accumulate reusable plastic water bottles in awkward sizes every time I pick up and add to the bag going to goodwill). If you notice a broken dish, either dispose of it or remove it from the cabinet so you can fix it later.
Look Around Your Kitchen
Is there something out there, somewhere else, like a coat, draped over a chair in the hallway closet?
Is there something that’s not in the right place, like the bank you left on the counter, that it can return to the shelf? These superficial little touches can differentiate a room that looks grubby and one that looks polished.
Nothing fancy – leave the dirty dishes in the sink, put the clean dishes in the drying rack, and wipe the counters and other surfaces with a cleaning spray or disinfectant cloth. A kitchen that’s freshly prepared and smells like lemon and meat water (or whatever you are) will make you feel extraordinarily perfect.