Stress Less, Stress Relief

A Simple Guide to Decluttering Your Kitchen


By Emma Stessman

Giving your kitchen a deep clean can seem like quite the daunting task, especially if it’s been a while since you checked your cabinets for decade-old canned goods lurking in the back.

But once it’s done, an organized, tidy kitchen will make daily cooking easier and less stressful. (For example, you’ll be able to find the things you need quickly, stop wasting food, and much more.)

So, to make the process a whole lot easier, we turned to professional organizer, Jodi Starr.

Her biggest tip? Don’t do it all at once. “If you’re going to do it by yourself, break it into small chunks of time,” Starr says. “If it feels too overwhelming, just stick to one shelf per day or one shelf in the morning and one shelf in the afternoon.”

Read on for more of her specific, step-by-step instructions and expert tips on how to organize and clean your kitchen—and then make sure it stays tidy for as long as possible.

4 Steps to Declutter Your Kitchen

1. Start with the fridge

Chances are, you’re using your fridge more than anything else in the kitchen (yes, we’re counting all those times when you open it just to, you know, check on the food in there), so this is the best place to start, Starr says. “Open it up, take all of the food out, wipe down each of the shelves, look at all the expiration dates, and make sure that everything is still fresh,” she says.

2. Organize the pantry and food cabinets

While you’re on a food organizing kick, Starr suggests moving straight from the fridge to the non-perishables. Her big tip here: organize the food into sections. For example, have one area dedicated to your gluten-free pastas and another to your favorite snacks and nut butters. This will prevent those open-every-cabinet-to-find-one-thing moments.

If you have the time, and are looking to make your organization system both functional and worthy of the ‘gram, Starr also recommends taking things out of their boxes (i.e. cereals, pastas, oats, etc.) and putting them into clear containers.

RELATED: How to Organize and Stock Your Pantry Like a Nutritionist

3. Declutter your pots and pans

Create a system for your pots and pans that prioritizes accessibility, because no one wants to deal with the metal clanging and heavy lifting that comes with the search for that one pot. Take your favorite cast iron skillet and your go-to saucepan for making golden milk lattes and place them towards the front for easy access. The lesser-used items can go in the back or be tossed.

The things that you might want to consider saying goodbye to? That non-stick pan that’s peeling and a little rusted, or the cutting board with plenty of knife marks. “Make sure [the pots and pans] are in good shape and that you really want to put the food that you’re eating on it or in it,” says Starr.

4. Tackle the cleaning supplies

Yes, cleaning your kitchen includes a reorg of the cleaning supplies themselves. Under the sink is the best place to store your all-natural counter cleaners and non-toxic soaps, Starr says. She suggests using a bucket method: place all your most-used cleaners in a bucket under the sink. This makes for easy storage and convenience when cleaning, as you can take the bucket around with you from the stove to the fridge and everywhere in between.

RELATED: Healthy Homemade Cleaning Products That Actually Work

One thing to keep in mind throughout the whole process: take a minimalist approach. “Less is truly more,” says Starr. That way, your space will feel way more organized, and your next clean will be stress-free.


(Featured Photo: Shutterstock)

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