How to declutter the kitchen

If our kitchen is very messy and we want to know how to organize our kitchen. What we really first need to learn is how to declutter the kitchen before we can wipe it clean and organize the kitchen.

Let’s be honest, it is a big task so be kind on yourself. If you have a friend that can come and help, take advantage of this.

I recently did a very good maintenance clean on my kitchen, giving everything a good wipe, looking for items to declutter and tweak my organization in the kitchen. Unfortunately, I was thinking I was an invincible professional organizer, so it should be done in max 3 hours. After a day of cleaning and organizing all the benches, doors and cupboards  was exhausted and reminded myself of the advice I give out very frequently.

Take it easy!

Declutter the kitchen - a quick win

Always when you start decluttering a large area or when you start a big declutter project.  You want to have some quick wins. This means that you want to have the maximum result for the least amount of effort.

Therefor the first things I recommend you do when you declutter the kitchen is work on the kitchen counter in this order:


• Throw away rubbish
• Remove items not belonging in the kitchen
• Put clean dishes away
• Wash dirty dishes

Throw away rubbish

This is an easy one to begin with, when you declutter the kitchen. It also gives a quick result for your efforts. If you have 1 bottle, 1 wrapper, 1 piece of cardboard and an empty milk bottle on your bench top, things will look messy.  You have to make it a habit to bin kitchen rubbish immediately or clear the bench at very regular intervals.


Before you continue to declutter the kitchen you want to empty the bins as well, both recycling and the normal bin. This gives you a clean slate to work with.

Remove items not belonging in the kitchen

In most households, items find their way into the kitchen that really shouldn’t live in the kitchen. If you have children or your kitchen is close to the entrance of your house this effect might be multiplied. Grouping items together is how we declutter the kitchen. Let’s pick up all papers in the kitchen and either bin these or put them on your desk. Then look at toys left in the kitchen put these away in the toy box.


You see that you’ll get quite a bit of exercise when you learn how to declutter the kitchen? You move to different areas in the house to bring items to more appropriate locations (Please remember not to get distracted by other areas but go straight back to the kitchen).

Put clean dishes away

If there are clean dishes on the bench top, put these away now. Do not worry about your cupboards yet. We declutter the kitchen by first making the benches clear. So if this means you will put a clean plate in a messy cupboard, so be it. We want to finish off 1 thing; the bench top, before we continue to declutter the kitchen and go onto the cupboards.

Wash dirty dishes

By now there should be very little on your kitchen counter. What is left? Possibly fridge items, spices etc. put these on their respective spots. Ideally you should only have dirty dishes left. Put some hot soapy water in the sink and make it official with dish wash gloves (this makes it always much more serious. Look I am cleaning up!).

If you have a dishwasher, combine the dishwasher with hand washing some items. Continue until everything is clean. Dry all dishes straight away and put these away as well.

You have completed part 1 of how to declutter the kitchen.


Take a break, have a cup of tea / coffee and enjoy the results of your efforts.

When you are ready continue onto How to declutter your kitchen part 2

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