How I managed to have this much clutter in my kitchen, I will never know. And I didn’t get through the dishes/utensils. What I worked through was the food cabinet, the spice cabinet, the tea cabinet, the coffee cup cabinet and the 3 cabinets that are basically kitchen junk cabinets. 4 bags of trash. 4 bags of wasted space. 4 bags of unneeded stuff. FOUR. BAGS.OF. TRASH… FROM. MY. KITCHEN. CABINETS.
Begin By Throwing Out The Empty Boxes…
Empty ‘sandwich bag’ boxes. Empty kitchen cleaners. Empty packaging. THROW THEM AWAY. Oh, and why do we never finish things? We had 3 bottles of multi- vitamins. We have 3 containers of foil. We had 5 bags of beans. In the spice cabinet, we had 3 cinnamon jars and 4 baking sodas. Those had to be combined into single containers. All 4 of the meat tenderizer spices got trashed, we don’t eat meat, I have no idea where those snuck in from. Come on, am I really the only one who has this problem?
I kept only 1 container of each thing or combined them into 1 container. I threw away 2 bags of trash just by combining or getting rid of empty boxes.
Use Organizing Bins…
Notice the organizing of vitamins/prescriptions into an open face box, where I can read the labels but it is still neatly maintained. I also felt I had a moment of brilliance with the idea of using the little bin for essential oils. I didn’t clean those out, because they are my husband’s thing. I just organized them, so they no longer spill out when I open the cabinet.
Surprisingly, the spices (which I thought was a huge issue) only needed a touch up and 2 organizer bins.
Return Everyone’s Dishes…
I tend to put borrowed dishes out in the open, you know where i might possibly remember to grab it when I go see them. That has never ever worked. I still see them every week… and every week, the borrowed dishes take up cabinet space and table space, hoping I will eventually remember to grab them on my way out. Today, everything I didn’t own went in the car, now I can’t say I forgot to grab the dishes the next time I see my friends and family.
2 tips on this – share food in disposable containers and if you they do give you real dishes with food in them, return the dishes with a new homemade meal in it. It will make their night!
Get Rid of Good Ideas!
Follow me here – I have sooooo maaaaany paper plates and utensils! I somehow have millions of paper/plastic utensils from my wedding 2 years ago and we still haven’t used them. It is odd to me! But I kept them and continued to keep them saying we would use them, but here they still sit 2 1/2 years later. So, as great as the idea is to use them, it’s not functional at this time, it is just clutter.
This same idea was applied to the tomato paste, the lasagna noodles and the hot chocolate I have had forever. If the items are past expiration date and literally can be re-bought for a few pennies WHEN YOU NEED THEM, get rid of them. They are now clutter.
Be Okay Rearranging…
One thing i have noticed is a my reluctance to rearrange the location of items, even if it isn’t functional where it is. I have no idea why, but I would rather leave it dysfunctional and causing stress instead of re-arrange it.
See the top of the vitamin cabinet ‘before’ picture? No need for jars, or baskets or a 2 year old bottle of Aloe Vera. These things do not need to be in this cabinet and it can be rearranged to another cabinet! This time I came up with an idea – my method was to pull all the ‘mis-located’ items out of the cabinets. I then put them ALL in a pile on the table. This emptied several cabinets and I could then neatly organize them by function. It seemed to work for me!
So there you go… 4 bags of trash and clutter. Yes, I had to keep resting because I got very overwhelmed, but I got through it. And here is why I pushed through the anxiety, the stress and the passiveness I formally was accepting…
It has given me peace. It has allowed me to have a good attitude while cooking. I cooked all week with no stress, I wasn’t upset, I did dishes, I cooked every day this week and spent time relaxing in the kitchen and dining room.
I am de-cluttering things that get in the way of my peace. Peace is to precious to me to give it up over 4 bags of stress-creating, joy-stealing, peace-robbing CLUTTER. And for that reason, the clutter has to go. And believe it or not, my kitchen never looked like I had so much extra stuff. It actually looked very neat. But I was avoiding being in it and I was always complaining about cooking or having to clean. Now? Now I have peace again!
I want to enjoy my blessings, the blessing of a kitchen, the blessing of good food, the blessing of taking care of my husband, the blessing of reflecting while I cook and clean up. But I wasn’t experiencing this, I wasn’t feeling any of it! Previously, I was upset, stressed and worried while in the kitchen. Now, I can enjoy my blessings again.
If you have not started the journey of de-cluttering, it may be hard to believe that simplifying can detoxify your life of stress and anxiety, but it does. It helps the whole family, my husband came home and told me it felt peaceful again in the house. And it doesn’t have to be going to nothing, just start with the clutter in the kitchen, the extra vitamins you can combine, the dishes that need to be returned, the grocery items you never used, the buckets without lids… you don’t need these things, they do not serve you… let them go and see how your peace is restored.
Ps. – Here are some of my other blogs about my journey into minimalism and my seeking peace in all areas of my life…