Our kitchens have been designed for cooking and dining, but the longer we live in one place, the more stuff we accumulate and eventually, our kitchens become a general storage area full of clutter and items that don’t really belong! Benches become home to keys, wallets, sunglasses and unopened mail while cupboards overflow with unused popcorn makers, expired spices and double ups of utensils we didn’t even know we owned. If you can relate, then read on...
It’s time to bring the kitchen back to what it should be- A convenient and fun place to cook up a storm! If you ask us, the best system is the ‘keep or toss’. Before you start tidying and trying to create order, you need to make room.
The Big Cull
TIP: Be ruthless! When it comes to cleaning out your cupboards, be honest with yourself. There are surely things in there that have been untouched for months, even years and unless you have a genuine emotional attachment to that serving spoon, why are you really hoarding it?
When it comes to decluttering any space in your home, we always recommend the ‘3 plie rule’. This involves creating three piles to help you categorise what to keep and what to toss: those things you regularly use, sometimes use or never use.
Regularly used - items such as pots, pans, serving spoons, knives, peelers etc.
Place these items in the most convenient location allowing for easy access.
Top drawers or eye level shelves in cupboards are typically most convenient. Get rid of double ups, do you really need 4 can openers? Have one of each item and store away/donate the remainder.
Sometimes used - cupcake stands, corn-on-the-cob handles, food processors etc.
Move these items out of the kitchen’s prime real estate.
Never used - ice-cream maker, cookbook stand, fondue set etc
They may have been quirky gifts or a fad that's coming to an end, but do yourself and your home a favour and live in the 'now'. If you've used that popcorn machine once in a few years since getting it, chances are you can say goodbye to it.
Now for the big question... Do you keep it or toss it in the bin? Let’s look at some of the biggest clutter-causers in the kitchen.
Some well-worn cookware just needs a little love — and some, just needs to leave!
Pot and pan lids with missing handles
KEEP If the pan or pot is still in working order, contact the manufacturer for the replacement part. If the knob has simply become detached, it’s easily fixed with a replacement screw. Take the pot to Bunnings Warehouse to find the right fit.
Mismatched pot and pan lids
TOSS If the pots are long gone, why have you saved the lids? Bin the lot and invest in a universal lid from www.kitchenwaredirect.com.au which will fit most pots and pans!
Warped baking pans
TOSS Warped pans no longer allow for even heat distribution which will make baking the perfect treat near on impossible. Save yourself the headache!
Are you finding that all of your pans are becoming warped? Make sure you are allowing hot sheets to cool before soaking them in the sink; this is generally what cases the warping.
Discoloured stainless steel
KEEP Discoloration is caused by high heat, but this doesn’t affect the performance of the pot or pan. If it’s still in good condition otherwise, give it a thorough scrub and keep it.
Scratched non-stick cookware
KEEP and TOSS While some wear will affect the function of the pan, it not necessarily dangerous to use (do toss a flaking pan, however).
Ask yourself… Does it require a goodbye or just a good clean?
If your pot or pan is sporting a gummed-up surface, simmer water in the pan and add half a cup of baking soda. Once cool, clean with a non-scratch scrubber.
Food containers missing lids
TOSS Take out all of your plastic containers and sort which ones have lids and which don’t. The ones that don’t , bin them!
TOSS If you have never used a particular utensil or at least not in the last year, donate it! If you have 6 wooden spoons, you have 4 too many. Utensils in chipped or poor condition need no second thought, bin!
Keep all of your utensils together, either in a utensil holder or draw. Homeware stores such as IKEA and Howards Storage World have dozens of fabulous utensil draw organisers to choose from.
Bench clutter- Mail, bills, flyers, takeaway menus and magazines
KEEP If it’s important (but re-home). A decorative box on a kitchen shelf will ensure important letters and bills do not become misplaced. The rest, sort and bin if you need to.