Open the drawers, survey the cupboards, scan the benches – do you really need all that stuff? Decluttering can help make space in the mind as well as your home. Here are some tips for a simple kitchen and living room clearout.
Food and drink
Remove the food from your drawers and cupboards – if you have a large kitchen you may wish to tackle this in stages. Replace everything in an organised way, removing out-of-date items and anything you no longer use. Once this is complete you can repeat the exercise with your fridge and freezer.
Crockery and cutlery
As with your food, remove everything from drawers and cupboards to establish what you use. It’s useful to consider the size of your family and how many people you entertain at any given time. This number can help to determine how many items to keep.
Pots and pans
This category takes up a lot of kitchen space, so letting go of unused items can liberate your cupboards. You may also wish to remove duplicates. After all, if you can only fit three roasting tins in your oven, do you need eight of them? Think about what you use and what you can comfortably live without.
This is a tricky category because it’s usually made up of high-value products. If you’re no longer using a kitchen appliance it is wise to let it go. Removing unused kitchen accessories can give you extra kitchen space.
Household cleaning products
If your household cleaning products are kept in the kitchen, take a moment to establish what you use and what you don’t. Always dispose of hazardous waste as advised on the label.
Once you’ve finished, you should be left with a kitchen that perfectly serves your needs, containing only the items and products you love and use. To complete the job, it’s lovely to clear everything off your benches, displaying only the items you regularly use. This might be a kettle, tea and coffee jars, a toaster, chopping boards, herbs and so on. With all the excess clutter gone there should be more storage space for anything that needs to be hidden. Clear surfaces make preparing food a delight.
A great way to get going is by collecting together anything that shouldn’t be there. This may include mugs, coats, shoes, toys and books. If something has a home elsewhere, return it to its rightful place. This will hopefully clear a lot of random bits and bobs and give you instant results.
Mail, books and magazines
Another simple task is to address any paper, letters, bills, junk mail and magazines. They can easily pile up and it’s great to remove anything that’s no longer needed. Also, clear magazine racks, drawers and shelves of the things that are no longer loved or used.
With so many gadgets on the market, it’s easy to fill our living spaces with technology. This may include CDs and music systems, DVDs and DVD players, digital boxes, game consoles and so on. Consider what you use and if there’s anything that can be removed or stored elsewhere.
Ornaments, trinkets and collectables
The quick way to address ornaments, trinkets and collectables is to remove anything that no longer brings you joy. A slightly longer approach is to take everything out of the room, replacing only the things you love. Either way, with a careful edit you can create a calmer space and reduce the number of things that need dusting.
Take a fresh look at the furniture in your living room. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of keeping everything, particularly if it cost you a lot of money. Unloved and unused furniture can be sold or donated to charity.
Now give the room one final scan to see if anything has slipped through the net. If everything is looking calm and organised you can make yourself a nice cup of tea, put your feet up and breathe in the calm space.
This article was originally published in Issue 6, Breathe Magazine – Personal Reflection.