Our kitchen is old. Old and cramped. (Click here to see it). It is a constant effort to keep it clean and semi organised. Last week I was digging through the two utensil drawers under our bench, when I noticed that there were things in the drawer that I had never used. Clearly it was ripe for some decluttering.
One of the keys to decluttering is to do little things often. Waiting till I have time to do the whole house is never going to happen, so I aim for one thing every other week, and a few extras during school holidays.
In the last six months I have gone through the kids toys and clothes, my clothes, our books, our pantry, odds and ends drawer (batteries, rubber bands etc), and laundry. Of course there is always more to do, but no matter what I am decluttering, I always follow the same process.
Step By Step Decluttering.
1. Remove everything – take everything out of drawer or cupboard, and pile it up neatly somewhere out of the way. Don’t put it right in front of the cupboard, because it will be in the way for later steps.
2. Wipe out the drawer or cupboard and let it dry. This way it is nice and clean before you put items back in there.
3. While the drawer is drying, sort all the contents into three piles:
a. Items that are used regularly and are in good condition.
b. Items that you never use or is broken. Be ruthless and honest about this. There is no use keeping something you never use or is broken on the off chance you might “need” it sometime.
c. Items that you’re not sure whether to purge or not.
4. Once the drawer is dry, sort the items you use regularly and put similar items together. Put these back into the drawers – you may need to use dividers or containers to help keep items separated.
5. Throw out items that are broken and donate any items that are in good condition but never used. I have a box that I put anything that will be donated into, that way I remember to take our donations with us when we go to town.
6. Put all the items you’re not sure about in a box somewhere accessible. If you need something from that box, use it then put it into the drawer with the other items you use. If after 3 or 6 months, you haven’t used the items, donate them.
As I was clearing and sorting the kitchen drawers, I thought I would take some before and after photos for you.
What is your strategy for decluttering? Do you declutter regularly?