Declutter the Kitchen

Yes, this is another spring cleaning post! This time, I'm turning my attention to the home. And the kitchen, in particular.

For many of us--and definitely for me!--the kitchen is the heart of the home. This is the room where I spend almost all my daylight hours when I am at home. I love to cook--and EAT!!!--but I also do crossword puzzles, check my email, charge my phone, attend to paperwork, type my blogs, and surf the Internet in my kitchen. In other words, I basically live in this room.

Until very recently, my kitchen was a disaster. (Not structurally, because a few years back we completely renovated this room. I love our hickory cabinets and soapstone counters. The slate tile backsplash perfectly ties together the dark countertops with the warm wood tones. Don't you think?) But because I am a natural-born slob, I tend to let clutter accumulate. My immense kitchen table is almost always covered with stuff: mail, planners, dictionary, crosswords, dirty coffee mugs, water bottles, you get the idea. The countertops: ditto. Numerous appliances: always left out. Our ridiculously enormous vitamin and supplement collection occupied a huge swath of soapstone. Our coffee making station, dish-drying rack, and cutting boards filled up any remaining space. Making a meal usually involved cleaning first before enough space became available to chop a few veggies.

Then it suddenly hit me: I did not need to live like this! My beautiful home could be a source of joy instead of a weight around my neck, dragging me down. I just needed to put a little thought and effort into where things should go. "A place for everything and everything in its place." I have no idea who said that.

There were a few steps involved in decluttering my kitchen:

1) Chucking out the stuff I no longer needed, enjoyed, or loved. I went through every drawer and cupboard, taking inventory. I had no less than THREE Christmas-themed aprons!!! Although these vintage aprons were super cute, I never wore them. I definitely didn't need them. I got rid of two, along with piles of old cloth napkins, a partially-melted plastic spatula, and all manner of junk I'd accumulated over the past 17 years. This is a great time to toss old food products, expired supplements, and anything you no longer wish to consume.

2) Once I had made space in several drawers and cupboards, I began to rearrange. I was able to employ an entire drawer in our pantry for the vitamin collection. Appliances went into cupboards to await their future use, rather than sitting out. Now I could actually see my lovely soapstone!

3) I collected a large bag of stuff to donate to a local thrift store. One person's trash is another person's treasure. Hopefully, someone will be baking Christmas cookies wearing one of my vintage aprons next winter!

4) I took a picture of my empty countertops. (See photo above!)

Now I feel happier every time I step into my kitchen. It is easier to cook, and I feel more inspired to do so. If your kitchen is currently cluttered, this could be a key step in changing your diet and dropping a few pounds. A messy, non-functioning kitchen could be standing between you and your brand-new, svelte shape!

This spring, clean up the rooms in your house that are bringing your energy down. A cluttered space can have a huge effect on your moods and energy levels. You might not even realize what is making you feel tired and depressed! Create some open space--on your countertops and in your life--for new energy and joy to enter!