If you risk creating an avalanche of pots and pans every time you open the cupboard, it’s probably time to de-clutter your kitchen. By being proactive and systematic, you can reorganize your kitchen so that every item you need is at your fingertips, and unused items are removed.
Get ready. Clear an open area in a nearby room with enough space for four piles: “trash,” “donate or sell,” “move to another room” and “keep.” Your “trash” pile can be an actual trash can and recycling bin.
Clear out the initial trash. You won’t get everything, but start by clearing out the surface level trash like old coupons, takeout bags and anything else that’s laying around your countertops. This will make it easier to get to the more important items.
Start sorting. Take all of the appliances, dishes, food items and silverware out of the kitchen (leave your refrigerator’s contents for later) and place them in the appropriate pile. When deciding what to put where, ask yourself: “When was the last time I used this?” Add items that you used within the last month to the “keep” pile (as well as seasonal items like holiday plates). Give items that you use almost every day their own area in the “keep” pile. Items that you never use, or haven’t used in the past year, should be trashed or put in the “sell or donate” pile. You should also add any canned food you’re not realistically going to eat to this pile. Items that aren’t going to be used for making or serving food should be put in the “move to another room” pile.
Do a quick clean. Since your kitchen will now be almost empty, this is a great time to spruce things up. Wipe away crumbs with a wet cloth or sponge and wash your counters with mild dish soap. Be sure to dry them afterwards.
Put away the “keep” pile. This is a crucial step. Put away everything in this pile, leaving the items you use every day for last. This is a great time to store appliances that don’t get used often in cabinets so they don’t take up precious counter space. By putting the most frequently used items away last, they’ll be the easiest to reach when it’s time to cook.
Deal with your other piles. The “trash” pile can just be thrown out. The “donate or sell” pile should be taken to a donation center like Goodwill, or you can try selling these items on a site like eBay for some extra cash. The “move to another room” items should be sorted and placed accordingly.
Clean your fridge (optional). If you still have some energy, why not clean out your fridge, too? For details, read: Clean Out Your Fridge.