Declutter Your Kitchen Before a Remodel

Monday, March 9th, 2015 by Danny Peterson

Preparing to remodel your kitchen? Then now is as good a time as any to go through all your dishes, gadgets, and trinkets. Get your kitchen organized now and it will pay off in both the short and the long terms! Why? For one thing, it will help you with the remodel itself. Getting rid of excess junk helps you get a better feel for how much kitchen storage space you truly need. It will also help you locate any items you need to set up a “temporary kitchen” while your real one is being worked on. Plus, if you declutter now, then you’ll have a truly clean, functional, and organized kitchen once the remodel is over and done with. Finally: If you’re remodeling your kitchen, the whole place is going to be a mess for a few days anyway—so why not go through everything while you have the chance?

Start with the Cookware 

We recommend that you start with your cookware. Open all your cabinets and pantries and get all the cookware out, separating it into three piles. In the first pile, put all the cookware that you use pretty regularly. This stuff will all go back into the cabinets. In the second pile, place the stuff that you never use. This stuff you’ll want to donate or throw away. In the third pile, place things that you use seasonally. For example, you may have an ice cream maker that you use in the summer but not during the rest of the year. Box that up and stash it in a closet, basement, attic, or garage. There’s no sense in using your limited kitchen storage space for something you use sporadically.

Organize Creatively 

As you put things back in place—maybe after the remodel—we’d urge you to be creative in organizing things. For instance, you may have a great number of cooking spoons and spatulas. There’s no need to take up an entire drawer with them. Get some kind of a vessel or vase you can sit on the countertop to store them, freeing up that valuable drawer area. Also invest in some organizational implements—including ones not necessarily designed for kitchen use. A letter sorter can be used to keep pot lids and other kitchen knick-knacks separate. You can use small, shallow boxes and box lids to form separate “drawers” within your cabinets. Think outside the box as you try to get the best use out of your space.

Think in Categories 

As you place all of your “frequent use” items back into the kitchen, be methodical in how you organize them. Think in terms of categories, putting similar items together. You may have a cabinet that’s just for breakfast items. You may have a “pasta” drawer, or a “baking drawer.” Place items together in groups to help keep your kitchen feeling organized and thought-out. In addition to thinking about categories, you also want to think about practicality. Are there items you use every single day, perhaps even multiple times per day? Then don’t put them on the hard-to-reach top shelf!

Make Your Kitchen the Kitchen 

One final thought about kitchen organization: Let your kitchen be the kitchen, and nothing else. Don’t clutter it with items that aren’t really relevant to its intended use. Papers, bills, arts and crafts—none of that really belongs in the kitchen, and if you have another room where you can keep it, it will help you maintain organization in your kitchen. It’s all about making good, effective use of the space in your kitchen—something that will require you to be judicious!

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