Decluttering Cure

Use This List to Declutter Your Kitchen in 20 Minutes

updated Sep 18, 2019
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Credit: Mackenzie Schieck

Apartment Therapy’s September Sweep is a free 15-day decluttering program, guaranteed to leave you with a lighter, leaner home by the end of the month. Sign up here so you never miss a lesson, or go here to view all of the assignments so far.

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There’s no kitchen in the world that’s big enough. No matter how many cabinets you have, or whether your countertop is better measured in inches or acres, I guarantee that if you’ve been living in your space for a while, your kitchen storage is full.

Maybe it has something to do with the way the kitchen is the heart of the home. People gravitate towards the cookhouse when you’re hosting a party, so your things probably enjoy ending up there too.

But it’s a good idea to take regular stock at the things you’re storing there—so that’s exactly what we’re going to do today.

Today’s Assignment:

Do a 20-minute decluttering sweep of the kitchen.

If you’ve been following the September Sweep, you know the drill by now: Set a timer, grab a basket, and go through your kitchen looking for things that are either out of place, or ready to be tossed and given a new home far away from yours.

But first… there are a few places not to look: The fridge, freezer and pantry can be spared today, because we’ll be coming back for a sweep of those food storage spaces next week.

Where to Look:

  • cabinets
  • drawers
  • on the counter
  • on top of the fridge or cabinets
  • any freestanding furniture, like a hutch or island
  • the bar or bar cart
  • anywhere you store cooking and serving supplies, even if it’s not “in” the kitchen
Credit: Mackenzie Schieck

What to look for:

  1. Anything that belongs in another room
  2. Broken cups, mugs and plates
  3. Multiples you have too many of
  4. Kitchen tools you never use
  5. Duplicate kitchen tools or measuring cups
  6. Small appliances that you never use, or that you use so infrequently you can probably find an alternate technique or borrow from a friend
  7. Baking sheets, pans, pots, and cutting boards that sit untouched
  8. Holiday-themed serving pieces that didn’t get used last holiday
  9. Novelty accessories
  10. More than two-ish bottle or wine openers
  11. The fifth and sixth water bottles you never get to
  12. Old, gross cleaning supplies
  13. Old, stained, or extra plastic containers
  14. Takeout condiments, plasticware, and stray menus
  15. Out-of-date invitations or event announcements
  16. Expired coupons
  17. Excessive collections of paper or plastic bags
  18. Expired medication
  19. Bottles of liquor that don’t ever seem to get drunk
  20. Cookbooks that haven’t been cracked open in more than a year

A lot of these things can be recycled or donated, so don’t opt for the trash can unless you have to.

And don’t forget:

Clear three things from your monster zone.

All month long, we invite you to share your progress here in the comments and on Instagram with the #septembersweep hashtag. Or join our Apartment Therapists Facebook group to start your own conversation.

Just joining us? It’s not too late to sign up!

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