For many homeowners, the kitchen is the heart of the home. Often, the kitchen is more than a place to eat and prep food. It’s where you connect with the people who matter the most to you. Unfortunately, kitchens are also magnets for clutter. But it doesn’t have to be that way. 

Here are creative and clever ways to turn your kitchen into a beautiful and clutter-free space.

Gather Supplies

You’re going to need boxes and trash bags. Give each box one of these labels: relocate, donate, or recycle. If it’s time to replace drawer and shelf liners, you may want to gather those too. 

Set Your Ground Rules

De-cluttering is easier when you make rules to guide the process before you get started. Remember the purpose of de-cluttering is to let go of everything that’s not useful or meaningful to you and your family.

Many homeowners choose to donate duplicates. You probably don’t really need three muffins tins. Another rule could be to give away items you haven’t used in the last year. It’s okay to say good-bye to that Belgian waffle maker you got for Christmas two years ago that you never used. You may want to discard anything that’s broken. 

Start with the Cupboards and Drawers

As you go through them, keep your trash bags handy to discard expired medicine and pantry goods. Organize your canned goods. Put the older ones in front so that you’ll use them first. Consider donating canned goods to a food pantry if it’s unlikely you’re going to eat them before they expire. Anything you find that doesn’t belong in the kitchen goes into your relocate box.

Reserve Countertops for Essentials

The countertops are for the items you use daily, like the toaster and the coffee pot. Since you’ve already de-cluttered your cabinets and drawers, they can serve as storage space for the other items on your countertops.

Rethink Nooks and Corners

If your cupboards and drawers don’t provide enough storage, it’s time to get imaginative with nooks and corners. Installing floating shelves is a great option for turning wall corners into storage. Lazy Susan cabinet organizers transform hard-to-reach space in corner cabinets into functional storage. Storage benches are a traditional way to add storage to your breakfast nook. Another way is to replace the table in your breakfast nook with a kitchen cart. 

Make Functional Zones

Take some time to think about how you’re using your space. Functional zones make life easier because everything has a place. Is there an exterior door in your kitchen? Maybe you need a coat rack to hang up jackets, umbrellas, and the kids’ backpacks. That area may also need a wall or kitchen pegboard organizer to hold keys and mail. Do the kids do their homework at the kitchen table? Give them a basket or small bin to keep their school supplies in.

Do you love cooking from scratch? Designate some counter space as the food prep zone. You can keep your cutting boards there. If you don’t have enough room for knives in a butcher’s block, put them on a magnetic strip on the nearest wall. Over time, you may have to tweak your kitchen organization with new functional zones to meet new needs. 

Regular Maintenance Is Essential

It’s important to dedicate a few minutes each evening to keeping your kitchen organized. Daily maintenance tasks may include:

• Putting kitchen items back where they belong 

 • Handling the mail 

• Getting non-kitchen items to other parts of the house 

You’ve created a gorgeous and clutter-free kitchen. You’ve donated or tossed what you really didn’t need and made a place to store everything else. And you have a plan for keeping your kitchen organized. Congratulations!