6 Questions to Ask Yourself For a Clutter-Free Kitchen

Angela | Arrow
by Angela | Arrow

If you manage a household you are familiar with the challenge of maintaining a clutter-free kitchen. Removing clutter with a big clean-up is just the beginning. Keeping it clutter free moving forward is a whole other challenge and takes a bit more introspection.

Here are 5 questions to ask yourself to help you get and maintain a clutter-free kitchen.

Kids helping out in the kitchen

1. Who uses the kitchen

I’m willing to bet there will be some changes made based on how you answer this question.

Our kids had just entered the stage of wanting to help out in the kitchen when we were beginning our decluttering journey and starting to live a more minimal life. They wanted to start making food for themselves or at the very least grab a snack when they wanted one.

We realized our kitchen wasn’t set up in a way that was functional for them. We decided to move everything the kids might need below the countertop level. Think about who uses your kitchen and tailor it so that those people have easy access to everything they might need.

Clutter-free kitchen ideas

2. What is kept in the kitchen

Clutter becomes an issue when you have too much to manage. When we asked ourselves this question it became clear to us that we had way too much stuff. We took everything out of the cabinets and laid it out on the floor to sort through things.

It was helpful to take a bit of an inventory of what we were keeping in our cabinets. There were things we had forgotten about, things we weren’t using, and things we really didn’t need.

We had to decide what we had because we needed it, and what we were keeping just because we had the space.

Taking food inventory in a kitchen

We also realized we had to be more mindful of the food inventory we kept in our kitchen. Stockpiling food is kind of a hot topic right now, but we had a tough time managing large amounts of food.

We were keeping things past their expiration dates and would end up having to throw too much away. We’d have food going bad in the refrigerator and it was just another way we weren’t being good stewards of our money, time, and space.

Now we use a meal rotation system. That has greatly simplified our grocery shopping as well as managing the inventory we have in our kitchen. It allows us to keep just the basics, plus whatever we need for a 2-week period of time.

Cleaning a kitchen

3. When is the kitchen cleaned

When my kitchen was constantly messy and disorganized I found I wasn’t cleaning it as deeply and thoroughly as I wanted to because I was spending all my time organizing.

By the time I would get everything in its place, I didn’t want to start deep cleaning. Asking myself this question was a reality check for me that I wasn’t keeping my kitchen as clean as I wanted it to be.

One major change I made after asking myself this question was to start doing a nightly reset of my kitchen. I do some basic cleaning and organizing every night. I make sure the dishes are washed, the floors are swept, and the counters are cleaned.

This really helps me stay on top of things and allows me to do a deeper cleaning when necessary.

Decluttering kitchen cabinets

4. Where are things kept in your kitchen

I am a huge fan of efficiency so I like to set up my kitchen in a way that makes the most sense for me to move things along smoothly. Think about the functionality of your space. For example, keep your spices in easily accessible places.

Decluttering kitchen drawers

I used to have a drawer in my kitchen that I called the ‘everything drawer.’ I thought I was saving myself time by putting all my most used, miscellaneous kitchen items in one drawer.

What ended up happening was every time I needed anything I would have to spend way too long rummaging through that drawer trying to find whatever it was that I needed.

Decluttering kitchen utensils

I decided to go through those items and see if there were things I could get rid of. I kept everything I used on a regular basis in a spot that would be very handy. Then I set up in a very organized easy-to-find manner.

Another thing we did to make our kitchen more functional was we put all of our food items on one side of the kitchen and all tools on the other side. Before we did this, everything was spread out in different places with no rhyme or reason. This made the whole kitchen experience feel more chaotic.

Think about what you’re using regularly. Ask yourself if they are handy and readily available to grab or if you’re finding yourself digging for those things. This will help you make some choices and some changes to make things more functional and clutter-free.

Clutter-free kitchen tips

5. Why do you want a clutter-free and functional kitchen

The biggest changes in our lives often come when we fully understand our reasoning. Are you finding yourself not wanting to spend time in your kitchen even though you used to enjoy cooking? Do you feel the space is disorganized and you can’t find the things you need?

Maybe you want to free up some space in your kitchen so you can work more efficiently which would help you enjoy and appreciate your space.

Clutter-free kitchen

It is possible to go from messy to minimal in your kitchen space. It just takes a little bit of work, introspection, and being thoughtful about the process. You can get to a stage in which your kitchen is clutter free and functional, and you will be so much happier using that space.

Leave me a comment to let me know if these questions are helpful for you as they were for me in bringing me closer to my goals. 

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2 of 3 comments
  • Barbara Barbara on Aug 14, 2023

    Putting in sliders in some of those under-the-counter cabinets, so you can actually see what you have and store the items more efficiently. Get a spice rack which allows for more visibility as well. I made a spice shelf (the depth of a spice jar) above the stove area. Make better usage of upper cabinets by putting in an extra metal IKEA VARIERA or UTRUSTA.

    Putting all kinds of soup and sauce packages in a shoe box that you can easily pull off the shelf to peruse is also helpful.

    Doing an inventory and taking everything out of the drawers and cabinets is an idea I unfortunately do not do often enough!

    Thanks for the reminders!


  • Isabel Isabel on Aug 14, 2023

    I’ve been in the hospital for over a week and dreading going home to my messy kitchen.

    Now after I read your article I can’t wait to go home and start changing and getting rid of unused things. Even thinking of getting my neighbors on this and having a yard sale. Thank you!!