Summer Cleanse

Kitchen Clean-Up

by Claudia Mens

Kitchen Clean-Up

Fae Kontje-Gibbs

Although we don’t always know how it started–the clusters of bottles, recycled cans, the flotsam on the counters, packed cupboards, topsy-turvy drawers, bags in corners on the kitchen fl oor–there comes a time when you have to admit–whether you want to or not—that the big C word is true: your kitchen is cluttered.

To fix this problem, your goal is to get rid of stuff, and discarding it means making a selection. Sort by category not by location, meaning, bring all the items of a common group together from several different locations. When you make groups of similar items it’s easier to see what you need and what you don’t need. Once you start making a selection of what you want to keep, you’ll realize there are things that have a functional, an informational or an emotional value.

The whole process of decluttering your kitchen will take some time. Begin by locating the largest table in your house (close to the kitchen) to put everything on and look at it piece by piece. Ask yourself these questions: Is it still functional? Is it usable to me? Do I need this? Do I love this? Will I notice if it’s gone? If you answer these questions with “I might need it later” then get rid of it. Later means never.

Decide in advance what your goal is. Ask a friend to help you (and vice-versa). Start early in the morning when you have some alone time. Do the whole operation at once, in one go! Even if it means a couple of days, don’t stop until it’s done.

The second half of the plan includes what to do with the things you want to get rid of. Collect bags and boxes in advance to fill for the thrift shop, the Dumptique, Red Cross boxes, local library book sales. And have garbage bags on hand for trash.

The interesting thing is when you start your day with worshipping your kitchen, the rest of the day it will worship you. It’s not a matter of spending a lot of money; the art of reorganizing and tidying is appreciating the things you have, the joy of everything around you.