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You are here: Home > Organizing Advice > Kitchen > De-clutter Your Kitchen for Divine Dining
De-clutter Your Kitchen for Divine Dining
Kathryn Bechen, Kathryn Bechen Ink

My kitchen is always organized, but there's always room for an update, too, as we all tend to accumulate things over time. I donated two large plastic bins of stuff to charity from my tiny kitchen! Here's what I did so it will get you motivated to get going on your own kitchen de-cluttering campaign! Good Luck!

1. Open Sesame. I opened every single cupboard in my kitchen and if anything had a chip, it was put in a box to donate to charity. You can also use chipped pitchers for flowers or to water plants if you don't want to get rid of them entirely and if the chip is small. Think how to re- purpose things as you go and then decide if they get donated, or stay for a new purpose.
 
2. So Long Set. If a piece of any set (three floral mugs instead of four, for example) was missing, out went the partial set. I could have used the mugs for pens on my office desk etc., but I already have some colorful mugs serving that function in my office so I hope someone else enjoys them on their desk!
 
3. White is Right. I've decided that other than our set of rose-motif antique china, I now only want to use white dishware and clear glasses and serving pieces and then use colorful napkins, placemats, tablecloths, and napkin rings to enhance my table setting. I like how nice food looks on crisp white plates and if a piece breaks, I can find another white piece to go with it easily even if it's not an exact match; I actually like a mix of white and clear dishes with different textural designs. And it's less expensive to update your table with new tablecloths, placemats, and napkin rings than to buy new sets of dishes.
 
4. Drastic Plastic. Too many plastic storage containers! Any that did not have lids or the lids did not fit, I donated. You can also re-use them in drawers etc. for separating small items like tealight candles, match books etc.
 
5. Let There Be Light. I went through all my candles and got rid of any that had wicks that were too short. I've decided that I'll also only use white candles now for a nice uniform look, and I like to use different styles and sizes for a romantic twinkle when I entertain. I use unscented beeswax candles due to my scent allergies. I often put tealights in my antique stemmed juice glasses and set them all along my bookcases for a soft white ambiance.
 
6. Utensil Usage. I decided I don't need three large meat forks! I only need one so the others went into the charity box. Ditto stray knives and duplicate measuring cups.
 
7. Recipe Reveal. Like most people, I sometimes tear recipes out of magazines and put them in clear sheet protectors and put them in a three-ring binder. I looked through the binder, and I decided if I haven't made it by now, I probably won't make it later. Trash time!
 
8. Bye Bye Bugs. I decided I really don't need a hot pink mesh net contraption to cover food at a picnic in case of flies! In fact, my hubby reminded me that we seldom even have bugs in SoCal! He's right! Bye bye pink mesh bug cover!
 
9. Crazy for Christmas. Out went the Christmas-motif salt and pepper shakers. White ones will do.
 
10. Vase Vanity. I'm lucky that people are kind enough to bring me flowers but after awhile the vases proliferate and are duplicates. My new rule for vases is clear or white, just like my dishware. Clean. Simple. Elegant.
 
If your kitchen cabinets are groaning from too many dishes and appliances, ask yourself if this is the style of entertaining and living that you still want to do today. If so, go for it! If not, why not donate your dishes and kitchen things you no longer want or need so that someone else can enjoy them? There's a college student or budget-minded young couple setting up a new apartment who would love to have them!
 
As for me, I'm off now to set my table for breakfast tomorrow morning and I can't wait to eat off my simple, but elegant, white dishes.

2009 by Kathryn Bechen, All Rights Reserved

Kathryn Bechen is an award-winning professional freelance writer for national home and garden magazines, regional wedding magazines, and creative entrepreneurs.  Combining a B.A. degree in English and Education with a certificate in interior decorating, her biggest life passion is writing about order and beauty as a way to live one's best life. She also enjoys writing and consulting for other professional organizers and interior decorators. Visit her Web site at www.kathrynbechenink.com.