Decluttering can be exhausting but also a great way to feel refreshed. I'm still doing our deep spring clean and de-cluttering every room, every nook and cranny. Here are several places that we don't always think to Declutter in the kitchen. Trust me, you'll feel much better when you do!
"Simplify, Simplify, Simplify!" ~ Henry David Thoreau
"Everything should be as simple as possible, but not simpler." ~ Albert Einstein
1. Recipe Box - Do you also think you can make all two hundred of those recipes you've stashed in that box in the corner? I must have thought I had better time management and ate more because there is no way! I even had recipes that were loaded with dairy and wheat flours - I guess it's been a while since I went through this. Twoof them I kept because I'm always intrigued by making a recipe allergen free and delicious but the rest recycled.
Easiest way to do this is dump all the recipe cards out and sort them into five piles, Made it and Loved it, Made it but needs to be tweaked, Made it but didn't love it (there might have been that snuck back in), Never Made it, and Never Will Make it. Throw out the ones you know you won't ever make and the ones you made but didn't love. Look through the Never Made It and ask yourself Why? Why didn't I make this recipe? The ingredients? Was the process too long? The ingredients pricey? If you really still want to try your hand at the recipe, give yourself two weeks from your next shopping trip (don't forget to put the ingredients on your list) to make it. Put it on your fridge as a reminder. But if you don't make it, throw it out. You can always look something similar up on the internet later.
(Do you like my cigar box as a recipe box?)
2. Spice Cabinet - Herbs and Spices do have expiration dates (in a way). They are more like flavor expiration dates - after six months, their flavor fades. Throw old ones out and catalog what ones you use most frequently. Maybe you don't use all 2 oz of that ground cardamom? Buy from a bulk store or Mountain Rose Herbs and share with friends. You could have a great spice-mixing party! Buy spices and make your own mixes - I am now wanting to do this.
3. Under the Sink/ Cleaning Supples - Do we really need five different bottles to clean five surfaces?
You can replace almost all your cleaning supples with Hydrogen Peroxide, bakins soda and white vinegar (you can remove hard water build up with this simple green trick). Hydrogen Peroxide kills 99.9% of bacteria (just as much as bleach) without the awful chlorine smell. Natural cleaning companies actually sell "chlorine-free bleach" or hydrogen peroxide for an exorbitant price but you can pick up a bottle of it at your local drug store for under $1. Pick up at least two - one for first aid and one for cleaning.
4. Cookbook Shelf - Goodbye Wine Lover's Dessert cookbook I've made one recipe out of that I majorly tweaked! If you have several cookbooks that you only make two or three recipes out of, utilize your recipe box and write those down. Then get rid of the book! You can sell it to hastings or even amazon and invest in some newer cookbooks. Another idea would be to hold a cookbook swap with your friends.
5. Tupperware and Bottles Drawer - I went through Big Blue Eyes' sippy cups the other day and realized I had several pieces that didn't fit together with anything else. Rubber nibble anyone? Did I think perhaps I might need it someday? No thank you.
Check to see if you can recycle any plastic before throwing it away. (Is there some sort of donation where you can donate pieces of bottles - the neck, the nipple, the bottle? Hmmm)
6. Food Magazines - This is right up there with Cookbooks. I realized the other day I had over twelve issues of Vegetarian Times and about two dozen of Whole Living sitting in the magazine rack in the bathroom.... Because you never know when someone might spend 24 hours indisposed reading your food magazines, all five dozen of them. A great rule of thumb is keep the last two issues plus the current issue.
My sister shares my love for vegetarian times so I always pass them on to her. See if there is anywhere you can donate. Usually hospitals or libraries will take them off your hands (and help someone). And then what you can't donate, recycle recycle recycle!
Question of the Day:
To clutter or not to clutter, that is the question! Do you enjoy decluttering? Does it invigorate you or exhaust you?