Kitchens are the hearts of our homes, aren’t they? They’re the natural gathering place for our families, and it’s where we prepare the food we look forward to sharing together. But it’s also the place where clutter gathers… The kitchen is a high-traffic room in any home, with a purpose that inevitably generates mess. And worst of all, it’s often somewhere that ends up collecting miscellaneous items, such as spare chargers, leaflets and car keys.
If you’d like to clean up your kitchen and make it a clutter-free zone, here are six home hacks you may not have tried yet…
1. Skip the open shelving
Open shelving is a huge trend at the moment, but it’s one that can make your kitchen appear very cluttered if you’re not willing to constantly style your shelves and keep them dust-free and organised. So, consider reinstalling cabinetry if you want to be able to hide your mugs, plates and kitchen accessories behind a cupboard door.
Alternatively, you could learn how to style your open shelves, but bear in mind that ‘less is more’ when it comes to creating a clutter-free kitchen with open shelving.
2. Move what you can
Next, try to move those ‘extras’ that you don’t necessarily need in your kitchen on a day to day basis. For instance, if you like to keep well-stocked cupboards (with big bags of rice, oats, potatoes, pasta, crates of tin cans, cartons of long life milk etc.), see where else you can store them.
If you’re lucky enough to have a pantry or utility room that could accommodate for your surplus ingredients, put your food in there. You’ll need to make sure the room isn’t damp or too cold (some garages are fine to store things in, so long as they’re sufficiently heated), but failing that, see if you can squeeze in some storage space into cupboards under the stairs or in hallways. Keep essentials in your kitchen and go ‘shopping’ elsewhere in your house to top up the kitchen supplies, if you can.
3. Hide your appliances away
Your kitchen appliances simply can’t be removed from the kitchen, but you can give them a home. High quality integrated fridge freezers (like the kind available from designers such as Fisher and Paykel) can be hidden behind cabinetry so that your white goods don’t dominate the room – an especially important hack in small spaces, or if you prefer a minimalist, streamlined kitchen design.
Tidy away your food mixers, blenders and any other gadgets that don’t get daily use too: they take up a lot of counter space, and they also make your room look busy and untidy.
4. Follow a one-in, one-out rule
If you’re going to buy new things for your kitchen (it’s almost inevitable… we all get seduced by flash new gadgetry, and the pull of a beautiful new set of bowls or another fabulous mug is just too hard to resist), set yourself a ‘one-in, one out’ rule. This means that every time you want to add something to your kitchen, something else must go.
It will feel ruthless, but doing this will ensure your kitchen doesn’t become cluttered all over again. Sell what you can if you want to, or do your friends and local charity shop a favour by seeing if anyone else can put an old belonging to good use.
5. Change your ‘counter is convenient’ mentality
In addition to all of this, try to change the way you use your kitchen. This will mean becoming disciplined about not simply dropping your mail on the kitchen worktop or allowing things to accumulate, and invariably will mean getting your family on board with the change too.
6. Give the kitchen a de-clutter every few days
Finally, some people recommend giving your kitchen a de-clutter every night, but realistically, most of us aren’t going to find the time to do this. Instead, give your kitchen a wipe-down every night as usual, but pick a few occasions throughout the week to ‘reset’ the room. Clear away keys, homework assignments, pamphlets and any other paraphernalia that doesn’t belong there… your home will be clutter free in no time!
(Disclosure: Collaborative post)6