Kitchen Decluttering

by Frugal Babe on October 11, 2009

I don’t particularly like cleaning.  I love to cook, do laundry, work in the garden… but cleaning is pretty far down on my list.  But I love living in a clean house, and having lots of wide open, clean space around me.  And therein lies the conundrum.  Lately I’ve been on a mission to purge stuff from our house, so that it’s easier to clean and less likely to get messed up ( if you don’t have it, you can’t mess it up, right?)  I’ve pretty much stopped going to thrift stores, as there really isn’t anything we need, and thrift stores tend to entice me to buy stuff just because it’s there and it’s a screamin’ deal.  So at least no new stuff is coming into the house.

In addition, I’ve been going through the house and really looking at our stuff.  Asking myself if we’ve used it lately, or if we could do without it.  The back of my car is full again with stuff to drop off at the thrift store next time I go to town, and it feels great.

Yesterday, I tackled a set of kitchen cabinets.  The cabinets where we store tea, coffee, some spices, baking stuff, random kitchen gadgets that rarely get used… sort of the catch-all cabinets.  I took everything out, and tossed the stuff that I never use.  There were spices that were more preservatives than spice – and that I knew I would never use again – but were somehow still lurking in the back of my cabinet.  There was a beautiful glass pitcher that we got as a wedding gift from friends of my in-laws and have used one time.  One time, and we’ve been married since 2003.  Regardless of how pretty the pitcher was, in our kitchen, it was taking up space.  Now it’s in my car to donate, and will hopefully end up in a home where it gets used often.  By the time I had finished, I had a large stack for the thrift store, and an equally large stack for the trash.  And my cabinet looks and feels SO much better.  I can find everything.  I know that everything in there is stuff that we regularly use.

A while ago, I started saving plain glass jars when they were empty, instead of putting them in the recycle bin.  Yesterday I cleaned off all of the labels, and transferred all of the stuff that was in plastic bags in my cabinet to the jars.  Cocoa, dried coconut, spices… all of the stuff that our health food store sells in bulk bags.  Now it’s all in pretty jars instead.  I made labels out of scrap paper and black ink and glued them to the jars.  I love how it looks with all the different jars, and it’s easy to tell if I’m running low on something.  And with the cabinet all cleaned out, I can see all of the jars at a glance.

Ah, kitchen decluttering.  Perfect activity for a cold, snowy weekend.  And it’s free, which is always a bonus in my book.

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  • http://www.grovesfamilyhappenings.blogspot.com/ Kelly

    My husband is off work this week and we are doing a bunch of household projects. In addition to redoing our bathroom, we plan on majorly decluttering and hopefully having at least a couple loads to take to Goodwill. Love that feeling!

  • http://savingforhome.blogspot.com SavingDiva

    Now I want to declutter my place!!!!! I know that I need to start in my linen closet. I keep every plastic storage bag that I’ve encountered…

  • http://www.greenandcrunchy.org Sheri (Green & Crunchy)

    Cold and SNOWY? What? You have snow? Wow — that seems so early! Is your little guy enjoying it?

    I am with you on the decluttering! I have been purging like a madwoman — going through each room and filling up the Goodwill donation box. Feels good!

    I’m so impressed that you no longer feel a need to head to thrift stores! I don’t get there often — once every 3 months or so– and I have a list in hand of what we need (last week was chemical-free pj’s for my oldest boy, socks for my littlest, a belt for my daughter’s jeans…). I try to stick to my list so I don’t get too tempted by those screamin’ deals :)

    With all the decluttering you’ve done in preparation for the move (and even now you’re still decluttering!), you must be so clutter-free that you’re down to the bare walls by now!

    Take care, keep warm~

  • Kaytee

    I recently tried to convince my husband that cleaning goes against the law of entropy, is therefore unnatural and should be avoided. He just rolled his eyes.

    There must be something in the air about decluttering. I’ve been doing the same thing with any free time I have and so are several other people I know. I’ve even been purging my trunk of bellydance costume pieces. That used to be sacred territory. Our office is closed between Christmas and New Year’s – I am so looking forward to several uninterrupted days of decluttering.

  • FrugalBabe

    Sheri – I feel like I’ve been decluttering for ages, and that we should indeed be down to the bare walls by now. But alas, that is far from the case. I guess we had a lot of stuff!

  • Sam

    Funny – I did the exact same thing yesterday. And I labeled the jars in blue permanent marker incase my kids can’t identify something. I think nail polish remover will take off the ink if I ever need to relabel them.

  • http://www.outofdebtagain.com Mrs. Accountability

    Oh, I know this goes about decluttering, but I would keep the pitcher to re-gift to someone at Christmas or a wedding… I did some decluttering in my bathroom today, I’m donating a very elderly fax machine. Almost feel guilty about it, but don’t want to toss it into the garbage either. (Guilty because it’s so old, who will even want it? Isn’t it cluttering up the thrift store?)

  • http://sweetmissmagnoliachat.blogspot.com/ julie

    been thinking of doing the same thing in our kitchen and pantry area-the pantry area has floor cabinets that hubby and his dad have filled with man-junk that I told them I am going to pull out and toss in a few days-so if they want it they better find another home for it-I need that cabinet space….lol how do you get the labels off your recycled jars? I’m starting to keep a few here and there for things and always end up with a stubborn label that just won’t come off!

  • FrugalBabe

    Julie,
    I filled the sink with hot water, and put the jars in it to soak. I left them for about half an hour, and that did the trick. The labels peeled off, and I was left with just the glue residue. I scrubbed them with my kitchen scrubbie and all of it came off except for one jar that needed a bit of steel wool to get the residue off.

  • http://livinginfrugality.wordpress.com Melissa

    Hi! I wandered over to your blog because I just started my own about living life frugally- and I just had to tell you how much I LOVE your blog design! It’s really awesome :)

  • http://www.debtmediators.com.au Bankruptcy Ben

    I also collect all the jars. i used to grab the giant instant coffee jars from work they were the best, but now the coffee is in tins. I like the random combinations of glass jars with my spices in it, looks great!

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