Professional tidier reveals the 10 easy steps to decluttering your kitchen cupboards

From pots and pans to tea towels, crockery to sandwich bags, there are dozens of items that need to find a home in the kitchen.

But with space often at a premium, it can be easy for your cupboards, drawers and counter tops to quickly become cluttered and look out of control. 

Fortunately London-based professional organiser Katrina Hassan has shared the 10 steps anyone can take to declutter their kitchen.  

Katrina, founder of Spark Joy London, is trained in Marie Kondo’s KonMari method and will be hosting workshops at the Ideal Home Show in London, but has offered tips to FEMAIL ahead of time. 

Here, we share her greatest pearls of wisdom – and share photos of some of her incredible real-life transformations…  

1. GET EVERYTHING OUT FIRST

 

Start the process by clearing out every cupboard and drawer to judge the overall volume of items you have to find a space for. It will allow you to reassign items rather than put them back in the same spot. Pictured, a cluttered drawer bursting with tea towels, baking trays and place mats is reorganised as a storage area for vertically stored tea towels and silicone mats

Start the process by clearing out every cupboard and drawer to judge the overall volume of items you have to find a space for. It will allow you to reassign items rather than put them back in the same spot. Pictured, a cluttered drawer bursting with tea towels, baking trays and place mats is reorganised as a storage area for vertically stored tea towels and silicone mats

Start the process by clearing out every cupboard and drawer to judge the overall volume of items you have to find a space for. It will allow you to reassign items rather than put them back in the same spot. Pictured, a cluttered drawer bursting with tea towels, baking trays and place mats is reorganised as a storage area for vertically stored tea towels and silicone mats

Before you begin, Katrina recommends gathering all the items you own in one place in order to best be able to judge the overall volume.

Decanting every cupboard and drawer is essential for tidying with a ‘blank kitchen canvas’. 

2. DECLUTTER IN THREE PARTS

 

First start by choosing all of your tools for cooking and baking - your pots, pans and utensils. Think about how many you actually need, and when the last time was that you used each. Doing this will create space to allow you to better stack the pans. Then stack similar shaped items inside one another. Remove the lids and place them vertically to store separately

First start by choosing all of your tools for cooking and baking - your pots, pans and utensils. Think about how many you actually need, and when the last time was that you used each. Doing this will create space to allow you to better stack the pans. Then stack similar shaped items inside one another. Remove the lids and place them vertically to store separately

First start by choosing all of your tools for cooking and baking – your pots, pans and utensils. Think about how many you actually need, and when the last time was that you used each. Doing this will create space to allow you to better stack the pans. Then stack similar shaped items inside one another. Remove the lids and place them vertically to store separately

Katrina advises separating each section of the kitchen to ease organisation: 

  1. Choose your tools for cooking and baking e.g. pots, pans, utensils
  2. Next focus on all eating and drinking equipment you’d like to keep (cutlery, crockery, glassware)
  3. Finally, turn your attention to food and drink (checking expiry dates and surplus stock) and food storage items (Tupperware)

3. PICK EACH ITEM UP, AND CHECK WHETHER IT SPARKS JOY     

A cupboard before being decluttered

A cupboard before being decluttered

A cupboard after

A cupboard after

Asking whether an item ‘sparks joy’ should help you decide whether it is worth holding onto. It is an approach that will help decide which of your mugs are worth keeping. Pictured, a cupboard before Katrina’s decluttering (left) and after (right) with a better use of space 

Following Marie Kondo’s mantra of ‘does it spark joy?’ is crucial in the kitchen. 

Katrina said: ‘When you’re making a choice about whether an item stays or goes, ask yourself “Does this spark joy?” You may also need to delve a bit deeper into the item’s practicality. 

‘Try asking yourself questions such as: “Does this item support me in the kitchen?” and “When was the last time I used this?”

4 CHOOSE A TARGET NUMBER

It can be tempting to hold onto Tupperware and food storage containers but Katrina suggests setting a target number for how many you objectively need. When storing, remove the lids and stack them together upright in a separate container, as seen in this drawer above

It can be tempting to hold onto Tupperware and food storage containers but Katrina suggests setting a target number for how many you objectively need. When storing, remove the lids and stack them together upright in a separate container, as seen in this drawer above

It can be tempting to hold onto Tupperware and food storage containers but Katrina suggests setting a target number for how many you objectively need. When storing, remove the lids and stack them together upright in a separate container, as seen in this drawer above

5. ONLY PUT THINGS BACK ONCE YOU’VE FINISHED DISCARDING

‘Once you’ve decided what you’d like to keep across all three groups, you can now see the real volume of items remaining. 

‘Now you’re ready to find a permanent home for each one.’

Katrina advises counting out how many tupperware and food storage containers you have and thinking objectively about the number you actually need. 

She recommends stacking the containers that are staying and storing their lips upright in a separate container. 

6. REPURPOSE BOXES AND THEIR LIDS FOR STORAGE IN A DRAWER OR CUPBOARD SPACE 

Katrina recommends using rectangular boxes or tins to separate compartments within drawers or to store like items close together in a cupboard on a shelf. 

Re-purpose boxes and food storage containers that you are thinking about throwing away to create dividers within drawers. Pictured, a 'bits and bobs' drawer (top before) is suddenly much easier to navigate thanks to internal storage boxes of different shapes and sizes

Re-purpose boxes and food storage containers that you are thinking about throwing away to create dividers within drawers. Pictured, a 'bits and bobs' drawer (top before) is suddenly much easier to navigate thanks to internal storage boxes of different shapes and sizes

Re-purpose boxes and food storage containers that you are thinking about throwing away to create dividers within drawers. Pictured, a ‘bits and bobs’ drawer (top before) is suddenly much easier to navigate thanks to internal storage boxes of different shapes and sizes 

7. GIVE EVERY SINGLE ITEM A HOME AND BE SURE YOU CAN FIND EVERYTHING AT A GLANCE  

‘Give every single item a home and be sure you can everything at a glance. Store items upright where possible. 

‘Fold or roll tea towels and cloths before storing them vertically in a box within a drawer or cupboard. 

‘Seeing everything easily means you are less likely to buy duplicate items in the future.’ 

8. STORE ITEMS BY CATEGORY AND CONSIDER ‘FREQUENCY OF USE’

Even before being properly organised, this cupboard (top) looked relatively neat. However the 'after' photo above illustrates how items can be stored based on their frequency of use: cups and mugs at the bottom, plates in the middle and baking trays on the top shelf as 'it won’t matter if they require a bit of effort to remove'

Even before being properly organised, this cupboard (top) looked relatively neat. However the 'after' photo above illustrates how items can be stored based on their frequency of use: cups and mugs at the bottom, plates in the middle and baking trays on the top shelf as 'it won’t matter if they require a bit of effort to remove'

Even before being properly organised, this cupboard (top) looked relatively neat. However the ‘after’ photo above illustrates how items can be stored based on their frequency of use: cups and mugs at the bottom, plates in the middle and baking trays on the top shelf as ‘it won’t matter if they require a bit of effort to remove’

‘Store seldom-used items, particularly cooking appliances, in the back of a cupboard or on the top shelf.  It won’t matter if they require a bit of effort to remove.

‘Try to keep your counters as clutter free as possible; when it comes to the kitchen, the focus is on ease of cleaning.

‘You increase the time it takes to clean surfaces when they are filled with items that could be stored away.’

9. UTILISE THE HEIGHT OF YOUR KITCHEN CUPBOARDS

Katrina recommends storing items upright where possible (cupboard pictured before)

Katrina recommends storing items upright where possible (cupboard pictured before)

Katrina says items should be stored according to the frequency they are used (pictured after)

Katrina says items should be stored according to the frequency they are used (pictured after)

Katrina recommends storing items upright where possible and says that every single item should be within a glance, pictured left: an overcrowded cupboard, after right 

Katrina recommends stacking similar shaped items inside one another when storing cooking and eating equipment. 

The professional organiser says the method is useful for utilising the cupboard’s height. She suggests using shelf risers for food items, plates, bowls and drinkware.  

10. ENSURE YOUR KITCHEN SPARKS JOY 

Once the kitchen has been organised, make it look inviting by adorning the inside of a cupboard door with photographs, your children’s artwork, or anything that makes you smile

Once the kitchen has been organised, make it look inviting by adorning the inside of a cupboard door with photographs, your children’s artwork, or anything that makes you smile

Once the kitchen has been organised, make it look inviting by adorning the inside of a cupboard door with photographs, your children’s artwork, or anything that makes you smile 

‘Ensure your kitchen sparks joy. Once you’ve tidied your kitchen, take the time to make it look inviting. 

‘You can adorn the inside of a cupboard door with photographs, your children’s artwork, or anything that makes you smile as you go about your daily tasks. 

‘Your kitchen should make cooking fun.’

Ideal Home Show will return to Olympia London from Friday 22nd March to Sunday 7th April 2019.

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