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Small kitchen, lots of stuff! Decluttering experts help please!

(18 Posts)
Jemster Wed 17-Apr-13 14:34:57

I am fed up with the permanent mess in my kitchen. It is pretty small and all the cupboards are full and there is always stuff everywhere. I cleared out the large equipment cupboard at christmas as there were mixing bowls stacked up on top of roasting trays etc and I couldn't get anything out easily! Now its back to being crammed again. We have numerous tupperware things which drives dh mad as they just get in the way. Food is just crammed in with no proper organisation. We have baby's bottles and steriliser on the side with toaster that only toasts on one side, aaghhh it winds me up! There's a constant stream of dirty cups and plates on the side.
It's just a mess and I don't know how to get on top of it. I don't like to throw things out in case I need them one day as can't afford to buy again. Can anyone help please?

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Wed 17-Apr-13 16:11:03

Can you use the grill for toast? I got sick of our toaster and dumped it...we only have toast every few days so it wasn't worth it!

I find trays help...I put things on them as a way to keep them could do that with the sterilizer and bottles? The should go through it and chuck out old or lidless pieces...and put the rest inside one another.

hillyhilly Wed 17-Apr-13 16:18:07

You don't need much Tupperware at all, it is the thing that gets really out of control in our house. Go though the cupboard again, be ruthless and get rid of as much as you possibly can. Baking trays are better stood on their side (like books). Get everything off the side if you possibly can.

FringeEvent Wed 17-Apr-13 16:24:49

I have a bit of a space issue in my kitchen too. Not that long ago I moved some of my rarely-used bits (a couple of pretty teapots, a fancy salad bowl, and my lovely spotty cake tin) from their spaces at the back of a cupboard, out into the living room where they now sit on our bookcases. We've got two vast walls of books and I've got a few ornaments and knick-knacks dotted around the shelves already to break it up, so these bits fit right in, and saved me enough space that I could start getting my food organised properly by type. Could you do something similar?

FriedSprout Wed 17-Apr-13 16:39:34

If you have a shelf being used for mugs, get the shelf back by hanging hooks underneath cupboards.

Be ruthless about what you decide to keep. I understand about the not being able to afford to buy again, but is it likely that you will start to use something in the future that you don't use now?

Make a bit of money by car booting some of the stuff you get rid of.

Organize packets of sauces by using one of the Tupperware boxes, easy to get to and see what you have. Do this for spices and herbs too. Keep lid under the box so you can use again in the future.

Only have as many oven trays as you have oven shelves.

Sort food by type, ie baking stuff, dry food items (pasta, rice, noodles etc), items like cooking oil olive oil, flavourings etc, tins, sweet stuff (jam, syrup, honey), breakfast cereals, etc. much easier to see what you have and what you need and helps avoid duplicates taking up space.

If you have wallspace think about adding shelves.

Again, if you have wallspace perhaps a blackboard would help make sure you only buy what you have a run out of.

Anything you feel you can't get rid of, but don't use, perhaps box up, label and store in the loft or garage.

Hope that helps.

specialsubject Wed 17-Apr-13 17:43:20

Get rid of all unused Tupperware.

if you need plastic containers in the future, buy the £1 for 5 ones!

DeathMetalMum Thu 18-Apr-13 12:01:32

You could do what my mum just did after having a new kitchen put in after 20 yeas so lots of clutter. One cupboard at a time empty and throw away anything you know you don't need or is broken then rather than put away keep in a box somewhere and take out what you need when you need it what ever is left after a week/two weeks/a month can be thrown away as you probably don't need it.

We also have a small kitchen though I secretly like it as it doesn't take long to get it clean if it is in a state. There is only so many dishes that can be stacked before there is no space so we have to keep on top of it.

ouryve Thu 18-Apr-13 12:06:20

Our kitchen is a reasonable size (8'x12') but lacking in cupboard space, which is a constant frustration. I lost another couple of cupboards when we had the boiler put in there, so I have taken to keeping bulky things I do use, but not often, such as large baking dishes in the cupboard at the back of our bedroom or on the bottom of my wardrobe.

As for the stream of dirty cups, the only solution of that is to wash them as soon as you have a reasonable sink full. That would be no different if your kitchen was 10 times bigger (apart from the fact that you would then have space for a dishwasher)

MinimalistMommi Thu 18-Apr-13 12:22:29

Only have one plate/bowl/kife/fork/spoon/glass per person in house hold.
If you entertain a lot, consider keeping extra plates etc in a storage box else where in house. This will keep amount of washing up way down and means you have to wash up straight away, avoids mountain of dirty dishes situation.

SilentMammoth Thu 18-Apr-13 19:37:32

Come and join us on the further adventures in communism thread. We're a friendly bunch!

SilentMammoth Thu 18-Apr-13 19:38:42


lostinindia Thu 18-Apr-13 19:47:44

I put a shelves above the kitchen doors and put my cookery books on them. I had them stacked on the unit and they were messy and cluttered.

Ezza1 Thu 18-Apr-13 20:33:48

grin Silentmammoth

(I love auto correct mishaps grin )

Viviennemary Thu 18-Apr-13 20:36:46

I agree about the tupperware. I've got some. And what's even more annoying I've got some without lids and a few lids without boxes. But can't throw them out in case the matching ones turn up. Madness!

DanJay Thu 25-Apr-13 14:56:19

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

BeCool Thu 25-Apr-13 16:12:16

My smallish kitchen was recently decluttered - though my friend did most of it. There is a recent-ish thread around on the subject (in GH) you might find useful.

I was always a cupboards full person - full of food, full of stuff, most of which I couldn't see or access.

These are my top tips:

Throw away EVERYTHING past it's best before. I freaked out at this - now it's been done a month and I swear I miss NOTHING!!!!

Take everything out of cupboards and clean them. Rethink use of space. Are cups/tea etc close to kettle? If not get them there. Take everything out of the kitchen if you can - to get an idea of the empty space. Pu back only what you use/need/love.

Declutter your bits and bobs - start with keeping the essentials. How many plates/forks/cups etc do you actually use and need? Couple of extras for guest and ditch the rest. YOU WILL SURVIVE. Trust me. Yes you might find 25 glasses come is useful one day in 3 years time. But you are a family of 4 with a small kitchen - they are not useful NOW. Get rid.

Anything you've not used recently get rid - yes that includes the silly kitchen gadgets you aren't using, blunt knives etc.

Ditch duplicates - you only need ONE grater, juicer, bread knife etc.

Be ruthless with plastic - again keep only what you need and use. Get back to bare minimum. LESS IS MORE. Once you've got it all out only put back in things with lids & any other bits. The rest is clutter - put it in the bin

Think about multi-tasking items. How many bowls do you use? Baking stuff can be edited. If you don't have room you can't keep it.

DO NOT KEEP ANYTHING THAT WILL BE USEFUL ONE DAY if it is not useful now. It is clutter and prevents you from accessing stuff you actually want to use now.

Keep anything on countertops to absolute minimum. You need to aim for clean worktops. I have kettle, toaster, fruit bowl, 3 x cereal boxes, salt/pepper and dishwash. This is my bare minimum. You decide yours.

If you can't find a proper space to keep it, then it is not needed and must go. BE TOUGH.

Throw away all your manky tea towels - you can use them to clean cupboards then throw them. Keep the 4 nicest & then replace them when you can with some lovely new ones.

Throw out the toaster & treat yourself to a new one as a reward - I did this with some vouchers I had & I LOVE my new toaster.

make an effort to reduce food in cupboards - purposefully plans meals around cupboards to empty them out. Then do meal planning and shop as you go as much as possible. This is relearning habits and might take time.

My kitchen has been clean and tidy for an unprecedented month. When I open a cupboard I can see everything (therefore find everything) and take it out without unpiling a load of other stuff. Chances are if you can't see it you won't be using it.

The work tops are mostly clear - therefore not only is it easy to cook, but it is a piece of cake to tidy up afterwards.

I wash up as I go. In mornings and when I cook I have sink of hot soapy water & wash up as I go.

Decluttering and reorganising my small kitchen has changed me as a person. My life is better. Sounds shallow? Actually its bloody deep.

Good luck, get to it & enjoy!

BeCool Thu 25-Apr-13 16:14:19

"I don't like to throw things out in case I need them one day as can't afford to buy again." THIS is you main obstacle to having a clutter free tidy organised kitchen. Change that decision making process to do I use it/need it/love it and the battle will be won.

And it's not a matter of buying them again - just doing without them.

BeCool Thu 25-Apr-13 16:16:59

<<waves to fellow communists grin>>

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