A step-by-step guide to de cluttering the most used room in the house.
by Helena Tosello
You’re always in there waiting for something boil, cool down, or deciding what to feed the kids. Use those snatches of time to do a bit of de cluttering and give yourself a lift.
Day 1 – baby steps – Cutlery drawer
can’t find something? Take a few minutes to put everything where it should be and quickly (this is the key) remove the items you never use quickly (that word again) decide whether to keep the removed items in a more practical place or throw/donate them.
Day 2 – that’s not so hard – Utensil drawer
same as above but should be quicker as it should be more obvious which tools are used more than others. Are the spatulas getting tangled with the whisks and wooden spoons? Consider moving serving utensils to the cutlery drawer as you mostly use them for meals or moving the baking items to a compartment in the cupboard with the baking trays and pans. Or place some items the opposite way to others so they get caught on each other.
Day 3 – getting the hang of it- Pantry
when you’re next preparing a meal and have a few minutes while something simmers take a look at the condiments, oils, herbs and spices. Quickly take out all the bottles and jars and toss items past their use by date unless you have a plan to use it that day. Wipe the bottom of everything and wipe out the shelf where they live. Put everything back where they are easy to reach.
Day 4 – do a little bit every day – Fridge
this will probably take a few bursts but you never know, you might get carried away and do the whole thing in one go! This is easiest to manage when a shelf becomes bare or has only a few items. Just before the big grocery shop or after an event are good opportunities. As soon as you can see half a shelf or rack empty in the fridge, take a moment to remove the rest of the items from the area. Toss out expired items; wipe the top and bottom of the shelf and the bottom of anything you return to the fridge. Plan when you are going to use up anything close to its expiry date.
When do I find these 5 minute bursts you ask?
While the kids are finishing breakfast and getting ready to leave for school.
While you wait for something to start boiling or finish simmering.
When you check which items need to be purchased on a trip to the supermarket (though you should keep a running list of items as they run out. Will save you time when making your shopping list)
Waiting for the kettle to boil or the coffee plunger to plunge or the coffee machine to warm up
Waiting for the tea bag/leaves to steep. (Twinings recommend 3-5 minutes.)
Helena is a mum in the middle of everything trying to regain the center stage of her own life. She lives in inner west Sydney with two boys and a fly in-fly out husband. She enjoys coffee with friends, being organised, researching, sharing, and working on her fledging blog. You can follow her at
schoolsavvymum.wordpress.com or www.facebook.com/SchoolSavvyMum