I am equal parts neat freak and “woosher” which is a terrible combination that completely contradicts itself. Woosher is a nickname some friends once made up for me because I do everything a touch too quickly and it results in little spills, little fires and little scattered messes everywhere I go.
My mind sometimes moves out of the present moment when it’s still required to be there.
The part of me that is a neat freak is the part that feels settled and calm when everything is in it’s place and in order.
See how the Woosher and Neat Freak don’t make much sense together?
My space really impacts the way I feel so over the years I’ve gotten better at setting up systems to help maintain the zen but for some reason the kitchen cupboards have always seemed to have a mind of their own.
I guess you could say my kitchen is a mullet.
Neat, tidy and strictly business on the outside and a wild party on the inside of every cupboard.
As Covid-times have continued to persist, like many I’ve found myself searching for greater control of things within my grasp….like clutter.
Sarah Gerber, founder of Neat Vancouver slid into my DM’s and I knew right away this was the kind of ally I needed in my life. When the Queen of Clutter-free knocks on your door and offers to help you do not say no. You put on a mask, keep 6ft apart and get that woman a coffee.
Hiring Sarah was the best gift I ever gave myself. She took my mullet of a kitchen and transformed it into a Victoria’s Secret model blow out. Bad example – you know how I feel about that show :/ Let’s get back to the kitchen….
She even transformed my dumpster fire of a tea bin into this insanely gorgeous space.
As always, I want to share everything I learned from the team at NEAT VANCOUVER with you so that you can create an inspiring clutter-free kitchen in your home too. Should you wish. I also understand If you’ve completely given up on life at this point 😉
Here’s what you need to know:
Here are Sarah’s top 5 tips to create an inspiring Kitchen:
Overwhelm and procrastination is real when it comes to things like organizing a kitchen so her first tip is to start small. Focus in on one little area that feels manageable to declutter and start there rather than tackling the whole room at once. Pick one drawer or cupboard or shelf on the fridge to start with and simply master that one area. The sense of completion will likely give you the energy to do more and if not, you still get a gold star.
Edit What You Don’t Use
Go through kitchen cupboards and discard anything that has expired or that has been unused for over 18 months. If you are not sure about something (ie. a seasonal item or something you don’t use often) then make sure you’re putting it in a spot that isn’t’ taking valuable space, use upper back cupboards or corner cupboards for these items.
Then keep tabs on it to see if you can edit it out next time.
No brainers – no negotiating…
- Recycle Tupperware that doesn’t have a matching lid or bottom
- Compost/recycle food and packaging that is expired over 6 months
- Recycle any broken plastic (utensil, bowl, bottle)
- If you like to save glass jars, I recommend 6-12 MAX!
- Donate any kids plates, dishes, bottles that they’ve outgrown or won’t use anymore
- Water bottles and to-go coffee mugs, each family member gets 2-3 MAX
Create Categories and Zones
Create zones in the kitchen for the activities you do most. For example, you could have a smoothie station, breakfast area, baking station and a coffee/tea station. In the fridge, create a space for produce, another space for dairy.
If you have kids consider what they do in the kitchen. Can you create a kids zone in a lower kitchen cupboard for so that they can help themselves to approved snacks or dishes to set their place at the table.
A Home for Everything
Use clear bins or glass jars to decant and store snacks and breakfast items you use often and buy in bulk (like oatmeal or cereal). Packaging can take up space so removing items from their boxes or bags is often helpful. Remove trays from the fridge if you need more space etc. If there are items on your counter make sure there is a home for each item off the counter so that you have the ability to clear the space if you need to.
Think About Function & Flow
Once you’ve edited and grouped items, really take a look at the overall space and flow of your kitchen. Are your items in the most efficient places?
Think about unloading the dishwasher, is the plate drawer closer by? Filling the coffee maker, do you use tap water or the fridge water? Kids cups, can they reach them themselves? Spices and cooking utensils, are they close to the stove? Do you need to entertain your kids at the counter while you cook? let’s add in some space for coloring books and crayons.
Can you move a category or station to a better area that would create a more effective flow through the space? Often the spots where the most clutter or messes pile up will be a good clue that this is where you need to re-look at function!
Hope you enjoy these tips from Sarah and the team at Neat Vancouver. I’m sharing some before and after photos of our refreshed cupboard space and fridge so you can re-create them in your own home should you wish.
I’d love to hear which tip or image resonates most with you!