Welcome back to day two of “The Clutter Free Kitchen” mini course.
So what makes me qualified to teach you how to declutter and organise your kitchen? Well, I was once in the same place as you. After I got married I found myself with a lot of extra kitchenware. We received a lot of pots, pans, baking dishes (you name it, we got them) as wedding gifts, housewarming presents, as donations from well meaning family and friends. Don’t get me wrong, it was great. But we honestly didn’t really need a lot of it. I just stuck everything in the cupboards and carried on.
Unfortunately that didn’t work very well for us. I have never been very enthusiastic about cooking and was even less so because my cupboards were such a jumbled mess that I couldn’t find the equipment I needed. Couple that with the sink more often than not being full of dishes and after an exhausting day at work, it was easier just to go out and buy something for dinner than to hack my way through the disaster zone that was my kitchen in order to cook it. Trust me when I tell you, that’s an expensive way to live. A little organisation would have saved us a lot of money in those early days.
I would look at my kitchen and just feel exhausted by the whole thing. I didn’t have the energy to do anything about it because frankly, I didn’t know where to start.
When we moved into our current home, the issue of the kitchen really came to a head. Where previously the kitchen was towards the back of the house and blocked off from view to most visitors, in this new house it is the first room people walk through when they arrive. The official front door is somewhere else but the kitchen door opens straight onto the carport and driveway and this is where all of our visitors enter our home.
No longer can I get my husband to stall them at the door while I do a mad tidy up. What they see is what they get and I really didn’t like it. Short of blocking off that entrance way, something else needed to be done. And that something was to have the kitchen always a few seconds off being visitor ready.
Today we are back to decluttering surfaces but this time your task is a little bit different. We will be tackling a little recognised clutter zone which still has a huge impact on the way our kitchens look and feel.
We are going to find our fridge under all of those papers and magnets.
It took me a long time to realise that the front of the fridge doesn’t have to be covered in all sorts of paperwork and magnets. I used to think that is was just ‘the thing you did’ but it doesn’t have to be. Do you really want all of your visitors to see the latest power bill or that speeding fine? No, not really. There are better places to store those things.
Putting all of this stuff on our fridge doors is often something we do without really thinking about why we do it. I was forced to change my mind about this years ago when we bought a new fridge. We bought a stainless steel one and it turned out that the front was not magnetic at all, weird I know! No longer could we attach anything to it without resorting to tape, something we really did not want to do. It was annoying at first but then I realised how much tidier and neater my kitchen looked simply because that clutter wasn’t there.
Day Two Action Task:
Your task for today is to take everything off the front of the fridge. I really do mean everything. Not even a stray magnet can be left behind.
If there is something you really really need close at hand such as emergency phone numbers or a take-away food menu, I’ll let you keep them but you must pop them on the side of the fridge in the least conspicuous location. For us this is the side of the fridge closest to the pantry wall and the furthest from the dining area. Find what works best for you.
Remove as much as you can, then if you do choose to keep those papers, at least they will be easy to spot and won’t be lost amongst a jumble of other stuff.
Now take a step back and admire your newly decluttered fridge door. How good does that look?
Bonus tip: If you are wondering where you should store those bills and other important papers, I find the best place is a small file kept in the pantry. I write the payment due date on the kitchen calendar, which I refer to regularly, so I never have any problem remembering to pay them.
Today your task is to make your fridge door pass the 5 second scan test.
1: Take everything off the fridge door.
2: Only return the items that are absolutely necessary.
3: Put the necessary items on the side of the fridge.
I’ll bet you didn’t realise what a difference this simple task would make to how your kitchen looks and feels!
Step back and enjoy your clutter free fridge.
Daily habit reminder: Remember to do your 5 second scan test before going to bed. It’s important that you don’t let all of yesterday’s hard work go to waste by adding clutter to the surfaces today.
Keep your eye out for lesson number three tomorrow: Tackling the plastics cupboard.
See you then.