Sometimes we think we can trick ourselves into believing that our home is decluttered when in reality all we have done is to hide our clutter behind closed doors. Those hidden spaces are the ones that no-one really sees but you know are there. These include, the cupboard under the sink, the linen cupboard, the bathroom cabinet and the pantry. Let’s have a look at how decluttering hidden spaces can make an impact upon our home and our lives.
Why is it important to tackle these spots? Well, the impact of the clutter in those hidden spaces is greater than you might think. These small but important clutter hotspots can affect our lives in a number of areas.
The clutter under the sink makes it difficult to find a cleaning product to use around the home. The clutter in the linen cabinet makes it harder to make the beds or to find a towel when you want to have a shower. The clutter in the bathroom cabinet makes it much more time consuming to get ready for work in the morning. The clutter in the pantry makes it harder to make dinner and to provide nutritious food for you and your family.
Just because no-one sees the clutter and because these spots are relatively small, it doesn’t mean it makes no difference to your life. It is just as important to tackle these areas as it is to tackle the larger, more obvious zones.
Under the Sink
I do believe that this is the best place to store your cleaning products. Of course, if you have small children in the home, you need to consider if this is going to be the safest place to do so. This cupboard is usually small and oddly shaped so is not particularly useful for anything else. It is an easy spot to access from all areas of the kitchen and means that, once well organised, you are able to quickly grab whatever you need.
Here is a spot where we need to consider the number of item we have of each type. There is no point having a closet full of sheet sets if we only have two beds in the house. One on the bed and one to spare is all that is actually needed. Any more than that and we just get overwhelmed by them.
Towels are a similar story. Ensure that you have enough to cover each person in the house and then take into account your laundry schedule. If you only wash towels once each week and you use a different towel for each shower, then you are going to need significantly more than if you wash more regularly or use them for a longer period of time. I find that in summer the family use a lot less because they dry out very quickly between uses so stay fresher for longer. It will be up to you to decide the best number for you.
The most important thing to remember in the bathroom is to have commonly used items in easily accessible spots and the other, less regularly accessed items further back. For example, don’t have your toothbrush hidden in the back of the cabinet and the spare soap taking up valuable realestate at the front. Anything that is used every day needs to be front and centre. Remember though that the more you place on the top of the counter, the more difficult and tiresome it is going to be to clean that area.
This is a great place to practice our ‘just in time’ philosophy whereby we only buy replacement items just before we need need them. OK, this can sometimes cost a little more but it is far better than a cabinet full of deodorant that takes 2 years to use up and no-where to store your hairdryer.
A cluttered pantry makes it really difficult to see what items are available for cooking the evening meal and often means that we will re-buy ingredients just before we make a particular dish in order to be 100% sure we have all of the necessary ingredients. When tackling the pantry, ensure that all of the items are grouped together in a logical location to make it much easier to see what is there and what needs to be purchased.
This could also be a great time to have a diet makeover. Depending upon how brave you are feeling, you could get rid of all of the unhealthy foods and only leave the healthy, fresh foods behind thereby ensuring that the next time someone goes to find a snack, it will be a healthier version they end up coming out with.
Even though it is unlikely that any visitors to your home will see these hidden spaces, you still know that they are there. Decluttering these hidden spaces and clearing them out will make you feel so much better about your home.
To make it easier for you to declutter one of these hidden spaces, I have created a pantry decluttering checklist that you can download and begin using immediately to get your pantry under control today.