Help, My Spark is losing Joy! It’s time to Declutter the Kitchen

I am a big fan of Marie Kondo and the Konmari method of organizing.  I have to be honest though, I am only halfway there when it comes to my whole house declutter.

I did great through the clothing portion, with the help of Jennifer Scott (The Daily Connoisseur) and her Ten Item Wardrobe and Madame Chic books.  I’ll share my current 20 item wardrobe (not down to 10 yet) in upcoming posts.

Next, I moved on to books.  That was a huge hurdle in my house, as I am a librarian and we (hubby and kids) are all avid readers. But I followed the rule of bringing every book together, considering each and only keeping those that “spark joy”.  I think you would be impressed as I purged a lot.  I have a Little Free Library in my yard, so many titles rotated into that.

That’s when I got a little off track, but in a good way. With the help of my brilliant and creative friend Emily of @yourhome-girl I took out my massive dining room furniture (that was way to bulky for the space) and did an update that makes me smile every time I walk past.

The Next step was CD’s and DVD’s.  we don’t have a large DVD selection but lots of CD’s (the music of my past-think Rod Stewart and The Big Chill) and it just overwhelmed me.  I tried to move on from there but I struggled.

Now, I did continue to declutter closets here and there but got behind as I wasn’t staying true to the original system.  A few weeks ago you might say I was at Def-Com (insert large number here), as this was one of my kitchen cabinets.  I only feel comfortable showing you this picture because we are friends and I feel safe.  No need to look closely.  It is as bad as you think.


So, being so close to a new year, I vowed to do better!  I decided to go off script a little and dive in to the kitchen declutter.  It is truly the heart of our house and I couldn’t go another day with it in such disarray.

My process was one of “direction” rather than item analysis.  I merely started at the most horrendous cabinet and worked my way over and down.  Many people who live in a truly minimal home have completely clear counter tops.  I prefer areas that serve different functions and like to design vignettes that support and “beautify” those areas. This is my baking area.

That horrendous cabinet that I chose to start with houses items used for packing lunches and preparing breakfasts. The first thing I did was throw out, donate and recycle all unused items (how do we accumulate these so quickly?)  Next I gathered all the tools and items needed for these purposes to this corner of the kitchen.

  • bowls
  • small plates
  • mugs
  • coffee maker
  • toaster
  • cereals
  • dried and fresh fruit
  • water bottles and lunch boxes
  • paper sandwich wraps
  • syrup, honey and butter

I did a couple of transitions, putting items into prettier or more efficient containers. As soon as we purchase cereal, we transfer it to glass jars, recycle the boxes and store any excess in the red tin.

Next, considered what I had on hand to store items.  I decided to reuse as much as possible, rather than purchasing new storage solutions.


My tea and cocoa were a mess so I reorganized, using some of my favorite little Pyrex containers and mason jars.



Here is the completed corner.  It includes the upper corner cabinet which contains mostly lunch preparation items. Under that cabinet is a lazy Susan with cereals, syrup, honey and my favorite bowls.  the large red tin.  Our mini Shulux coffee maker is next to a tin containing compostable coffee pods.  The toaster is actually up in the cabinet as we don’t use it as often.  I love that everything is located to help make morning routines more efficient.



In an upcoming post, I’ll share the rest of my decluttering efforts, including my pantry. I hope this inspires you to consider whatever minimizing efforts appeal to you.  I actually feel a sense of relief that at least one routine is simplified.  Now that sparks joy!



6 thoughts on “Help, My Spark is losing Joy! It’s time to Declutter the Kitchen

  1. When I moved, my kitchen shrank to less than 1/2 of old one. I needed to purge ~BIG TIME!
    So I went through and got rid of my doubles … And plug in machines (think Can opener) and use the simple manual ones instead. I also purged all those plastic Tupperware for the better , healthier glass containers. As for food stuff… I spend Sunday making smoothies, simple cous cous or quinoa meals that I then pre pack in those glass containers, so that each morning I can grab 2 healthy meals for work. I also pre portion nuts, veggies and any other snacks so that I always have healthy, clean , unprocessed foods all week with really very minimal prep.

    1. Great ideas Annie. Sunday prep makes so much sense! You may enjoy two Youtube accounts I follow: The Domestic Geek and Mind Over Munch.

  2. Annie, I love the idea of getting rid of the plug-in machines! We call them unitaskers around here. 🙂 Although I will say , I just got a garganchuous plug-in, an instant pot, that I already can’t live without!

    Kristin, I love the idea of setting up areas around the kitchen for busy times of day or tasks! Sometimes I think I’ve reached 10,000 steps just walking around my kitchen making breakfast and lunches in the morning!

    What I can’t stand in my pantry are all the boxes of stuff! We’re a big “bar” family. Energy on the go! So every Sunday I empty all the boxes of bars into one big basket that we can just grab from. After reading this post, I think I’ll do the same with other kitchen items. I remember a conversation you and I had about decluttering a closet. You told me to hold up a piece of clothing and, if it made me feel joy, keep it. If it didn’t, toss it. There’s no reason that same mindset can’t be applied in the kitchen!

    Thanks, friend, for inspiring me once again!

    1. Lisa, I would love to hear how you are using your Instapot. Almost got one for the head cook in our house this Christmas.
      “Stations” really save us time. I’ll post a few more pictures of our 3 main ones.
      I highly recommend Spark Joy by Marie Kondo. She discusses (among other things) reducing the “noise” of print in our homes. So she transfers as many products as she can throughout the house to clear or plain containers.
      You may also like the blog A Return to Simplicity. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Mr. Man would LOVE the instant pot! We’re figuring out it is anything but a unitasker! You can pretty much find an instant pot recipe for anytyhing and everything! Just recently, we made pot roast and carnitas (Not at the same time😉). You can do everything you need to do in the pot; sauce the veggies, sear the meat, and pressure cook it all in under 40 mins! Amazing! You might need to invest in another pull up shelf like your Kitchen Aid one, though…it’s a big honkin’ fella!

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