Tidy in Ten – Week 5: Kitchen (De-clutter)

Over the next few weeks we’ll work together in the kitchen de-cluttering, organizing, and maintaining.

First, let’s clear some of the clutter and make more space to work with. We are regularly bringing items into our kitchens, but how often do we actually go through and remove things?


Select one or more of the following categories to work with. If choosing to work with more than one category, it is important to address only one at a time. This is just a selection of some of the possible categories to de-clutter.

  • water bottles
  • food storage containers
  • utensils
  • mugs
  • glassware
  • cookware


De-cluttering is one of the more mentally taxing steps of the organizing process. It requires decision making and can be both mentally and emotionally difficult. We often want to hold onto things because of sentimental reasons, guilt, or ‘just in case’. So for this week’s Tidy in Ten, you should carve out a dedicated 10 minute window when your energy is higher and you’re unlikely to be disrupted.


Identify a clear flat surface to work on. Don’t overthink this part…a clean towel on the floor is sufficient if that’s your most viable space right now.

Set a timer for 5 minutes. It will provide a gentle nudge and help recenter you if you find yourself struggling to get through items or getting distracted.

  • Gather all items from your selected category.
  • Set aside any obvious ‘discard’ and ‘keep’ items, accordingly.
  • Decide what to purge of the remaining items. Ask yourself these guiding questions…
    • Have I used this within the last year?
    • If this item went missing, would I bother searching for it?
    • If this item broke, would I bother to replace it?
    • 20/20 rule for ‘just in case items’: Can I replace this for less than $20 within 20 minutes of my location if actually needed?
    • Do I have another item that can serve the same purpose?
  • Discard appropriately of all of the items you decided to let go of. This can usually be achieved with a combination of trash, recycle, free cycle (Buy Nothing groups and transfer station swap shacks), and local donation centers.
  • Put away your ‘keep’ items back in their home in your kitchen.

Come back next week for quick and easy kitchen storage solutions that can make a big impact!

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