The Life Changing of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo has transformed countless homes and lives, including our own. Unlike the majority of traditional decluttering methods, where you attack one room at a time, Marie Kondo teaches that your belongings should be tackled in terms of specific categories, in a particular order. Having completed the Clothing, Books and Papers categories for a second time, I decided to apply the KonMari Method to our kitchen as the first of the many subcategories that fall under the Komono (“Miscellany”) category.
Last summer, Tim and I followed the KonMari Method to declutter and organise every item in our home. Over the past couple of months, I have been repeating the process, not only to refine the decisions we made last year on what to keep and what to discard, but also to assess new items which have come into our possession in the year since our original deep purge.
As we had already completed the KonMari Method sixteen months earlier, I felt able to tackle the kitchen in one go, one subcategory at a time, moving around the room in an anti-clockwise direction. If, however, you would like to re-organise your kitchen from scratch, (and you have the time and room to do so,) you may wish to empty all of your cupboards and drawers at once.
The first step is to pull together all of the items that make up a specific subcategory. For example, you collect together all of your bakeware, all of your pots and pans, or all of your cutlery, etc. This way you are faced with the reality of just how many things you own of a particular type. You may be surprised to discover just how many mugs you own, or how many unloved utensils you have kept!
With your entire subcategory laid out in front of you, handle or touch every item in turn, asking yourself “Does it spark joy?” When it comes to kitchenware, you may be wondering how a spatula or garlic press can spark joy, but you need to look at the larger picture here. Joy can be found, not only in the form of items which are obviously beautiful, but those which are purposeful, serve a function, and work well. Remember, you are focusing on the positives, and honing in on what makes you happy, not the negatives. Once you have successfully identified all of the items which spark joy, you let go of the rest.
In terms of the KonMari Method, similar things are organised together, and every item has a home. This is very important. And now that you have already discarded the clutter (i.e. the items which do not make you happy, which are obsolete or do not work properly), you can see exactly how much space each subcategory requires, and can put it away accordingly. Try storing all of your bakeware together, all pots and pans in one place, have a specific area just for food storage, and so on. Think about how you use the space in your kitchen; we keep pots, pans and bakeware next to our oven, crockery and cutlery as close to the dishwasher as possible, cleaning products under the sink, etc.
How you organise your kitchen is entirely up to you. For example, some people prefer to store food in upper cabinets near the cooker. However, we have chosen to store food in two of our lower cabinets. This is because I am not tall enough to reach the back of the upper cupboards, plus I do not like to store heavy items in upper cupboards. We have one for all of our baking ingredients, and a larger double cabinet for all other foods. This organisation is practical for us because all of our food is stored together, in one specific area of the kitchen, within easy reach of one of our two main prepping counter spaces.
The finishing step is to remove visual clutter, such as the labels, stickers and packaging that is found on most shop bought products. It may not be practical to remove the labels from tinned goods, but pasta and other dried goods can be stored in clear storage containers. We are big fans of Kilner jars and the OXO Pop range of storage containers.
One of the great things about having KonMari’d our kitchen last year is that everything was already organised into subcategories. In terms of organisation, we already had things just as we wanted. Applying the KonMari Method to the kitchen for a second time therefore was more an exercise in maintenance and mindfulness, with the emphasis on removing clutter. I opted to work around the room in an anti-clockwise direction, one cupboard or drawer at a time, before moving on to the next one.
Watch the video to find out how I fared…
Coming soon! An in-depth look into our tried and tested recommendations for a well organised kitchen.