Unclutter Your Nest 2017: a clutter-free kitchen

Happy first day of the January declutter my friends! Do you have your trash bags all lined up, ready to be filled with trash and donations? Do you have your favorite Pandora station on and playing music that will keep you motivated? I know much of the US is bracing for some nasty weather today and this weekend, so it’s the perfect time to dive in and start decluttering. I’ll share some of the ways I keep a clutter-free kitchen.

I am teaming up again with my friends from No Place Like Home to bring you 8 times the decluttering ideas and motivation. And, because we know that a little carrot at the end of the stick is always helpful, we’re offering a carrot in the shape of a $150 gift card from The Container Store to one lucky reader. You will have several opportunities to enter our rafflecopter giveaway, one of which being posting your success/challenges. See the Rafflecopter box below to see all the ways you can enter our giveaway.1-start-the-year-off-right-graphic

So, let’s get busy! If you remember, I undertook a MAJOR declutter this time last year. Pop over to this post which is filled with suggestions for clearing out the declutter and where to take your discards.

In a nutshell, I picked up just about every kitchen gadget I owned, laid it out on the counter and really considered it’s usefulness. In doing this, I found some items I thought I had lost, as well as multiples of several items. By being ruthless in this process, I removed 117 pounds of stuff from my kitchen alone and at the end of the 4 week period we removed a total of 1,330 pounds from our home. 

I am pleased to say that at the end of one year, my kitchen is still in good shape and there is really not much to get rid of. By following my rule of ‘When I bring 1 thing into my home I need to remove 2 things’, I’ve kept duplication and clutter to a minimum and still have a clutter-free kitchen.

However, there are two areas that I really didn’t do a deep dive on last year that I will pick up on this year and they both have helped me keep my pantry orderly:

  1. For the most part, I keep my pantry stocked with staples that have multiple uses, as opposed to single use items.

I don’t buy many prepared meals, dressings, baking mixes, spice mixes, etc…  I grew up with a mom and grandma who made everything from scratch, so I’ve always gone that route. This keeps my pantry free of cake mixes, biscuit mixes, brownie mixes, salad dressings, taco seasonings, etc… I always have flour, sugar and baking soda/powder on hand and can make just about every baking mix with those ingredients.  I always have olive and vinegar, so I can quickly mix up a salad dressing. 

Not only does this method keep my pantry down to the basic staples, but I also avoid all the preservatives that so many of these prepared items need for their extended shelf life.

You can find recipes to DIY just about any prepared mix out there, but here are a few sites that I use as resources:

  • The Kitchn is one of my go-tos for many recipes.  
    • They have compiled 5 essential salad dressings here.
    • And have compiled 20 DIY Pantry Staples here.
  • The Organic Authority has posted a list of DIY dry baking mix recipes here.
  • My favorite taco seasoning is this one by Alton Brown...except I omit the salt.
  • I rarely use mayonnaise, so when I do need it, it makes more sense for me to make a little bit instead of buying a whole jar of it and have it just sit in my fridge for months until it goes bad and I throw it away.

2I probably have an unhealthy attraction to storage containers, boxes,vessels and such, but I use them to keep my pantry organized. My ‘functional aesthestics’ motto follows my thinking that I am more likely to keep an area clean and organized if I like the way it looks. 

‘I have too many wine crates and wire baskets’ said no one, ever! These wine crates in my pantry hold smaller, similar items that would otherwise be getting lost or getting in the way. One box holds bags of dried fruit, one box holds bags of my oriental pasta, one holds my boxes of aluminum foil, parchment paper,etc…and one holds some of my unused canning jars.  How to keep a clutter-free kitchen and pantry and how to organize my table linens.

I was lucky enough to be given one of my boxes from a friend who owns a lovely restaurant and the others I found by calling and asking local wine stores.

How to keep a clutter-free kitchen and pantry and how to organize my table linens.

So, if you’re looking for wine crates to help control your kitchen clutter, call your restaurant friends and local wine stores. Also,check on ebay and your local thrift stores.

How to keep a clutter-free kitchen and pantry and how to organize my table linens.

'I have too many #winecrates' said no one ever. Perfect for #organizing my #pantry. #organizationClick To Tweet

For your convenience, this post contains affiliate links to products I use, love and highly recommend. If you purchase any product through this site, I may be compensated, but you do not pay one penny moreYou can see my full disclosure policy here.

I also make liberal use of labelled large jars and glass hinge-top canisters for my beans, rice and grains.

Inexpensive wire baskets with adhesive bookplates/label holders corral all my small pantry items, which are mostly my baking supplies like sprinkles, extracts, food coloring, pastry bags/tips,etc…How to keep a clutter-free kitchen and pantry and how to organize my table linens.

My pantry has beautiful, old door with a glass panel, so letting it get messy is really not an option.How to keep a clutter-free kitchen and pantry and how to organize my table linens.

But man oh man, do I love this pantry door! It makes keeping my pantry neat so very worth it.

How to keep a clutter-free kitchen and pantry and how to organize my table linens.

Pin to your ‘organizing ideas’ board!How to keep a clutter-free kitchen and pantry and how to organize table linens. Unclutter/Clean/Organize

So remember at the beginning of the post when I said ” my kitchen is still in good shape”? Well, there is one rather glaring exception to that statement…my table linens have been a hot mess for quite some time. So, I extended my kitchen organization to my adjacent dining room this weekend to tackle them.

I am a collector of linens; a habit started by my grandmother and reinforced by my mom. I grew up in a paperless kitchen and have carried that into my own kitchen. As such, I am always on the lookout for lovely cloth napkins, tablecloths and dish towels and have accumulated quite an assortment of all of them. How to organize your table linens.

I have tablecloths that my grandmother embroidered and tablecloths that my mom purchased for me on her travels overseas.How to organize your table linens.

I have napkins that I purchase on my travels, napkins I made and napkins that were gifted to me.
How to organize your table linens.

But all these beautiful linens have been stuffed in drawers and lodged in cabinets resulting in a wrinkled hodgepodge of napkins and tablecloths.

I employed the methods I used last year of taking all the linens out of the cabinet to examine them for their condition and to decide if they were something I still wanted to use. I did discard a couple of dated runners and repaired a small tear in one of the tablecloths in the process. 

It was clear that my tablecloths would fare better and I would probably not need to iron them every time I wanted to use them if I hung them up instead of keeping them folded in the drawers. Plus that would clear up tons of space in my drawers for my burgeoning napkin collection.

Kate and I measured each of my tablecloths and runners and I created labels so that now I know exactly what I have. tags-1-of-1

 I folded 4″ by 6″ cardstock in half, cut a little half oval at the fold, wrote down the details and attached it a hanger. How to organize your table linens.

Now all my tablecloths are organized and I can easily see what I have! How to organize your table linens.
I’m so excited about this little organizational coupHow to organize your table linens.

And now my napkins have room to breath!How to organize your table linens.

Pin to your organization board!

How to organize your table linens and pantry and declutter your kitchen. Unclutter/Clean/Organize

 

So, what is your problem area in your kitchen? I’m telling you, the best advice I can give you is to just dive in, pull open your drawers and examine each and every thing? Do you use it? Does it bring you joy? If you can’t say ‘absolute’, then it’s time to pass it on to someone who will use it and to whom it will bring joy. Remember this quote by William Morris as you start your declutter process:

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”

So, as previously mentioned, the gals from No Place Like Home are hoping to motivate you to declutter your home with the opportunity to win a $150 gift card from The Container Store. You have multiple opportunities to enter the giveaway:
1) Each week submit a photo of a declutter challenge or success to the inlinkz below. (If you are not linking from a webpage and are just uploading an image from your computer, click on option 3 in the inlinkz box that says ‘Image URL’ and add your image from your computer. This link  helps explain that further.)

2) Follow the rest of the Rafflecopter prompts below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Make sure to pop through and see how others are bringing order to their chaos in the Inlinkz round-up.


And for more even more ideas on how to declutter your kitchens, make sure you visit my friends:

A Home To Grow Old In | Hey Fitzy | Nourish and Nestle | Sweet Parrish Place

Paint Yourself A Smile | The Red Painted Cottage | Savvy Apron

Thanks for stopping by to visit today, I appreciate you more than you’ll ever know. And when you leave a comment…ah, it makes my heart sing! 

I have published printable PDFs of several of my most popular knit patterns and printables and have made those available to all of my subscribers. And come back and check every now and again. I will continue to add patterns and printables to this page as we go along.

So, if you’d like to get in on the ‘subscriber benefit’ action, simply subscribe to Nourish and Nestle using the form on the right sidebar. It’s towards the top a bit. Or, you can subscribe by clicking the box right below. I have sent all my subscribers the link to the Subscriber Benefits Library, but if you missed it or misplaced it, drop me a linsubscriber-benefits

Until next time,

lynn-in-brotherhood


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You Might Also Enjoy:

How I Removed 1,330 Pounds of Clutter from My Home117-pounds-out-of-the-kitchen

Comments

  1. Leave a Reply

    Tammy
    January 6, 2017

    Hi Lynn,

    Your pantry doors are amazing! I love the overall look of your pantry and the items you use to organize all your items. We must have the same ‘condition’! I am drawn to pretty containers and also believe creating a pretty space will help me keep it clean in the long run. It works my friend!

    • Leave a Reply

      lynn
      January 7, 2017

      Hi friend and thanks for sharing some pantry door love. I am going to miss those door when we sell this house. And our affinity for pretty containers is a good thing…right? I know it helps me keep stuff controlled in my home.

      Have a great weekend!

      Lynn

    • Leave a Reply

      Sue
      January 7, 2017

      I have been decluttering quite a bit since around October, but I still have a long ways to go. My focus right now is the walk in closet in our guest room that has been a dumping ground for craft supplies, bedding, and anything else that didn’t seem to have a place in our house. It could take a while. But, I’m still working on the rest of the house as well.
      Sue recently posted…Five Minute Friday #1, 2017 – ConnectMy Profile

      • Leave a Reply

        lynn
        January 8, 2017

        Good Morning Sue, I am settling in to work on my craft supplies/office this morning as well! I redid my office this year and just shoved supplies and stuff in the closet and today is the day of reckoning! But it is so very cathartic…I’m very much looking forward to diving in to it.

        Wishing you much success with your project…snap a picture and share it with us for the chance to win the $150 The Container Store gift card!

        Happy Sunday.

        Lynn

  2. Leave a Reply

    Cindy Bailey
    January 6, 2017

    I’ve become an “old hand” at organizing and decluttering. 🙂 A little over a year ago, I went from a crowded, large 2 bedroom apartment with walk-in closet, lots of spare closet space…and I moved into a small one bedroom studio. My “empty nest” years. My kitchen now has empty shelves! Lots of food, but no extra sets of dishes, or obscure serving bowls that I never used. So liberating!

    • Leave a Reply

      lynn
      January 7, 2017

      Cindy, that sounds lovely!!! There is that saying that goes something like, “the more things you own the more they own you.” and it’s so true. Sounds like you are fairly free from all that! And you don’t spend your valuable time tending all those possessions. Well done you! I am not quite there yet…but slowly working that way.

      Wishing you a lovely weekend.

      Hugs, Lynn

  3. Leave a Reply

    Nicki Parrish
    January 6, 2017

    I love seeing the way you have organized your pantry Lynn, and love the way you hung your tablecloths! I can’t imagine a paperless kitchen, but I do admire you for it! Your pantry looks awesome!

    • Leave a Reply

      lynn
      January 7, 2017

      Hey Nicki…once you go the paperless route is really is quite easy. In all honesty, I keep a roll of paper towels in my laundry room for certain accidents that happen, but that roll will last months! My mom saw my post and now she wants me to go over and organize her linens the same way! Makes it so easy to see what you have.

      Have a great weekend my friend,

      Hugs, LYnn

    • Leave a Reply

      lynn
      January 7, 2017

      Hi Towanda, I am so glad I might have inspired you a wee bit. Go find some wine crates…they make it so easy. I don’t know where you live, but it’s a cold nasty weekend where I am and so a perfect uncluttering day!

      Good Luck with it and enjoy your weekend.

      Hugs, Lynn

  4. Leave a Reply

    Robin
    January 6, 2017

    Lynn, I love your idea for storing your table linens! I’ve acquired quite a few in the last couple of years, and they’re all folded up, so I forget about them. It looks like you have some really gorgeous linens by the way! Oh, and your pantry door is gorgeous!
    Robin recently posted…How To Organize A Pantry With Free Printable LabelsMy Profile

    • Leave a Reply

      lynn
      January 7, 2017

      Hey there Robin, I’m quite tickled with my tablecloth organization…now my mom wants me to pop over and do hers as well! (Which I will gladly do of course!) So, I’m not surprised to find that we share a love for linens, we seem to be step with lots of those kinds of things.

      And I do love my pantry…maybe one of my favorite things in my home.

      Hugs, Lynn

  5. Leave a Reply

    Mindy
    January 6, 2017

    What great ideas Lynn! I’m in a tiny rental house with limited storage. This is going to help a lot. After almost getting smashed by Halloween tombstones last weekend while trying to put away Christmas decorations, this couldn’t come at a better time!
    ~Mindy
    Mindy recently posted…Happy New Year!My Profile

    • Leave a Reply

      lynn
      January 7, 2017

      Hey Mindy, you made me laugh! The image I have of getting smashed by Halloween tombstones while putting away Christmas decoration is a hoot…I trust you didn’t suffer any permanent damage…other than the urge to declutter.
      Good luck with your unclutter!

      Hugs, Lynn

  6. Leave a Reply

    Sherry
    January 6, 2017

    We are so much alike. When I was newly married I thought if I didn’t have a pkg of chili mix, I couldn’t make chili. I now make everything from scratch. I love you tablecloth solution.

    • Leave a Reply

      lynn
      January 7, 2017

      Hey Sherry…no doubt that everything is better made from scratch! And it makes my pantry so much more orderly! And I’m pretty tickled with my tablecloth organization as well…makes it so easy to find what I want, without the wrinkles.

      Have a great day my friend.

      Hugs, LYnn

  7. Leave a Reply

    Carol
    January 6, 2017

    Lynn, I love your pantry door! Is it something you recently found and added or was it there when you bought your house? Very stunning! I’ve always stored our tablecloths on hangers in a closet, but never thought of putting labels on the hangers. Great idea! Also, thank you for listing those resources! I always cook and bake from scratch. Hugs to you, my friend!
    Carol recently posted…Kitchen Declutter – How To Organize RecipesMy Profile

    • Leave a Reply

      lynn
      January 7, 2017

      Thanks so much Lindsay…it is truly one of my favorite features of our home. We found it in a salvage store and refinished it, but the glass is still original…very thin and wavy. I’m really surprised that it’s survived my 17-year old pantry raiding son!

      Have a great weekend.

      Lynn

  8. Leave a Reply

    TerriSue B
    January 7, 2017

    I really like the way you have done your tablecloths. Mine are also in a bureau with my napkins and assorted other linens. I have room in the closet in the same room as the bureau. I will need to look into finding the large hangers. Thank you for the idea.

    • Leave a Reply

      lynn
      January 8, 2017

      Good Sunday Morning Terri Sue!

      I am telling you that I am thrilled with that tablecloth organization…I go in and open the closet and lovingly gaze at my well-organized and wrinkle free tablecloths! I really think it will encourage me to use them more since it will be easier to see what I have and easier to access them. My mom called me yesterday and wants me to come over and organize hers that way! Of course, I will.

      I did have some large hangers from the dry cleaners (you may want to call and see if they will give/sell you some), but when I ran out of those, I just used regular wire hangers with the cardboard tube on the bottom.

      Good luck with it!

      Hugs, Lynn

  9. Leave a Reply

    Katrin
    January 9, 2017

    Your pantry is really pretty and I´d love one just like that! I am pretty organized and declutter all the time due to our lack of storage, but I still have stuff piling up here and there! I should really tackle my tiny cupboards and get some stuff out of there! Have a good one Lynn and enjoy! Decluttering is like therapy, hey?

    • Leave a Reply

      lynn
      January 12, 2017

      Good Morning my friend, yes…decluttering is therapy! Can be rather painful going through it but so worth it in the end.
      And I love that pantry too…I will so miss it when we move. In fact, I’ve considered taking the door with us so that I can replicate it whatever house we move in to.

      Thanks for coming by to visit my friend.

      Have a great day.

      Lynn

  10. Leave a Reply

    Liz
    January 9, 2017

    I love this! I really want to downsize to a tiny house one day so I purge regularly. I really love that you have a paper-free kitchen! And your linens organization with the hangers is a great idea 😀

    • Leave a Reply

      lynn
      January 12, 2017

      Hi Liz
      A Tiny Home! Wow…I admire that lifestyle and it seems one that would fit you and your outdoor lifestyle perfectly. Truthfully, my paperfree kitchen is such a non-issue in my home. Just a wee bit of adjustment time, and then it just becomes ‘what it is’.

      I’m actually in your neck of the woods right now! Looks like the remaining snow will melt today

      Have a great day.

      Lynn

      • Leave a Reply

        Liz
        January 12, 2017

        Agreed! Once you get used to a paper-free kitchen it seems so easy 🙂 I hope you are having fun in the area! There’s still one big pile of snow in the middle of the parking lot at my office, but other than that it seems to have melted.

  11. Leave a Reply

    Tiffany Banks
    January 11, 2017

    I am going to declutter my bedroom & kitchen this weekend!

    • Leave a Reply

      lynn
      January 12, 2017

      Good Morning Tiffany and good luck to you. You will be so very glad when you are done. I am happy to say that my home stayed fairly well uncluttered over the past year, thanks to all my work last year. I do have a few areas that I am looking forward to tackling soon and will document them on my post in the next week.
      This week I’m all about my craft room/office…So very happy with the progress I made there.

      Hey, make sure you enter our giveaway for the $150 gift card from The Container Store! I know you can find some great things for your declutter! You can find the entry at the bottom of this post.

      http://www.nourishandnestle.com/unclutter-your-nest-2017-clutter-free-kitchen/

      Thanks for leaving a comment! I look forward to hearing about your progress.

      Have a great day.

      Lynn

  12. Leave a Reply

    Ashley R
    January 14, 2017

    For us, it’s time to declutter the whole house but more specifically the master bedroom and the kitchen!

    • Leave a Reply

      lynn
      January 16, 2017

      Hi Ashley, those are two rooms that really can end up cluttered so quickly. The kitchen, well because there are just so many great gadgets out there! I am a complete sucker for anything that Williams-Sonoma sells, which is one reason I had to quit working there! And for us, the Master Bedroom became the dumping ground for stuff we didn’t know what else to do with! Because no one but us ever really goes into our room, it was easy to just dump…(truth time…my Christmas wrapping stuff is still sitting in my Master!)

      Anyway (except for the Christmas Paper…which I have just shamed myself into doing something about!), by taking out all the excess clothing and stuff, our room really stays neat.

      Good luck to you and your process! And make sure you enter to win the $150 Gift Card to the Container Store!

      Hugs, Lynn

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