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The holiday season will soon be upon us and that means a ton of time spent in the kitchen preparing holiday meals and family gatherings. Before the busy months of cooking and parties come is the time to take a fresh eye to your kitchen cleaning and clear away the clutter.
Cleaning away messes now will give you the space for trying out new recipes, DIY gift ideas and memories with the whole family. To help you get started on your kitchen clutter now, weve put together a list of tips for cleaning kitchen clutter that will help prepare your home for the season ahead.
Create storage solutions
If you find that you typically leave keys and mail on the counter when you walk into the house, add a bin for putting the mail in the same place everyday. Once a week, empty the bin and throw out anything that is garbage and sort away the things you need to keep in their proper place. Keys can go on a hook or a dish making it easy to find them when you need to head out the door.
Check for expired products
Go through your cupboard and refrigerator and trash anything that is past its expiration date. Spices might not have expiration dates but anything older than 6 months should be thrown out. Dried spices lose their potency and flavor as they age.
Match Food Storage Containers
How many lids do you have versus how many bottoms? Going through your plastic storage containers and determining what matches and throwing out the extras will help clean up space in your cupboard. Tubs that are stained from sauces can be thrown out and only things that match should go back in the closet.
Clear off the counter
Avoid the tendency to use the counter as a long term storage solution. Find homes for small appliances that are not used daily (the coffee pot is okay) and clear off any non-essential items. Leave things that are functional and used in cooking; this includes cutting boards, salt and pepper, or oil dispensers.
Clean up the art gallery
Fall is the perfect time to revisit all the items on your refrigerator and see what needs to be stored or thrown away. Old announcements or expired coupons dont need to be on display. Cleaning up some space now will make it easier to put holiday cards up when they start to arrive.
Find alternatives to the pile
Instead of piling pots, pans, lids and small accessory items in drawers, take the time to find appropriate storage solutions for each. Hang pots using hooks on the wall, put knives and processor blades on magnetic strips, and get racks designed to hold pot lids.
Stay focused while cleaning
Instead of trying to clean the entire kitchen at once, pick a cabinet and fully clean one section of the kitchen at a time. If you find items that belong in another space, set them under or near the cabinet they belong in and put them away properly when you get to that space.
Tackle the junk drawer
Its okay to have a catch-all drawer but going through it once a year will help keep things organized and may locate the missing back side of the TV remote that disappeared 3 months ago. Check batteries and pens and make sure they work and put anything away that doesnt belong in this miscellaneous drawer space.
Donate things you dont need
Theres no reason to hold onto a small kitchen appliance on the off chance that youll need a dedicated avocado slicer. Get rid of anything that you havent used in over six months. Storing it isnt going to make you use it later.
Getting ahead of your cleaning schedule can help prepare you for the holiday season before your schedule and visiting calendar starts to pick up. Early preparation will help lower stress and make sure that you enjoy the family gatherings no matter how spur of the moment they are.