Week 3 - Kitchen Items {Net Zero Clutter Challenge 2016} | From Overwhelmed to Organized: Week 3 - Kitchen Items {Net Zero Clutter Challenge 2016}

Monday, December 12, 2016

Week 3 - Kitchen Items {Net Zero Clutter Challenge 2016}

Do you feel overwhelmed during the month of December with all the stuff that enters your home? It makes it hard to enjoy this festive time of year.

Kitchens can also feel really cluttered when we're spending so much time with holiday baking, entertaining, and preparing holiday meals.

I've found that when I declutter throughout the month it really helps me feel less overwhelmed and I can enjoy Christmas much more.  Will you join me in the Net Zero Decluttering Challenge this year?

Each week I'll share decluttering tips and ideas to help you declutter a different area of your home.  If you do that, you can end the month with the same number of items in your home (or maybe even less!) than what you started the month with.

This week I'm sharing tips for decluttering your kitchen.

This Week's Decluttering Focus

Isn't it frustrating when you're doing your Christmas baking to have to deal with all the rest of the clutter in your kitchen?

  • Cookie sheets and baking pans that are a hot mess in your cabinet
  • Expired ingredients in your pantry
  • So much stuff in your pantry that you can't find what you need
  • Or you buy ingredients because you think you're out of them only to end up finding more in the back of your cabinet? 
  • Or you think you have something in your fridge and then realize you have to run out to buy more because you are actually out?

Holiday baking should be fun, but if you're overwhelmed with all the clutter in your kitchen, it just becomes another chore on the list of things to do.

What about entertaining during the holidays?  Or cooking holiday meals?

  • Ever have people offer to help you in your kitchen but you can't tell them where to find something they need?
  • Or they offer to help you clean up afterwards and you can't tell them where to put things back because there's just no space in your fridge or cabinets or the items don't really have homes? 
  • Maybe you don't even entertain because you're embarrassed to have them see all the clutter? 

If any of this sounds familiar, there's still time to change things! Spend a bit of time decluttering in your kitchen this week and you'll find it so much easier to do your holiday baking and entertaining!

Tips for Decluttering Your Kitchen

Here are a few tips to help you declutter this week:

  • Declutter your pantry by tossing any expired items, grouping like items together, and making note of what you still need
  • Do the same with your fridge and freezer to make space 
  • Donate any pots and pans, baking pans, or other cookware / bakeware that you haven't used in the past year (except those you only use for holiday cooking like your turkey roasting pan)
  • Go through your Tupperware / food storage containers cabinet and let go of anything stained, worn, unmatched, or that you haven't used in the last 6 months. 
  • Give away any small appliances you no longer use. This will create space in your cabinets so you can perhaps get some things off your counters so your kitchen feels less cluttered.

These 5 areas will give you your biggest bang for your buck if you need to do some quick decluttering. If you have time, don't forget your cooking utensil drawers, gadget drawers, and junk drawers.  

I've written lots of posts about decluttering your kitchen... here are a few that you can check out for more tips:

There are also several related posts in these series:

Decluttering your kitchen (or even just a few parts of your kitchen) will really help make your home feel less cluttered when entertaining or doing your holiday baking or cooking. It's worth a little bit of effort this week! 

Decluttering My Kitchen

This week I spent some time decluttering my kitchen. I'm trying to work ahead so I can show you my pictures in the post where I share the tips :)

First I tackled my baking ingredients and party supplies.  I found a bunch of stuff to toss!

  • 10 straws
  • 7 cookie decorating markers
  • 1 theme park cup 
  • 2 spice containers
  • 2 extract bottles
  • 1 icing bottle
  • 4 cake topper decorations
  • 8 fast food cutlery sets
  • 9 elastics
  • 2 old packages
  • 1 silica gel package

Also thrown away (not pictured):

  • 6 packages of coffee from hotel stays
  • 4 packages of sugar, sweetener, creamer, stir sticks, etc. from hotel stays
  • 1 partial box of graham crackers
  • 1 partial bottle of corn syrup
  • 1 cake mix
  • 1 partial jar of chocolate honey
  • 1 partial jar of yeast
  • 1 partial package of mint chocolate chips
  • 1 package of Skor bits
  • 1 package of sliced almonds
  • 1 partial package of coconut
  • 1 partial fajita kit
  • 4 fast food sauces

After that cabinet I got on a roll and I ended up going through all my main kitchen cabinets and drawers.  

I found some items we were no longer using that I donated:

  • 1 popsicle set
  • 1 slushie magic set
  • 1 sandwich cutter
  • 1 pot
  • 1 set of salad tongs

Plus I donated the following items (not pictured):

  • 2 kids' mugs
  • 1 cake pops pan
  • 3 shammy rags
  • 2 ice cream cone holders
  • 1 plastic food container
  • 1 travel mug

And I found 1 bottle of old prescription meds that I brought to the drugstore.

I still need to do a little more decluttering in our pantry cupboard, fridge, and freezer, but overall I'm really happy with everything I was able to get out of our kitchen this week!

Decluttering My Kids' Stuff

I know kids' week was last week, but it was a busy week for my kids, so we did a bit more decluttering this week.  

We tackled their entertainment shelves and they let go of:

  • 3 Wii / XBOX games
  • 1 DVD game
  • 1 DVD
  • 16 CDROM computer games

Then my daughter did some decluttering in her room.  She decided to let go of quite a bit, even though we'd done a lot of decluttering in her room this summer!  Here's what she's giving away:

  • 1 wooden dollhouse
  • 11 dollhouse accessories

She loved this dollhouse when she was younger but hasn't played with it as much the last couple of years. When we rearranged her room this summer we put it on her little table, hoping that having it up off the floor would encourage her to play with it more.  But she still didn't really play with it and she missed having the space on her table to do crafts and activities.  This summer she met a lot of my extended family at my parents' 50th wedding anniversary and had fun sorting out the difference between 2nd cousins, 3rd cousins, and cousins once removed, twice removed, etc. Anyway, my mom has been giving a few kids' toys to my 2nd cousin for her granddaughters to play with and we're hoping to give the dollhouse to them as well. I think that makes the little girls 3rd cousins once removed to my daughter. So fun!

My daughter also enjoys passing down toys and books to her younger cousin and she's giving away 28 books.

Plus, she's giving away the following (not pictured):

  • 10 Barbie dolls
  • 3 smaller Barbie dolls
  • 1 Barbie accessories case
  • 30+ Barbie accessories (too many little pieces to count)
  • 1 set of 3 books + the audio versions on CD and cassette 
  • 1 kids' "computer" toy
  • 1 wooden doll set with clothes

We're also recycling 1 box that a set of books came in since the books are being split up and won't likely be re-united later.

And, because she's growing like a weed, we're giving away:

  • 8 shirts
  • 2 pants
  • 1 Christmas pajama set
  • 1 pair of slippers

In addition to all that, I also decluttered a few random items this week:

  • 1 pair of socks
  • 9 attraction coupons (we used 2 of them and I tossed the rest because they'd expired or they were duplicates)

Oh, and I did a bunch of digital decluttering this week... about 150 Facebook friends and over 200 Facebook pages and groups.  Plus 213 digital photos.  I'm not counting this in the #NetZeroClutter challenge because it's not really affecting my home at all.  Even though this isn't physical clutter in my home, it still feels GREAT to declutter it :)

My Progress in the #NetZeroClutter challenge

I'm doing really well at not letting things enter our home so far this month.  Most days have been zero!  This week we got the kids' school photos and most of them will be given away but I'll count the 2 large ones that go in frames in our living room and the 4 wallet pictures that my hubby and I will keep in our wallets (1 of each of our kids). We also went indoor mini-golfing this weekend and my son wanted to keep the scorecard in his memory box.
This week I decluttered 87 kitchen items, my kids' decluttered 122 kids' items and I decluttered 10 random items. {Plus the 563 digital items that I'm not counting.} We added 7 new items in our home this week. So that puts me at -212 items this week in the #NetZeroClutter challenge and -276 overall.  My goal for the month was to declutter more than 250 items so I'm already there! I've got more to declutter though so I'm going to keep going :)

What's Next For You?

Take some time this week to declutter your kitchen. It will make your holiday baking, entertaining, and even just day-to-day meal prep on those busy December days a lot less overwhelming!

Don't forget you can declutter anything you'd like though.  If you've got a more pressing need, go for it!

Take some pictures and share your progress on social media using the hashtag #NetZeroClutter.  Let me know how you're doing in the challenge so I can cheer you on!

Sign up to receive my blog posts by email so you get each week's post in your email inbox.  You can unsubscribe after the challenge is over if you don't want to continue receiving my blog posts by email.

I'd also love for you to join our 365 Items in 365 Days Facebook group as you do this challenge!  You'll be able to share with others what you're decluttering and feel encouraged and inspired by everyone else who is also decluttering!

If you'd like more decluttering ideas, you can check out my Decluttering/Purging Tips & Ideas board on Pinterest.

So that's this week's post in the Net Zero Decluttering Challenge!  I'm enjoying doing this challenge and I'm excited to have you join me.  I love hearing all the stories of how much more you're enjoying your holidays because you're not overwhelmed by all the stuff in your home!

How much did you declutter from your kitchen this week?  How many kids' items did you declutter last week?  How are your overall in / out numbers?

Happy organizing decluttering!

I link up at these great parties - Check them out!

Here are all the posts in this challenge in case you missed any or want to share some with your friends or family!