5 Ways to Declutter a Kitchen Without Losing Any of the Good Charm

April 27, 2016

Welcome to Spring Clean Your Life, your one-stop shop for gotta-try-those tips & bookmark-me inspiration to spruce up your kitchen and home this season—and well beyond.

Call me crazy, but I always get excited when the time for spring kitchen cleaning rolls around. Figuring out what to toss, what to donate, and where to put everything else can seem overwhelming—but there’s nothing more satisfying than walking into your home and finding a clean, organized countertop with each dish, pot, and serving bowl neatly in its place.

Here are 5 of my favorite organization tricks to achieve kitchen nirvana (without compromising on looks!), to get even the most cleaning-averse excited about sprucing up the kitchen.

Photo by Michael Wells Photography

1. Create a Countertop Display

Why spend money on a state of the art mixing bowl or a set of beautifully hand-carved cutting boards just to hide them away in drawers?

It might seem contrary to de-cluttering, but by creating your own countertop display of select kitchen curiosities (so that you still have plenty of room left to chop, dice, and blend), your favorite pieces can double as on-hand helpers and decoration. And anyway, those overlooked nooks and crannies are often perfect for keeping a container of wooden spoons or a set of neatly stacked woven trivets.

Photo by Disc Journal
Photo by Highsnobiety

2. Embrace Floating Shelves

A bulky floor-to-ceiling cupboard may seem spacious, but it’s easy for items to get shoved to the back of the shelf each autumn only to be lost until the next spring. Floating shelves are a more streamlined option for adding out-of-the-way storage to any sized kitchen, big or small.

With endless options for customization, you can fill bigger walls by cutting your shelves longer or pairing two side-by-side. For storing bigger pots and pans, leave more space between shelves to ensure a perfect fit for lid and all. The floating shelf is also a great way to play with texture, with a darker contrasting wood beautifully breaking up the blank space of clean white walls.

3. Personalize a Free-Standing Hutch

Photo by Anna Leena

Still ecstatic about that set of vintage china you found at the flea market? Give your find the display case it deserves! Whether you prefer a more minimal, curated display that includes only a few cherished items, or want a more practical way to contain fragile tea cups and ceramics, the free-standing hutch is an ideal piece to keep your kitchen treasures within view and reach.

4. Make Use of Your Island

If you have freestanding kitchen workspace, it shouldn't be an island you'd mind getting stranded on—so be sure to use any storage space it offers! (Or invest in one that's not just a surface.)

Tidily stacked shelving at a lower height is great for larger kitchen necessities, like baking dishes and blenders that can quickly clutter up counters and be too heavy to store up high. And an island with both shelves and drawers, on the other hand, will keep your favorite set of knives organized and at the ready for any stir-fry, salad, or sauté.

Photo by Gardehvalsoe
Photo by Nuevo Estillo

5. Declutter with a Pot & Utensil Rod

What I like to think of as "kitchen jewelry," a pot and utensil rod is a great way to organize oddly-shaped items that may not easily stack. Adorn your wall with a gleaming array of measuring cups, ladles and spatulas.

Photo by Alexander White

It’s easy to lose sight of bottle openers and kitchen scissors in the backs of drawers, but with everything at eye level you’ll be ready to tackle any task from peeling carrots to uncorking wine.

Ready to give it a try?

How do you reach kitchen nirvana? Tell us your techniques in the comments!

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Jessica is a Los Angeles based designer and art director whose work aims to balance subtlety, grace, and quiet sophistication. She founded her design studio in 2012, which specializes in refined visuals for emerging lifestyle brands. Building off of her formal interior design training, Jessica imparts her eye for detail and appreciation for simplicity into all facets of her work, including The Elysian Edit, which she launched in 2016 as a way of showcasing the people, places and practices she finds inspiring.

1 Comment

Kit April 28, 2016
My oval cutting board with handle hung in several of my kitchens on a hook - looked pretty and was always at the ready! I've also hung metal trivets in small wall nooks. A wall-mounted plate stand can display a larger serving dish when it's not in use. And invest in attractive potholders and towels that add decor on their rods between working times.