October 03, 2022 6 min read

You are finally here.  You have reached the last week of this challenge.  If you have gotten through all the daily challenges and you've maintained your morning and evening routines, you should feel a real sense of accomplishment and you should be in love with your kitchen.  If not, keep going.  Decluttering is a process and cleaning routines are habits that must be learned through repetition. 

 

 

Table Décor

When it come to table décor, a tablecloth or placemats is really all you need.

  1. Use something that is practical: you may absolutely love a clean, white tablecloth, but have kids, so realistically, a white table cloth doesn’t work. So pick multi-colored tablecloths or placemats that hide stains, but still brighten up the table.
  2. Think through tablecloths versus placemats. Do you use them? Do they help you? Do they make you feel good? Often we have excess placemats for various people or seasons, but we don’t use them. Some people might prefer using neither placemats nor tablecloths. That way there is nothing to remove and nothing to put back (just wipe the table clean and you are done). This is perfectly fine!
  3. Hot pads: Think through how many you actually use and keep a minimal amount. Typically 4 thick, good quality hot pads are all that is ever needed. In a pinch a towel or oven mitt work just as well.
  4. Get rid of any décor that has not been used: seasonal, candles, vases, fruit bowls, etc. Ask yourself have you used it in the last year?
  5. Wipe down the tabletop, table legs, chair backs, seats, and chair legs to remove marks or dried on food spills. This is a good chore to have done if you have messy eaters. (It’s also a good chore for kids to help with.)
  6. Decorate the table only with what you love and/or what is practical.

 

 

Kitchen Décor

The kitchen is a place of service. Everything in the kitchen should be practical and useful. Keeping the walls free of 72 knick-knacks means your mind is open to be creative with the food you are preparing.

If you have a lot of kitchen décor, I want you to remove it all now and place it in another room, preferably the dining room table, but use whatever space you have available. 

  1. Take down any pictures or items hanging on the walls.
  2. Remove any décor items from windows and shelves if you put them back after we cleared the windows.
  3. Remove all countertop décor.
  4. Remove any décor or excess items on top of fridge or cupboards. 

Take a good look at your clean, clear kitchen. Do you enjoy it this way? Do the clear counters give you a sense of accomplishment and help you enjoy this space? If so, I want you to box up all the décor and take it right out to your vehicle for donation. 

If you do enjoy having something prettyon your counters, try putting your fresh fruit in a bowl and place it on the counter. If you do want to keep some of the décor you have, bring back your most loved pieces one at a time until you find your kitchen’s “sweet spot:” where the kitchen feels homey and welcoming, but not cluttered with do-dads. 

As you're making your decisions, remember these tips:

  • The more décor items you have, the more you have to dust and clean regularly.
  • The more items you have on your countertops, the more likely it is for clutter to accumulate. When you counters are cleared, people are hesitant to leave things on them.
  • Try to make your decorations useful and practical. Quality glass jars can also serve as storage for grains, beans or coffee. A beautiful bowl can serve as a fruit bowl that encourages healthy snacking. A pretty porcelain cookie jar that has dual purpose, decorations and treats. Or a nice bread basket that you actually store bread in.

 

 

Cookbooks

When looking through cookbooks, that fantasy life can become vivid in your mind’s eye: imagine the joy of people gathered at your table, enjoying a delicious and beautiful gourmet meal, as you sit down in your gorgeous apron to enjoy the fruits of your labor with your admiring guests. 

But the reality is that cookbooks sitting on your shelf, stacked on your counter and stuffed in the corner cupboard are only flooding you with the shame of and a cluttered feeling each time you notice them. Everyone gets in a cooking rut, and although most recipe books are fun to look through, they are not needed. A quick internet search is all you need to get ideas flowing.  I recommend keeping only the cookbooks that get used over and over. 

  • A How-to recipe book like How to Cook Everything, The Basics by Mark Bittman.
  • One or two simple cookbooks if you use them (with recipes that have 5 ingredients or less). 

What should you do with all the other cookbooks? Get rid of them. Don’t hesitate. I know the pull is strong, but release them. Bless someone at the thrift store. Trust me, if there is something you want to make, you can find the recipe online. Release the guilt. Put them all in a box; haul it out to your car immediately. Enjoy that beautiful, clean area you now have!How does it feel? 

 

 

Large Kitchen Appliances

Let's look at the large items in our kitchen that take up a lot of space. 

  • Punch bowl
  • Bread mixer/grain grinder
  • Crockpot
  • Food dehydrator
  • Electric griddle
  • Microwave
  • Toaster oven
  • Rice cooker
  • Toaster
  • Popcorn popper
  • Blender
  • Turkey roaster
  • Food processor
  • Coffee pot
  • Bread machine
  • Juicer

Look at each item carefully and think about the last time you used it. If you can’t remember the last time you used it, it’s safe to let it go. I personally regularly use my blender and convection oven almost every day, so they stay on the countertop. I don't use my crockpot very often so I store it in a cabinet.  I had a huge electric roaster that I stored on top of my cabinets in a corner.  I only used it once a year, so rather than let it collect dust, I donated it to my house of worship, that way I can borrow it back whenever I need it. 

If you have more than one of any of these items, get rid of them! There is no need to have more than one food processor. If you have different ones for different purposes, pick the one that does best at the jobs you use it the most for and let the extras go. Make a home for each large piece of equipment and store them where they belong (near where they will be used) in order to have more counter space. If you use items so often that they warrant their own space on the counter, then pick the counter where the item will be used every day, so you don’t have to keep moving the appliance around. Take any donations straight to the car.

By now, your local thrift shop should have given you a key, lol.

 

 

The Kitchen Floor

In order to keep a clean, uncluttered kitchen, the kitchen floor needs to stay as bare as possible. Do you have things on the floor? Are there things that don’t have a home? Buckets? Boxes? Laundry? Trash? Toys? 

Having a clear floor clears the mind. When floors are cluttered, the kitchen feels crowded and is downright discouraging to work in. When you have a bunch of stuff on your kitchen floor its like everything that needs attention is yelling in your face: the groceries need to be put in the pantry, the baby's PJ’s need to be washed, bottles and packages for the recycle bin need to be taken out since they are piling up. Damn it! Is that a lego? It’s exhausting.  The very opposite of a peaceful environment that is inviting you to create your next masterpiece. Let’s fix this today! 

First, take everything off of the floor... Everything! If you need the items in your kitchen, then make a home for them in a cabinet. If you don’t have room, get them out of there. If it is something that you use and want to keep, (but you need to make space in the kitchen for it first) then temporarily place it in a closet, spare room, or the garage and make a note to remind yourself to retrieve it once you have a space for it.

Take the trash out and put the donations in your vehicle.

Sweep and mop the floor with your favorite Good Vibes All Purpose Cleaner and put back only what belongs.  

 

Now take in all those Good Vibes.  Your kitchen is now clean and ready for the holiday cooking season.  Old habits die hard, so whenever you see clutter piling on one of your newly decluttered surfaces, remove it immediately.  If you let it sit, pretending you didn't see it, it's going to attract its friends.  It's just the nature of clutter.  Keep your kitchen clean and clear all year long by following the daily and weekly cleaning routines here in this blog article and on our Instagram Stories.

 

Enjoy your new kitchens.

Ymani Efunyale
Ymani Efunyale

I created Good Vibes because my family deserved better, and so does yours 💚


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