A kitchen is the busiest place for many homes, as it is continuously in use whether for cooking or entertaining. Hence, it is hard to notice the glaring signs that you actually need a major kitchen declutter.

A kitchen’s primary purpose of cooking naturally includes messes while it is in use. Often, the kitchen ends up being the most convenient place to drop off mail, shopping bags, and many other things when you get home.

When you picture a minimalist kitchen, does yours come to mind? Are all the things in your kitchen things that you use regularly? Do you enjoy spending time in the kitchen?

If the answer to any of those questions is “no”, then you might need to declutter your kitchen.

Signs You Need a Kitchen Decluttering Session:

1. You Can’t Find Things

Having a hard time finding everyday items is a big sign that you need to declutter your kitchen.

A minimalist kitchen has a place for every utensil, dishes, appliance and other kitchen necessities.

You need to know exactly where things are in an instant when you’re using your kitchen. If you are spending any amount of time looking for what you need, it is time to declutter!

2. Drawers and Cabinets Are Packed Full

Are you having a hard time closing your kitchen cabinets? Do you have to take multiple items out of the cupboard before you can get to the one you want? Does your utensil drawer jam regularly?

If so, it might be due to the excessive storing of pans and pots, small appliances, or other kitchen essentials in an enclosed space.

A good decluttering rule of thumb is to only store things you have the space for. If you have a small kitchen then you need to be ruthless in what you keep.

Follow a simple step to declutter your cabinets and you’ll get there in no time!

3. Not Enough Usable Counter Space

Having too much stuff in the kitchen can result in putting things on flat and open surfaces like counter tops and islands.

If your countertops and islands are full of items placed on them, then it is a sign that you need to declutter the kitchen.

Any flat surfaces should be kept clear of unnecessary items so you have room to actually prepare food.

4. Not Enough Storage Space 

It is the most apparent result of a cluttered kitchen. For instance, having a hard time doing kitchen work as you have limited space for mobility.

You likely can’t increase the storage space without doing a kitchen renovation, so it’s important to get rid of the stuff you don’t need/want/use in order to make room for the things you do!

kitchen declutter

Why Declutter the Kitchen?

It can prevent stress

Simply looking at clutter can be stressful and so to can trying to work in a cluttered kitchen! Not having the space to do your work or not being able to find what you’re looking for can certainly add to our daily stress levels.

Decluttering the kitchen can significantly help in promote a calm and serene ambiance that can not only prevent causing stress, but even relieve stress, make you calmer, and feel more in control!

It increases productivity

A tidy and well-arranged kitchen can help you find what you need in a matter of seconds.

If a kitchen is uncluttered, you’ll not waste any more precious time searching for things. You’ll also spend less time rearranging stuff in the cabinets because everything will have it’s place. No more cupboard Tetris!

For enjoyable cooking

As the kitchen’s primary purpose is for preparing meals, messes are expected, however, unnecessary clutter can make cooking less enjoyable.

In contrast, a tidy kitchen can provide room to move around and prepare foods without distractions. Hence, you can enjoy your time cooking rather than stressing about the clutter.

Less time cleaning

An unruly and cluttered kitchen makes it harder to clean. For one, there are more objects that can hold onto germs, dirt, and grease. That means there are more things to clean and you have to move all these things every time you do simple tasks like wiping the counters!

Seriously, imagine the difference it will make when it takes you 2 minutes to have the counters and backsplash spotless rather than 20 minutes!

free minimalist decluttering checklist

Things to Declutter from the Kitchen


For many people, parting with cookbooks may be challenging. However, for books with recipes that you have already memorized, it is best to donate them or give them to others who might require them.

The reality is, there is only so much space for cookbooks. At some point, giving some away is necessary and keeping only those you need is best.

Even better than that is to go fully digital with your recipes as a form of digital minimalism! This way you can have all the recipes you use and love without any physical clutter at all.

Food Storage Containers

Recycle any containers that are in rough in shape or warped asap as these are easy to accumulate and clutter up in the kitchen.

Get rid of any containers without lids or those with covers but with missing bottoms as well. To prevent this in the future, try getting a set of matching storage containers to avoid the issue of mismatched lids. If one lid or bottom goes missing, the remaining piece will still fit another.

If you still have too many containers, determine what you need and donate the rest.

Cleaning supplies

Under the sink is where cleaning supplies are usually stored, and though it is not open for everyone to see, it is still a common place for clutter.

Get rid of cleaning supplies or products that you do not use. Toss out old dishcloths, sponges, and scrubbers. Make an effort to use up or properly dispose of cleaners.

Expired or Rotten Food from Pantry, Fridge, and Freezer

Have a lot of food past it’s expiration date in your pantry, fridge, and freezer, it is a form of clutter too!

Not keeping old food can help you know what you have and what you need to buy when going to the grocery store.

Try doing a mini pantry purge to clear out dry goods or a Chopped cooking challenge to use up food before it goes bad. Once you’ve cleared out your fridge and freezer, try these fridge organization and freezer organization tips.

Paper Clutter

The clutter that ends up collecting on counters and table tops such as mail and receipts can be incessant! Create a file for important information and get rid of the rest.

To lessen this type of clutter, sign up for digital bills whenever possible. Scan your receipts into coupon apps like Caddle, Checkout 51, & Ibotta then file them immediately when you come in the door so they aren’t laying around.

Holiday Dishes

It is understandable to keep seasonal items if it’s important to you to use them during holidays. Consider how many you actually need as well. For instance, do you need 3 Christmas platters, or could you do with 1 special Christmas platter and 1 or 2 regular platters in a design that can be used year round? Better yet, only keep a set of dishes you can use year round and make each holiday special in other ways.

Those that are not needed year round are better kept stored with your holiday decor or in a separate storage area so they don’t clutter up your kitchen.

Read about minimalist Christmas & hosting minimalist dinner parties

Small Appliances

Appliances can take too much space in the kitchen, let alone multiple appliances with the similar purposes. It is best to get rid of duplicates to free up some space. It’s best to have appliances that perform multiple functions rather than multiple appliances that each only do one thing.

Everyday Dishes

Only keep the dishes you need daily instead of storing a multitude of dishes for serving and special occasions. Try getting a set of minimalist dishes that are good for every occasion.

Cooking Utensils

Toss out duplicates, damaged ones, and those you don’t even use. Also try to get rid of single use utensils in favor of multipurpose ones!

free minimalist decluttering checklist


Most, if not all homeowners, have their collection of mugs at home. While it is an attractive display for many, if space is a challenge for your kitchen, it is best to get rid of those you will never use and keep only favorites. Also, remove mugs that are chipped, stained, or cracked in your kitchen. 

Kitchen Gadgets

Though they might seem impressive, they are seldom used. While some may come in handy, they can easily end up as additional clutter in the kitchen. Ask yourself if you have something else that can perform the function of this tool, and if so, out it goes!

Clear off the Refrigerator

Many are fond of sticking bills, pictures, and magnet designs on their fridge, however, this adds to visual clutter. A clear fridge can contribute to the overall visual impact and an excellent way for the space to appear clean and tidy. Make an effort to file away recipes and toss old receipts to keep your fridge clear.

As you can see, there are lots of areas to get rid of clutter in the kitchen that can all help improve the functionality and feel of your space. Whether you do a major kitchen declutter or just do a bit at a time, you’ll be sure to enjoy your kitchen more with less stuff!

This article was written by Mark Cabrera, the Marketing Manager for MrCabinetCare.com, the Best Kitchen Remodelling Company in California and the web’s most complete customer resource guide on kitchen remodelling and cabinet refacing. He has worked with the online resource website as one of its top experts and professionals in the field of kitchen remodelling projects. You can find Mark’s various articles in the Mr. Cabinet Care website.

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