Declutter kitchen challenge

Simplify My Life Challenge – Kitchen Declutter

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Welcome to your very first “SIMPLIFY MY LIFE” monthly challenge task. Each month I will be bringing you 3 parts of the challenge – Part 1 will be the DECLUTTER, part 2 will be to ORGANISE and Part 3 is to SIMPLIFY. It’s less overwhelming in parts, don’t you think?

If you haven’t already, make sure you sign up for my newsletter so you don’t miss the regular updates. They will also help remind you to stay on task. But for now, on to our very first challenge.


The kitchen is one of the most central spaces in most homes, visible throughout the day and when guests visit. For that very reason, the kitchen is a great place to start on our journey to “SIMPLIFY MY LIFE” year long organise, simplify and declutter challenge.

If you are anything like me, the kitchen also tends to be a bit of a dumping ground for certain items, such as leaving paperwork and keys on the bench, or those random items that may not have a set home (yet). It’s a terrible habit and makes the kitchen so unsightly. (Not to mention it’s a bit lazy on my part).

Decluttering Your Life

Unfortunately before we do a kitchen declutter though, we must start with a big clean up. No point trying to organise a dirty, untidy kitchen! So many of the items on the kitchen checklist are cleaning tasks… Brace yourself!

Then we will get into the nitty gritty of getting rid of excess ‘crap’ so you can simplify and enjoy a clutter free, organised kitchen.

Download your kitchen declutter checklist to get started by clicking the link.

Kitchen Declutter Checklist

To help you on your way, check out the natural methods of cleaning the microwave and dishwasher, along with other tips and hints on getting your kitchen spotless and organised throughout the month.

And remember, you have a whole month to do these tasks, so you may want to space them out, or do them all in one day or weekend, although this is only part 1 of the January challenge.

Here are some bonus declutter tips to get you started:

  • If you have not used an item recently, chances are you do not need it. Think twice before putting back anything not on regular rotation.
  • While it is great to be prepared for anything, do you really need 30 left overs containers? Probably not.
  • Dinner set or silverware for a special occasion – if you never seem to pull these out, they may be taking up valuable space.
  • Same goes for pantry items – can you see yourself eating those tinned artichokes? No… bin them or give them to someone who will.
  • Your local discount store is likely your best friend for cheap organisation products for the kitchen – stackable containers for your pantry items, spice rack, shelves to create extra storage under your sink, baskets, hooks, etc.
  • Create a yearly cleaning schedule for your home which includes regular cleaning of the kitchen appliances. Done often, they won’t seem like such a big job compared to being neglected for months.
  • Meal planning is perfect for reducing waste and spending less on groceries.
  • And for staying organised in the kitchen, check out my menu planning and kitchen inventory printables – keep track of meals to make, groceries to buy and fridge, freezer and pantry inventory.

Do you have any great tips for doing a kitchen declutter?

Good luck… It’s time to start the SIMPLIFY MY LIFE challenge so you too can simplify your life this year.

67 thoughts on “Simplify My Life Challenge – Kitchen Declutter”

    1. Glad to have you pop over. Plenty more simplifying inspiration coming up. Power in numbers too… I can’t give up if I’m this accountable haha

  1. Kylie Purtell - A Study in Contradictions

    I think I definitely need to give your challenge a go. My house is a mess at the moment, and it’s driving me crazy. I like the idea of dedicating a different area of the home each month, makes it seem so much more doable!

    1. Doable is the aim Kylie as I get over it too quick otherwise myself haha 12 months is far more my pace for a total overhaul ;)

  2. I always think it’s great to clean the pantry at least once year and while you do check the expiry date of everything to toss items. It also means you can get an inventory of what you actually have.

    1. Hi Sharon,
      There’s a PDF printable checklist about 3/4 the way down the the post. If you click on it, it should open and you can print it :) let me know if you have trouble though and I can email a copy through.

  3. Hi Holly. I’m dropping by from Delia’s group and wanted to congratulate you on your initiating a Clutter Challenge. It is a much bigger issue than many of us may realize and a bit of inspiration goes a long way as I found out when I set up a pilot challenge on my new training website.

    And yes, the kitchen is a great place to start. Your tips are ones that we often neglect even though they are the ones that can reduce wasted space..

    1. Thanks Vatsala for your visit & kind words. It is amazing how much space we can find when we cull the clutter. Hosting a 12 month challenge will be a little daunting but fun too :)

  4. Hi Holly,
    This is always a challenging subject. Thank you for the inspiration. I have a lot to do here – will start with one part at a time.

    1. Glad to hear it will be helpful. My own journey is huge so one step at a time is a great way to tackle it. Good luck!

  5. Toni @ Finding Myself Young

    I really need to get to the cheap shops and get some organising stuff and god knows whats lurking in the back of my pantry!

  6. Malinda @mybrownpaperpackages

    Oh thank goodness you have given me the whole month to get this done, I almost started hyperventilating. Great idea, I look forward to following along.

    1. Yeah, there’s no way I work quick so a slower paced challenge is less pressure for us all :) the worst part now is going to be getting rid of all the stuff I declutter. Eeeek! Good luck.

  7. Ingrid @ Fabulous and Fun Life

    Great tips. Wow! The kitchen is such a big area to start the decluttering process in. I’m glad we have a month to do so.

  8. I’m joining in and I can’t wait to see less clutter. I’m glad that I cleaned out my fridge completely last week (we had a suspect smell) because that means I’ve gotten one of the biggest tasks out of the way.

    1. Winning Tegan! Already a step ahead indeed. I am yet to tackle that dreaded job. Our bottom drawer is a nice collection of half rotten fruit & veg right now… Eeek! Maybe tomorrow… :)

  9. Simplify is what I’d like to do and am doing, but I have to toss stuff…that’s hard! But I’m joining in the spirit and will follow along with your project. My kitchen is ok, it’s the stuff I clutter my office and even DR with that makes me nuts.

    1. I’m a hoarder too ;) got snappy with the hubby today when he said we needed a dump run with my boxes of sentimental stuff. But this year I’m going to be strict. My office is the worst too!

  10. Wow! Do I need this. You should see my pantry. I love the checklist and am going to try to work my way through it. I love this time of the year with all of the organizing and decluttering. So handy! Thanks!

  11. Vicki @ Knocked Up and Abroad

    Beauty! It’s so easy to collect things and just end up with piles of “stuff”! I really need to get a handle on the house. We live in quite a small place so too much stuff makes it feel smaller and crowded. I will watch your challenges closely to get some inspiration!

    1. I’m right there with you on the too much stuff side of things Vicki. Hope you get some great tips along the way :)

  12. I need to do this. With working outside the house far too much over the last couple of years, we have managed to collect far too much clutter. Watch this space … I am inspired.

    1. I tend to blame the 2 busy working people thing too. But I have no excuse now that I barely work outside of home. Isn’t it amazing how you just accumulate crap without trying? hehe Can’t wait to see where the inspiration leads you.

  13. Hi Holly,
    thanks for the reply. I can’t print it and the properties say locked by Holly. I can’t even copy and paste. Maybe I’ll just write them out :)

  14. Great ideas! We recently REALLY purged our food storage containers. I can’t believe how many accumulated over the past year (and many without lids!!??!!!). Also, I found 6 pitchers. My fridge isn’t big enough for 4 on the shelf – let alone 6. Have a system for going through different areas will certainly be helpful!

    1. We were the same with the food containers. That was one of the biggest culprits in the plastic cupboard. Or worse… lids and no container :-/ Gotta be strict to really see results though and that’s my method this time round.

  15. I’ve been busy tossing and reorganizing since Christmas! I’m stopping by from the Totally Terrific Tuesday Link Party since I’m co-hosting this week with Jessica. Thanks so much for sharing and linking up this week!

    1. Well done Toni. Off to a great start. I think I will tackle the dreaded fridge today… Putting off the biggest job til last (pantry). It sure does help to have some way to feel accountable :)

  16. My kitchen is exactly like this – a dumping ground for all the bits and pieces that I haven’t figured out where to store. The kitchen is literally the centre of my house and your post has inspired me to clean it up and declutter. Very excited to work through the checklist – who would have thought I would be excited to clean a kitchen??

    1. You and me both Krystal hehe it feels so good to be doing something so long overdue. I’m loving all the extra cupboard space I’ve made so far :)

  17. What a great post, Holly! I’ve been studying Feng Shui for years and found that many neglect creating harmony in the kitchen—one of the most important rooms in the home. I’ll definitely be sharing this one! :-) #HomeMattersParty

    1. Thanks so much Michelle. I think the kitchen does tend to be neglected a bit despite being one of the most used areas of a home.

  18. Erika @ Ever-changing Life of a Mum

    I’m planning to make a start on this today … actually I cleaned the dishwasher earlier in the week but that was before I printed out the list to take a good look. So one down already without even trying! I love how you can spread it out over a month so there doesn’t seem like so much to do.

    1. Sounds great Erika and that’s a win for the dishwasher. Always nice when there’s one less thing to worry about :) although challenge 2 kicks off Tuesday but it’s no where as big as the first. Good luck.

  19. Fantastic and motivating blog. I plan on a meal planner this year too. I’m so in the mood to declutter. I love that you are going to focus on this all year, I will be looking forward to the weekly check in and inspiration. Thank you!

  20. Some great tips! Heading to the kitchen now to put them in action. I also need to match up all the tupperware lids and bottoms. I’m sure I have lot with nothing matching.

  21. Bonnie @ Our Secondhand House

    What a great post! Thanks for sharing it with us at the Home Matters Linky Party. I hope you will party with us again this Friday. #HomeMattersParty

  22. I think I’ll join you :) I’m one of those people wh needs a lot encouragement :o . Looking foward to decluttering our house!!

    1. Me too Sarah! If only hubby would start a reward chart for my efforts this year hahaha little gold stars to mark the progress and some jewellery or chocolate after a certain number of stars. No? Lol

  23. Sharon - Her Organized Chaos

    The kitchen is the worst place to try and declutter! I am on a mission to do it after your tips. Hopefully I don’t get overwhelmed like I normally do! I start and then it’s going well and then it all just keeps adding up and it’s too much! Thanks for sharing this at Totally Terrific Tuesdays! I just started co-hosting there and hope to see you next week and see what great stuff you have to share!


    1. It sure is a big area to tackle but feels so good once it’s done. I’ve never done such a thorough job of it myself either. I do the same… Start well, then get very over it haha breaking it down into smaller tasks makes it less daunting :)

  24. Sara | Kid Magazine

    We will be renovating this year and our kitchen may be ever so slightly smaller so I need to do this declutter now before it all happens. Love this challenge!

  25. Shannon Bednowicz

    I love this post! I got some new appliances for Christmas from my parents and I completely reorganized my kitchen. I love a big work space and since I’ve changed everything around, and cleared that space, I am SO much more engaged and excited in cooking. I love being in my kitchen and I’m so much more motivated to KEEP it clean.

    1. That’s great to hear. Sounds like both our Christmases were very kitchen inspired. Everything but a pair of earrings and a plant were kitchen presents for me lol but you’re right, it makes it exciting.

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