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#1 – Organizing the Kitchen – Declutter and Tidy Up

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One comment I often get about switching over to a whole food diet (raw or not), is that it’s too time-consuming. And of course, everyone wants things simplified, which I totally get, living in this day and age that we do. Did you know that just by being organized in the kitchen, that you can reduce the amount of time being spent in there and become more efficient? The kitchen is an area of your home that gets used more often than most. So it stands to reason that if your kitchen were more organized and simple to use, your life would feel more peaceful.


Ready to Declutter?!

It’s time to declutter, and there is no better place to start than in the kitchen. It is said that a cluttered space is the sign of a cluttered mind, and in my experience, this is so true. For most people, clutter causes them to waste inordinate amounts of time looking for things they can’t find.

Having a place for all your items will help you stay organized. If the other people in your house are having trouble putting things away and keeping the space clutter-free, it may mean that you have more items than your kitchen can accommodate. So even after your first round of decluttering, it may be a good idea to repeat the process later on. It’s amazing how much more you might purge the second time around.

What exactly is clutter? Clutter is low, stagnant, blocked energy that drains the energy from you and lowers the quality of your life. It is having piles and stacks of items that you rarely use, keeping you disorganized. I hope that I can inspire you to step back and reassess your kitchen. Declutter, organize, and if possible, explore the use of colors, shapes, and scents. It is your kitchen, and it is deeply connected to the quality of your health and your overall well-being.

Before You Get Started

I want to take a moment and map out a few things. First of all, make sure you have an open, uninterrupted time slot. Carve out one or two hours for this task. DO NOT set aside an ENTIRE day to organize your kitchen (unless you LOVE to rearrange or have time for that sort of thing). You’ll feel motivated to do more, and not be burned out by the process. Very few people have the focus, energy,  or stamina to spend a whole day organizing. You’ll likely become frustrated and less efficient as the day progresses.

Wear comfortable clothing that allows you to bend, stretch, and reach into those deep, dark corners. Stay hydrated, have a healthy snack sitting in a bowl to munch on, and put on some inspiring music. Choose music that has a rhythm that motivates you. I will say that music with a fast beat might cause you to rush through the process. Slow music, on the other hand, can pull your decluttering enthusiasm to a snail crawl which often makes you second-guess every decision and disrupt your progress. Finding that happy medium will make a world of difference.

Kitchen Cabinets


Create the “Three-Box Method” for your sorting needs. The box method forces you to make a decision item by item, so you don’t end up with a bigger mess.
  • Box 1 is for KEEPING
  • Box 2 is for DONATE
  • Box 3 is for TOSS
Having a box system like this will prevent a sizeable mess as your sort through items. Discard or donate those things that are not frequently used, duplicate items, broken items, or things you forgot you had. If you forgot you had it, do you need it? Do this with each cabinet and drawer. Be ruthless; it’s time to simplify your life. The goal is only to have things you love and use. If you are undecided on whether or not you ought to keep or toss an item, stop and ask yourself, “Does this add value to my life?”

Group Like Items

After your cabinets are all empty, step back and visually walk through the flow and functionality of your kitchen. Based on your culinary habits, consider what is best for you regarding how to organize items. Think about your activities in the kitchen and determine what gets used on a daily basis, put those in a group. Gather your dishes, glassware, and holiday or other seasonal items that only get used once or twice a year. Create a pile for each one. These groupings will help determine placement.


Organize the Cabinets

Now that you have the different groups laid out, it’s time to think about where each item should be stored. Every kitchen is laid out differently, and every kitchen has different demands. The common denominator is that we all eat. The degree of culinary complexity that you delight yourself in will help determine your layout.

Dishware Cabinet

Maybe you are already happy with the placement of your dishware. If you find yourself struggling with fluid movement within your kitchen, now is a great time to rethink the arrangement of things.

Mixing Bowl Cabinet

If possible, keep all mixing and serving bowls in the same cabinet(s). Knowing where to go to in the time of need will help reduce time in the kitchen.

Pots and Pans Cabinet

Deep inhale. Pots and pans are my nemesis. (haha) I have always struggled with creating a long-term home for these pieces. They have been in cabinets, drawers, in those Lazy Susan cabinets, under the stove, and so forth. It wasn’t until one day it dawned on me, “You have TOO many pots and pans Amie Sue!” Once I had that ah-ha moment, Bob and I pulled every pot, every pan, and every lid out into the center of the kitchen floor. It was astonishing. Where did they all come from and how is it we have missing lids to pots or pots to lids? Are they partying with the missing socks and spoons?

Small Appliance Cabinet

Oh, we all have them. Mini food processors, spiralizers, coffee grinders, spice grinders, hand-held blenders, whip-creamer-uppers, and so forth. They are fun and often handy to have. They deserve a rightful spot in the kitchen, but where? In the past, they lived on the countertop. Currently, I love decluttered and clean countertops, so I dedicated a cabinet and a drawer for all of them to gather in. Just like everything else, ask yourself the following questions:

Under the Sink Cabinet

It amazes me how we can be aware and conscious of what we put in and on our bodies, yet many people don’t stop to think about how the cleaning supplies we use affects our overall health as well. Not only do they absorb through our skin, but we also inhale them as we spray their fine mists into the air.

  • Remove everything and clean the cabinet floor and sides. It’s always a good idea to line the cabinet floor with contact paper, a baking sheet, a tote, something to catch leaks.
  • Toss any harsh chemicals. Educate yourself on environmentally and human-safe cleaners.
  • Line your bottles of cleansers in rows so you can see and access what you have.

Pantry Cabinet

I am going to save this for another post, but the main thing I will state here is if at possible keep food separate from non-food items. Just like everything else we store in our kitchen, what we eat requires its own spot.


Ok, you made it through the cabinets. Now it’s time to tackle the drawers! Before you do, it’s time to give yourself a little nourishment and movement. Come back once both are finished. We are halfway through!

Raw Food Diet

Ready to keep moving? Are you feeling recharged? I hope so! If you don’t, this is an excellent time to stop and pick up later. If you aren’t in the mood or have the energy for it, you will make hasty decisions which could be good or bad. So whether you are ready to continue on or if you have come back to pick up where you left off, “Welcome Back!”

Organizing Drawers


Kitchen drawers remind me of a bedroom dresser. They hide clutter; the top drawers are dedicated to the daily items we use, the bottom drawers are for those items that we typically forget we even have, but fear parting with them. And lastly, once organized it takes only one or two days for it all to become a mess again. Are you with me? Please tell me that I am not alone in this. hehe

Items to Help Organize Your Drawers

Empty drawers are a blank canvas. Let’s think this through. There are many things that we can do to help keep those drawers organized after you have put in all this hard work. But be forewarned, this isn’t the end-all, be-all. Things get disorganized over time; it’s life. BUT each time you go to re-organize things, use it as a time to rethink accessibility. Over time we create new patterns, needs, and making minor adjustments will keep you moving fluidly through the kitchen.

Let’s Dive into Common Kitchen Drawers

Silverware Drawer

I find silverware to be fun. I never used to, so what changed? Well, after Bob and I moved to Oregon, we quickly learned that we had mistakenly given away our silverware when we were packing… that or we lost them. I never knew how picky a person could be until I went shopping with my husband, Bob, whom I love dearly. As we looked at a zillion different sets, I discovered that silverware is just as personal as socks. They have to fit your hand just right, not too heavy, too skinny, and so forth. And the cost! Don’t get me started! So I solved those issues by purchasing used silverware. In my mind I set out to buy mismatched pieces, allowing myself to spend only twenty-five cents per utensil.

After creating a fantastic collection, Bob and I found that it was so much fun to reach into the drawer and pull out a random fork, spoon, or knife. It made us smile, and life is all about those moments. Possessions shouldn’t be what makes you happy, but they can sure make you smile. Let’s get back to the task at hand.


Basic Utensil Drawer

Depending on your eating lifestyle, the type of utensils that you own will be personal. It could be handheld spiralizers, rubber spatulas, tongs, slotted spoons, large serving spoons, and so forth. If I am not careful, these drawers can get out of hand. Things end up moving around where I can’t find them. The process may happen more often if I have friends or family who help put dishes away.

Mason Jar Lid Drawer

Hmm, you don’t have one of these? Well, this section may only be for my fellow jar collectors. We use a lot of jars for various functions. A lot of jars means a whole lot of lids. I have tested many different storing ideas, but I always come back to dedicating one drawer to them. I used to create cubbies and organize them by size, but after a few months, I said: “bag it!” Now I am back to just freely tossing them into the drawer. If I were sharing the space with other items, then I would go back to organizing them a bit more tidily.

Kitchen Gadget Drawer

Ahh, yes, I had a thing for kitchen gadgets years back. Over the years I acquired quite the collection. But to be honest, it was rare that I ever used one. It took me some time, but eventually, I started to weed out my collection.

Dish Towel / Pot Holder Drawer

I have a confession. After spending all of my adult years folding and stacking my dish towels to place them in a drawer, only to find them in total disarray the next day, I no longer fold my kitchen towels! GASP! I know. I come from a strong Type A personality where I like everything neat, organized, and tidy. But I have come to learn that I need to pick my battles in life and keeping my towels folded and in perfect stacks isn’t realistic.

I selected a large drawer that is positioned near the sink and oven. It’s deep and wide. For dishes and cleaning, I use micro cloths from Costco. They run about sixteen dollars for thirty-six of them. They are a perfect size, great for cleaning, and they dry dishes quite well… and we go through a lot of them! After washing and drying them, I gather them all up, open the drawer, drop them in, close it, and move on with life. Every time I open the drawer I smile… I feel mischievous. haha

Junk / Catchall Drawer

Junk drawers are very interesting. I don’t know of a household that doesn’t have at least one. They are those drawers that collect anything and everything, and you fight to get it open because so much clutter is piled in there. You’re nodding your head out of agreement… we have all been there and most likely still are living with such a drawer. Don’t be frustrated with yourself, you’re not alone, and no matter how neat and tidy you get it, it will most likely fall back into a state of chaos. Accept it for what it is.

Essential Oil Drawer

You may or may not own an essential oil collection. I do, and I have found over time that if I don’t dedicate a space for them, they get lost. This drawer doesn’t have to be in your kitchen. It can be in the bathroom, linen closet, or wherever you find works best. I keep mine in the kitchen because it is the core of our house and I run a diffuser in there all the time. I run other machines throughout the house, and essential oil bottles escape every once in a while, but I find having a central hub for them works best for me. Plus I own many essential oils that are a culinary grade, so it’s useful for me to store them close by.

I am going to stop right here. I could go on and on dreaming up every possible drawer scenario that may be found in your kitchen. But I feel as though I gave you a good start. Treat each additional drawer in the same manner, asking yourself the same questions. I hope you found this helpful and inspiring! blessings, amie sue

2 thoughts on “#1 – Organizing the Kitchen – Declutter and Tidy Up

  1. Eaglenest says:

    Great post Amie Sue, I was commenting today about my kitchen not being big enough. While that may be true, you’ve motivated me to do a much needed de-clutter and I’m sure that will help. Just one thing, most essential oils, except thick ones like myrrh and vetiver, are best kept in the fridge. It extends their shelf life and keeps them from oxidising too quickly.

    • amie-sue says:

      That’s awesome to hear… there is no space too big or too small to organize and declutter. Helps clear the mind as well. Enjoy the process and make your space exactly the way you want it to! Happy Holidays. amie sue

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