Our kitchen cabinets were stuffed full. Every time we opened the cabinet with our spices, something would fall out. Every time we opened the cabinet with the tupperware, something would fall out. If we wanted a backing dish or the electric mixer, we had to reach past a bunch of other stuff.
We knew the kitchen was going to be a big job. We ended up splitting the kitchen purge to three days, spread across a couple of weeks. Throughout the purge, we have been taking the strategy of limiting ourselves to one area per day, and not purging everyday, but when we had the free time and felt inspired to do so. Typically this has been a few hours each weekend, and maybe a couple hours during the week.
Kitchen Purge Day One – Easy Cabinets
The first day of the kitchen purge we tackled all the easy cabinets. Easy meaning cabinets that were already organized but simply had too much stuff. We saved the unorganized cabinets and drawers for a later date.
The first cabinet we tackled had four boxes of unopened glassware. Tall drinking glasses, two boxes of short drinking glasses, and champaign flutes. Three of these were a matched set. We purged the short set of drinking glasses that weren’t part of the set, setting them aside for sale or donation. We already had a really nice set of champaign flutes, so we purged those as well. The set of tall and short drinking glasses were far nicer than the ones we already had, so we decided to keep those and purge our current set.
That first cabinet also had a bunch of miscellaneous baby things, like baby bottles, sippy cups, and pacifiers. We tossed all that stuff in the trash, since our Faith is four and certainly no longer has a need for them. She did ask to keep them for baby doll play, but she already has plenty of baby doll stuff. After purging that one cabinet, all that remained was one set of children’s cups.
We continued with the other cabinets, and I’ll spare you the play by play. We ended up with about three bags of trash, most of which were old pots or pans, baking sheets, and broken items. We even had a couple things that we had no idea what they went to. We trashed those as well.
We had four boxes full of stuff to sell or donate. This included more pots and pans, some small kitchen appliances, cups, glasses, plates, plates, platters, and some other miscellaneous items. We also rearranged some cabinets so the commonly used items were more easily reachable.
One of the cabinets held our small collection of shot glasses. We consume alcohol maybe four or five times a year. The shot glasses were simply easily purchased souvenirs of the places we had traveled to. Every souvenir shop souvenir shot glasses, so it was an easy way to quantify our travels and bring home a little memory. It turns out those memories are never used nor are they looked at. We ended up keeping four of the nicer ones, and added the rest to the sell or donate pile. Even four is likely overkill, since I’ve never used more than one at a time.
I’m starting to think that we may need to follow up the big purge with some more little purges. There is a lot of emotional attachment to stuff, and even as it sits in piles awaiting sale or donation, I find myself thinking, “I might like to use that one day.”
The Kitchen Purge Day 2 – The Hard Cabinets and Easy Drawers
The hard cabinets weren’t necessarily hard to purge, they just took a little more time since they were very unorganized to begin with. These cabinets included our tupperware cabinet, under the sink, and a supplies cabinet.
Here are some pictures of the tupperware cabinet.
You may have guessed already from the picture at the top of the post; we had more lids than we had containers.
We had a mix of disposable and non-disposable tupperware. We trashed anything that looked “yucky.” We trashed any disposable that was odd sized or didn’t match a set. We kept a few of each size that we regularly use. We typically use big bowls for leftover soups and stews and small bowls for side dishes.
Here is the cabinet after the purge. It’s not exactly minimalist yet, but it’s a lot better than it was.
Under the sink was next. Here is the before and after shots.
Apparently we are well stocked on soap and hand sanitizer. We go through this stuff pretty fast, so we decided to keep it. In the future, we’ll try to stock less. Part of the problem was this stuff was all kept in bags, so we never really knew how much we had. Now they are all stacked neatly along the side, so we can easily see when we need to buy more (which probably won’t be for another year!)
Oh, one more thing. I discovered that we had 8 vases. I like to buy flowers for my wife. It brightens her day and is just a little way I can express my love and appreciation. Usually I buy a bouquet without a vase, but on special occasions I’ll sometimes have them delivered, and those often come with a vase. Add to that a couple of nice vases my wife bought and we had way more than we needed. We decided to keep one small vase, trash the ugly ones, and sell the nice ones. Here’s a picture of our gaggle of vases.
The last cabinet in the kitchen purge was what I’ll call the supply cabinet. I don’t know, maybe it’s better labeled as a junk cabinet. It was mostly full of candles, cleaning supplies, and cat food. We also keep a bucket for recyclables in this cabinet.
We often use pillar candles. We stocked up during some sales, and have a good supply of those now. We decided to keep these since we use them. We did pull them out of their boxes so we can now easily see what we have. We also had a bunch of votive candles and some candle sticks. I think these were purchased as hurricane supplies, but since we have plenty of pillar candles, we decided to move all the votives and candles sticks to the sell pile.
Here is the before and after pictures.
This post is getting pretty long, so I’ll save the kitchen drawers for another post. I’m feeling pretty good about our kitchen purge. It’s so much easier to access things, and it’s much easier to find the things we need. We still have room to purge some more, but this was definitely a good start.
Be sure to check out Part 2 of the Kitchen Purge.