This wasn’t strictly “the kitchen” because KonMari would strike me down dead for going room by room instead of category by category. But most of the stuff lived in the kitchen, so that was just the handiest name to put on it. It basically comprised of anything involved in making a meal, including the food and drink itself, along with kitchen cleaners, first aid, medication, and vitamins.
This category broke new ground for me because I had to get my husband involved. And, given that he works full-time and isn’t totally on board with the decluttering process, I decided that <HOT TIP> doing the method via picture message was the best way to proceed. So I sent him photos and he replied with what he wanted to keep. Easy peasy for the most part, though slightly more time-consuming, and I’m sure we avoided countless arguments as a result.
But back to the story…
You know when you open your (pre-KonMari) closet and think, “Let me just move these million items of clothing to see if I can find something to wear”. That was me with the fridge 2 weeks ago. I couldn’t find a decent meal for all the food that was crammed into the thing. So, before I knew what was happening, KonMari fever gripped me and I was grabbing fistfuls of food and piling them on the kitchen counters. And it didn’t make sense not to tackle the freezer then too.
I don’t know how long it took me, but I can tell you I didn’t speak to my husband for several hours because of my frustration at him trying to turn the contents of our fridge into a game of Jenga. 😉 Still, I was pretty pleased with my efforts when it was all over and done with and, 3 weeks on, it’s still looking just as clean and organised.
Next, I tackled pots and pans because they were bulky and I knew that getting rid of just 1 would save a lot of space for us. (I should probably preface this by saying that I am a terrible cook so, as far as I was concerned, pretty much all cookware bar a saucepan and a roasting dish could go in the bin.) We bumped a few, and plan to replace a few. Instant space-saver right here, so I’d recommend starting with this sub-category if you’re in kitchen KonMari mode too.
Tupperware and food storage was a small sub-category, thankfully. I re-homed them in the space above the fridge, rather than having them rattling around with our pots and pans, and it’s been a huge improvement. I’ve since ordered some Oxo Pop containers from Amazon so I can slowly replace all the mis-matched containers with uniform ones. (They’ve been on my wish list since this post from A Bowl Full Of Lemons. Swoon!)
Next up was medication, first aid, and vitamins. My husband, daughter and I are incredibly lucky not to have any serious ailments or illnesses, so our medication supply was pretty minimal. Just some painkillers, antihistamines, and decongestants, really. Nonetheless, most of our supply was surplus to requirements, particularly when a lot of it had actually expired. Ugh. I dumped all that, as well as taking blister packs out of boxes and condensing all plasters into 1 box, so what used to take up 2 tubs now only takes up 1. Huzzah!
[Note that medications shouldn’t go in your regular bin or down the sink/toilet. Instead, bring them to your local pharmacy where they’ll happily dispose of them safely for you. And for free.]
Utensils and crockery were also quick, but somewhat hampered by my husband’s love of mugs. He drinks tea or coffee every single day, and likes to have a large selection of mugs to choose from. (We started with 14, only 1 of which was mine. We ended with 11. Not exactly a personal best.) He also prefers “souvenir” mugs, so none of them match and most of them have loud prints. Still, some progress is better than none. Now all I have to do is stop him buying more!
Under-the-sink (or “cleaners and cleaning cloths” if you wanna get all “category” about it) took much longer than expected, not least of all because I had a toddler who loves to line them all up and then knock them down. I included extra cleaners and hand wash we had in the downstairs toilet. We had multiples of some cleaners which were half empty so I condensed them into one bottle [important not to do this with different cleaners], and I also got rid of the massive vase I was using to store dishwasher tablets and replaced it with an empty washing tablet tub. Did I mention how handy they are? 😉
While I was there, I cleaned out the pipe under the sink. Long story short: YUCK!
(Watch the video at the bottom of this post if you want to learn from my embarrassing mistake here. It starts from the 10:35 mark. As someone who considers themselves pretty clued-in and competent around the house, this was a laughable low point.)
Bakeware and cookbooks shouldn’t even really be a sub-category in my house because my toddler probably has better cooking and baking skills than I. Also, since I gave up sweet treats 6 months ago, I’m unlikely to be whipping up cookies or cakes anytime soon. But, again, my husband has convinced himself he’ll use the bakeware, so I’ll just have to patiently play the waiting game until Father Time proves me right. 😉
Surprisingly, all the cookbooks are mine. I got them as not-so-subtle gifts over the years. I kept 4 because, for Scout’s sake, I have grand plans of learning to cook.
Then I finished all the rest one Friday because I had a limited and fast-approaching time slot on Saturday for when I could record the video. If “ugh” were an adjective, it would sum up that day. It was long and tiring and I was mighty glad when it was done. I tackled small kitchen appliances (as well as a large casserole dish that we store inside our slow cooker), spices and seasonings, and then finally food and drink.
Again, I have crap cooking skills so the appliances aren’t really used by me, except for the toaster. But my husband uses them so most of them stayed, bar 1 hand mixer (we had 2) and the smoothie maker I bought years ago (it did get a lot of use over the years, but none recently and, besides, my husband has a Nutri-Ninja I can use if the smoothie mood suddenly re-strikes).
Up next were seasonings, spices, syrups, sauces, oils, etc. Again, 99% of them are used solely by my husband. And, sadly about 50% of them are expired. But he still wanted to keep them because apparently he doesn’t understand how expiry dates work. 😛 I mean, who needs 22 bottles of expired Tabasco sauce?! Apparently, we do. *sigh*
And finally… FINALLY… was (non-refrigerated and -frozen) food and drink. If I hadn’t been sticking to a strict recording schedule, I would definitely have left these for another day because I was SO fed up. Thankfully, my husband made great strides here and got rid of a lot of unhealthy snacks and drinks.
And I decided, after 6 long months, that it was probably time to let go of all the chocolate I’d been hoarding. I popped the below pic on Facebook with a note saying that if anyone was having a party, or just generally didn’t have diabetes, these were going free to a good home. They were snapped up.
And that was that. Some of the stuff was put back…
… and some of it is still sitting on my kitchen counters and floor, waiting to be re-homed in a more convenient location.
For a small kitchen and family, the fact we could dump two large black sacks of stuff, as well as several small bags for donation, is pretty shocking. And if it weren’t for my hoarding husband, that number would at least double. 😉
Here’s the accompanying video (now with slightly fancier editing skills) if you want to hear the story straight from the
horse’s homemaker’s mouth. (It took me about 2 days to edit it so please be gentle!)
Or check out my post on tackling toiletries: The KonMari Method — Toiletries
There are some other areas in our kitchen that I’m hoping to get through next, like the junk cupboard (yes, it’s not just a drawer). Once I clear those out, and once the the Oxo containers arrive, I can start putting everything away again and can finally re-claim the kitchen. Apparently, my husband has a lot of baking he wants to do. 😉
Who’s for flapjacks?
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