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How to Declutter The Kitchen with the KonMari Method

Inside: The best tips for using the Konmari Method to declutter the kitchen; clearing countertops, getting rid of unused items; sparking more joy in the home.

Even if you have walls and walls of closed cabinetry, the kitchen can quickly become a cluttered space. It tends to be the hub of the home and things pile up easily. But a clear kitchen is a great inspiration – whether you are making breakfasts, lunches or just like a clear and clean mind, doing a good declutter of the kitchen is a great place to start. Today, I’m sharing my best tips for How to Declutter the Kitchen with the Konmari Method.konmari method kitchen

I’ve used the Konmari Method extensively in our home. Make sure you read all about how to organize your jewelry and accessories and also check out how I organized our small linen cupboard in less than a day! Trust me, if you commit to it, this method actually works.


What is The KonMari Method?

‘Konmari’ isn’t really a word – it’s a hybrid of the name of its inventor, Marie Kondo. She is a Japanese author and organization specialist who created this specific method for decluttering homes, lives and minds. It all surrounds the concept of ‘sparking joy’. It calls on participants to gather all their belongings based on category (in this case kitchen), touch every item one by one and decide if it truly serves a higher, joyful purpose. The kitchen is a challenging space to employ the Konmari Method, because we can easily justify keeping items that are not often used. Kondo argues if we haven’t used it in recent memory, we should let it go because it’s dragging us down emotionally.


Tips for Using the Konmari Method to Declutter the Kitchen

As I mentioned above, the first thing you’ll want to do is empty every cupboard and every drawer (and any other place you keep kitchen items) into one space. Use the kitchen counter and allow the overflow to sit on the floor. It can be hard to see all your stuff piled high, but the good news is that starting this way kind of forces you to reconcile just how much clutter you have.

For example, this random pile of non-kitchen things was in my small kitchen. Clearly that makes no sense.

Piles of Kitchen and Decor for KonMari

  • empty all your kitchen stuff on the floor and counters
  • Sort it all based on these categories: everyday use (be honest here), used in the last six months (for example, bakeware or special platters), haven’t used in a year, not actually a kitchen thing (like the above picture)
  • Place any broken items or duplicates in their own pile to be tossed or donated
  • Place all ‘haven’t used in a year’ items in a donation pile
  • You’ll be left with two piles – everyday use and used in the last six months.

Now it’s time to figure out the best way for you to declutter and ORGANIZE all these kitchen items!

Tips for using the Konmari Method to Organize Your Kitchen

Here is the fun part. Hopefully at this point, you have more in your toss and donation piles than you do in your keep pile. If not, don’t worry – we’ll still figure out the best ways to organize what you have. Let’s start with drawers, which can be a real challenging area to organize.

Organizing Kitchen Drawers

One of the best things to do is create drawer dividers! Keep all your everyday cutlery in one drawer, food wrap in another, specialty serving items in a third and, if you have another drawer left, reserve that one for kitchen linens. Try a rubber tray like this one for cutlery. It is easily washed and can go in the dishwasher. If you want a solution that is more custom, don’t spend a lot of money! These adjustable drawer dividers will help keep those awkward size utensils in order. organize the kitchen

Organizing Kitchen Cabinets

Much like drawers, organizing kitchen cabinets is really just about sorting things and creating space. One way to do that is with an extra shelf that fits inside your cabinet. This will let you stack plates or platters a bit higher in your cabinet. inside cabinet organization

Another thing you can do is use the inside of your cabinet doors to hang things like measuring cups and spoons used for baking. kitchen cabinet organization

Tips for Using Vertical Space in a Kitchen

If you are like we are, you have a small kitchen. Ours is about 10×12 and when you add in full appliances and doorways, it doesn’t leave much room for storage. We’ve figured out how to use all the vertical storage in the room to maximize the space. Of course, this works best after you’ve gone through the Konmari method and done a complete declutter of the kitchen!

Using the space beside the fridge

We have about 8″ of dead space beside our fridge, so we built a rolling pantry to house dry goods and cans! It works amazingly well. You can see the full tutorial for the DIY rolling pantry here. 

diy rolling pantry

DIY Space Saving Pantry

Use the space on the walls

I love my morning coffee and I have a bit of an attachment to my mugs. When I went through Konmari, I decided to keep a selection of mugs that I could proudly display. I kept all of my teal mugs and the ones that have monograms on them. And then, I made my own DIY Wall Mounted Mug Rack!

diy mug rack

DIY Mug Rack

More Kitchen Decluttering Tips

Still don’t have enough? I know. Once you start on the Konmari Method, it can be really hard to stop! I have found it to be so addictive and fulfilling. You might want to check out the first phase of our kitchen renovation, how we live with our small kitchen without renovating and also our temporary solution for unused kitchen space. 

Here are other posts you’ll love

Still need more organizing and decluttering help? 

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Lesley Metcalfe

Saturday 19th of January 2019

I love your DIY rolling pantry! I wish I had any space at all next to the fridge (or anywhere in the kitchen) to be able to make one of these. Such a great idea.


Sunday 13th of January 2019

So many great tips in this article. Thank you! I love the drawer dividers! Seems like a nice, flexible way to separate the contents of your kitchen drawers.


Sunday 23rd of September 2018

So while decluttering my kitchen seems like it will be a "Hellfest" are you aware of what TERRIFYING images are being used in the ads on your blog? Understandable if I had searched psychologically damaging Halloween decor but... I know you might not have much control but its going to be a long night with my young daughter now.

DIY Passion

Sunday 23rd of September 2018

Hi Alison - I'm SO sorry. I don't have complete control and I reported these awful ads to my ads manager already. I sincerely apologize and I promise this will be taken care of as soon as technically possible. I appreciate you letting me know - Erin

ipeh alena

Monday 8th of February 2016

Konmari's method really helpful for me too, but i still can't make a decision whether throw those stuff i never use or still keep it and didn't make any change in my room *cry*


Saturday 6th of February 2016

I am one of those nutty KM people who swear that this little book has changed my life! I'm still in the "STUFF" categories of clean out but my life has already changed so dramatically that it's hard to imagine I've only been working at it for about 2 months. SO many things given away or sold or thrown out and now I can have people over to my home without panicking just thinking about it. I am excited to read the rest of your KM journey. I too found the dogs antlers in the pantry clear out! I guess the dog is happier with the changes too. :)

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