Yes! I’m so excited for this week, you guys! As someone who loves to cook and spends a great deal of time in the kitchen, I have just been waiting for this challenge! If you’re like me, you have things practically falling out of cupboards, items scattered all over the place (due to husbands and children never putting things away in the correct spot–am I right?) And let’s not even TALK about the junk drawer that won’t even close! Time to fix all this, my friends. After this challenge, you will have so much room in your cupboards!
For this challenge, I am talking about the following:
- Every single thing you find in your cupboards and drawers in your kitchen. (You can either tackle your pantry now, or save it for week 26 where the challenge topic will be “Odds and Ends.”)
You know what I’m going to say: first you have to discard all unloved items. In The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (the book upon which this challenge is based), the criterion for deciding which items to keep and which items to discard is to ask yourself, “Does this spark joy?” But you must not merely look at the thing. You need to pick it up and hold it in your hands. I will also say that you can keep items that you use on a regular basis, even if you don’t “love” them.
Many of us fall into the trap of holding on to things because we “might need them someday.” (I’m talking to all you people who have ten water bottles and only five people in your family. Oh wait–I’m talking to myself). If you don’t love it now, get rid of it. Then if you do happen to need it in the future, you can always buy another one or borrow one from your neighbor. But seriously, there are more kitchen gadgets than people in China, and you do not need all of them. Just donate them or throw them away.
I confess this will be a little difficult for me, as my husband bought a popcorn popper (that we have used like twice) that I would love to get rid of. However, since he bought it, I can’t just discard it without asking him first. Remember that we can only discard our own things. If there is a favorite bowl that your child loves, but you hate, you cannot get rid of it. Sorry! (But you can hide it! Just kidding 🙂
My suggestion is to just go from left to right, top to bottom in each cupboard and drawer in your kitchen. Once you discard, you can clearly see what you have left. Make sure to do this same thing for your junk drawer. In Japan, I don’t think they have “junk drawers” and Mari (the author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up) would probably be appalled at the very idea. We are trying to get rid of junk, not find a special place for it.
Your next task will be to organize everything, grouping similar items together. When you organize these things, really commit to where you put them! This is where these items need to go every single time from now on! This is key to preventing your kitchen from descending into chaos!
My eleven-year-old daughter organized these cupboards for me. Look at how much room there is now! Do you see that abominable plastic container section in the top picture? Look how nicely she has organized it in the bottom picture. What is even more amazing (shocking, really) is that it has stayed looking like this for two weeks now. In the past, no matter how I tried to organize this thing, it became a booby-trapped kitchen hazard. The KonMari system really works!