get organized: kitchen

(This is day 12 of the Get Organized Series)

You made it! Today is the last day of the miscellaneous category. I’m so excited that you made it this far and I hope you are too. This has been a long journey, and even though we are not done yet, it's quite an accomplishment. I hope your home is filled with joy and that you have learned a lot about yourself in this process.

We left the kitchen for last because, in the majority of homes, it's the category that contains the most amount of things. We started small and worked our way up so that you could hone your sensitivity to joy and you would be ready to tackle this like a pro. So you know the deal. Remove all the items from their original spaces and create a pile. For this category, you want to divide everything in three piles:

  • Tools for cooking (pots, pans, appliances, containers, tools, wraps and cleaning supplies)

  • Tools for eating (dishware, cutlery and tableware)

  • Food (dry goods, spices, canned food, drinks and supplements)

Make sure you are looking out for duplicates, expired food and items that don’t work or need repair. Be honest with yourself, if you are always ordering takeout and don’t remember the last time you cooked at home, you probably don’t need many items or specialized utensils. Now, if you love cooking and it’s a pastime that brings you joy, then you know what you need and use the most around the kitchen.

If you are not sure an item “sparks joy,” ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I need/use this item in the kitchen?

  • Could I use something else that does the same job?

  • Do I need this many sets of utensils?

  • Can I get away with fewer or no seasonal items?

  • Can I borrow this from someone if I don’t use it often?

Beware of gadgets

There are so many kitchen gadgets out there it's ridiculous. Each is created for very specific tasks and promises to make your life easier. Think about it, is a watermelon cutter or a melon baller really necessary? Will a strawberry huller or an egg slicer really save you time? All those things can be done with a good ol’ knife. Taking this approach when sorting through your items will help you decide what is truly useful and what is just gimmick.

Christmas in July

If you like seasonal kitchen items like dishware or tableware, consider narrowing things down to one or two holiday sets and store them somewhere when you’re not using them. This way, your cabinets will feel less cluttered and will be easier to clean. If you absolutely love your Christmas dishware, but are not a huge fan of your every day set, switch them out. Life is far too short. Who cares if you are using Christmas dishes in July, do what makes you happy.


Set aside what no longer brings you joy and express gratitude to each item before letting go. Take time to do a deep clean of drawers and cabinets before putting the items you want to keep back. Use this as an opportunity to reorganize your items in a way that is visible, accessible and that brings you joy.

For the items that you are letting go, you can try to sell them yourself or pick a charity for donation. Food pantries and soup kitchens could benefit greatly from your unwanted items. Whatever you decide, make sure the landfill is your last resort.

Second hand first

I know I’ve said this several times before, but when you’re looking to add a new item to your kitchen, especially appliances or gadgets, check second hand shops before buying new. So many people are constantly upgrading their kitchens that you’re bound to find what you’re looking for in great condition and for a fraction of the price.

This category is a big one, and it might take you more than a day to go through it. But this is it, we only have one more day left in our tidying marathon. Tomorrow we will sort through the sentimental items you found while going through all the previous categories. As emotional as it may be, this is one of the most, if not the most important part of your journey. See you then!