My Big Kitchen Purge!

posted by Andrea | 01/23/2018
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Yesterday, I shared how I clean all our amazing thrift store finds; and today, I’m sharing more about a recent BIG Kitchen Purge that most likely restocked the shelves of those same thrift stores πŸ™‚

The Dekker family definitely does our part to support the local thrift stores… both buying and donating!

In general, I purge fairly regularly — but it’s mainly kids clothes, shoes, toys, books, games, papers, crafts, art projects, junk mail, etc.

The kids grow out of things so quickly that I can easily take at least 1 or 2 grocery bags full of kids things away every month (in addition to all the non-dontable items I trash or recycle on a daily basis).

When it comes to household items, I haven’t purged much since this past summer… mainly because I haven’t gotten anything new since then.

However, now that the holiday season is behind us and a few months of COLD weather are ahead, it seems like a good time to purge my way through the various rooms and closets in our home!

I alreadyΒ purged a bunch of our wrapping supplies and Christmas decorations last month. I also purged my closet (and gave away all my maternity clothes) 2 weeks ago, and most recently, I tackled our kitchen!

The kitchen often feels like one of the most overwhelming rooms to tackle — maybe that’s why I wanted to start there. I know how often I use my kitchen (sometimes it’s in constant use all day long) so I know that purging, cleaning and better organizing my kitchen will have a big pay-off in the form of more efficiency and productivity in the busiest room of our home.

I was honestly hoping to tackle this kitchen purge over Dave’s Christmas break, but that obviously didn’t happen.

So the week after he went back to school, I decided I wasn’t going to put it off any longer — I banged out the whole project in one morning (with 3 kids at home with me!)

Simon found my phone and literally took a “burst” of 68 pictures of me like this!Β 

The cabinets I was dreading the most were the 2 corner Lazy Susans. I waited until Clara was down for her morning nap, gave the boys a snack and a pile of stickers at the table, and got to work.

I pulled everything out of both cabinets, wiped down the turn-tables and shelves (something I hadn’t done since we renovated the kitchen 5 years ago!), and only put back what I wanted to keep.

Everything I no longer wanted or needed went onto the island for me to deal with later.

After only 20 minutes, I had both of my overwhelming corner cabinets finished — and they looked SO nice again!

I plowed through the rest of the 18 cabinets and 10 drawers (following the same “empty, wipe down, put back” approach) in the remainder of Clara’s morning nap and her afternoon nap (about 2 hours total time).

Meanwhile, the boys got to watch a show with popcorn, eat a special lunch, and “help” fix things in the kitchen πŸ™‚

I ended up with a HUGE donation pile, an over-flowing bag of trash, and a whopping FIVE empty shelves + TWO empty drawers!!!

NOTE: the picture below is only about half of what I actually purged from my kitchen… I somehow “forgot” to take a picture of everything loaded up to bring away πŸ™

Clara was very impressed when she woke up!

How / Why did I have SOOOOO much to purge?

I shared a bit about my Big Kitchen Purge on Facebook… and, not surprising, there were several people who questioned how on earth I could purge so much from only one room in my house (especially since I purge fairly regularly and I hate shopping!)

Honestly, I wondered the same thing!Β 

As I thought about my Big Kitchen Purge, I realized I haven’t done much to purge my kitchen since we renovated it 5 years ago. YIKES!

We had so much extra and empty space after our renovation that I never felt the need to purge because we always had plenty of space for more things (and I do really love fun kitchen gadgets!)

However, after 5 years of Christmas, birthday, and “just because” gifts from people who know I enjoy cooking and baking, AND 5 years of companies sending me all sorts of fun kitchen goodies to try out, it was most definitely time to purge!

I didn’t realize how much stuff we had that I wasn’t using (some items were still brand new with tags on!) I also surprised myself with how many wedding gifts I purged based on the fact that my cooking style and lifestyle are both so different than they were when I registered for wedding gifts 12 years ago.

It feels SO good to know that the kitchen has been cleaned out, wiped down, purged, and reorganized — and honestly, I’m already benefiting from my efforts as it’s now even more enjoyable for me to spend time in the kitchen.

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A Few More Thoughts:

As I went through our kitchen, I noticed we had a handful of mismatched paper plates and disposable napkins left over from various birthday parties and other holiday meals. I decided that part of my kitchen purge was going to be using up all these random paper products to get them out of my kitchen.

I stacked all the plates on top of my regular plates and put all the napkins in the middle of our table. We used them for about a week until they were all gone. The kids thought it was awesome and I enjoyed having fewer dishes to wash. Plus, we now have one more empty shelf where all these paper products use to live!

Also, after I was finished purging my kitchen, I went through the items I was planning to donate and pulled out a few containers to help me better-organize other areas of my home.

I gave Nora 4 medium-size food storage containers to hold various craft projects, and I gave Simon and James each a storage container to keep their treasures safe and sound.

I used a ceramic tart pan I no longer wanted to corral various bottles of oils and vinaigrettes so they don’t leak on my shelf. And I used several mini bread loaf pans to organize small items in my kitchen (rubber bands, twist ties, tiny bottles of extracts, etc.)

I also used a few glass and plastic jars I had lying around to better organize some of my baking candies.

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I’m thrilled with how much empty space I have in my kitchen now, as well as how quickly I was able to plow through this Big Kitchen Purge!

Want to get YOUR kitchen and entire house more organized?

My friend Lisa, from Organize 365, just started another one of herΒ 100 Day Home Organization Programs — which, in my opinion, is one of the simplest, most straight-forward programs to walk you through the entire process of purging and organizing your home with easy-to-follow to-dos, tips, lists, and suggestions (she started with the kitchen these past few weeks!)

I asked her if she would consider opening up her registration for a few days (just for my readers) and she said yes!

SO… if you didn’t have a chance to sign up when I shared her program earlier this year, you can sign up now through tomorrow (1/24/18).

Since my kitchen purge 2 weeks ago, I’ve taken 2 more trips to the thrift store after purging our mudroom, our upstairs storage closet, and our master bathroom.

Next up…Β  craft supplies!

What’s next on YOUR to-organize list?

Filed under: OrganizingHomeKitchensPurging

 
 

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25 comments

  1. Hannah Beth Reid

    01/25/2018

    I like your idea to use the tart pan to hold messy oil bottles!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    thanks! It’s working really well so far! I’m glad I thought of that before I donated that pan πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

  2. BB

    01/24/2018

    WOW! This was awesome to see, Andrea! It was also interesting to see how you re-purposed some things for other uses, too. Thanks for this very motivating as well as teaching post as to looking for uses of unwanted things in other ways before just getting rid of them and spending money un-necessarily for the re-purposing you did for your unwanted items. You are one smart cookie (pardon the pun since you like to bake). πŸ˜€

    [Reply]

  3. Rhonda

    01/24/2018

    I’ve found that my kids like it when we occasionally take everything out and do a good cleaning (whatever room it might be). Either they take after me, or they just enjoy discovering things that may have been “hidden” for a while!

    [Reply]

    Rhonda Kay Mullin Reply:

    I recently signed a contract with one of our local furniture stores (Steinhafels) for a program they have called “Decorating Solutions”. They come out to your home and help with whatever you want – furniture selection, accessories, etc. We have a great open floor plan for our kitchen, dining, and living room – however, that means lack of storage (which = clutter). I have trouble selecting furniture pieces that work well together, so I bought one of their 4 “plans” (9.5 hours of design time for $599, which to me seemed very reasonable). The designer comes up with ideas and suggests furniture to purchase (or finds someone to make custom bookshelves, which are often comparable in price to stores). I am also able to “lock in” the great sale prices that they have now, for as long as it takes to select pieces for the project. I’m pumped to have a professional help me out with this. I have wanted to do it, but put it off for so long because of the perceived expense – but when I took the time to research it, found out that it was affordable, and hopefully it will be worthwhile!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    this is cool! and yes, I think that’s a reasonable price too — although I have to laugh that it’s for 9.5 hours and not just an even 10 hours πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    wow –that’s awesome! Way to go kiddos!

    [Reply]

  4. Melissa

    01/23/2018

    I love love love that Jesus Story Book Bible that you have on your table πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

  5. KR

    01/23/2018

    Ah! Inspirational!! My in-laws are buying us a new set of pots and pans which are extremely needed but I am both dreading and excited about having to reorganize our kitchen. I think part of the issue is I’m very short so things we use a lot have to be where I can reach them because otherwise I get irritated about getting out the step stool or having to get my husband to bring them down. Maybe it’s time to keep our step stool in plains sight like your sewing machine!!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    just a thought — I NEVER buy full sets of pots and pans because they take up so much space for pots and pans that I rarely every use. I need 1 stock pot, 2 smaller frying pans, 1 small and 1 medium sauce pot and I’m good to go. No wasted space storing pans I don’t need or use.
    And yes, just keep the step stool in plain sight πŸ™‚
    Either that, or get one of these that folds up nice and small (we have this one tucked next to our trash can and the kids get it out all the time!)

    [Reply]

  6. Tammy

    01/23/2018

    We love the Jesus Storybook Bible too! πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

  7. Kylie

    01/23/2018

    I thoroughly enjoyed this post, Andrea! Really like the idea of using mini bread loaf pans for organizing! We are moving in a month and I know I’ll use some of these tips in our new kitchen.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I aways try to use things I already have in the house before going out and buying any organizing containers. It might not look as cute or matchy-matchy but it’s more practical and a lot less expensive!

    Good luck with the move!

    [Reply]

    Chris Reply:

    I sometimes cut the lid off those disposable containers you get in produce, for instances, strawberries, or tomatoes, for storage in my pantry.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes, I use those plastic containers to ‘gift’ produce from our garden to friends and family in the summer time. I also save pickle jars to make my own pickles in the fall πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

  8. Lea

    01/23/2018

    My kitchen is pretty dang cleaned out – we have a TINY kitchen, so we have very little in the way of non-used things.

    Paper, however is the bane of my existence! I ordered Lisa’s paper clearing program last year and it’s been great! Highly recommend it!

    I didn’t order her 100 Days program because I don’t really have an excess of anything except paper. If it’s as good as the paper program, it will be well worth the time!

    Thanks for showing your kitchen purge, Andrea! It’s amazing how fast stuff can accumulate isn’t it? And I’m sure your “helpers” did a marvelous job!

    Lea

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    glad to hear Lisa’s paper system is working for you. Ironically enough, paper is one of my most favorite things to organize and purge, so I rarely ever have paper clutter anywhere (even with all the paper and artwork our kids bring into the house!)

    [Reply]

    Ashlee Reply:

    I would love some tips on clearing, and organizing paper clutter!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    here you go –> https://andreadekker.com/category/home/organizing/paper/

    [Reply]

  9. Amy Dahm

    01/23/2018

    We did this right before the holidays and it took two trips in my van to get everything donated. We had somehow accumulated two different sets of dishes and bake ware and realized how much we really don’t use. I love opening the cabinets now and seeing the extra room and not having anything tumble out. Our playroom and my grandmothers hutch are next and being avoided! πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yeah, it’s amazing how quickly things accumulate (especially when you have extra space to store them!) Good luck with the playroom and the hutch!

    [Reply]

  10. Chris

    01/23/2018

    It always so awesome and wonderful to purge! I saw that Lisa featured you on her blog recently. πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes! I was on Lisa’s podcast last week — so fun!

    [Reply]

  11. Lynn

    01/23/2018

    Doesn’t it feel great to have that done! I did the same thing a year or two ago, it took me nine hours, but it was done! It was awesome. I am so impressed that you can get that done with four kids! Yes, Clara looked especially impressed!.

    My next project is going to be my office closet. I mentioned in an earlier post of yours I have an unused (or put together) quality large wire shelf that I am going to put on the back wall and start organizing with clear totes! I cannot wait till that is done! I plan to blog about it over at https://fulltimefulllife.com too. I’ll share it with you when I do it!

    Thanks for all your inspiration!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    wow 9 hours — you’re a rockstar! I’m not sure I could handle a 9-hour project right now, but I could handle 2 hours — and yes, it does feel great! Can’t wait to see your before/after pictures!

    [Reply]