Monday, April 11, 2011

25 April Challenge: Project "Purge" {Kitchen Purge Part 1}

Last week we started our Project Purge in the living roomI am going to at some point be updating the title on all of the posts to Project "Purge" vs. 30 Items in 30 days, because I know we all can do better than that.  I will challenge each of you to set your own personal goals based on your spaces.  I found 30+ items in one zone, therefore I needed to re-evaluate the project for myself personally to stay motivated to continue!   

Today marks the beginning of week 2: KITCHEN!

First, let's chat about the benefits of purging in the kitchen!
  • Kitchen's are commonly known as the "Heart of the Home".  Keeping it clutter free will allow you to fully enjoy the space with your friends and family.
  • Kitchen's are often the most expensive rooms in the home, yet clutter can often take the spotlight over those gorgeous counters or gleaming appliances.
  • Today there is a gadget for everything, but really, many of them can be replaced my many simple pieces that are multi-functional.  If one has too many gadgets, one may not be able to actually find the gadget they need in the moment.
  • Keeping pantries stocked up well for your family is FANTASTIC, but what about those items that are sitting in there for months to a year, being passed by time and time again?  They are just taking up valuable space and adding confusion when opening up the cupboard to search for a meal.
  • What happens when you need a food storage container?  Do they all come tumbling at you when you open the cabinet door?  Oh and where's the matching lid? 
  • How many appliances do you currently have upon the counter?  Do you have enough cabinet space to keep the less used ones tucked away?
  • How does the space feel with oodles of kid's photographs, schedules and artwork are taking over the front of your fridge?  This can instantly cause your kitchen to feel stuffy.

So I am challenging you today, to pop into your kitchen and start plucking away at the purging process.  You could define the space into small zones and work on each zone each day this week {drawers, cupboards, pantry, fridge etc...}

Some things to consider as you start your purge:
  • Do you have kitchen gadgets and utensils that are only used once in a blue moon, or is a duplicate to another item that can function in the same respect?  Do you have excess spatulas and spoons because they came as part of a set?  It's OK to break them apart, keep what you love and donate the rest. 
  • How about stacks of magazines with one or two recipes in each?  They should be gone through and the recipes can be clipped and placed into a binder, you can recycle the rest of the magazine.
  • Do you keep every plastic margarine and cottage cheese container for food storage?  Can you ever find the matching lid?  Purge and only keep the pieces you find essential.  Then, using different color Sharpie markers to color coordinate the bin to the lid and keep lids corralled together in a single basket or storage bin.
  • Do you have a flustered fridge front?  If pictures and schedules and drawings are taking over, hang some pretty frames in the kitchen to display and switch out current art projects, file school papers into mail boxes or a family binder and place photos in frames or albums.
  • Do you have an abundance of appliances?  When was the last time you used each one?  How about duplicates?  Only ones used on a daily basis should be left on the counter, do you have room in your cupboards for the rest?
  • Do you love to do your dishes?  Why not?  Too much business around the sink get your flustered? Of course, I know no one really loves to do dishes, however, keeping the area neat and tidy and clutter free will make it much more pleasing area to be in while doing chores.  Use a caddy or vase to corral all dish essentials in one place.  Say goodbye to sponges and rags that are falling apart and only keep the tools that you use frequently.
  • Can you open/close the linen drawer with ease?  Only keep enough rags to get you through a week and keep them laundered more regularly.  Condense to only your favorite table linens and consider the option of storing all season items away from the kitchen to offer up additional space.
  • Could you head straight to the kitchen and prepare a meal without moving things or rearranging the counter-top?  Purge piles and designate a spot for random items.
  • Check our your food situation.  Cupboards, Pantry, Fridge & Freezer.  Toss expired items, donate non-perishable items that are still good that you have too many of, or that may not suite your tastes.  Toss out spices that no longer fresh or flavorful.
  • Say goodbye to gadget cords that no longer have a match.
  • Do you have the space to store all those misc. pots in pans that offer the same function in multiple sizes?  Are they in fair condition?  
  • Be tough on pieces of dishware that don't have matches or coordinate with the remaining pieces.

What am I forgetting?  Let's have a purge party!  I would love for you to leave a comment and share additional benefits to having a clutter free kitchen space, or other suggestions on where clutter can be cut!  What did I miss?  Did anyone get started on this, this weekend and if so, what did you say goodbye too?

I decided a little challenge would be fun! This month we are spending the next thirty days saying goodbye to thirty things!  Wanna Join in?  Take photos and blog about your awesomeness as you go!  I am hoping to do a giant, "We did it!" celebratory post where we can all link up our purging success stories at the end of the month!


  1. so excited to start this! I have a bunch of half way full cleaners under my sink that are screaming "PURGE!"

  2. Oddly enough, our refrigerator is our problem area! Old invitations, old pictures, ugly magnets... bye bye! Here's a link to a post with a picture of my fridge and how I recently spruced it up using an adhesive chalkboard:

    Thanks for the great ideas, as always Jen!

  3. Perfect timing! Today is "kitchen day" of my spring cleaning.

  4. I did the kitchen purge back in January - organized the drawers, tupperware cupboard, spice cupboard, under the sink, freezer, refrigerator, pantry, etc. So glad I got it done early so I can enjoy my spring. You can see pix on my blog of most of it, however, there is some I don't think I posted pictures of. Love your purge is a great idea. And I did get rid of VHS movies last week...when I realized I have nothing to play them on. Ha!


  5. I love it! I did a big purge of my kitchen when I was unpacking in my new place 2 years ago. Or rather, my best friend did, she was all "why do you have 10 of these?!". That being said, tonight is a good night to do another pass. I will say that I have a strict rule of nothing at all on the fridge. I think putting stuff all over your fridge looks junky, but that's just me.

    I'm new to your blog and am CRAZY LOVING IT!!


  6. One thing I've been meaning to do is install some banana hooks under one of my cabinets! It will free up some space on the counter and also help keep them fresher. I'm hoping to get to it this week!

  7. My kitchen is such a mess (I haven't come to terms with moving into a smaller kitchen yet). I have been struggling with how to get it under control and now I am inspired! Thank you! I will come back and post when I am done.

  8. My solution for the container clutter was to replace almost all my containers with the ones that the lids snap to the bottom. And ditch the round containers. Since doing this it's been wonderful. I can easily find everything & see what's inside without popping the lid off. Definitely worth the money.

    Also love love love this blog, it's one of the few that made it to my daily read list. :)

  9. Great ideas! Can't wait to start on mine! Important question... where did you get your white charging station?? That's a huge problem in our kitchen... cords everywhere! Thanks so much!

  10. I'm excited about this one. My drawers are needing to be purged. I'm a chef, so I tend to stock up on cooking utensils, but really it's just the basics that are necessary.
    One thing I've found is when I have cluttered countertops (with appliances/too much decor and such)it is much more of a hassle to move things to wipe the counters off, therefore the counters don't get as well cleaned. So I try to keep my counters clear of unnecessary "stuff".
    Thanks for the inspiration to purge!!

  11. My counters are fairly clear but I'm constantly looking at them to see what else I can remove to make them more zen-like. Less is more!

  12. I have been needing the extra push to get this done. I have a teeny tiny kitchen, so it is important for us to keep it organized. I am on board!

  13. I can't wait to start this! I'm a little behind on the Living Room/Entryway purge (I started in Wed.) So, I'm finishing that off today and then it's Kitchen time baby! ;-) Thanks for the motivation!

  14. I actually got on a purge kitchen kick about a month ago when my husband was out of town. So far I have packed up 3 boxes of kitchen stuff. We will have a garage sale probably in May or June and I will try to sell my gently used stuff first, then I will donate whatever doesn't go. I still have a few more cabinets and drawers to go through, so I'm sure there will be more. I will have to blog about what I have already done so I can show you the progress so far.

    Now I love opening up the cabinets that are already purged. I feel less stressed when I open them now. I even purged my container cabinet over this weekend because my hubby doesn't want to go into it anymore and always leaves everything that needs to go away in that cabinet out on the countertop.

    So far I have said goodbye to some plastic containers (some recycled, some garage sale), stemware that we just don't use, a full set of Corelle dishes, and some coffee mugs that we just never use. All to the garage sale pile for now. Now I have to get to the drawers...way too many serving spoons, etc. Thanks for the inspiration. I will try to get this done after work this week if I can. :)

  15. When I purged my kitchen earlier this month, I asked myself what items I used the most and made sure to put them at eye level. I had all my tupperware and gladware in lower cabinets and things like my crockpot and magic bullet in my upper cabinets. By doing a quick swap (with the help of an added undershelf storage rack from the container store) I've created a system that requires very little reaching or climbing from me. Don't be afraid to move the height your shelves are at to make the most of your kitchen.

  16. I managed to get rid of a deep frier that hadn't been used since I bought it. I have a panini press that I haven't gotten to use in 2 years because of how tiny my current place is. But I love paninis and want to start using again once I move. I've been staring at my juicer and wondering if I should get rid of it since I haven't used it in 2 years.

  17. I love all your tips! I have slowly been trying to tackle my kitchen. It's coming along & getting better. My biggest issue is the extreme lack of space. Really, my kingdom for some counter space!!! Living in military housing equals an abnormally tiny kitchen, so there is a challenge with organizing. But I do love a challenge!

  18. I just found your blog through Casa Greer and I LOVE it! I am organisation obsessed and can't agree more with all your tips!

  19. Jen, I gave you a blogger award. Check out my latest blog post to see which one it is. Congrats!
    PS I was afraid that if I posted this comment on your latest (that adorable tote!) You might moss it! Haha!!!!

  20. How funny, I'm going through my kitchen and RE-organizing some of the cabinets. Yes, they were pretty organized; but some sections just weren't working for me, so I had to change them.

  21. I so need to do this! I actually wanted to do some baking this week and when I went to look for my supplies it was awful! So plan on doing this this week!!!

  22. Jen - Great ideas and inspiration. One tip with spices... I date them when I BUY them, that way I'll know when its time to purge and replenish...instead of relying on my nose. Can't wait to see your purging progress.

  23. how do you feel about using a food processor as a blender? as of right now we only have a food processor and use it as a blender, but it's harder to clean, takes longer to blend and i'm afraid that all the use will dull the blades too fast...i was thinking about getting a small-smoothie blender, but don't know if i should since it will just add more "stuff" in our kitchen...I'm so torn!

  24. My problem is grocery bags. Those plastic ones plus the brown paper bags. Any ideas kn how to get rid of them. Also those shopping bags from clothing and shoe stores. I am fed up of those and they hardly ever come in use.please help

    1. Hi Sana!

      I would look into donating them to your local donation facility/consignment store. They typically offer bags with purchases, so I am sure they would be happy to take them off of your hands. Some grocery stores also offer bag recycling services.



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