Pardon the slight tardiness, as our home doth runneth over with change-of-season illness and I’ve been runneth over by the needs of a sick family.
Despite this, the beginning of May marks a new set of tasks in the 2013 in 2013 Declutter Challenge. And this month we are tackling the heart of the home – the kitchen and dining room.
To jump straight into the challenge, you can download the May checklist here. Or keep reading to find the full list, as well as added tips and suggestions below.
(If you haven’t started the challenge yet, it’s never too late to join. Click here to find the first five checklists, as well as the Slow Your Home forums, where many of us are keeping track of the clutter leaving our homes.)
April was quite interesting here.
I tackled the wardrobes, as per the monthly checklist, and donated a lot. But this is the second year of the challenge for me, and there really wasn’t a lot to work through.
I did finally find the courage to work through the very last of my old business stock though, an exercise that has been three years coming. It was a huge relief to realise I no longer wanted or needed to hold on to this stuff. And while I no longer wanted or needed it, I was loathe to simply throw it away. So I decided to try and sell some of it on eBay and I have to say, it was really satisfying. Not to mention good for the bank account!
We ended up listing a lot of other stuff online, and have so far seen much of it go. It is certainly no joy to spend hours listing unused belongings online, but it’s been a great experiment. (Expect a post on the pros and cons of selling your old stuff online quite soon!)
This month I…
- kids clothes x 17
- my clothes x 13
- Sparky’s clothes x 45
- toys x 4
- baby gear x 2
- baby linens x 7
Gave Away (to friends and family):
- kids clothes x 8
- my clothes x 2
- Sparky’s clothes x 1
- snowgear x 4
- stirling silver findings in bulk x 300+
- branded jewellery boxes in bulk x 50+
- jewellery in bulk x 65+
TOTAL: 518 items
Progress to Date: 1010 unwanted items are gone!
(Over halfway there – and it’s still feeling good.)
Now, May is the Month of…
Think about everything that happens in this part of the house, and it’s really little wonder they wind up full of clutter. Mail, paperwork, handbags, schoolbags, junk drawers, mobile devices, car keys, homework, cooking, eating, entertaining, relaxing – these two areas have so much going on.
The amount of time you need to set aside for this month’s challenge depends on:
- the size of your home
- how much clutter and stuff you own
- whether you have a separate formal dining room (many homes no longer do) and a more casual meals area, or if you eat in the kitchen
- how much entertaining you do
- the size of your family or the groups you entertain
- whether you and your friends/family drink lots of wine/cocktails
- whether you’re a keen chef, or a much simpler cook
- the size of your kitchen and pantry
- the amount of storage you use for kitchenware etc
As an estimate, I would suggest you give yourself three hours to declutter the kitchen (easily broken down into smaller tasks) and another 2-3 hours for the dining room and any related storage.
For example, you could break the kitchen tasks into the following:
- cutlery and utensils drawers – 15 minutes
- fridge – 15 minutes
- pantry – 30 minutes
- top of the wall cabinets – 15 minutes
- wall cupboards – 30 minutes
- low cupboards – 30 minutes
- remaining drawers – 45 minutes
To keep you on track, I suggest you follow the decluttering guidelines from Month #1 (find them here). Use them to work through each area one-by-one.
The May Declutter Checklist
- Top of cabinets – clear of all clutter
- Wall cupboards
- Baking tins
- Tinned goods
- Dry goods
- Low cabinets
- Pots and pans
- Large appliances (rice cooker etc)
- Cleaning equipment
- Appliances (coffee machine, kettle)
- Clutter spots (papers, devices)
- Junk drawer
- Chairs (correct number for the table/room)
- Other furniture (storage, shelves etc)
(Any extra storage space for kitchen/entertaining needs, such as a buffet or sideboard)
- Serving platters
- Serving bowls
- Wine glasses
- Cocktail glasses, shakers, etc
Again, the May Checklist can be found here.
If you’re working through the checklists and want some added accountability or inspiration, you can keep count of the items you recycle, donate, sell or throw away and share your progress with us in the 2013 Declutter Challenge forums.
I’d love to hear how you’re finding the challenge. I know of at least one reader who has already surpassed the 2013 goal – which is fantastic! Leave a comment with your tally, or let me know what you’re finding difficult to work through.