The Right Way to Prep for a Kitchen Renovation: Strategic Home De-cluttering

A kitchen renovation can be disruptive for the whole family. Stay organized to keep your sanity before, during, and after the project. If you’re short on time, hire a professional organizer for assistance. The first task is deciding where to set up a temporary food prep area.  You’ll need a spot to make school lunches, brew coffee or grab a quick meal.  Near a sink is best. A folding table works well as a countertop.   De-cluttering and thinking ahead to the new kitchen space are paramount to a smooth transition from your pre-reno area to the new one.  Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Cabinets/Pantry: Pull everything out and sort items into 6 categories:

  • TEMPORARY KITCHEN – essentials for renovation period
  • DONATE – unused items in good condition
  • TRASH – anything that’s broken, chipped, or expired
  • NEW KITCHEN – pack likes together (e.g. cereal/jam) and label carefully
  • STORAGE– things used once or twice a year go to storage area
  • OTHER – odds and ends that shouldn’t be in the kitchen (e.g. papers)

Sorting Criterion:  If you actually use the item, keep it. If you “might” possibly need it some day, place in Donate or Trash.

Duplicates: How many extras do you really need (10 wooden spoons or 5)? How many full sets of cutlery should your new kitchen have?

Space Savers: Cookbooks take space. Donate those collecting dust. For the ones you use for only 1 or 2 recipes, make a copy and store in a recipe box or folder.

Dish Towels/Oven Mitts: Discard what’s worn out, as well as things that won’t look good in your new kitchen (color, style).  Use excess towels as rags or donate.

Bakeware/Pots: The tired cookie sheets and rusty muffin tins should be tossed.  Make sure you don’t keep too many mixing bowls. Do you want blackened pots on your new stove?

Cleaning Supplies: Amalgamate partly used containers of the same product. Get rid of the cleaners you haven’t used in 2+ years.

Spices: Toss any you don’t use or without any remaining flavor – a simple smell test will confirm.   Combine duplicates.

Examine Food: Throw away all expired items and anything your family dislikes. Food banks welcome dried/canned goods that have not yet expired.  Get rid of anything with freezer burn. Check those salad dressings/condiments, as the expiration dates may be long past.

Tupperware: Match up lids and bottoms and throw away the odd pieces. Donate what you no longer use.  Toss the stained ones.

Glasses: The chipped ones go in the trash. Keep what you really need and donate the rest.

Gadgets: Those impulse purchases add clutter. Give away any items you never touch or if their function is duplicated in something else.

Vitamins/meds: If you store meds and vitamins in your kitchen, consider another spot (e.g. powder room). You don’t want them near steam or within reach of young children.  Toss out-of-date medications.

Junk Drawers: They need to be sorted regularly with home organization.  Before you know it, that extra phone recharger isn’t compatible with your new Smartphone. Categorize in bins.

Packing up the kitchen properly will make life easier when the renovation project is over. Unpacking and organizing your new cabinets will be a breeze. Take the time now to save aggravation later. Potomac Concierge can help! Our trained personal organizers can ease your workload.

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