With your movements still being largely restricted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may find yourself with extra time on your hands. Why not use it to apply the KonMari method to your kitchen?
What is the KonMari method?
The KonMari method is a six-step system to simplify and organise your home. It was developed by organising consultant Marie Kondo and described in her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
How to apply the KonMari method to your kitchen
The KonMari method consists of six steps that can be applied to your entire living space or workspace. We decided to apply Marie Kondo’s method to the kitchen because it’s our favourite room in the house and we’ve all been spending so much time there!
1. Commit yourself to tidying up
Decluttering first needs to be a mental process. You must be absolutely sure that you are mentally prepared to get rid of anything that doesn’t “spark joy” (see point six) or provide some sort of utilitarian function. Then set enough time aside so that you can methodically and systematically evaluate each item in your kitchen. Try to make time for decluttering on a regular basis.
2. Imagine your ideal lifestyle
What are your days like? Do you start the morning with coffee and toast? Maybe then you would want to keep your toaster and kettle in the same area. Do you pack sandwiches for the kids and lunch for yourself? Then consider keeping sandwich bags and lunchboxes in the same drawer. If you enjoy a glass of red with dinner, place the wine glasses near your wine rack.
Also consider what you would like your life to be like. Do you want to entertain more? In that case, make it easier to access your pretty crockery. Do you want the kids to be more involved with meal preparation? Make it easier for them to access non-dangerous items like spoons or spatulas.
3. First finish discarding
Now go through each of your drawers and cupboards to see which items weren’t part of your mental picture. Many of us store gadgets that we either bought on a whim or were given as a gift and never used. Ask yourself: do you really need an onion slicer, or would a good-quality chef’s knife do the job for you? Get rid of any items that you haven’t used in the last year. But before you unceremoniously toss it aside, Marie Kondo says to thank the item for serving its purpose and to consciously let it go.
4. Tidying by category, not by location
Work through your kitchen based on items rather than area. For example, regardless of whether you have knives displayed on your counter and forks placed in a drawer, evaluate all cutlery items at the same time. Bring in kitchen items that may be stored in other parts of the house, too (including the garage or storeroom). This way, you have a clear picture of all the items you own.
5. Follow the right order
Marie Kondo believes that you should start by organising the easiest items first. Her order is clothes, books, papers, komono (or miscellaneous items) and, lastly, sentimental items. You can follow this same order in your kitchen, but replace clothes with items like dishcloths and sponges, and books with cookbooks.
6. Ask yourself if it “sparks joy”
Marie Kondo’s method isn’t only about the practical side. We all tend to gather sentimental objects along the way and this method by no means calls on you to discard items that bring back fond memories of a special trip or person. When deciding whether to keep or toss an item, don’t just consider whether it serves a practical purpose. Also ask yourself if it sparks joy. If it does, check whether you are able to use it in a different way. Could you frame and hang that pretty Moroccan dishcloth that tends to create streaks when you dry dishes with it?
Follow these six steps and you’re guaranteed to have a neat, organised kitchen that anyone would love to be quarantined in!