I admire spaces that are tidy, not clinically tidy where everything feels untouchable, but ones that are thoughtfully organized, comfortable and welcoming. We can’t all have professionally designed kitchens, like what you see in magazines, but we can have one that is useful and that sparks joy. The kitchen is a great place to start this process of tidying up and in the end, it will feel like magic.
It’s all the rage right now and the Queen Bee of organizing is Marie Kondo. She’s developed a system called “KonMari Method” where Kondo takes a “does this spark joy” approach to getting your home organized. The idea is not to be overly fastidious, but really that the clutter in our lives doesn’t make us happy. I mean, how many times have you found yourself frustrated as you dig through the kitchen looking for a particular pot, lid, or utensil, only to scour unsuccessfully or infuriatingly through drawer after drawer. This hair-pulling experience only makes meal prep more stressful.
The Kondo Method, whether it’s in your closet or kitchen, asks you to you look at everything, assess it’s usefulness to your life and decide if it ‘sparks joy.’ If it does, put it back in an orderly fashion. If it doesn’t, then donate or throw away. Now, whenever you go to use your kitchen, for example, it’s been transformed into a place of joy. To declutter these critical places in our lives will make us fundamentally happier. We won’t feel stressed about preparing a meal and can then enjoy the food that we’ve prepared in an environment that is now lighter thanks to a little bit of organization.
3 Ways to Kondo Your Kitchen
Ease of Use
Keep only those dishes, pots, pans, and utensils that you use on a regular basis. If a kitchen appliance or utensil doesn’t get regular use, it takes up space. If the utensil isn’t utilitarian – meaning something that is used often and is useful – then you might consider whether or not it adds value to your kitchen.
Easy to Navigate
Especially when living in small spaces or ones with a unique design, it is important to consider functionality. Kondo believes everything in your kitchen should have a home. In addition to spacial organization practices, like stacking things vertically, she also believes in a clean countertop, that even your soap dispenser and sponges should be tucked away and out of visual sight.
Does It ‘Spark Joy’?
You’ll want to look at each item in your kitchen. Consider it’s usefulness, including frequency of use, decorative or sentimental items can be kept, but only if they give you joy. How long have you kept a kitchen towel past its life? Do you have too many kitchen towels and not enough space for them? If a kitchen appliance only takes up space and isn’t used frequently, or is always a chore to use, then consider its true value to you and the life you want to create in your kitchen. Then organize by category, this will help you find things easily.
Your kitchen doesn’t be a clinically sterile environment, beyond basic essential hygiene. Taking the time to be mindful about our essential living spaces may help us feel less stressed, and that little bit of calm without chaos is truly something special, or as Marie Kondo’s method states, it becomes “life-changing magic.”
We don’t need to have magazine-perfect, designer-custom kitchens in order to make our kitchen a place that is warm and functional. A little organization can make a huge difference and it is much more cost-effective! I’m not the most organized person in the world. A little bit of clutter here and there inevitably sneaks into my life, but a few mindful practices to tidy up essential life spaces, like my closet or my kitchen, really does make a difference. And who doesn’t want to have more sparks of joy in their everyday life?