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How To Declutter Your Kitchen Island

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Today's mission is to declutter your kitchen island, and/or to again revisit your kitchen countertops to make sure they are staying clutter free.

Kitchen Countertops & Sink Organization Challenge
This mission is designed to be done during the Kitchen Countertops & Sink Organization Challenge, which is the first of the 52 Week Organized Home Challenges.

However, you will realistically want to get in the habit of doing this type of mission in your kitchen not just once a year, but daily, because any flat surface you've got, such as an island, a counter, or your kitchen table, will all be prone to collect clutter.

The reason is simple human nature. We come in to a room, often with our hands full, see an empty spot to put something down, and we do. Then, we get distracted and boom, we forget to ever put the item we were carrying away where it was supposed to go.

How to declutter your kitchen counters and keep them that way
As I explained in more detail in my article about how to declutter your kitchen counters, you are going to have to work with your nature instead of against it to keep your kitchen island and other flat surfaces clutter free.

Find Homes For Common Items Cluttering Your Kitchen Island

First, clear the flat surface off completely, and put things away, throughout your home, where they were supposed to go in the first place.

To the extent that there are items you find on your kitchen island without homes, that is part of your problem right there. You may have, in the past, left those types of items on the island because you really don't know what to do with them. To the extent that is the problem you'll need to figure out where to put the most commonly appearing items so that you can get rid of that clutter.

For example, if incoming mail is always accumulating on your kitchen island you need to assess whether you've actually got a place for incoming mail. If not, create one now, or if you do have one already, figure out why you aren't using it. Is it a problem with where you've placed the container for that mail being too inconvenient, or something else, like not having developed your habit of looking through the mail daily to sort the real mail from the junk?

Once you've actually made homes for the most common items you find cluttering up your kitchen island the amount of clutter that accumulates there from now on will be significantly reduced.

Develop Habit Of Routinely Clearing Off Your Kitchen Island, At Least Daily

In addition, you must also realize that you cannot actually stop the clutter from accumulating, at least temporarily, on your kitchen island completely. Yes, when you don't know where to really put something it may stay there longer, but just because it has a better home doesn't mean in the rush of the moment that people won't put things down in what appears to be a highly convenient spot. Again, that is human nature.

The thing is, that's not too bad. You can live with that if you have a system in place where you (and hopefully everyone else in your home as well!) regularly and routinely police these flat surfaces and removes items, placing them in there rightful place.

That habit of removing all clutter from these flat surfaces should happen, at a minimum, daily. Perhaps you could do this right before dinner, or before bed as you clean up the kitchen for the evening. And if your kitchen is really busy, instead of just once a day you may need this clutter removal to happen several times during the day.

That may sound like a lot of effort, but if you regularly (i.e. at least daily) deal with the stuff laying on your kitchen island then we're not talking about a huge time investment, but instead a minute or two of tidying and straightening. Plus, you can piggyback this task with other habitual tasks you do daily, already, in your kitchen, such as clearing the kitchen table to get ready to set the table for dinner, for example. When you piggyback one habit on another you'll find it doesn't cause you much inconvenience.

You can learn more about how and why to adopt a daily tidy up routine here.

How and why to adopt a daily tidy up routine

These regular and routine clear off times keep the counter or island relatively clear most of the time, giving you the precious flat surfaces necessary to do all kinds of activities in the kitchen you want to do, from food prep and cooking, homework, arts and crafts, and more.

However you use your kitchen counters and island, once it is cleared of clutter, regularly, you'll find how convenient the space is for all kinds of tasks.

To get you inspired to tackle your own kitchen island clutter I'm showing several before and after photos from readers below who've already done this mission and had great results. You can do it too!

How to #declutter your kitchen island and the habits necessary to keep it that way, plus lots of before and after photos from those who've already taken on this #Declutter365 mission {on Home Storage Solutions 101} #Declutteringuse this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

Top photo courtesy of a reader, Darren, who rocked this mission!

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The First Time You Clear Your Island Off It May Take More Than 15 Minutes

How to declutter your kitchen island and then keep it that way from now on.use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

Depending on how much stuff you've currently got on top of your kitchen island this may not be a 15 minute project for you, but as always when something takes longer I always suggest breaking it up into 15 minute chunks instead.

Remember, that the first time is the hardest, but then maintenance, if done regularly as discussed above, will be much quicker.

The photos above are from a reader, Pamela. She said, "This was several hours; not 15 minutes. But before, and after. Boo yah!"

It looks great, doesn't it?

In addition, here's another set of before and after photos from another reader, Misty. She said, "Here is my before. It looks like this on a daily basis. Keeping the counters and sink clean will be a challenge. But I'm up for it."

Before and after when a reader, Misty, decluttered her kitchen island as part of the #Declutter365 missions on Home Storage Solutions 101.

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Removing Clutter May Take Work But It Also Removes Stress, So It's Worth It!

Before and after photos from Elizabeth who cleared her kitchen island and said it reduced so much stress to cook in a clutter free kitchen {featured on Home Storage Solutions 101}

While I just mentioned that the first time you are clearing off an extremely cluttered flat surface it may take a while, don't give up before you get started.

First, doing 15 minutes at a time is totally doable, as you can see from these awesome before and after photos from others who've already done it.

But, in addition, removing the clutter really is worth the time and effort necessary because it not only removes clutter but also stress from your life.

The photo above was sent in by a reader, Elizabeth, who explained it so well. She said, "I decided to do the island today. You would never even know from the before pictures that there was an island. Tonight when I was cooking I was able to turn around and place something on the island for the first time in over 2 years. I almost started crying with joy. The stress that is melting away from not looking at the cluttered kitchen is huge."

Yay Elizabeth, I'm so proud of you for doing so well! This is awesome!

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More Results From Readers To Get You Inspired

Results of 15 minutes of decluttering of a kitchen island, when Tracy did this #Declutter365 mission on Home Storage Solutions 101.use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

So many people have sent in their photos after they've done this mission, and they are just so inspiring, because you can really see the difference clearing the clutter has in the space.

The photo above is from a reader, Tracy. She did a great job didn't she?

In addition, Jill sent in this photo below.

Decluttered kitchen island from a reader, Jill, featured on Home Storage Solutions 101.

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Don't Forget The Clutter In Your Kitchen Island Storage Areas

Before and after of a kitchen island decluttering project, removing clutter from storage areas inside the kitchen island {featured on Home Storage Solutions 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

Most of this mission has been focused on the flat surface of your kitchen island, but many islands also have an area for storage, such as drawers or cabinets.

You will eventually want to deal with the clutter in these storage areas as well. To help you check out the articles on how to declutter kitchen drawers here, and how to declutter kitchen cabinets here, since these instructions will work for these kitchen island storage areas.

The photo above is from a reader, Lauren, who did this for her own island. She said of the photo, "Before, during and after. I created so much more room that I was able to move some appliances in that have been cluttering up the pantry!"

Want To Do More Decluttering Missions? Get Started With Declutter 365 Today!

Declutter 365 missions: 15 minute missions for your entire home

Once you declutter one type of item in your home I bet you'll want to declutter some more. After all, decluttering gives you a great reward for even a small investment of time and energy.

The Declutter 365 system is designed to help you declutter, over the course of a year, your entire house, with just 15 minutes of decluttering each day!

Hundreds of thousands of people use this proven system to get rid of their clutter, and bring peace and calm back to their homes.

Declutter 365 works to guide you to clear the clutter without overwhelm, focusing on just one small area at a time, and without making a huge mess in the process, so you see consistent forward progress without all that "messy middle" that makes it even harder to function in your home than before you started.

In addition to building a daily decluttering habit, the Declutter 365 program, along with the accompanying 52 Week Organized Home Challenge, teaches you the skills, habits, routines, and mindsets necessary to maintain the clutter free and organized state of your home from now on, so it'll never be as messy and cluttered as it is right now, ever again.

If you haven't already, make sure to get your copy of this year's Declutter 365 annual calendar here (it's FREE!), find today's date, and do 15 minutes of decluttering on the day's mission. Then, repeat again tomorrow, and again and again. Over the course of the next year, if you do this 15 minutes per day, you'll declutter your whole house!

Click here to take me to this year's Declutter 365 calendar

Get This Kitchen Decluttering Checklist + 32 Other Decluttering Checklists For Your Home

Right now you're decluttering your kitchen, and there's a lot of stuff to declutter in this space.

Get your 2 page kitchen decluttering checklist, plus 32 other decluttering checklists, to help you declutter your entire home here.

Get this kitchen decluttering checklist and 32 other decluttering checklists for your home {on Home Storage Solutions 101}

I've done the hard work of breaking down these tasks into smaller more manageable steps for you, so you don't get overwhelmed or worry you're forgetting a task, and you can go at the pace you want, whether that's fast or slow.

In addition, you can tackle these decluttering tasks in whatever order you want when you use these checklists!

Click here to learn more about 33 Decluttering Checklists Pack

Related Pages You May Enjoy

Getting Clutter Free 15 Minutes At A Time Hall Of Fame

Getting Rid Of Kitchen Clutter Hall Of Fame

Go From How To Declutter Kitchen Island To Home Page

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Click here to get your Declutter 365 products for 2024

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When you work through the Declutter 365 missions, and accompanying 52 Week Organized Home Challenges, you'll be able to declutter your home one mission at a time, organize what's left, and learn the skills, habits and routines to maintain your space from now on.

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