Today's mission is to declutter your kitchen sink area, such as around the counter surrounding the sink and in the sink itself.
This decluttering mission is designed to be done while we work on the Kitchen Organization Challenge here on the site, one of the 52 Week Organized Home Challenges.
That challenge focuses on organizing flat surfaces around the kitchen, like your counters, around the kitchen sink, as well as your table. The first step in any organization project is, of course, to declutter, so we're focusing on this small area today.
However, if you haven't gotten this stuff cleaned up from the area you won't be able to do the main part of the mission, so that's why I suggest doing it as part one.
Then, when you've got your normal washing, drying and putting away of dishes done you'll be able to do the rest of the decluttering in this area.
You do need things around your kitchen sink that help you fulfill the functions of that area (namely, washing your hands, washing dishes, etc.), so you probably have dish soap, scrubbers, sponges, and more in this area.
You may also have things like a dish drainer, a drying rack for baby bottles, and similar items.
Finally, many people's sinks are situated so while doing dishes you can look out the window, so many people have things on their window sill around this area.
You need to evaluate all of these items that around your sink and decide if they should stay there. Are they helpful there, or just clutter?
Would it be better if they were underneath your sink cabinet, and you pulled them out when needed them (like dish soap) or is it more handy for you to keep them out all the time?
These are somewhat a matter of personal preference, and so there's no right answer. But if, for example, you have a bunch of yucky mildewy sponges you don't even want to touch anymore, or three bottles of almost used up dish soap, it's time to get rid of some of this stuff sitting out there!
As for decorative items that you may have around the sink or on a window sill, again this is a matter of personal preference. How much is too much?
Do you want something that makes you smile when you look at it, that you can focus on while doing the dishes each evening, or do you have so many bits and bobbles out there that you don't see any of it anymore?
Only you can answer these questions for yourself, since it is a matter of personal preference.
But removing unnecessary items, to make room for what is needed, will make this space more functional and that will make you feel better, since it will make the daily chore of dishes a much more pleasant experience!
Scroll down below to see lots of photos from readers who've already done this mission, to show you what you can accomplish and get you ready to tackle the task for yourself today.
Top photo courtesy of a reader, Valerie, and before and after collage courtesy of another reader, Rachel
First Part Of The Mission: Clean & Tidy Up Dirty Dishes, Pots & Pans
As mentioned above, the first part of this mission, if you need to do it, is to clean and tidy up dirty dishes, and pots and pans.
Until you get these items out of there you can't really evaluate the area to see if anything else needs to be decluttered from the space.
Obviously, washing your dishes is something that needs to be done daily (or multiple times a day), but practically you have to do it now as well, just to see what to do next.
Just washing up dishes and other cooking items will make a huge difference in your kitchen sink area, even without doing anything else.
Here are some photos from readers who've done this part of the mission and sent in photos.
The photos above are from a reader, Angela. Look at the huge difference this make between the before and after! Great job Angela!
These photos above are from another reader, Sabrina. She said of the before picture, "My kitchen counters are super small and packed full of stuff all the time. I am hoping that by hiding the dish rack between washes it will look cleaner."
Then, of the after photo she said, "I also got rid of the bottle rack because it was just siting there with old bottles the baby doesn't use anymore."
As you can see, once Sabrina cleaned up the dishes she was able to "see" the rest of the clutter, and found even more things she could declutter from the area!
Scroll down below to see even more photos from readers who, once they cleaned up the dishes, were able to also further declutter the space around their kitchen sink.
Second Part Of The Mission: Declutter Non-Essentials Around Your Kitchen Sink
Here are photos from readers who had cleaned up their kitchen sink area enough to then be able to evaluate what was left, and decide what was essential versus just clutter in the area.
The photos above are from a reader, Megan. She said, "Top = Before; Bottom = After. I'm still going to see what I can find for my soaps and jewelry cup. This makes me content though!"
She then continued, explaining about what she did with the dish drainer. She said, "Forgot to mention: my dish rack is bamboo and folds flat. I store it under my sink."
That means Megan decided it was more important to her to have a clear counter than to keep out her dish rack, and she will fold it up after each use and put it away from now on.
Each person's preferences are different, and so you need to decide for yourself what you think should stay out, versus what should be put away!
These before and afters were sent in by another reader, Sarah, who said, "Feels and looks nice!"
Finally, here's a before and after from a reader Samantha. I chose these photo as an example because I noticed how much stuff she removed from the window sill behind her sink, which is an often forgotten area when decluttering! Good job Samantha!
Now scroll down to see some really awesome "after" photos also sent in by readers who did this mission, that I just thought were WOW!
Just pick and choose the ones you want to do, that will make a big impact in your home. But if you want someone else to tell you the order you can also grab the 15 minute daily decluttering mission calendars and follow along as we all get our homes clutter free together!