Get Your Kitchen In Order

From Marie Kondo 

Tidying is an opportunity to reconnect with your home. In my book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I distinguish between two types: a tidying festival, which involves determining which of your belongings bring you joy, and daily tidying, which entails the regular upkeep of a space.

The kitchen is especially important to keep tidy, as it stores perishable foods that are in constant need of replenishing. Below are some of my suggestions for creating a kitchen that sparks joy for you and minimizes the waste of food, (and thus, energy and finances).

1. Apply the “Spark Joy” Test

Just as you would assess each of the belongings in your home by asking which of them “spark joy” for you, you could also evaluate your food in this way. Consider which fruits, vegetables, meats, and snacks your body responds well to. Purchase products you are excited to eat. For instance, waste can come from purchasing vegetables you feel you are obligated to buy to maintain your health. However, they may wilt in the back of your refrigerator because you do not have the intention to ever eat them. Research and experiment with alternative fruits and vegetables that may provide the same vitamins and nutrients, but that you enjoy eating! Or, familiarize yourself with different ways of cooking the same vegetable that may appeal to you more.

2. Be Aware of What You Already Own – Timing is Critical

Refrigerating and freezing foods to cook at a later time can lead us to forget what we already own when we shop for new groceries. Additionally, because jarred, canned, and dried goods have a long shelf life, we may feel that purchasing more to store in a cupboard or pantry is harmless. However, these practices may lead to duplication, overcrowding of limited space, and the eventual waste of food.

To prevent your home from accumulating items you will not use, periodically take stock of what you already own. Take into account expiration dates and which items you can use in an upcoming recipe. This will not require much time to do once your kitchen reflects products and produce that were intentionally selected and carefully stored.

3. Arrange Your Space Strategically

Even though individuals may share basic goals for their kitchens, such as being able to entertain friends and family and prepare different meals over the course of the day, the ways that individuals accomplish this may vary dramatically, and their spaces should reflect those differences.

Arrange the belongings in your cabinets and drawers so that the items that are used most frequently are easily accessible. Keep the other belongings that still spark joy but are used less often, perhaps for specific dishes or when guests are over, in a place that you will remember, but does not interfere with your daily routine. 

Lastly, make your kitchen reflect your passions. If you enjoy making coffee, for example, set apart an area on your counter that encourages you to take your time grinding the beans, steeping them in hot water, and pouring your coffee into a mug that brings you joy when you use it because, truly, tidying your space is just a means to access your envisioned life.

The Official KonMari App is available exclusively on iPhone! To download the app, please visit KonMari on the App Store. The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up is also now on sale. Pre-order your copy now!

Want more tips from Marie Kondo? Read this excerpt. Don’t forget to read Maxwell Ryan’s tips for cleaning out your closet