There is something about kitchens that seems to attract clutter. They are the hearts of our homes, where we prepare the meals that nourish and sustain us and feed our friends and loved ones. They are at times gathering places, places of comfort and healing, places of creation and imagination. They feed more than our bodies but, in turn, seem to collect many of our things.
Over the years, both necessary and unnecessary objects collect here: extra rolling pins and vegetable peelers, cameras and purses, miscellaneous glasses or cutlery without partners. I pride myself in keeping a clean house, but I cleaned my kitchen this weekend, and there was a lot going into the donation boxes. Many of those things might sound familiar: a 20-year-old vegetable slicer, long replaced with food processor technology that’s been taking space in a cupboard for far too long; an outdated set of dishes that is never used; five teapots, all used, but all kept in different places; twenty coffee mugs, of which only six see frequent use; a ceramic jar from Provence, completely empty and kept only for decoration; a breadbox cluttered with everything but bread.
I parted with many of these things and faced my new cabinets with a rush of joy and excitement: all that space! Cleaning our kitchens of outdated or underused things allows us to keep only the very best and most useful equipment. It gives us a sense of pride and appreciation for beauty, makes us grateful for what we have, and encourages us to buy only the best to add to our beautiful space. De-cluttering provokes gratefulness and joy, among its many other mental health benefits.
There are many areas of our homes and lives exactly like this. Whether it is our bedrooms, closets or schedules, over cluttering prevents us from seeing the most important and most beautiful aspects of our lives. It also leads to stress and anxiety as we hassle with less than ideal situations simply because they are there.
Take the time to clean out your space, both mental and physical. Do this room by room and day by day, and the best and most beautiful parts of your life will fall into view. After all, if we cannot organize our spaces or our schedules, how can we make room for happiness?