Cut Kitchen Clutter in the New Year

Experts agree that small, incremental New Year’s resolutions are easier to keep and may turn into healthy, lifelong habits. For example, Good Housekeeping suggests keeping the kitchen clutter-free by putting all recipe cards, small appliances and incoming groceries in their place immediately. One study found that women who were surrounded by kitchen clutter tended to eat more cookies, the magazine says; so, this resolution can contribute to other common goals such as losing weight and eating right.

Streamline Storage in the Kitchen

While #decluttering is important, you may need to keep a wide variety of stuff in certain areas of the home. If you or someone in your family cooks on a regular basis, the kitchen is one area that may house hundreds of items; keep them organized so they can’t become #clutter. Reader’s Digest suggests investing in easy-stacking food containers, extra shelves and catch-all industrial bins to make the most of the space in your kitchen and pantry. Stack items to take advantage of vertical space above the refrigerator, the story adds, and “zone” its interior to organize foodstuffs and avoid spoilage.

Spring-Clean During the Spring Rains

There’s no better time than a rainy spring day to “clean and organize something really well,” says Apartment Therapy. The site suggests scrubbing and #decluttering the kitchen cupboards, sorting through a linen closet and organizing the home library, but there are likely a number of areas in your home that could benefit from a carefully considered purge and wipedown. Take advantage of the weather and contact ClothingDonations.org for a donation pickup when you’re done sorting through that stuff; the proceeds from your donations will help fund veterans’ programs nationwide.

Declutter Before Your Thanksgiving Feast

Hosting Thanksgiving can be a huge responsibility. The major menu items — turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and so on — aren’t incredibly hard to prepare, but can often be messy and time-consuming. Add to that the need to make your home inviting and presentable for the feast, and the holiday can quickly get to be an unwieldy chore.

If you declutter your home ahead of the feast, however, you will likely find all of the tasks on your list will suddenly become more manageable. When you don’t have to trip over stacks of stuff you don’t need before your guests arrive, your stress will dissipate fast.

The kitchen will see heavy use during the Thanksgiving feast, so make sure it offers the chef a streamlined workspace. Apartment Therapy recommends eliminating clutter by paring down the numbers of duplicate utensils in your drawers. Keep a maximum of three spatulas, three whisks, one can opener and one corkscrew, it says, and donate the rest.

Now, throw away junk that’s collected in the kitchen such as condiment packets, takeout menus, orphaned Tupperware lids and extra glass jars. Toss old rags and sponges, used candles, and expired canned goods and spices. Finally, get rid of anything chipped or less-than-perfect, and file away that refrigerator artwork to make space for a new selection of masterpieces.

The second phase of the kitchen streamlining project should store occasional-use items such as party platters, pie tins, apple peelers, melon ballers, cake stands and pastry bags somewhere other than the kitchen. You may need some of these things for Thanksgiving, the story notes, but taking inventory ahead of time will help you find them exactly when they’re needed.

To keep the home clutter-free for the big day, The Spruce suggests creating a complete “game plan” for the feast and keeping the decorations minimal. Arrangements of mums, fresh fruit, shell nuts and fall gourds make for a simple, seasonal scheme. If you already have lots of Thanksgiving-themed decorations, consider which may be starting to look a bit shabby and get rid of them.

As you streamline your kitchen and decorate your space ahead of the holiday, set aside those kitchen utensils, appliances and other goods you no longer need and contact ClothingDonations.org for a pickup. Before you know it, your house will be free of some of that clutter and full of family and friends — and that’s what makes lasting memories.

Mother’s Day Gifts on the Cheap

You don’t have to break the bank to find great Mother’s Day gifts for moms who like to entertain at home, says kitchn. The site offers 36 gift ideas including candles and coasters that retail for less than $25 to a stoneware and a smoothie blender in the more spendy $75 category. Whatever you wrap up, remember that it’s the thought that counts; gifts should speak to their recipients’ likes and needs. And even moms who enjoy cooking may want to take the day off for once!