Tips For De-cluttering The Kitchen: It May Help With Weight Loss
Research completed in 2008 implies a strong connection between clutter and corpulence.
The study found that clutter-prone individuals were 77 percent more likely to be overweight or obese than non-clutterers.
This clutter-weight association may be partly owed to the stress generated by living in a disarrayed environment, and the subsequent stress induced chemical changes in our body that influence fat storage.
A disordered kitchen is also an impractical one. It’s more difficult to cook when counter tops are crowded, when jumbled pantry and refrigerator shelves make it hard to find ingredients, or even know what is available. It may be easier to run out for fast food than to face cooking in a cluttered kitchen.
Kitchen De-Cluttering Tips
It seems the question to ask is, “Does the clutter in my kitchen prevent me from regularly preparing healthy meals?” If the answer is “yes,” these eight kitchen transformation tips can help make the food preparation process easier, and more appealing:
- Write a short vision statement expressing what you want from your kitchen. For example, “I want a space that is welcoming, and fun to cook healthy meals in,” or, “I want a cooking space that is convenient, and easy to clean.” This vision statement will inspire and guide your de-cluttering efforts.
- Get rid of items that have a negative impact on your emotional well being. This includes guilt-inducing fancy kitchen gadgets that are never used, dishes or utensils inherited from failed relationships, unhealthy tools such as deep-fat friers, and knick-knacks, or pictures that take up kitchen space, but have no special place in your heart. Donate useable items, and toss the rest.
- Rid the refrigerator and freezer of spoiled, expired, and heavily processed foods. Clean the surfaces with soap and water - drying them thoroughly - as you go. This process should be done weekly, or at least monthly—just before a run to the grocery store is a good time.
- Clear the pantry and food cupboards of unhealthy products. To maintain order, consider designating certain areas or shelves for specific items such as pet supplies, spices, non-refrigerated veggies, or canned goods.
- Flat kitchen surfaces are for preparing and serving food, not for storage. Clear away all stacks of mail, work papers, instruction manuals, magazines, TVs, computers, and collectibles from the counters.
- Dedicate a section of counter space for food preparation and keep related, regularly used kitchen items - pots, pans, utensils, knives, cutting boards, spices, can opener - nearby. Also, designate a serving area where prepared foods will be dished up; keep essential platters and serving utensils conveniently at hand.
- Sort through dishes and glassware, getting rid of pieces that are cracked, broken, or never used; move items reserved for special occasions to a storage area.
- Most of us keep cleaning supplies beneath the sink, and kitchen cleanup is easier when this space is organized with a few well-chosen sponges, scrubbers, and nontoxic cleansers, and cleaners.
For people who struggle with clutter, clearing it away can seem overwhelming. However, most of us clutter-bugs know at least one organized individual who might be willing to help us.
We can also break the de-cluttering process down into manageable steps. If cleaning the entire refrigerator is too daunting, start with a couple shelves. One small accomplished task often inspires the next, and the next.