Kitchen Declutter & Decorate (Thrift store finds & favorite tips!)

I don’t go to thrift stores very often anymore because I don’t want to be tempted to buy stuff that we don’t actually need. But I wanted to do a quick kitchen declutter and redecorate, so I picked up this really cute blue casserole dish recently!

thrift store display

I have new questions when it comes to decluttering your kitchen and I think it will help you go another step further with simplifying your space!

Also, I want to share two tips when it comes to decorating or styling décor in your kitchen! I never used to be good at it, but I’ve found a few decorating design tips that have helped me A TON when adding some décor to my home.

First we need to do a little decluttering, and then I’ll show you where I’m going to put this blue beauty (it was even 50% off, so it was just speaking my love language! ;).

Think about a spot in your kitchen that is just not working. It just doesn’t function well, the cupboard is too full, the drawer is too full.

Chances are, the reason it’s not working is there’s just TOO MUCH STUFF!!

What is “stuff” anyway?

According the dictionary, stuff is defined as: Material of some unspecified kind. The material of which anything is made. Material to be worked upon or to be used in making something. 

That isn’t actually very helpful. The definition is not really anything is because stuff is inanimate. It’s usually physical in nature, but it doesn’t have feelings or emotions. 

The important thing to note is that stuff is meant to be used and to be useful to us. 

All of the stuff in your house has a purpose. Your dishes, silverware, bowls and kitchen appliances, they all have a purpose: to be useful.

Of course there will be a small amount of stuff, like décor, where the purpose is just to look at and enjoy it. But the bulk of the stuff in your kitchen has a purpose because you got it for a specific reason:

  • You have a Bundt cake pan to make Bundt cakes (or if you don’t, I think you should!! ;)
  • You have a bread maker to make bread
  • You have bowls to eat from
  • You have silverware to use to eat

The stuff in your kitchen is supposed to serve you, not the other way around. 

So if you have an area of your kitchen that’s not functioning well right now — there are too many glasses, they don’t stack up properly, or you always have to shuffle them around because they don’t fit — try getting rid of some of them!!

Don’t keep stuff you don’t use out of guilt

It’s easy to get rid of items that we have no emotional attachment to, but what about that china set that was was passed down from your great-grandma? Or a gadget you paid a lot of money for and never use?

Then suddenly it’s not just stuff anymore. It brings up feelings of guilt, and you’re certain you can’t get rid of it.

But if a cup is meant to be used to drink water, is it still serving you if you never use it? No.

Then why are you allowing all this stuff clutter up your cabinets and cause you to feel guilt?

But I paid money for it!!! 

So does that cause it to somehow serve you better? No. 

Is it making your life easier? No. 

Are you super glad that you have it to look at or admire? No. 

So… why are you keeping it??!

As you look through your kitchen and identify the places that are not functioning well, allow yourself to ask these questions:

  • Is it still serving me? 
  • Is it making my life easier
  • Do I enjoy having it? 
Dawn and decluttering questions

And if the answer is no, it doesn’t matter who gave it to you, it doesn’t matter what holiday or birthday gift that it was for, it doesn’t matter how much you paid for it. Those are actually not logical arguments to keep something.

Don’t let inanimate stuff that is supposed to make your life easier make it worse.

If this stuff in your kitchen is not serving a purpose — if you’re not using it — then it’s time to pass it on and let somebody else have a chance at using it!

An example from my kitchen

Dawn pointing to clutter in kitchen cupboards

Our cups and dishes are usually under control, but our food storage containers recently got out of hand and we had way too many again.  

My daughter asked me the other day when she was putting the dishes away, “We don’t use these containers anymore because Dad doesn’t need to pack lunches. Can we just get rid of them?” 

My first reaction was, But I paid money for those! (And I actually didn’t, they were lunchmeat containers!!).

I used to use them on a daily basis, but I literally had not used them in the past year.

So I got rid of them — and the cupboard looks SO much better now!

dishes in kitchen cupboard

Side note: I highly recommend storing food storage containers with the lids ON! Yes, you could fit way more in the cupboard by stacking them with the lids off. But do you know how easy it is to just to grab a container to put leftovers in? No hunting for the lid! You really have to try it before you say that it doesn’t work!! ;)

Decorating tips for your kitchen

Now let’s move on to the fun stuff and do some decorating!! 

Here are two awesome decorating design tips that that have helped me A TON for my open shelving in the kitchen.  

Decorating Tip #1:

Create a zigzag pattern with an accent color

When you’re trying to figure out where to put your décor, make a zigzag pattern with your accent color. 

open shelving with yellow decor

For the last little while, my accent color has been yellow, but I want to change it up. 

In the past, I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. I would put stuff on the shelf and spread out the color everywhere, but it just wasn’t working. It was because I didn’t have the color balanced correctly. 

So now when I pull the yellow off and add in some blue instead, I can place my blue things in that same zigzag pattern and then fill in from there.

blue and brown decor items

 I also added some white flowers into the basket so the white zigzags too.

So now with the blue zigzagging one way and the white the other way, I think we’ve got some pretty good balance. I think it looks nice and summery, but calm. :) 

open shelving with blue decor

Decorating Tip #2:

Use the 60-30-10 design rule

When it comes to accent colors, use the 60-30-10 design rule: 

decluttered kitchen with decorating tip
  • 60% of the room should be a dominant color 
  • 30% should be the secondary color 
  • 10% should be an accent color
mint green kitchen with decluttering tip: 60-30-10

We used to have red barstools in our kitchen. I loved it for a pop of color with the red, white and blue theme. But it always bothered me when the stools were at the island. Something just wasn’t right. 

Minimalist Kitchen

Then I painted them black and it still wasn’t right. 

kitchen with black barstools

It wasn’t until we got these blue stools that blend in, that it actually worked. Now I realize that our accent color was out of balance and that’s why it just looked a little off.

minimalist kitchen, blue and white

So the 60-30-10 rule has really helped in our kitchen!!

Be tough on your stuff

I hope this helps a little bit when you decorate and declutter your kitchen! 

Remember to ask yourself:

  • Is this item serving me? 
  • Does it make my life easier? 
  • Am I glad that I own it? 

And if the answer is no, kindly invite it to leave your kitchen. :)

All my best as you simplify and decorate!

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Check out more of our decluttering resources!

Guided KITCHEN DECLUTTER: Use these principles to simplify your kitchen quickly & easily

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What’s in a Minimalist Kitchen?

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How to DECIDE ONCE when Decluttering! (with printable guide!)

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