A new thought on How to Get Started...STRIP IT


(Warning! Not for the faint of heart)

Quick definition: “PURGE” can mean donate, recycle or toss. I use it interchangeably.

Donate items in very good condition (not broken or missing parts), recycle everything your county or city allows, toss everything else.

Does your kitchen look like this?

Turn on your favorite music. Crank it up! Take before pictures!

PLEASE Send me your before pictures! Send to: gina@thefreckledlemon.com

Take EVERYTHING visible out, put it in boxes, totes or bags, but take it ALL out! Don’t think about it, just put everything in your boxes/totes/bags. Don’t forget the items stuck to the refrigerator and cabinets. And anything on the walls. Move it all to another spot in your house. Don’t stop, don’t pause, just as quickly as you can, strip your kitchen of everything visible. Totes are best for easy maneuverability and if you have dirty dishes (yes, you are taking them out too!) the tote is easy to clean and won’t get soggy like cardboard.

Contact me at gina@thefreckledlemon.com if you need support or accountability!

Now step back and appreciate the un-clutteredness. Check out every clutter-free corner, look at that beautifully clear fridge. Breathe in the freedom. Smile.

Fill your sink with hot water, a cap of Peroxide 3%, and your favorite essential oil. Slather your hands in your favorite lotion and put on some rubber gloves. Your hands will thank you later.

Start at the top (upper cabinet doors) and clean every inch of visible space. While your counters are clear of all that other stuff, empty the first cupboard onto the counter below it. Scrub all flat surfaces inside the cabinet. Pause. Appreciate the emptiness and cleanliness of that cupboard.

Look at what you removed. Ask yourself these questions, be brutally honest with yourself.

  1. Have I used this within the last year?
  2. Does this item help me in any way?
  3. Do I already have an item like this, or another of the same item that does the same thing?
  4. Is this item broken? If yes, is it worth repairing?
  5. Would I buy this new if I saw it in the store?
  6. Is this item expired?
  7. Am I just keeping this item for the sake of it?
  8. What's the worse that will happen if I throw it away/donate it?
  9. What will happen if I keep it?
  10. Can I do something better with the space it occupies?

Contact me at gina@thefreckledlemon.com if you need support or accountability!

After you’ve decided what to keep, clean each piece** and put it back in the cabinet neatly. Keep like things with like things. ** If the items are dishwasher save, put them in the dishwasher.**

Note: You are likely to have dishes/glasses in one/some of these cabinets. Put them in the dishwasher after you’ve determined you're going to keep them.

Move on to the next cabinet. Repeat until you have de-cluttered and cleaned all your upper cabinets. When you are done, there should be nothing visible on your countertops. Take your donate box to your car, take you garbage/recycle box out to your dumpsters.

Take a 10-minute break. Appreciate your progress. This is important to keep you motivated to keep moving forward!

Move to the lower cabinets and repeat the process.


Next...the drawers...repeat the process, ask the questions, be brutally honest, put items you'll be keeping in the dishwasher. Clean the drawers.

Clean your refrigerator, stove and microwave. Be sure ALL surfaces have been wiped clean.

When the lower cabinets and appliances are finished, step back again and appreciate your clean, empty space. Feel the ~PEACE~. Smile.

Now to tackle all the items you removed in the first place. Grab 1 box/tote/bag from the other room and bring it into the kitchen. Item by item ask yourself the questions above. For items you are keeping, clean the item, put it neatly in the cupboard with the other like things. Try to keep as much as possible off the counter tops.

If you have pictures and artwork that were hanging on the refrigerator or cabinets, decide on a few key pieces to hang back up neatly. Put the others in a picture album or 3 ring binder.

If you have an abundance of pictures and kids’ artwork, consider investing in a large bulletin board to hang on a nearby wall. Hang everything on it. It’s fun to look at everything in one place!

Re-home items that don’t belong in the kitchen. Or at a minimum, put them in a “needs a home” box. Come back to this box when you have completed the rest of the kitchen.

Anything that must stay on the counter, place it neatly to allow for maximum counter space and easy cleaning.

Take your donate box to the car, take your recycle/trash boxes to your dumpsters.

Finally, clean your floors, and take off the rubber gloves. Don’t your hands feel nice?

Job complete!

PLEASE send me your after pictures! gina@thefreckledlemon.com

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