Monday, November 28, 2011

Coffee, tea, or mess?

My next decluttering area volunteered itself during my recent Use It Up challenge - our tea/coffee shelves.  Too many Use It Up candidates equals a decluttering challenge!

These shelves have an awkward location.  I have to lean sideways over the kitchen bench to reach them, so only the lower shelf is really easy for me to reach.  And the minivac installation makes it worse.  What can I say?  It seemed like a good idea at the time...

Result?  Everything ended up piled on the lower shelf.  When I saw that the bags of tea I actually use had been tossed up to the top shelf as clutter, I knew there was no time to lose.


Accessibility is key for this type of project.  This is the high-use kitchen; these are hospitality items you want to gather at a moment's notice with one hand while preparing kids' nibbles and carrying on a conversation with the other visiting mothers.

So I want all the regularly used items on the bottom shelf or the front of the middle shelf. We don't have that many kinds of tea and coffee we like!  So what is all that stuff on that shelf?

This was all clutter!

We had:
  • two half full containers of decaf instant coffee
  • two nearly empty tea boxes and one small opened bag (I don't need breastfeeding tea anymore!)
  • two half full tea boxes
  • a jar of old mint

Teabags in plastic bags will keep longer and take up less room the more are used up.  Cut the labels from the boxes to keep inside the bags. 

During the declutter, I also enjoyed the very last of the Wildberry teabags (blue and purple box) with some of my stevia leaves from the last Use It Up challenge.


I found a canister for all the teas, including one plastic bag with the stray anonymous teas.  This is on top so I will use them up first.

I rehomed the salt and pepper.  I moved unopened tea and coffee to higher shelves.  I also moved the opened coffee packets up because my husband is the coffee drinker and he's taller.

And for my last trick, I removed the minivac installation.  I can think of at least two better places for it than in this tight corner.



  1. Love it! I don't think we realize until we've decluttered the coffee/tea cabinets how important it is to start our mornings in an organized way. I'm still in the process of, tea cabinet too :o)

  2. This was a really satisfying declutter - the best ones are those you can enjoy every day. Thanks for stopping by!