Decluttering the kitchen means decluttering the hardest-working room in your house. So while that may make the job seem daunting, the payoff is commensurate: A decluttered kitchen is an efficient kitchen—a well-oiled machine that makes breakfast time, dinner time, and in-between time hum.

1. Clear the Counters Down to Just the Essentials

Clearing off the counters is the number one, most important component of any kind of kitchen decluttering endeavor. Not only do cleared-off kitchen counters make your kitchen breathe, but they provide the space to empty out, sort, and declutter the rest of your kitchen.

When it comes to what to keep on your kitchen counters, the less, the better. Put away any small appliances, if you can, except those that you use at least once a week. (An exception to this might be your stand mixer, which could be considered a decorative object, even if you don’t use it too often.)

2. Toss Expired and Unused Items from the Fridge and Pantry

This is where all the money is lost. We waste so much by forgetting the perishables we bought until it’s too late and by re-buying ingredients that we already have buried in the dark recesses of our pantries.

Choose whether you’ll begin with the fridge or the pantry, empty it out, clean the empty space, and sort your items. Toss or give away anything that’s too old or that you won’t use. Next, categorize what’s remaining and put it away.

By decluttering your fridge and pantry, you’ll be able to see what you have, get to it, and use it. You’ll know exactly what you need to replenish when it’s time to shop, and you won’t have to dig and shuffle for ingredients when meal time rolls around. Visually, clearing the counters has the most impact; but functionally, cleaning out the fridge and the pantry makes the biggest difference.

3. Reassess What’s In Your Top Drawers to Declutter

The third most important thing you should do when you set out to declutter your kitchen is to reassess all the contents of your top drawers. Because top drawers are the prime-est of the prime real estate in the kitchen, you want to ensure that what’s in them are only things you reach for all the time. Good candidates for top drawers include silverware, rags, dishtowels, “junk drawer” items like pens and rubber bands, and tools you reach for frequently like tongs or the meat thermometer