A Messy Cluttered Kitchen Leads to Overeating. How Kitchen Design and Set-up Helps
If you’re like me decluttering and/or dieting is on your perennial To Do List.
If your motivation for either one is running out of steam, see how a study at Cornell University proves that your environment influences how much and what you eat. Insightful kitchen design and setup can help you eat wisely.
Kitchen Design and Stress Eating
Diet programs tell you to get rid of any foods in your kitchen not allowed by the program. This makes sense, no tempting high-calorie foods around. But overeating is about more than what food is in your cabinets.
The Set-up of Your Kitchen Influences How Much and What You Eat
The Cornell study created two kitchens, one neat and one messy. Messy meaning mail, newspapers and dirty dishes scattered about. Note: these are non-food items. Snacks of cookies, crackers, and carrots were provided in both the neat and cluttered kitchens. The subjects (women) were divided into two groups: one for the neat kitchen and one for the messy kitchen. Half of the women were given a stress-inducing task while in the assigned kitchen. (In real life, when are you ever NOT stressed?)
The stressed women in the cluttered kitchen ate twice as many calories from cookies as the stressed women in the neat kitchen. The only difference was the neatness or messiness of the kitchen.
If you eat at your desk at work, a similar study demonstrated that subjects in a neat work environment ate a healthier snack (an apple) than subjects working in a cluttered work environment.
Lesson: Stress + Cluttered Environment = Eating more sweets.
Action: Declutter your kitchen and work space.
- In the kitchen set up a place to process your mail, right over your paper recycle bin or shredder.
- When you are busy, put dirty dishes in a sinkful of soapy water. This will get them one step closer to being cleaned or in the dishwasher, and put away. Train your family to help you with this.
Clear off the kitchen table and counter.
Declutter what is in your cabinets first, and decide if you really use it regularly.
- How many times does a gadget or appliance seem like a good idea, but doesn’t really work for you?
- Is something broken or replaced by a newer model?
- Do you have duplicates?
- Do you have a collection of cute mugs or cake pans you bought on a whim, but the thrill is gone.
Get rid of it.
Take a long, hard look at the appliances and stuff you have on your kitchen counters.
- Do you really need the waffle iron out all the time?
- How often do you use that big stand mixer?
- The canisters for flour, sugar, salt are cute, but are they the best containers for your flour, sugar, salt?
Do you really use them all the time, and need them out on the counter?
- Is your kitchen table a repository for mail, school work and magazines? Does this mess cause you to, by default, eat off the coffee table or a tray in front of the TV, instead of having a real family meal?
Things you use for formal or large gatherings a few times a year, go into a secondary storage place for them in the basement, that is organized and easy to access. Note: basement or attic storage is not a detour for things you need to let go of now.
Once your cabinets are decluttered. Declutter your counters and tables. What you really need you can now store in your now-spacious cabinets.
Do the same thing with your desk at home or the office.
Get rid of environmental stress with insightful kitchen design:
Clean up and declutter.
Support your calmer, slimmer self.
Click here for more. Decluttering as Art; Decluttering Haiku. Check out the wry haiku by Rachel Perry Welty
For personal insights on how to create a home, or office, that supports you and your goals contact me.
Comment below on what is the most challenging part of keeping your kitchen sane. I would love to hear from you.
Now excuse me while I tackle some dirty dishes. 😉