Declutter Your Kitchen: What to Toss Out

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Get ruthless. Be swift. Declutter your kitchen countertops, cabinets, and drawers by tossing out what you don’t use. Before we get to the list below, though, remember: This process is solely about throwing things away. Don’t slow yourself down by trying to rearrange things or clean at the same time.  

Gadgets--even if they’re not old

Scan your countertops for gadgets and small appliances. Can you store them out of sight until needed? Or are they used so seldom you can just donate them? If you gave that coffee press a try and didn’t love it, donate it. Maybe the immersion blender seemed like a great idea but you haven’t touched it. Would someone else in the family like it? Gadgets have high potential to be “I might use this in the future” items, but don’t give in. Be tough and get rid of what you don’t use already.

Mismatched or damaged dishes and cutlery

Unless that plate with a chipped edge and no matching friends is a beloved relic from grandma’s house, toss it. Same goes for old, dented or cracked cutlery, dishware and glasses. Got newer items you simply aren’t using? Donate those.  

Mugs and water bottles

We’ve all collected mugs--gift mugs we don’t really like, promotional mugs with logos, mugs that turned out to be too heavy. Keep only the ones you use repeatedly. The same goes for water bottles: If you’ve racked up plastic bottles from work promotions, school events, etc., drop them at the secondhand store.  

Spices

Outdated spices won’t hurt you but they lose their flavor. If you seldom used a particular spice, don’t replace it. And when was the last time you used or checked the dates on your baking powder and baking soda? They also lose potency over time.  

Takeout “treasures”

With online menus and ordering, there’s no need to hang onto old takeout menus. Get rid of condiment packets, plastic cutlery (unless you can reuse it), and food containers from takeout. Most single-use plastic takeout containers are not microwaveable and shouldn’t be used to reheat food. Storing food in them repeatedly might or might not be a good idea depending on the container, according to experts at Epicurious. Invest in good storage containers instead and toss the takeout trash.  

Cookbooks

Ancient ones are lurking in the back of a cabinet and you know it. Clear out old ones (do you really need that 1970s cookbook on using your microwave to make an entire Thanksgiving dinner?) and keep only those you have used more than once. If you find a recipe you’d like to try but it’s buried in a book you’d otherwise toss, tear it out, or take a photo of it.  

Duplicate utensils

Four spatulas (most the same size)? Six mixing spoons? Two identical pairs of tongs? Decide what you really need and bid farewell to duplicates.  

Cleaning supplies

Got some mostly-empty bottles of cleaning products in the kitchen cabinets? If you’ve got cleaners with a few drips left, rotate them to the front of the pack and use them this weekend, then recycle the containers. If you’ve got duplicate cleaners with a bit in each container, consolidate them into one container if it’s safe to do so. Remember, never mix different cleaning products.   Need additional storage for what you do keep? Explore great options like pull-out shelves and kitchen island storage. Ask your Kitchen Tune-Up experts to find out more.

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