I don’t know about you, but my tiny kitchen is by far the most cluttered area of my apartment. I love to cook and find that I hold onto a lot of random kitchen gadgets and food storage containers that I never use, but “might need” in the future.
“You want to let go of kitchen items that don't reflect your current reality,” explains Dana K. White , a Dallas-based organizing and decluttering expert and author of Organizing for the Rest of Us: 100 Realistic Strategies to Keep Any House Under Control . “Did you go through a baking phase or a candy-making phase? If those hobbies have run their course, purge the related specialty items to free up space to pursue new interests.”
I can guess that you also probably have some items in your kitchen that no longer serve a purpose. Getting rid of them will not only clear up space in your home, but will also clear some space in your mind, too. Below, I’ve interviewed two organizing experts for the things in your kitchen you may want to consider getting rid of immediately.
Expired or Unused Spices
Toss expired or unused spices by checking the expiration dates two times a year.
Unused Mugs, Glasses, and Water Bottles
“A problem item I see in many kitchens is excess water bottles and coffee mugs—how many do you really need?,” says Julie Peak, a Charlotte, North Carolina-based professional organizer, declutter expert, and owner of The Precise Place . “Here is a useful formula for determining how many to keep: (Number of people who use mug/water bottle ) × (number of mugs they use a day) then X that by (one + the number of days between running your dishwasher) = base number of mugs needed on a daily basis.” If you entertain often, Peak suggests adding a few more to accommodate guests.
Avocado slicers, egg slicers, or strawberry slicers are all jobs that can be completed with a knife. “Two fruit slicers I do think are keepers are apple and pineapple, but only if you eat these fruits often,” explains Peak.
“If there are dirty dishes ready to be washed, take a look at what's left in the cabinet and purge from there,” suggests White. “Those are the things you haven't chosen to use, and looking at them that way may help you realize they're your least favorite.”
System for Storing Food Storage Containers
Get rid of your elaborate system for storing the lids of your food containers. “Store the containers with their lids on so there's no need for those systems,” says White. “You won't be able to keep as many, but using them will be easier and you'll have significantly fewer moldy leftovers.”
Knife blocks are big and take up valuable counter space. Plus, they are hard to clean and sanitize. Instead, Peak suggests storing your knives in a drawer or utilizing vertical space and installing a magnetic knife strip on your kitchen wall and hanging your knives.
Take a look through your pantry and toss expired foods. “It seems like that's too simple and obvious, but many people wait until they ‘have time’ to do a big decluttering project, while just removing expired products will make the space immediately look and function better,” explains White.
Specialty Cookware or Appliances
Gadgets like a mini waffle maker, popcorn maker, ice cream maker, or sandwich press just aren’t necessary and take up more room than they are worth. “They are sold as a way to make cooking easier, but they’re not necessary,” explains Peak.
Outgrown Baby Items
"As hard as it is to admit your baby isn’t a baby anymore, it’s time to toss or donate their old baby bottles, cups, plates, bibs, and silverware,” says Peak.
These aren’t necessary to make vegetable noodles or spiralized vegetables. Instead, Peak suggests using a knife, potato peeler, or cheese grater.