- Leslie Aronoff
10 Easy Things to Edit and Purge from your Kitchen
How many of you have commemorative glasses, mugs, and plates from vacation 15 or so years ago? Who has menus from restaurants no longer in business taking up valuable space in your kitchen drawer? How many kitchen cabinets are full of plastic food containers? Who has one, or 20, water bottles you received for a walk, run, or company event? Kitchens are the most loved and most used rooms in pretty much everyone’s homes, and this room is easily one of the easiest to be cluttered with items not used, not needed, or not kitchen related and should be moved to a different room in your home. To help you purge, edit and reclaim your prime real estate in your kitchen, here are ten things you can quickly do to get your kitchen back in organizational shape.
1. Take Out Menus
Let’s start easy! Yes, we used to have drawerfuls of takeout menus. However, times have changed. Restaurants now have their menus on their websites, and online delivery services make ordering easy. These days you do not need a “paper” menu. Go ahead and PURGE them! However, if your favorite place still takes phone orders or you just like having the menu, keep only your true favorites that you have used at least once in the last six months.
2. Promotional Water Bottles
Search your cabinets and drawers and find all of the water bottles that your family has accumulated. Sort the stash of water bottles and keep only the ones you and your family love and use. If you have a family of 4, how many water bottles do you truly really need and use? Once you have decided on the bottles to keep, grab a box and donate the rest to a local donation center.
3. Chipped and Stained Dishes, Bowls, and Cups
Do you have any plates that are broken or chipped? How about bowls or cups? Do you have a teacup with a broken handle that you had meant to fix? I am here to tell you that it is time to let them go. It’s time to throw the broken or chipped dishes, bowls, and cups in the garbage.
4. Plastic Food Containers
Everyone has more food containers than they will need or ever use. Get a timer, set it for 15 minutes and go. Find all of your plastic containers and sort them by base and lid. Match up all of the bases with their lids. Throw away any bases that do not have lids and any lids that do not have bases. You can even turn this activity into a game and involve your kids as this is a fun game to do with them!
5. Takeout Condiment Packets
Let’s keep this short….Say goodbye to all of your old sauce condiments.
6. Expired Spices
Yes, spices do not truly expire, but they DO lose flavor. They will not make you sick, but they will not add any flavor to your next dish. Take a few moments and pull all of your spices together on the counter. You may be surprised to see duplicates as spices seem to be hidden when we need them, so we buy another one. If you do not remember when you purchased the spice, let it go. Make a list of the spices you tossed to replace, but if you never use a specific spice, there is no need to bother replacing it. Here’s a tip - take a sharpie and write the month and year on the bottom of the spice jar when you purchase them. This little tip makes the purging process super easy.
7. Mugs, Mugs, Mugs
Everyone loves mugs; however, they take a ton of our cabinet space. They are bulky and are difficult to stack. Start by pulling out all of your mugs on your counter and individually hold each mug. If it brings you joy, keep it. If you have not used it for months or even years, let it go. If you love all of your mugs and cannot bear letting any go, consider finding mug hooks that you can hook underneath your cabinet to be able to display your most prized collection of mugs.
8. Small Appliances
We are all guilty of buying small appliances that we think will change our kitchen life and make cooking easier. However, the truth is that many of these small appliances end up taking valuable space in our kitchens. If you have not used the appliance in 2 years, the odds are that you will never use it. If it has a layer of dust on it, you probably will not use it. If you have the time, you can always try to sell the appliance online and see if someone else would like to give it a shot in their kitchen. If you are ready to declutter and want it out of the house today, donate it to your local donation center.
9. Plastic silverware, Paper Plates, Cups, and Napkins.
Sometimes I wonder if these items multiply at night. We wake up in the morning and it seems as if our paper goods and plastic silverware have doubled. Take some time and find all of your plastic silverware, paper plates, napkins, and cups. Separate and toss anything dirty, wrinkled, or old. Also, big tip, you do not need to keep your child’s napkins from all of their birthday parties. If you are unable to let go of all of it, perhaps keep one or two of the birthday plates or napkins in a memorabilia container in your storage area.
Getting ready to make cookies, and you pull out your cookie sheet. There is rust on the cookie sheet. You think to yourself, should I be concerned? The answer is always yes. Rust indicates that the non-stick coating on your bakeware is chipping or flaking, which could contaminate your foods. Do not take any chances; toss anything and everything that has rust on it.
This list is an excellent start to free up some space in your kitchen and donate or toss items that are no longer needed or safe to keep. This process is never easy, and you may need help. This is where a professional organizer can help. A professional organizer will look past the mess and keep our eyes focused on the potential of the space. A professional organizer will never judge.
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Check out our blog post: Tips for Keeping Your Home Organized