7 Things You Can Purge From Your Kitchen—and Instantly Double Your Storage Space
Wish you had more counter or drawer space? Start by tossing out these 7 items.
Want to double your kitchen counter space and triple your drawer space? You don't need a costly renovation, just a deliberate decluttering session. Start by getting rid of the seven items listed below, and move items you don't use often (like that fancy china you only pull out at Thanksgiving), to a storage space. You'll free up room for the tools and essentials you reach for every day, and your kitchen will look exceptionally organized.
Appliances and Gadgets You Haven't Used in Two Years (or Longer)
Maybe you've heard of the two-year rule for clothing: if you haven't worn it in two years, it's time to purge it from your closet. The same guideline works for appliances. Even if there's a giant pan you only pull out when prepping the Thanksgiving turkey, if two holiday seasons have passed and you haven't used it, it's time to consider letting it go. The same goes for your avocado slicer and spiralizer. Sometimes we may want to imagine we'll use every gadget every day, but after two years collecting dust, it's time to be honest with ourselves about how we really cook and eat.
It may sound obvious, but getting rid of all of the expired food lurking in your fridge and pantry will free up a surprising amount of space. For either area, start by removing every can or item and placing them on your counter. Then, quickly check each label, and have a garbage can and a recycling bin at the ready to toss out what's old. While the shelves are bare, use the opportunity to wipe them clean before replacing the food.
The Fancy China You Use Once a Year
Maybe it's the dishware set that only sees the light of day on Thanksgiving, or maybe it's the dishes your great aunt gave you as a wedding present and that you just can't part with. Either way, you don't need to give these items a prime spot in your kitchen cabinet. If you're determined to keep the set for your annual family reunion or to give to your kids one day, move the dishes to storage, whether that means the attic, the basement, or a storage unit. Just be sure to store them properly by wrapping each piece carefully, using cardboard dividers, and investing in plastic storage bins to keep them dust-free.
Dishwasher-Warped Plastic Food Containers
You know all of those plastic food containers that have lost their matching lids? And the ones that no longer fit their lids after a run through the dishwasher? Yes, it's officially time to toss those. If you have a few extra minutes to declutter, spend some time matching up each container with its lid, then invest in an organizer specifically designed to sort out these pieces so they don't topple out when you open the cabinet door.
Duplicate (or Triplicate) Tools
To start, empty out that canister full of wooden spoons and spatulas, along with the drawer chock full of even more. Keep two of things you reach for all of the time, like a classic wooden spoon, but if you have more than four, it's time to cull your collection. No one needs six sets of tongs.
The Stash of Restaurant Condiments, Takeout Menus, and Plastic Utensils
If you get takeout or eat out at restaurants often, chances are you have a drawer full of mustard in little packages, plastic utensils, and disposable chopsticks. Not to mention the ever-growing stash of paper menus. Toss out the condiments you're likely to never use, and curate the menu stash. And if you typically order through Seamless anyway, you may want to recycle the paper menus.
Dish Towels That Have Seen Better Days
If you have dish towels that are stained and holey, consider ditching them and stocking up on a fresh set (like these beautiful striped linen ones). You'll save drawer space in the kitchen and drying the dishes will be a little more pleasant. You can save the old towels to use as cleaning rags, or bring them to a fabric recycling center.