It's easy to fall into the habit of thinking that everything you own in the kitchen is necessary or will be one day. I don't know about you, but I know I have a ton of stuff that can be hard to throw it away and part with. And yes, I admit it, I am a little bit of a hoarder at times! With the New Year in full swing, in comes new habits and more motivation (for a short period of time). Why wait any longer? Clear your mind and de-clutter the kitchen! You'll feel like and new person and you might actually be able to see a clear countertop. Even better, if you have anything that is still in good condition, but you know you probably won't use, donate it.
Here's a list of things you might consider throwing away in order to keep your kitchen tidy and your junk drawer empty and ready for the New Year. You don't even have to be a professional to do it.
1. Sentimental Mugs
This is exactly the kind of dilemma I face waking up every morning for my daily dose of caffeine. Which cute mug to I choose? The one that says 'Rhodesian Ridgeback Mom' or '#blessed.' Oh, the problems I face sometimes.
I'm kidding, but seriously it's time to break away from some of those mugs that have piled up over the years in your collection, especially the ones that are chipped. You can do it!
Also, for any mugs in good condition, it might not be a bad idea to donate them to someone who might need them. You'll make someone's day while clearing out some storage space at the same time.
2. Never-Ending Tupperware
Do you file a missing lid or tub report every time you search and search for that darn matching piece? I do. One of the most frustrating things in my opinion is the tupperware cabinet. I feel like that woman in the commercial when she opens the cabinet and plastic storage containers literally explodes out on her.
Find some time (mentally prepare yourself!) and organize that tupperware. If you can't find any matching pieces, throw it away, especially the ones that are still stained from your last batch of homemade tomato sauce. You got this!
3. Expired Spices
It's 2018, y'all. Time to clean out that cabinet full of flavorless, expired old spices. I know they're expensive, but do you really want to cook with those ancient spices you brought home from college? Throw your old ground spices away and buy fresh new ones. And while you're in your pantry, throw out any canned or dry expired food. New year, new spices.
4. Sad-Looking Candles
Buying candles, specifically soy candles is one of my greatest downfalls. I have not one, but two cabinets full of candles that I take out for specific holidays and seasons.
Recently, I had to throw away a bunch of sad and nearly empty candles because I knew the next time I would try to light them, I might burn my fingers. And not to mention, they look pretty worn out with that black ring surrounding the top of the glass.
It's time to throw away that candle that's on its last life and smells like Grandma's sugar cookies and stock up on new ones!
5. Take-Out Menus
Do you have a thousand of these take-out menus from your favorite restaurant just taking up space? Yes it's a waste of paper, but it is 2018, so no need to worry. The menu is most likely online. Clear it all out.
6. Infused Olive Oil
Yes, it was a nice gesture to receive that decorative bottle of infused olive oil, but have you used it since? Make sure to check the expiration dates and to do a smell check to see if it's still edible or not. Throw away an oil that might have a funky smell to it. If you really can't let go of the pretty bottle, you can always rinse it out and save it.
And if you're still upset about all of that wasted infused oil, you can always make your own. Tell yourself you'll actually use it, too.
7. Glassware That's Seen Better Days
Do you relate to this Instagram picture? Maybe your cabinets are filled with a variety of decorative glasses that might just need a new home or to be thrown away for good. Or maybe it's perfect timing to say adios to some of those glasses that can't seem to be removed of all of that hard water build up. No matter how hard you try to scrub it off, it doesn't seem to work.
Freshen up with a new set. Hey, it's a good excuse to purchase one, right? How about some rustic mason jars?
Also, if you find that some of the glasses are still in good condition, it's always a great idea to donate them to someone in need.
8. Old Dish Towels
You can never have too many dish towels around the kitchen. When I was engaged, I remember getting a variety of dish towels at my bridal shower and thinking to myself, 'Will I actually use all of these?'.
Good thing I was stocked up. I use them for everything around the kitchen- to clean up spills, dry dishes, sanitize the counter, etc. They are also cheaper than paper towels and easy to wash. But, over time and after being put hard at work they can become stained or start to rip. Treat yourself and get brand new ones.
9. Mismatched Silverware
If your silverware drawer is making you crazy, it's time to reorganize it and to get rid of any mismatched pieces. Only keep hold of the set that you know you use regularly and donate the rest.
Here are some ways to give you inspiration to organize all of that matching silverware.
10. Any Kind of Bag
Plastic bags, paper bags, reusable bags, oh my! It's easy for these things to pile up and take over the kitchen. There's a point where you just have to give in and do something about it.
Reusable bags are a brilliant idea and you can just leave them in your car for you next grocery store stop. But with the plastic and paper bags, keep a few on hand for yourself and either recycle or donate the rest.
11. Ratty Potholders
Potholders are a life saver in the kitchen, but it's time to say goodbye those ratty ones with burn marks and stains! I mean, how many do you actually need?! I think it's best to have at least 4 stocked away just in case.
On a side note, how awesome is the gift idea pictured above. Good use for a brand new potholder.
12. Unused, Once-Loved Appliances
Yes, that cupcake maker and soda machine sounded cool at the time, but when was the last time you actually used it? Have they even seen the light of day?
If you know deep down that you most likely will not use that one appliance that's just taking up space, don't look at them sitting all lonely on the counter or high up on the shelf any longer! Clear out all unwanted appliances and keep the ones you know you use regularly.
Free up space and you'll be happier in the kitchen!
13. Freebies That Came with Dinner
Ketchup, soy sauce & sugar packets, spare chopsticks, plastic silverware, fortune cookies, kid's toys- you know it's time to stop hoarding them because they keep adding up. Bring them to the office or it might just be worth tossing.
You know they'll always send you more the next time you order!
14. Dull Knives That Can't Be Rescued
You know, chopping with a dull knife can actually be more dangerous than a sharp one so during the New Year, go through your set of knives to see which ones make the cut (pun intended). Treat yourself to a brand new set of essential knives.
And if you're worried about throwing away knives, there are plenty of ways to safely dispose them. Wrap the blade in bubble wrap, cardboard, newspapers, old clothes, etc and place in a cardboard box. You might even want to consider donating them as well.
Watch: 10 Ingredient Substitutions in Your Pantry