Every year at the beginning of the new year, I hear and see so many grand plans of decluttering and organizing.  One of my target areas (besides my bedroom closet) is the kitchen.  After a couple of moves and many years of marriage (and a couple of years of food blogging), I’ve accumulated a ton of stuff.

And it’s time to let some of it go.

That’s exactly what I’ll be doing over the next few weeks too.

As a planner, I like to have a specific plan in place.  This is a decluttering mission, not just a thorough kitchen clean up.  Even though most of the items I’ll be getting rid of are perfectly usable, they no longer get to live in my overflowing cabinets.

Consider this your eviction notice, extra stuff.  I’m sure you’ll be happier with someone who actually uses you anyway.  No appliance or kitchen gadget enjoys sitting in the back of the cabinet anyway, right?

And how many plastic cups does one need anyway?  If I ever have like 43 people over at once, I’m set with cups.  But that’s not going to happen so it’s time to part with them.

Here’s my plan of attack and what I’ll be throwing out of my kitchen:

  • Cups, mugs and glasses.  I’m going to be working in sets of 8 from now on.  I don’t need more than 8 cups, 8 mugs and 8 glasses.  If I’ll be having guests, I can get disposables.  But for daily life, 8 of each will be plenty.  If I run out, clearly it’s time to do the dishes.  This will also eliminate leaving them in other locations like the living room or car.
  • Reusable water bottles.  Somehow I’ve ended up with an extensive collection of water bottles.  The problem is that when I go to use them, I can never seem to find the corresponding lid.  I’ll narrow it down to 2-3 bottles and keep the lids on them.
  • Plates and bowls.  Again operating under the rule of 8, I will narrow down my plates and bowls to 8 each, hopefully all matching.  I’ve got certain dishes that are especially for photographing food for the blog.  I’ll keep those but move them to my photography area.  They don’t need t be merged with daily dishes.
  • Silverware.  More than likely I’ll donate all of my current silverware and get one matching set.  I’m not sure how I got so many different patterns.
  • Dish towels and pot holders.  We used to get dish towels every year from a relative for Christmas.  It was nice to never have to buy them ourselves but we ended up with TONS of them.  The ones that are worn get tossed, the ones in good shape get donated, and I’ll keep a few.
  • Anything in bad shape or missing pieces.  Each item needs to be carefully examined, making sure that it has all of it’s pieces and is in usable shape.  That blender with no lid?  Toss it!  Can’t find the plug to the griddle?  Bye bye!
  • Duplicate utensils.  Do you really need 12 spatulas and 6 soup spoons?  Probably not.  Donate those and let someone else enjoy them.
  • Items from restaurants or take out.  You know it’s hard to toss out those extra packets of Parmesan that come with your pizza delivery.  You likely won’t use them though and will continually add to your collection.  There’s no need to keep menus or coupons either – all that is online now.  And you’re all about decluttering now, remember?
  • Things you don’t use.  That punch bowl sitting under the counter that you never use can go, along with anything else you might uncover in the back of the cabinet.  It’s just collecting dust anyway and taking up valuable space.  I think I’ve owned a punch bowl for at least 20 years and used it maybe 3 times.
  • Spices.  Spices lose their potency after a while so it’s best to just toss them at some point.  If it’s not something you use regularly, there’s no reason to replace it.  Check out my list of my favorite spices and how I use them here.
  • Plastic containers.  I would guess that most of us have a collection of leftover containers.  I’ve started buying the same brand and same size when it’s time to replace them.  That helps keep them organized and neat in the cabinet.  If there’s not a corresponding lid, it’s trash.  If it doesn’t turn up now, it never will.

What other things do you have in your kitchen that you need to throw out?

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