How Can I Declutter My Kitchen?

You Ask, We Answer: How Can I Declutter My Kitchen?

When it comes to the kitchens in our Connecticut homes, it can feel like there’s never enough storage. From cookware and plates to pantry items run amok, our cabinets can quickly become way too full, causing items to spill out while we’re rummaging around for what we need or forcing us to store things piled on precious countertops. If your kitchen has been feeling a little too close for comfort, you’re not alone. Here are our favorite five ways to declutter your kitchen and take control of your cabinets and counters, once and for all!

Clear away mismatched storage containers

With so much attention being paid to single-use plastics these days, we’re big fans of repeatedly reusing plastic containers for food storage before sending them to the recycling bin. But inevitably, matching lids and containers have a way of going MIA (maybe they’re with our mysteriously missing socks?!), leaving us with stacked plastic that will never get used.

While matching lids to their containers is probably not how you want to spend your valuable time, taking a few minutes to do so now will save you a lot of time and frustration the next time you need a quick storage option for leftovers. Whether you’ve got a stack of takeout containers, old Tupperware, or a few odds and ends from holiday get-togethers, weeding through your storage containers may leave you with a shelf or two of valuable cabinet space.

Of course, always check for the recycling symbol on any plastic containers and lids, and follow your local recycling rules to dispose of properly. Think how good you’ll feel the next time you reach for your storage container and it actually has a lid that fits!

Pare down water bottles

Like souvenir t-shirts from races or other fundraising events, water bottles emblazoned with company or event logos have become ubiquitous in our Connecticut homes. While some of them are welcome additions in our lunches, backpacks, and cars, some of them just don’t get used–and since they’re impossible to stack without tipping over, they end up occupying a lot of valuable kitchen cabinet space.

To help declutter your kitchen, pare down your water bottles and reusable mugs to only the ones that get reached for regularly, and if applicable, that can be used for hot and cold liquids alike. Pack up the remaining bottles or mugs and donate them, add them to your yard sale, or recycle them if they fit your local recycling criteria. Your cabinet space will thank you!

Bid farewell to outgrown kids options

Here’s something we know all too well: It’s difficult to part with sentimental items in our Connecticut homes, and our children’s kitchen items are no exception! That sweet sippy cup, those cute dishes and matching spoon combos…while we understand these may always hold a space in your heart, once your children outgrow them, they don’t have to hold space in your kitchen.

If you can’t bear to part with such sentimental items just yet, then try putting them away in storage in the attic, garage, or basement –wherever you can hold onto them without them cluttering up your kitchen. If you’re ready to let these items go and they’re in good shape, consider donating them to your local shelter or soup kitchen, or to Goodwill or local consignment store.

Clean out your takeout or “junk” drawer

Takeout menus, random packets of ketchup and soy sauce, a lone chopstick, some screws: If this sounds like your kitchen takeout/junk drawer, rest assured: We’ve all got one filled with the detritus of our daily lives. But as common as these drawers are, when you consider that we’re all giving away a full drawer to random junk…that’s just too much valuable kitchen real estate!

Take some time to go through your junk drawer. Throw out or recycle any menus, takeout utensils, and other odds and ends that you’re storing. Be your own best editor here: Broken items, if they haven’t been fixed yet, probably won’t ever be fixed, so it’s ok to toss them. The goal here is to free up an entire drawer (or at least half of one) so you can use it for functional storage space; bonus if doing so helps clean off a countertop.

Check expiration dates

Last but not least, it’s time to tackle the pantry. No matter how diligent we may try to be, chances are, pantry items long past their prime are taking up primo shelf space–and that can lead to a cluttered and chaotic kitchen.

Checking expiration dates on pantry items is an easy and effective way to part with ingredients you haven’t used up, or maybe haven’t even used more than once or twice. Spices are particularly vulnerable to expiring, rendering them flavorless and therefore, useless. Next, be sure to check your baking flours, as they can expire and affect how well your baked goods rise. Toss any bags of chips and other snacks that have gone stale, cereals that have seen better days, and that one jar that you can’t remember buying, let alone what you wanted to use it for.

With a little patience, you can declutter your kitchen in the span of an afternoon!


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