Do you ever walk into your kitchen and just pass by a bunch of things, kind of roll your eyes, and then rifle around and try to find what you really need? If that happens to you, it probably means that there are things in your kitchen that you could totally get rid of!
Back in the 80s my mom would collect magnets with phone numbers on them – the local vet, her hairdresser… the list goes on. Times have changed – we don’t need these anymore because… Internet! Toss any promotional magnets, or travel magnets, or any of these other magnets cluttering up the surface of your fridge. Only keep magnets that are serving a real purpose, or ones that have significant sentimental value.
Flyers and Take-Out Menus
Do you notice that whenever you order takeout, they give you a takeout menu? It generally gets stuck in a drawer with an “I might need that for later” thought. Then you get a coupon in the mail for a dollar offer a hamburger, and stick it in the same drawer. Ultimately you end up with a drawer full of papers you’ll never use because, again… Internet! You can find all of that take-out information online. If there is a coupon you actually want to use, stick it in your wallet or set a date to specifically use it, then get rid of the rest of that junk.
I’ve talked about getting rid of old containers before, and this is one habit I am very guilty of. Whenever I finish a jar of something, I always think: “I could reuse that”, and even if I’ve lost the lid I still keep it because “Maybe, one day, I’ll find the lid!” Let’s face facts, we will never find the lid or use that jar – into the recycling it goes.
It’s time to toss those half-used sauces that you only kind of like. Face facts, if you were ever going to use it, you would have by now. Go through the fridge and pull out anything that’s on its last legs or expired. Dump it out safely and appropriately and then you can recycle the bottles.
When you’re ready to cook something, you want access to the small appliances that you actually use. I hate digging past things I rarely use (like my pasta maker, magic bullet, and slap-chop). It’s time to move on from those appliances. You’re probably not going to find a use for it any time soon and someone else will probably benefit from it more than you would.
Old Dish Towels & Cloth Napkins
When you open your drawer to grab a tea towel, dish towel or cloth napkin, you’ll probably find some that are stained, have holes in them or just look beat up. Go through the drawer and pull out anything that’s not looking so hot or fresh. You only want to have stuff that is in good condition ready to serve their purpose.
Rarely Used Cookbooks
I have five giant Williams-Sonoma cookbooks that I simply never use. It’s time to toss, give away, or donate them. Cookbooks take up a lot of space, and while the recipes look amazing, if you haven’t used it yet you’re probably not going. Find the cookbooks that you don’t use, save some space and get rid of them.
Single Serving Sauces and Cutlery
We don’t order takeout that often but when we do, we used to put all of the extra ketchup packets, little soy sauce packets, sweet-and-sour sauce, pizza dipping sauce, chopsticks, plastic cutlery etc. in a junk drawer. Get rid of all of it! You know why? You likely already have soy sauce, ketchup and all that other stuff, and does anyone really need that cereamy garlic pizza dipping sauce? If you’re ordering takeout and you know that you don’t want to have that waste, just let them know when you order.
You guys know that I like to cook and because of that, I collect myself a few spices here and there. Sometimes, I’ll go a little wild and I’ll pick something up that I think I’m going to use, but I never actually end up using it. So, go through your spice drawer, pick out anything that is old, unused, or has only a tiny bit left, and toss it.
When friends or family travel they often bring you back a souvenir. It might be a magnet or a shot glass, or some other knick-knack. While I’m really happy for them that they went on that trip, it sounded amazing, but do I really need that shot glass taking up space in my cupboard? Probably not. If you aren’t a cocktail connoisseur then find a new home for that shot glass, or magnet, or snow globe or that other souvenir you’re not using.