21 Easy Ways To Clear Out Your Kitchen


This year, as I’ve written about previously, we started the Great Home Purge of 2016. Since I’ve been systematically going through every nook and cranny of our house, I’ve come up with quite the list of things I could have just thrown away from the get-go, rather than keeping for ten years.

To make purging (and life) easier for you, I’ve put together a list of items from your kitchen area that you can get rid of TODAY—with little to no guilt.

Extra cups/mugs
You know those ones you get free, everywhere? How many of them do you use? A good rule of thumb is to keep enough for each family member to have two. That way, you have one in the dishwasher and one in use—at all times (and, when you have company, and they’re all clean, you have extras to accommodate).


Plastic cutlery from restaurants
If you didn’t use it the day you got it, chances are you’re not going to do so. I used to save these “just in case”—but you know what? Every SINGLE time I get take-out, I get MORE cutlery. If I’m bringing the food home, I will usually tell restaurants now that I don’t need utensils.

Extra plates/bowls
Like the cups, keep enough for each family member to have two, and get rid of the rest.

Old spices
Spices don’t spoil, but they do lose their flavor. Seasonings are good for 1-2 years, herbs/ground spices for 1-3, and whole spices for up to 4.

spice bottles kitchen NMB

Expired food
I try to go through my cabinets, fridge, and pantry every few weeks to get rid of expired food. This is also a good way to see if you’re being wasteful in your food budget. Are you buying a lot of things that you’re never cooking? Might be time to change that habit. (I have been SO guilty of this!)

Mismatched plastic storage or plastic storage you don’t use
You know those little containers that never quite fit anything? You know the ones. Get rid of them!

Duplicate kitchen utensils
Do you need two potato mashers? How about 3 sets of tongs?

Duplicate measuring spoons/cups
Wash, dry, and reuse the ones you have.

Obscure bakeware
You know how you bought that pan shaped like a train for your kid’s birthday party that one time? If you haven’t used it after that “one time,” it doesn’t make the cut to be something you keep.

Unless you’ve make a recipe out of the book in the last 2 months, most recipes can be found online.

Old candy from Halloween/Easter/birthday parties
Do I really need to explain this one? Didn’t think so.

That bag of chip clips and twisty ties
How many bags of chips do you have open at one time?

Paper plates
Same as plastic cutlery—use them or lose them.


Fancy serve ware
Unless you are the hostess with the mostess, chances are they’re collecting dust. *Note: By all means, hang on to these it they’re sentimental. I won’t get rid of the cake knife and server from our wedding, though I have never used it since.

Duplicate/extra knives

Place mats/tablecloths/napkins/napkin rings
If you don’t regularly/seasonally use them, you don’t need them.

Kid’s tableware they’ve outgrown
My kid is 5. I don’t need a cabinet full of sippy cups!

Travel mugs, if you don’t regularly travel
If you do regularly travel, keep a few—ditch the rest.

Any kind of sauce packets from fast food restaurants
Ketchup, soy sauce, ranch dressing . . . you get the picture.

Broken gadgets/gadgets missing pieces
You’re not going to fix it. You know it. Get rid of it.

Gadgets you haven’t used in a year
Waffle irons are nice . . . if you regularly eat waffles.

Beer koozies
If you must, keep one for each grown up in the house. Guests can bring their own!

Any kind of “swag” kitchen items
My husband is in sales. He’s only been doing this for a few months, and we’ve already gained quite the collection of mugs and water bottles. Add that to the school cups and water bottles, the blender bottles we get free with purchase of protein powder . . . it adds up to a whole lot of stuff that we don’t need very quickly!!

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Amy is a Northernor by birth, but please don’t hold it against her! Amy has called Middle Tennessee home for over twenty years and couldn’t picture raising a family anywhere else! Today, Amy lives just outside of Nashville with her husband of over seven years (JP), her four year old spitfire of a daughter (Lily), and their eleven-year-old-but-still-acts-like-a-puppy black lab (Alley). It’s a daily toss up as to who rules their house—Lily or the dog—and Amy has many funny stories to prove the battles. Amy is a working mama by day—a fraud and suspicious activities investigator at a local, community bank, and a jack-of-all-trades by night and weekend. She loves crafts, music, the outdoors, saving money and bargain hunting, gardening (and all the canning, freezing, and preserving that comes with it), comic books, and anything upcycled, recycled, or DIY, and she’s just crunchy enough to call herself a hippie. She can often be found perusing yard sales, flea markets, Pinterest, and Etsy, looking for her next big project, or playing superheroes, painting, or playing outside with Lily. Currently, Amy and her husband are on a quest to find the best burger in Nashville and love visiting all the fantastic foodie spots this great city has to offer!


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