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8 Kitchen Items You Can Banish Right Now (and Feel Great About After)


Woman opening refrigerator in bright and sunny family kitchen
The first day of spring is rapidly approaching and I’ve been overcome with a frenetic energy to get rid of everything that’s not contributing to my life anymore. That means reaching back to the recesses of the cabinets, digging into the depths of the freezer, and questioning anything that take up kitchen real estate. Arguably, everything that takes up physical space also occupies mental space, which is quite a revelation if you think about how much clutter you possess.

Ask yourself: Why not be free of it? After all, spring is the season of renewal. In order to welcome new kitchen design/decor projects, we must first make room for them. Here are eight things in your kitchen that have gotten totally stale. Time to hit the refresh button!

1. Crappy Tupperware

I opened a drawer and it was a visual assault of cheapo takeout containers plus real but orphaned Tupperware pieces. The drawer stopped closing because several lids slipped into the black hole behind the drawer. Solution: After removing the entire drawer and fishing out the lids, I ditched the takeout containers (harmful to microwave anyway,) threw away anything I didn’t have a matching set (lid + container) of, and stacked all the lids together up against the inside front of the drawer to avoid losing them again.

2. Freezer-burned food

Like, ew. Just toss it. You’ll never eat those Parmesan pigs-in-a-blanket pastry puffs you bought once for a party anyway. Solution: If you have loose items like hamburger buns, simply put them in a Ziploc bag and label with a Sharpie.

3. Ineffective cleaning products

Peek under your sink. I know it’s scary, but take a hard look at what’s there. I personally have a vinegar-y cleaning solution that my mom made which smells just terrible. Tossed. Also, all my cleaning products were half knocked over like a set of sad bowling pins that someone forgot to reset. Solution: After making edits to my cleaning arsenal, I corralled it all into a clear plastic box. That way, any rings left over by liquids or spills are contained and don’t damage my cabinetry.

4. Cookbooks you never cook from

Cookbooks are known for being vibrant and colorful. No one gets excited about making a pasta dish from a black and white photograph. However, that means that all the cookbooks you’ve hoarded over the years may be causing a visual traffic jam on your kitchen shelf. Solution: Get rid of the cookbooks you haven’t opened in a year and rearrange the remaining ones by color, light to dark from left to right. You’ll be amazed at what a difference it makes.

5. Multiples!

I have two vegetable peelers! And two wine bottle openers. Why?? Solution: throw everything extra you have in a bag and give it to someone who just moved into their first apartment and is just starting from scratch.

6. Chipped cups, old pots and pans

One day, I left something boiling for too long in a pot. The result was a very burnt bottom. My frying pan is in a similar condition. Pots and pans have shelf lives and it’s probably not healthy to keep cooking with them. Solution? Trash them and buy new ones. You can get great deals at discount stores like Home Goods or Marshalls.

7. Mold or grease buildup in grout

So this last one isn’t a kitchen item, per se but definitely something you need to banish. The tiling on my kitchen floor and backsplash needs a good cleaning after splashes of oil and food stain buildup. Solution? I plan to tackle them with my secret weapon: Magic Erasers!

8. That thing you paid too much for but never use

Hate to break it to you, but keeping it isn’t going to bring your money back. One Christmas, my dad bought me a gorgeous white KitchenAid stand mixer. I had hopes and dreams of making homemade Chinese dumplings. The mixer also looked really impressive just sitting on my marble counter. But each time I looked at it I was just reminded that I wasn’t ever going to make the dumplings. Instead of living with the guilt of not using the mixer, I gave it to my mom who gleefully kneads loaves of fresh bread with it each week.

If you’re still having trouble parting with items, this is just an emotional barrier that you can totally get past. Remember, you don’t have to throw everything away. Better to pass some items along to people who will actually get joy out of them. What have you banished already?

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