What once was an immaculate and pristine kitchen can quickly become a shell of itself if the clutter continues to accumulate. The good news is that there are many things in your kitchen currently that you can part with without much concern. If you have any of these items you no longer need to store in your kitchen, you know what’s left to do.
Spices and Oils
We’ve all made delicious meals that require unique spices and oils to achieve an authentic taste. While you likely went out of your way to locate and purchase these special ingredients, they can sit on your shelves for months without use.
For oils, toss them out if you can’t find their expiration date or if they have a funky smell. You can test your spices by putting a few shakes of the spice on your fingers and rubbing them together. You should be able to smell the distinctive scent of the spice. If not, it’s time to toss it out.
Akin to the oils and spices that make authentic cultural cuisine is the basic baking ingredients you might use once in a blue moon. Someone is reading this right now that has molasses (mmmm gingerbread) and shortening from making holiday cookies last December. Do yourself and your pantry shelves a favor and toss these old ingredients in the garbage.
While these goodies have a long shelf life, you do want to check them to ensure that they are still fresh and insect-free. If not, it’s time to let them go and clear out your pantry.
Food Storage Containers
So many of us fall into the trap of having a gazillion plastic containers with no lids in sight, or vice versa. Instead of hoping the other half of the equation magically appears in your cabinets overnight, it’s time to ditch the hodgepodge for storage containers. Doing so will free up valuable storage space in your cabinets, allowing you to keep more precious items worthy of keeping.
Glassware may look pretty when it’s on display in your kitchen, but you likely wait for a special occasion to pull it out. Most people have one cup, mug, glass, or bottle that they sip on beverages from regularly, leaving behind a wealth of unused items.
You can put anything chipped, cracked, or stained to pasture. If it has sentimental value but is rarely used, it’s wise to keep it in a storage container or display it elsewhere rather than leave it in the kitchen.
Specific Pots and Pans
Separate the useful from the useless among your pots, pans, and baking dishes. Discard any peeling or damaged non-stick cookware that’s on its last legs. Rather than throw away rarely used specialty pans, you can donate them to someplace that could use them.
After you have your pile of keepers in front of you, organize them to ensure each one is in good condition and justify your reasoning for keeping it.
Taking inventory of your kitchen alerts you to the items you no longer need to store. When you eliminate all that clutter, it’ll feel like a breath of fresh air.