How to Declutter the Kitchen

Declutter the kitchen with ease with these simple tips!

Do you feel like your kitchen is getting smaller and smaller as it fills up with item after item… after item, that you have barely any counter space left?

Is it getting harder for you to find what you need while you cook?

If you find yourself nodding to the questions above, then you need a good kitchen decluttering session!

But deciding what to keep, what to donate, and what to throw away is not as easy as people make it sound. It can get very hard to determine to which pile an item should go to – especially in the kitchen where almost every item seems to be a useful one.

So, here is a list of simple tips that will give you a good start on how to declutter your kitchen!

1. Check for duplicates.

Extras and duplicates can be taking up a lot of precious space in your kitchen.

For instance, someone bought you a new coffee maker but you are still keeping your old one – just in case. If it has been several months and you still have not used a duplicate item, consider giving it away or donating it instead. You might not need it after all.

It doesn’t mean you can’t keep duplicates every now and then. But when it comes to the kitchen, you’ve got to be wise especially when you have a small kitchen with limited storage space.

2. Prioritize items with multiple uses.

For kitchen tools and appliances, prioritize those that have multiple uses. You can get rid of the single-function items.

For instance, choose to keep storage containers that can be used both in the fridge and the oven instead of keeping separate containers for each purpose.

Another example is if you already have a microwave oven, you do not need to keep a toaster oven or a bread toaster around since the microwave can do its work and it has more features.

For more ideas on this, check out our post: Kitchen Appliances List: Essentials & Non Essentials

3. Downsize your tableware.

Tableware such as plates, mugs, bowls, glasses, utensils, and the likes can easily fill up your kitchen cabinets and cupboards.

It does not make sense to have cutlery, silverware, and crockery for 20 people when there are only four of you in the family. Keep enough of what you need in a daily meal and just a few spares in case of breakage or visitors.

You may be thinking, “what if I have a party?” You can always buy recyclable and disposable versions. At least those will not clutter up your kitchen for years. Unless you often host large gatherings in your place, you should downsize your tableware.

Understandably, you may have unique tableware pieces such as your Wedding China or gifts and souvenirs from friends. In cases like this, it is best to move them out of the kitchen – perhaps a display case in the dining room.

Trust me, you will be surprised how much space you have once you get rid of all the spare tableware!

4. Store rarely-used items out of the kitchen.

This is a key advice when you declutter the kitchen. If you have items that you barely use but do not want to dispose of, find ways to store them out of the kitchen. These items could be anything from a waffle iron, a yogurt maker, or disposable utensils. This gives you more storage room for the things that you use in the kitchen all the time.

You can keep items in their original boxes and store them in the basement or garage. Or get a metal rack for all these items and other seasonal appliances in your home and store these also in the basement or garage.

5. Downsize your cookware.

If you have a huge variety of cookware in your kitchen, you should consider getting rid of some of them. You can actually multitask with just a few pots and pans!

For instance, a small pot may seem convenient and easy to wash but you can actually do the same functions with a medium pot. You may get rid of the small pot and keep the medium one instead. The same logic can be applied with pans.

6. Identify your culinary strengths.

Know what you are good at in the kitchen and keep the items that you use for it.

For instance, if you know you are not good at baking and you never really bake, then you should get rid of special baking items like your baking pans.

You can always borrow special cooking items from your relatives and friends.

how to declutter the kitchen - Identify your culinary strengths
image from THE DENVER POST

7. Check your food items.

Food items can sometimes clutter up your kitchen – especially if you have a small kitchen and you do not have a separate pantry.

There are food items that we do not consume. For instance, there are vegetable-based chips that you are not fond of. Of course, you do not want to toss out good food so they end up in storage where they are left to expire.

You still end up wasting it, though.

Toss anything that is no longer edible and donate what is still edible but you know you will not consume any time soon. You can find a local food bank that can make good use of your food supplies.

Make it a habit to do this routine as needed to make sure you are not wasting any food and to keep them from cluttering your kitchen.

This is very true in our case. We have a tiny kitchen and food easily clutter up the counters and the dining table if I’m not attentive to it. Sometimes it feels like I always have to declutter the kitchen. But when I see that no food is wasted, I know it’s all worth it!

8. Donate your cookbooks.

You may love collecting cookbooks but only use two to three recipes from each book. The thing is, cookbooks can easily fill up your shelves and you can use all that space for more important things.

Consider writing down your favorite recipes and make a recipe notebook. Or scan them, print them, then put them together in a binder instead of keeping the whole book. This will help lessen the clutter in your kitchen – especially if it looks like you are holding a mini library in the room with your cookbooks.

Donate your cookbooks
image from DECOR PAD

9. Check your spice rack.

Do you tend to hoard spices? Like when you always have this feeling that you need to buy this or that just in case a recipe calls for it. The truth is, most of these spices barely get used and end up getting expired.

Although a wide array of spices may look impressive, you end up wasting most of them. It is best to stick to the basics and the ones that you always use and just buy the rare ones when you truly need them.

10. Reduce your plasticware containers.

Do you stock up on Tupperware and plastic containers? It helps to reduce these too!

Take everything out and determine which ones have lids and which ones do not. Check for cracks or chipped edges.

Keep the ones that are still in good condition in your kitchen. Then donate the rest or find ways to reuse them for some other DIY project.

11. Check your kitchen linens.

If you have a storage space dedicated for kitchen linens such as aprons, kitchen towels, oven mitts, trivets, dishrags, and potholders, also check it out for decluttering.

check your kitchen linens

Throw away those that have been torn or burnt. Throw away dishrags that are already tattered, stained, or worn.

If possible just keep out a few items that can be used at the moment and store the rest in another room.

12. Do not think of the price.

When you declutter the kitchen (and this applies to other rooms too), you may feel it difficult letting go of things that you have spent so much money on. This is pretty understandable because… well… it’s hard-earned money, after all.

Do not think of the price
image from PIXABAY

However, just because you spent a lot of money on an item does not mean you have to keep it forever. Never overestimate the value of your items based on the price tag alone.

The money you spent on the item has been long gone but the space it is taking up is real. If it is not being used, accept it, it’s a waste, and it should go.

If the item is still in good condition, maybe you can sell it as secondhand item. This is one way to try to get back a portion of what you have spent. Or, give it away to a friend who will use it. In her hands, it’s no longer a waste.

13. Have you used it in the past 6 months?

Another useful tip when it comes to deciding what items to keep when you declutter the kitchen is to do the 6-month check.

If you have not used the item in the last 6 months then toss it or donate it. Dust gathering on the items is a telltale sign for you.

Decluttering the kitchen doesn’t have to be a nightmare.

I hope with these tips, deciding what to keep and what to get rid of have become much simpler for you.

But do remember that when you declutter the kitchen, it is an ongoing process. You have to do it again every few months to keep clutter in check! We don’t want clutter to keep coming back, and then start all over again.


Need help decluttering the kitchen? Here’s a printable checklist! Sign up and download the Mini Declutter Workbook and it’s yours FREE of charge!

Download it here!


Looking for useful organization tips for the kitchen? Check out these posts!

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