20 Things to Declutter from the Kitchen

Wood tray used to corral kitchen essentials.

Get your kitchen decluttered in no time with this kitchen decluttering checklist and decluttering tips. Free organization printable included!

The Kitchen Decluttering Challenge

Is your kitchen starting to feel cluttered and filled with items you don’t use? if so, I have a challenge for you! I find that doing a timed decluttering really helps me get things going when I am working on a room.  This is all about getting rid of as much stuff as you can in a dedicated amount of time {30 minutes works well for me}.  You are not emptying everything out of the cupboards, you are not taking a stroll down memory lane looking at all of your items, and you are NOT re-organizing during this time.  All you are focused on is looking at what you have and deciding what you can either donate, sell {be careful of this one as it can end up costing you more time and stress than it is worth!}, or throw out.


How to Get Started

To get started, all you need is a couple of boxes to hold items that you will be getting rid of and a large trash bag or two. You may also want to have a bin for items that you come across that belong elsewhere in your home, but that’s not really the focus of this particular challenge.  Once you’re ready to go, just set the timer and work in a systematic pattern around the room going quickly through all of your cupboards, drawers, and surfaces to see what you can get rid of.  I like working in one direction around the room but you could also work top to bottom if that works better for you. Pretend you are on a gameshow with the timer ticking and the audience cheering you on to gather as much stuff as possible!

This may not get rid of everything that you need to declutter, but it will be a good start and will save you time when it comes to actually cleaning out and organizing your cupboards and drawers.  I find that putting a timer on, gives it a little bit of urgency and helps me to make a gut decision rather than going back and forth about whether or not I really need the item.  Honestly, if you don’t immediately say “I use this” or “I love this”, it can probably go.  Spending time thinking about that “someday” situation that you may or may not need it, is not going to help anyone.

Questions to Ask Yourself When Decluttering

As you’re sorting through your items, try to work quickly and not put off making decisions about what you want to keep and what you will donate. If you’re feeling a bit stuck, try asking yourself these questions…

  • Do I use this?  You shouldn’t really have to think long about this.  You either use it or you don’t.  Take note that the question is NOT “Will I possibly use this one day?”.
  • Is this item extra?  How many wooden spoons do you really need?  Do you really use all four cookie sheets?  Evaluate what you need and use on a regular basis.  Remember that you can always borrow items from friends or family for those “one time” events.  Choose your favorite and donate the extras!
  • Would I buy this today?  I find that this is a really helpful questions when looking at decorative items.  Ask yourself if you still love it and if it is still your style.  Is it adding beauty or function to the space or is it just adding to the clutter?
  • Does this help to make my life easier?  There may be some items that you don’t really need, but you do use regularly and they help to simplify things.  For example, we have a rice maker that we use at least a couple of times per week.  Yes, I could make rice on the stove and get rid of the rice maker, but it really does help to make things run smoother.  You can definitely splurge on some items – just make sure they are useful to you!

20 Items to Declutter from the Kitchen

The following list is just a starting point to get you going.

  1. Cookbooks. Donate cookbooks that you no longer use.  For books that you only use one or two recipes, consider writing them out and storing them in a recipe box or binder rather than keeping the whole book.  If you keep recipe magazines, tear out the pages that you would like and store them in a binder.
  2. Wooden spoons or other cooking utensils.
  3. Dish towels. Go through all dish towels and discard those that are past their prime.  Evaluate your remaining towels to see if you actually need and use them all.  If not, donate them or use them for rags if they are not in good enough condition to donate.  Animal shelters are often happy to take larger dish towels.
  4. Baking Ware.  Look for extra, old, or unused cookie sheets, pie pans, muffin tins, etc.
  5. Cleaning Supplies. Take stock of your cleaning supplies and toss those that you no longer use.  If you have multiple bottles with the same product, combine them.  Place those bottles that are close to empty towards the front of your stash so you will use them up first.
  6. Mixing Bowls.  
  7. Countertops. Nothing makes your kitchen look messier than a cluttered countertop, and the clutter makes counters much more difficult to wipe down and keep clean.  Get rid of unneeded papers, small appliances that are not used on a regular basis {you could just store these away if you still use them periodically}, and decorative accessories that you do not love.
  8. Oven Mitts/Hot Pads.
  9. Spices. Chances are you have at least a few spices that you never use that are still lurking in your cupboards.  Toss any spices that you don’t use or have lost their flavor.  Try just stocking the basic spices that you use.  You can always look to buy a small amount of bulk spices if you need something for a particular recipe down the line.
  10. Corning ware.
  11. Pantry Items.  Toss anything that is opened that you won’t be using or items that are expired.  If you have other items stocked that you don’t think you will use, donate them to a food bank.
  12. Fridge/Freezer. Quickly toss items that are expired or look freezer burned. Check bottles for expiry dates – you may be surprised at what you find!
  13. Tupperware or other food storage. Match up lids and bottoms and toss anything that does not have a pair.  Donate any remaining items that you no longer need or use.
  14. Cutlery.
  15. Glasses and Coffee Mugs. Take stock of what you really need.  Recycle any chipped or broken glasses.  If you have extra, mis-matched pieces, let them go.  If you are a coffee mug collector, keep your favorites to put on display and donate the rest.
  16. Dishware.
  17. Kitchen Gadgets. Kitchen gadgets always sound so amazing, but are often seldom used.  Donate any items that you no longer use OR if the function can be done with another item that you already have.  Don’t save items for “someday” – keep only what you use.
  18. Small Kitchen Appliances.  If you don’t use it {or the task can really be done by another appliance}, donate or sell it.  You will get a big bang for your buck with these as they are often huge space suckers!
  19. Medicine/Vitamins. If you don’t already store your medicine here, the kitchen is a great spot for it as long as it is kept in a cooler spot away from the steam of the stove or other appliances.  Be sure all medications are up to date, you know what everything is for, and it is stored safely away from little hands.
  20. Junk Drawer. I think most of us have a “junk drawer” with miscellaneous items – just make sure you actually need what you keep!  Look for old batteries, extra office supplies, candles, tools, phone chargers or extra cords that you no longer use, etc.

Free Printable Kitchen Decluttering Checklist

If you’d like to print out your own decluttering checklist, just click on the link below, save it to your computer, and print it out. This printable coordinates with my Household Organization Diet printables, so you can just add them to your binder with your kitchen tasks.



If 30 minutes seems too short for this, remember that it is just a quick discard of all of those items that you are going to toss or donate. If you stick to the task at hand and work quickly, you will be surprised at what you can come up with!

More Kitchen Organization Ideas

For more kitchen organization ideas, check out these posts…

Under Kitchen Sink Organization

How to Organize the Kitchen

Fridge Organization

The Household Organization Diet

This post is part of The Household Organization Diet. If you need some organization inspiration, check out THIS POST  to learn more about the plan and grab your FREE room by room organization printables.  You CAN get that house cleaned and organized once and for all!  To see all of the previous posts click the Get Organized tab at the top of the blog and go to The Household Organization Diet.  I also have all of the posts pinned to my Household Organization Diet pinterest board.  Start at any time and make sure you are following along so you don’t miss out…


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