Kitchen clutter can happen at any time of the year, but especially during the holidays when there is extra food shopping, baking and big family dinners.
Spring cleaning is right around the corner, and now is a good time to get a jumpstart in the kitchen and create more space. If you’ve purchased online items, save the boxes they come in and put them near the door of your kitchen that leads to the garage.
While doing your holiday baking, look for one item in each cupboard that you can “part” with and put it in the box. This is a great exercise that will make you aware of the things you have that you are not using.
Lots of people have multiple sets of kitchen items that were given as gifts over the years, or they got a heck of a deal on something at a yard sale. Or maybe they merged two households, or inherited items from Mom or Grandma. Truth is nobody needs two toasters. Get rid of one.
Get rid of Duplicates
Get rid of extra versions of anything – utensils, knives, sets of dishes, storage containers, Coffee mugs, serving bowls, dinner trays, cookie sheets, pie tins, and china and so on.
Get rid of small appliances that you haven’t used in the last year. A panini press may seem like a novel idea, but you can also create a panini in a frying pan and free up the space the sandwich maker is taking in your pantry, especially if you never use it.
Manage Excess Food
If you’re blessed enough to have excess food in your pantry that you are not using there are a couple of ways to deal with it.
- Eat it. Don’t go grocery shopping for a couple of weeks and don’t eat out. Force yourself to feed your family the food in your fridge, freezer and pantry.
- Go through and toss out all outdated food.
- Give it away. If it’s not outdated but you are unlikely to use the food in the next 30 days, give it away. There are food pantries and soup kitchens that accept food and re distribute it to the hungry.
- Pull out all the sauces, seasoning packets, boxes of noodles, mac and cheese, cake mixes, boxes of cereal, Jello, drink mixes, tea bags, canned goods, unopened packages of beans, rice, lentils, and quinoa that you’re not using, and put them in a separate box by the door.
- Then when you leave the house, take the box(s) with you. Drop boxes of kitchen items at your local Goodwill (find a local donation center near you at Goodwill.com) or thrift store and donate the food to a local pantry. You can find a pantry near you at: www.ampleharvest.org
If you’re not using the stuff you’re getting rid of, you won’t miss it and you will have much more space in your kitchen.
#itsagoodidea and living well just got easy.
Goodwill – www.Goodwill.com
Ample Harvest – www.AmpleHarvest.org
Photo Credit: Angela Brown