1) Expired Food
I encourage you to go through your pantry, spices and fridge, you will be shocked at how much expired food there is! Well, at least I was when I went through my kitchen. When I googled the shelf life of spices and saw that it averages 24 months max, most of my spices had to go in the trash. Go through your fridge, pantry, spice cabinet and anywhere else that you store food. You will be amazed how much has to be thrown away! Perhaps this will help keep your grocery bill down, after realizing how much you threw away.
2) Utensils that you never use
When you sort your utensil drawer you will discover that there are some that you hardly ever use. Do I use my apple slicer? Yes, all of the time! I could do without all of the plastic serving spoons that I somehow had accumulated seven of. Only you and whoever cooks in your house can determine what is essential in your kitchen, but I am pretty sure there are some utensils that are not being used.
3) Condiments from take out restaurants
How many times to you keep all of the ketchup, soy sauce, and hot sauce? ALL. THE. TIME. How many times do you use these condiments days or weeks later? Oh, I already know the answer – NEVER! Get rid of all of them. The next time you order take out they will give you all of these packets again.
4) Extra Travel Mugs
I don’t know how a family of five has accumulated a gazillion travel mugs, but we have managed to do that! One of the drawers in my kitchen cabinets became the “travel mug” drawer. The excess I keep in our walk-in pantry. My plan is to give visitors a beverage to go when they leave my house and put it in one of the extra travel mugs. Since we live 2-4 hours away from most of our friends and family, I’m sure the coffee in the travel mugs will be a welcomed gesture.
5) Chipped or Broken Dishes and Glassware
First of all, it is unsanitary to use if dishes have a crack in them. Many of us try to save something if it’s part of a set, I mean how are you going to serve the 8th person at a dinner party? Here’s a little secret of what I did for Thanksgiving last year when we were having 10 guests and I wanted a uniform table. Our everyday dishes are Fiesta, which are bright colors and the beauty of it is they are very sturdy, but I don’t have many of the same color. I went to the Dollar Store and bought clear glass plates and matching glasses and even stemless wine glasses. The total cost was around $30 for a gorgeous holiday table setting including the tablecloth, runner, chargers, etc. They are stored away for the next holiday gathering in a plastic bin in the basement.
6) Old linens
Do you have old kitchen towels that are ripped or stained? Toss them out now! Go buy a couple from Target, Walmart or wherever you shop. Sometimes we don’t pay attention to the everyday items that we use, we go through our day just doing the motions. I started to get organized when I decided to take back my home. Out went the old tattered and worn looking things and in came the bright, cheery and colorful!
7) Bakeware that you no longer use
So, when I was pregnant with my oldest son, almost 25 years ago, I decided to purchase a gingerbread house mold for the holidays. My oldest brother had competed in a gingerbread contest in Germany when he was in his 20’s. It ran in my blood, right? Well, I didn’t take into account my pregnancy hormones were in full swing! I tried to make it by myself which was my 1st problem, secondly, I don’t have a lot of patience to begin with, and had even less while trying to build the gingerbread house! So I became discouraged and took both sides of the house and folded it into itself, destroying it. It went straight into the garbage! My son is now 24 years old, I still have the mold but have not attempted to make another one since! See where I’m coming from? Throw it out or donate if you haven’t used it in 25 years!
8) Lidless containers
We all know that we have multiple containers in our kitchens that are missing lids! Are you going to use the container without the lid? Possibly, but if you KNOW that you are not going to – throw it out, or even give it to Goodwill, but get it out of your kitchen!
9) Junk Drawers
If you have more than one junk drawer in your kitchen then you need to consolidate! Did you giggle at the notion of having more than one junk drawer, then you don’t have that problem. If you totally understand what that means then this tip is for you! I mean, how many pens do you need? I must admit, I am a pen snob, but you really need two pens tops in the kitchen! Go through those drawers and dump everything on your countertop.
10) Pots and pans that you don’t use
If you are like how I was before I started getting organized, then you have some pots and pans that you haven’t used in a few years! I have my favorites, but somehow I have collected some pots that I don’t love. By the way, the culinary industry has changed different aspects of cookware over the years. For a few years non-stick coating was all the rage, then it was decided that certain coatings were unsafe…get rid of anything you are unsure about rather than keeping it “just in case”.
This list is just a start for anyone looking for some kitchen organization tips. Check out my Facebook page for more tips at http://www.facebook.com/raineydayorg. What kitchen organization ideas have worked for you? Please share with us below.