20 Things You Can Purge From Your Kitchen Cabinets Without a Second Thought

De-clutter your kitchen cabinets in just 10 minutes. 

Unless you're a diehard Disney fan, you probably don't need that commemorative Mickey mug from your family's 1997 trip to Disney World that's been lurking in the back of your kitchen cabinet for decades. Or that branded water bottle from your cousin's 5K run. And don't even get us started on those plastic food containers with missing lids. It's normal for kitchen cabinets to get cluttered with items you rarely use, but considering what prime real estate these cabinets are, it's worth it to declutter them—making it easier to extend your kitchen storage. To jumpstart the process, here are 20 things you can get rid of right now and never miss.

Things to Declutter from Kitchen Cabinets: neatly organized cabinet
Getty Images
01 of 20

Promotional Water Bottles

There's that water bottle from your company retreat 10 years ago, one from a theme park, and another from a sporting event. Sort through the stash, only keeping the water bottles you and your family use. Keep in mind that older plastic bottles may contain BPA, an industrial chemical used to manufacture plastic products that have been found to cause a variety of health problems.

02 of 20

Extra Mugs

Without even realizing it, it's easy for mugs to take over your kitchen cabinets. And thanks to their bulky handles, they can quickly monopolize the available space. Start by removing all of the mugs, only replacing those you truly use and donating the rest.

If you have no intention of consolidating your mug collection, consider installing mug hooks underneath the cabinet instead. This design frees up cabinet space, while leaving your prized collection out on display.

03 of 20

Mismatched Plastic Containers

Remove all of the plastic food containers from the cabinet, matching up lids and bases. Containers without lids? Lids without bases? Toss any of the mismatched pieces that are cluttering up valuable cabinet space.

04 of 20

Chipped Cups and Dishes

Maybe there are chipped plates you haven't wanted to part ways with or a tea cup with a broken handle you've been meaning to glue. Now's the time to toss out this potentially dangerous dishware—it'll simplify the process of organizing your dishes.

05 of 20

Rarely Used Small Appliances

If you find it hard to let go of appliances you're sure you'll use one day, let the two-year rule be your guide. If you've had the appliance for at least two years and haven't used it once in the past 24 months, it's time to donate it.

Maybe you only break out your KitchenAid mixer to make holiday cookies, but if two winters have gone by and it is still collecting dust, it may be time to donate it or sell it online.

06 of 20

Expired (Hint: Flavorless) Spices

Sorry to say it, but your spices are probably expired. Not to worry; they won't make you sick, but they have probably lost flavor. Go through your spices and make a list of long-expired ones to replace. Never use a certain spice? Don't bother with the replacement—you just gained a little more room in the cabinet.

07 of 20

Takeout Menus and Condiment Packs

File paper takeout menus under things you no longer need in the year 2023. Most restaurants will have their menus online, either on their website, available via Seamless or another meal delivery app.

Then, take a look at the assortment of condiments packs and plastic cutlery you've accumulated from those takeout orders. Toss those, too—or repurpose the chopsticks.

08 of 20

Holiday Specific Items

A Santa mug or pumpkin-shaped serving bowl shouldn't be taking up space in your kitchen come March. Stash them away with your holiday decorations every year, then enjoy them again when 'tis the season.

09 of 20

Duplicate Tools

Obviously, we're not staying stick to a single spatula or serving spoon. But when's the last time you needed two garlic presses or meat thermometers simultaneously? Choose your favorite and give the other one away for a quick and painless way to declutter your kitchen cabinets.

10 of 20

Pans With Peeling Coating

Dingy bakeware and cookware can be cleaned to get it back into the shape, but once the finish is peeling off of nonstick cookware, it's likely that you'll get some of those flakes into your food—which could be a major safety concern in addition to the ick factor. Replace them with something new and avoid damaging mistakes to keep your nonstick cookware in shape.

11 of 20

Rarely Used Cookbooks

Cookbooks are major real estate hogs. Clear out any you haven't cooked from in more than a year. And if there are some you only make a recipe or two from, snap a pic or scan the pages. You can gather your all-time favorite recipes in a binder, and give out the cookbooks for others to discover.

12 of 20

Past Their Prime Kitchen Towels

Kitchen towels with major stains, rips, or fraying around the edges can be saved for the rag bin—not taking up prime real estate in your kitchen drawers.

13 of 20

Specialty Cookware

We know you had grand visions of homemade crepes or Sunday night paella after your vacation. But you probably have a more basic pan that'll do in a pinch when you're really craving fondue or tagine. (Honestly, your passport will probably expire before you actually use the cookware.)

14 of 20

Outgrown Kids' Stuff

Give the sippy cups, plastic tableware, or kiddie sandwich cutters you're no longer using to an appreciative new mom on your local Buy Nothing group to help you declutter your kitchen cabinets fast.

15 of 20

Scratched Up Cutting Boards

Bacteria can hang out in all those nicks and gouges (and get into your food). So once your cutting board looks beat up, it's time to retire it for your safety.

16 of 20

Expired Anything

That can of lentils from 2015 has to go—as does that bag of marshmallows that somehow melded into one mega marshmallow.

17 of 20

Most of Your Junk Drawer

Even after you've cleared out the condiment packs and takeout menus, there's probably more you can nix from your junk drawer (or at least, shift to a different part of the house). Think outdated phone chargers, loose coins, old matchbooks, dirty or crumpled cupcake liners, loose birthday candles, etc.

18 of 20

Excess Vases

If you've been lucky enough to get flower arrangements, you've probably collected a lot of those basic glass vases. Either repurpose them somewhere else (they make clever storage for shower steamers or bath bombs in the bathroom, or pens and scissors at your desk), or give them away.

19 of 20

Unloved Snacks

If your kids weren't into those protein bars, they aren't going to get better with age. If it's a full, unopened, and unexpired package, you might be able to donate them to a food pantry. Otherwise, offer them to friends or a Buy Nothing group.

20 of 20

Anything That's Broken

If you haven't fixed it yet, it isn't going to happen.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles