Feeling like your kitchen is a little cramped? The quickest way to make room doesn’t have anything to do with an expensive or time-consuming remodeling project. All you have to do is eliminate some of the clutter that’s in your way! Let’s face it, do we really need mountains of plastic Tupperware and a magnet with the number of every pizza place in town? Probably not. To make some much-needed room in our cluttered kitchens, try tossing out these 15 household items that are taking up space.

1. Expired Canned Goods

Pile of canned good.Huffington Post

This seems like an obvious one, but take a look in your pantry. You may be surprised to find some old cans of soup, beans, and tomato puree that are a couple months past due. Honestly, non-perishables tend to pile up, and sometimes we forget how long we’ve been holding onto them.

Take a look at the expiration dates on your canned goods and make sure to toss any that are past their sell-by date. It will save you an incredible amount of pantry space.

2. Barely Used Cookbooks

Pile of cookbooks.Serious Eats

We get it. You feel obligated to own a few cookbooks, maybe to impress your parents or to convince yourself that you can cook more than plain, buttered pasta. If this is the case, fess up: these books are just cluttering up your kitchen. Donate them to the library, give them to a friend of yours who is a cooking fiend, or give them to a local charity that collects books.

Where will you find your week night recipes? Pinterest is your new best friend.

If you genuinely love your cookbooks, don’t get rid of them! Try storing them in your bedroom, office, or living room so you’re not taking up too much room in the kitchen.

3. Knife Blocks

Upright knife block.John Lewis

A huge waste of counter space in many homes is a knife block. While this is a classy way to store your knives, not everyone has the counter space to spare. If you’re tight on kitchen space, nix the knife block! You can just as easily store your knives with your other utensils. (It won’t look quite as pretty, but it’ll do the job.)

4. Specialized Appliances


You know that apple peeler or margarita maker or garlic press that you swore you’d use? But then you stored it away in your cabinet and haven’t seen it since? Yeah, those can leave your kitchen, stat.

If you’re willing to get rid of those one-off appliances, we suggest selling them online! Whether it’s eBay or your town’s online yard sale page, you can get some great money for those random and seemingly useless appliances.

5. Plastic Grocery Bags

DIY vomit bag for your car.HouseholdHacker

Few things pile up as ferociously as plastic garbage bags. While we don’t suggest throwing these bags away (because that would be downright wasteful) there are a lot of fun, useful ways you can use/store garbage bags instead!

Otherwise, we definitely suggest finding a store, like Walmart or Target, that takes and recycles plastic bags. You can search for your nearest plastic bag recycling store here.

6. Reusable Grocery Bags

Reusable grocery bags.Bill Track

Okay, just hear us out. We understand that these reusable bags are not just great for the environment, but they also help to reduce the clutter of plastic grocery bags. However, they also encourage clutter themselves!

So what are you to do? It’s simple! Move your reusable bags to the back seat or trunk of your car. Let’s face it, this will help you actually remember to USE these bags when you go shopping.

7. Refrigerator Magnets

Fridge cluttered with magnets.Bianca Stroher

A few refrigerator magnets can be fun! But slapping every promotional magnet that comes your way on your fridge is a surefire way to create a look of disorganization and clutter in your kitchen. Go through your fridge decorations and try to toss some of the ones you don’t care for.

8. Random Mugs

hanging mug holder standHGTV

This is one item I myself have a difficult time parting with; I love my small collection of mismatched mugs and refused to part with any of them for years. But once you start to lose cabinet space to an overflowing shelf of mugs (most of which you’ve never used) it starts to get a little ridiculous.

If you have a similar issue, go through your mug collection. Any mugs that are stained or chipped, toss. Any mugs that you’ve never used, sell or store them somewhere else.

9. Fast Food Menus

Frame Menu Board EditedShareably

You love pizza. Who doesn’t? But none of us really need the delivery menu of every pizza place in their tri-county area. If you have a couple favorite spots, hold onto their menus; try storing them somewhere out of sight, so they don’t cause the appearance of clutter.

Otherwise, we highly suggest just using the internet to look up the menus of local restaurants! It’s time to bring your cluttered kitchen into 2016, people.

10. Last Year’s Holiday Cards


There are definitely some holiday cards that are worth holding onto for a few months; that one of your niece doing something adorable or your friends’ dog are admittedly too cute to toss out right away. But as holiday season begins to approach yet again, you have to reevaluate holding onto year-old holiday cards.

If the cards are that important to you, we highly suggest scrap booking them or putting them in a photo album or memory box. However, if you’ve just been too lazy to take them off your fridge and put them into the trash, you’re out of excuses.

11. Spare Kitchen Knives

knife minced garlic cutting boardJames Ransom

Most professional chefs use about three to five knives for any and all meals they need to make. So if you, someone who is not a professional chef, owns 10 knives…you may have some fat to trim in that department.

Luckily, knives that are in good shape sell very well online; you can easily get $4 – $99 dollars for a well-maintained kitchen knife.

12. Random Utensils


Like those random appliances you bought and never opened, your drawer or crock is most likely overflowing with utensils you don’t use. This is a pretty easy one to take care of, though!

Go through your utensils, putting to the side things you use regularly. When you’re left with those random bits and pieces, sort them into three piles: specialized utensils that you need to keep (like a baster for Thanksgiving), utensils you don’t need and can donate/sell, and utensils you don’t need and can throw away.

13. Expired Spices

spices on a spinning plateI Am A Baker

Similar to your canned goods are your spices. Your cabinet is probably full of them and it’s very difficult to tell when they’ve expired. The best way to tell if you should toss or keep a spice is to give it a smell; if you can’t smell anything, then the spice has gone bad and you can throw it away to make some space.

14. Flower Vases


Having one or two flower vases is probably a good thing to keep around the kitchen, but do you really need four or five cluttering up your cabinets? We don’t think so. Flower vases are a great thing to donate, sell to Goodwill, or even give to your local florist!

15. Plastic Containers

How to organize your Tupperware cabinet.DoItOnaDime

Possibly the most infamous source of kitchen clutter: plastic Tupperware containers. If you have to battling a falling mountain of containers each time you open up your cabinet, it’s time to take charge.

Go through the plastic containers you have and start by tossing out any that are stained or smelly. This will probably eliminate some right off the bat. Sort through what you have left and organized the containers you intend on keeping; if you have some containers that you almost never use, put them off to the side to donate them.

It may seem impossible, but with a little motivation, you can tame the Tupperware avalanche.


What do you think of this de-cluttering technique? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below.