I impatiently snapped the clean but worn kitchen towel in my hand. I hated that I all of my dishtowels were faded and yucky. I decided to clean out the drawer so I could buy new.
Guess what? I had more than enough kitchen towels I thought were too pretty to use (Help me - I’m turning into my mother!) I felt like I had more items not less because I can find the nice towels easily and use the pretty ones every day.
7 Ideas for Easy Kitchen Spring Cleaning and Clutter Busting
1. Reusable travel coffee mugs. We had several freebies that leak and stained our clothes and car seats. I gave up the small army of free travel mugs and bought two stainless steel travel coffee mugs with leak proof lids per person. I have a clean car, clothes, and having a limited amount also keeps the kitchen sink from being cluttered up with dirty travel coffee mugs waiting for a hand wash.
I like Contigo Stainless Steel Travel Mugs (from Amazon) because they are sturdy, the lids don’t leak, and the metal mug keeps beverages hotter longer.
2. Reusable water bottles. When I open a cupboard and an avalanche of water bottles falls out of the cupboard and onto my head it is time to purge.
- Stainless steel bottles – keep 2. I don’t have to worry if the liners have BPA in them like some aluminum water bottles. Metal water bottles keep drinks cold longer.
- BPA free plastic water bottles – keep 4. ( I was outvoted on the number to keep) Husband likes to freeze water in a plastic water bottle to carry to keep him cool while running in summer. If we are traveling with a cooler, we fill them with ice to use as ice packs and can drink the water after they melt.
- Leaking, cracked, and non BPA free plastic water bottles - recycle. Hello extra shelf space! An embarrassing amount of new shelf space I might add.
3. Pens and pencils in the junk drawer. Most of the pens and pencils were again, freebies from events. Many were out of ink and were either tossed or refilled. I kept about 10 and filled a gallon Ziploc bag with the rest and sold it at a yard sale.
4. Storage containers. We have small army of repurposed containers for leftovers and I hope we aren’t the only ones who can’t find the matching lids! This purge was actually the easiest but most time consuming because apparently I never throw anything usable away.
- I matched the lids to the containers. The orphans went into the recycling bin.
- Container that aren’t glass or don’t have a recycling number 2, 4, or 5 (the BPA free plastics) went into the recycling bin – if applicable.
- Nicked, stained, or containers with cracked lids went into the recycling bin. I don’t microwave in plastic but red sauce and turmeric still stain my plastic containers.
5. Potholders. I purged the burn ones and washed the rest. I felt stupid for not realizing until that moment that my potholders are made of cloth and I could have washed them before they were so stained and burnt that I didn’t care what happened to them –whoops!
I have a roll of emergency paper towels for anything involving bodily fluids
because I’m squeamish. I have had the same roll for almost three years.
Of course I could have repurposed my items doing the same crafts but I know me. I didn’t have a need for wind chimes or coffee mug mosaics. That stuff would have cluttered up my craft room instead of my kitchen because I’d never get around to doing those projects. It’s best to give them to someone who will use them right away. If I ever get the hankering to do these crafts, I can easily get the materials for cheap at a thrift store or Freecycle.
7. One trick pony small appliances that are broken or you don’t use. I got real with myself and realize if I haven’t fixed the broken appliances by now they need to go to the electronics recycling center. I haven’t used them in so long I don’t miss them and didn’t bother getting a replacement. This way I have room for the single use appliances we always use like the coffee maker. Life would cease to exist in our house without coffee!
To keep everything in check, I started being a bit more selective about what useful freebie items I take when I’m offered them at street fairs, the mall, etc. That’s where the majority of the not so great coffee mugs, water bottles, and pens and pencils came from.
What are your kitchen spring cleaning and purging tips? Have you found that you have a very large number of items you only thought you had one or two of, like chip clips?
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