By Barbara Pronin
If you’re always short of cabinet and counter space, it’s time to de-clutter the kitchen—but that’s a chore that seems to get relegated to “someday.” The job may be easier if you know where to start, say consumer editors at Country Living magazine.
If you want to give yourself more kitchen space, begin by getting rid of the following:
Anything Free with Dinner – That goes for spare chopsticks, soy sauce packets, kid’s meal toys, and other stuff that’s cluttering your kitchen drawers. You’re going to get more the next time you order, so there’s no point in stockpiling.
One-Use Gadgets You Thought You Would Use – Garlic presses, apple corers, hot chocolate frothers…your cabinets may be full of specialty cooking gadgets that serve only one purpose. If it’s taking up space and you use it less than four times a year, it’s probably worth tossing—especially if there’s an everyday object that can get the job done.
Plastic Grocery Bags – If you have more than 10 balled up in a cabinet or drawer, put the rest in your recycle bin or take them to the nearest store that recycles plastic bags.
Rarely Used Cookbooks – If they’ve sat on a shelf for more than a year without being used, it’s time to sell or otherwise dispose of them. Keep only family collections and one or your favorite specialty cookbooks.
Reusable Shopping Bags – Keep only two or three of those eco-friendly bags and get them out of the pantry. Store them in the trunk of your car for use when you do your shopping.
Tupperware Collection – Most of us have far too many, including those empty deli and margarine containers we’ve saved. Limit yourself to containers in two sizes, and no more than five or six of each, with lids.
Weirdly Sentimental Mugs – Too much shelf space is often given up to mugs we will never use—from vacation souvenirs to those with cutesy sayings. Harden your heart and get rid of most of them. You will never, ever miss them.