20 Things in Your Kitchen You Can Purge Right Now — September Sweep

Kitchen clutter is like a gas: It’ll expand to fit the space allowed.

If you have a small kitchen, you probably feel like there’s never enough space for your stuff. Well guess what? Big kitchen people have that same problem, too. No matter how many cabinets you have, or whether your countertop is better measured in inches or acres, your kitchen can probably use a little slimdown.

So that’s what we’re going to do today.

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Today’s Assignment:

Do a 20-minute decluttering sweep of your kitchen.

Set a timer for 20 minutes, then grab a bin or basket and pilfer through your kitchen, swiping as many things as you can bear to get rid of. You don’t have to totally overhaul your space—just do as much decluttering of needless things as you can before the timer runs out.

But first… there are a few places not to look: The fridge, freezer and pantry can be spared today, because we’ll be coming back for a sweep of those food storage spaces next week. I also suggest skipping your junk drawer during this timed sweep; I’m a firm believer that every room should have a catch-all junk area that can be stocked without judgement. If it can close, it’s fine and good. I promise.

Where to Look:

  • cabinets
  • drawers
  • on the counter
  • on top of the fridge or cabinets
  • any freestanding furniture, like a hutch or island

What to look for:

  • anything that belongs in another room
  • broken cups, mugs and plates
  • multiples you have too many of
  • the fifth and sixth water bottles you never get to
  • kitchen tools and appliances you never use
  • baking sheets, pans, and pots that sit untouched
  • duplicate kitchen tools
  • old, gross cleaning supplies
  • old, stained, or extra plastic containers
  • takeout condiments, plasticware, and stray menus
  • out-of-date invitations or event announcements
  • expired coupons
  • excessive collections of paper or plastic bags
  • expired medication
  • cookbooks that haven’t been cracked open in a year

When the timer stops, you know what to do: Grab your basket and sort everything in it. Anything that’s in good enough shape should get set aside into “sell” or “donate” boxes, and the rest can get tossed into trash or recycling.

And don’t forget:

Clear three things from your monster zone.

All month long, we invite you to share your progress here in the comments and on Instagram with the #septembersweep hashtag!

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