When you think of your kitchen at home, what is the first word that comes to mind? Cozy? Spacious? Cluttered? Chaotic? Even the tidiest of homemakers can fall victim to a cluttered kitchen, at times when life moves faster than our hands can keep up with.

Kitchens are also the perfect setting for a good pile of clutter, where all our your baking tools and everyday essentials can clash into one big mess. Although avoiding everyday clutter in your kitchen might be, well, unavoidable, there are a few steps you can take to help keep your countertops, drawers, and cupboards free of unnecessary chaos.

Are you still holding onto that waffle iron that Aunt May gave you in 2002? When was the last time you made yourself waffles? What about that wedding invitation from last summer still stuck to your refrigerator door? Or that year old invitation to your niece's high school graduation?

If you’re not using it, it might be clutter. Here are 8 Things to Eliminate for a Clutter-Free Kitchen.


1.) Broken glasses or unused coffee mugs

Nostalgic about that cracked coffee mug you picked up on your trip to Hawaii ten years ago? Or can’t part with that funky set of lime green tea cups you never drink out of? If you don’t use em', ditch em'. Your kitchen will instantly feel lighter and less cluttered, leaving behind only the cups and glasses that you truly love.


2.) Dirty sponges

Can you remember the last time you changed out your kitchen sponge? If you can smell your sponge when you pick it up, or if the yucky scent is left behind on your clean dishes, toss it immediately. You can’t truly get anything sparkling clean if the tool you’re using to clean it with is already dirty. Try to keep a few spare sponges around so you’re never left in the lurch with an old sponge.


3.) Old plastic or glassware

Got a cupboard or drawer full of old, mismatched plastic or glass Tupperware? Time to clean out and organize any piece that is old, discolored, cracked, or smelly. Also, take a few moments to sort through and eliminate any mismatched lids or bases so you’ll have less clutter and more organization.


4.) Takeout napkins & menus

Condiment packets? Chopsticks? Takeout menus? We all have that drawer filled with miscellaneous pieces of our past takeout orders, taking up precious space in our kitchens. If you think you’ll actually use that paper menu, keep it. But if you’ll really just pull up the online version and leave the paper version to create clutter, recycle it. Then go ahead and toss all of those old sticky soy sauce packets from 1997. You probably won’t need those either.


5.) Old news on the front of your fridge

Although it's easy to neglect the clutter, the collage's built on the front of your refrigerator can greatly contribute to your kitchens feeling of tidiness. If the front of your refrigerator is covered with old baby shower invitations and crumbling magnets, it's time for a makeover. Toss any old invitations and coupons, leaving room for only the things that are necessary. 


6.) Excess water bottles

If you have a collection of refillable water bottles in your kitchen - Good for you! You’re making environmentally positive decisions. However, if these extra water bottles are taking up extra space in your kitchen and creating clutter, you’ll want to ditch them. Keep only the ones that you like and use, donating or recycling the rest.


7.) Mismatched measuring cups

If you love to cook, chances are you’ve got a collection of measuring cups rattling around your baking drawers. If you have a set of cups that you never find yourself reaching for, donate them or recycle them. By eliminating small items like these from our kitchens, the clutter will slowly begin to dwindle.


8.) The unused appliance

You remember that deep fryer you got as a gift from your sister-in-law? Don’t feel bad if you never used it, but also don’t let it sit around and take up precious space in your cupboards. If you’ve got a small appliance hanging around that you don’t use, like an extra blender or a panini maker, get rid of it! Donating it to somebody who will utilize it makes sense for both you and your kitchen.


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