Donating Unused Kitchen Items
I guarantee if you apply just one of these tips to each day of the calendar, you will have a clutter free, simple, easy to clean and organize home by this time next year.
Today's task is to go through your kitchen cupboards and drawers and donate those unused appliances, dishes, tools, and cookware. All that extra "stuff" that you never, ever use, or things that only really get used once a year or every couple of years.
This is all a matter of personal choice. You must do as you feel is right for your personal spiritual tradition. Prayers, offerings, workings, purification, or nothing at all are all okay in my book, do what is right for you and your family.
As for the physical task at hand, prepare a large and sturdy box. Then, the simplest way to move through the kitchen clutter quickly is to clean off all of the surfaces in your kitchen. The ENTIRE surface. Remove the coffee pot, canisters, fruit bowl, etc. and completely clean and wipe down the surfaces.
Then mark off areas with painter's tape in three sections. One for the stuff that you use EVERY DAY, one area for the stuff that you use SOMETIMES, and another area for the stuff you RARELY, if ever, use. Then drawer by drawer, cabinet by cabinet, place the contents of each drawer, one at a time, in these spaces.
The stuff you use rarely should go automatically into the donate box, unless it has sentimental value. In which case, you may wish to discuss it with a family member who may wish to hold onto it, or you might wish to create a special space for it in your garage (don't forget to mark it for your heirs, so they understand its significance).
The stuff you sometimes use will be harder. How often is sometimes? Is it just during holidays or for school bake sales? Only when company comes over? Do you have other items in the house that can serve the same purpose? If it can be donated, donate it. If not, put it up in the upper cabinets, or in the back of a deep cabinet or pantry.
The stuff you use often, should have a nice easy to access location. Clean the drawer or cabinet out thoroughly with the cleanser of your choice. Use a pantry liner, if you choose, and replace your items in an orderly fashion. Then move on to the next cabinet or drawer.
Here are a list of a few trouble areas to look out for:
Let's start with the dreaded Tupperware/plastic-ware cabinet. Check each item, does it have a lid? Is it in good condition? Do you use it, or do you dread using it because of its shape or functionality? Is it microwavable? Do you want to move to a more eco-friendly product? Only functional, lid-matched, useful Tupperware/plastic-ware should remain. The rest, if functional should be donated. If not, toss or recycle it.
Electric french-friers, indoor grilling machines, bread makers, juicers, smoothie blenders, popcorn makers, ice-cream makers, yogurt-makers, food-dehydrators, counter-top rotisseries, unicorn-shaped gelatin molds, etc. are all well and good if you actually make use of them on a regular basis. If you haven't used it in over a month, okay, I'll take it easy on you, let's say three month, you probably don't need it.
Have you used that set of dishes your grandmother gave you since she gave them to you or do you secretly detest the way the little ducks and chickens smirk at you as they dance around the edge of the plate? Donate them! Someone will adore the little beauties.
Cookie Sheets and Baking Equipment
Do you have too many? Do you have one that just sticks no matter what you do? Does it not fit in your oven just right? Donate it! You can get another you do like at a thrift store for super cheap if you really do need one later.
Ask yourself, do you really need eight bread pans? In our family, the answer is, yes, we do. We bake eight loaves at one time, twice a month, and we eat that much bread. If you aren't in need of that many though, donate the extras.
Single Use Items
The avocado tool, the mango cutter, the zester, the apple slicer/corer, etc. These are all tools that only serve one purpose and use up far too much space in your drawer. Yes it takes a little more time to cut and slice an avocado with a knife but is it worth your sanity to spend the extra 10 minutes searching for the can opener that you do use almost every day to have that item junking up your drawers? Donate it!
Water Bottles and Plastic Cups
Our family hoards water bottles from various activities we've been involved in and plastic cups from fast food trips, camps, and vacations. I am loath to throw them out because the kids loose them like crazy, even when made to pay for replacements out of their own allowance. You might choose to declutter these items, we, on the other hand, have chosen to create a crate that is mounted to the wall near our door that contains all of them. The kids can grab them on the way out the door, just the cheapo ones, and take them on trips or out to the garden, and I don't feel as upset if they are lost. We keep the pricey ones up high where they can not be taken and forgotten, except for by the husband and the teen, but that is another post.