Getting to the Heart of the Matter: 5 Tips to Declutter Your Kitchen

Got Kitchen Clutter? Ask Yourself One Question

Just like the rest of the house, my kitchen sometimes gets “cluttered.” It may not always be visible clutter, but it’s there, nevertheless. Old, mismatched dishware taking up space in the cabinet, scratched pots and pans that really should be replaced, even old table linens that really aren’t my style anymore.

But what to do? I’ve had some of these items forever, and I hate to think of throwing them away. (I do admit to a sentimental nostalgia that binds me to my “stuff” sometimes, even if I no longer use it.) So when I read this article from, I knew I had to share.

I discovered that one simple question can help me overcome (almost all) my sentimental attachments:

“If I was shopping right now, would I buy this?”

So simple! If the answer is “yes,” then it’s a keeper. If it’s “no way,” then maybe it’s time to send it on its way. Think about the following to help you decide:

  • Does it still work? If not, then it may be time to toss that old toaster (assuming you don’t have a repair café in your town).
  • Do I have room for it? If storage space is a problem, then consider donating the item in question (if it’s still in good working order).
  • Is it outdated? If the answer is yes, you may want to consider donating this item too. (But my sentimental side will say that if it still has some life left in it, you may want to keep it—if you have room for it.)
  • Is it an extra? For example, if you bake a lot you might really need all four cookie sheets, but if not, donating that extra one (or two) could save you space and help someone else.

By answering the question of whether I would spend money on this item, I am starting to see my “stuff” through new eyes. I know my sentimental side will sometimes still win out (like when the object truly brings me joy), but if someone else can also receive joy from the things I donate, then I’ll consider that a win-win.

comment_2What decision-making processes do you use when decluttering your kitchen? Please share your wisdom with our readers, below!


For sentimental reasons I sometimes hang onto kitchen items I no longer use.

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