Of all the rooms in the house, the kitchen is frequently the one where we spend the most time AND have the least free space. In some cases, we exacerbate the problem by buying & storing single-use appliances: gadgets and gizmos which are fun, but serve only one specific purpose. If your kitchen is cramped, the best way to free up some space is to get rid of these specialized tools, and keep only the ones which you regularly use.
Admittedly, every person is different. What one person considers a seldom-used nuisance, another may consider a daily staple. The key here is to seriously consider passing along items which fall into the following categories:
- Tabletop appliances that replicate existing kitchen functions (e.g. an electric skillet)
- Broken items (“I’m going to fix it… someday”)
- Sentimental pieces (“I never use it, but it was my grandmother’s...”)
- Large tools (e.g. anything that takes up more than its “fair share” of space)
- Novelty items (“This looked so cool in the catalog...”)
- Gifts (“I never use it, but it was from my best friend…”)
So what kinds of items may fit these criteria? Here is a list. Again, I acknowledge that one person’s trash is another’s treasure, so if you regularly use any of the following then by all means keep it! Also, if you have a special gadget for a particular/annual purpose (e.g. turkey baster for Thanksgiving) consider moving it out of your easily accessible kitchen drawers/cabinets and into an out of the way space, like a closet. In addition, store holiday items nested together… so inside the turkey roasting pan you put the turkey baster, turkey lifting tongs, turkey dish towel, etc.
For all the rest, do an honest assessment. If you are holding onto any of these and either haven’t used it recently or have no realistic intention of using it in the future, its time to seriously consider letting it go.
Common Kitchen Clutter
- Egg cooker
- Crepe/doughnut/muffin maker
- Tabletop rotisserie
- Electric deep fryer
- Pasta maker
- Meat grinder
- Ice tea machine
- Popcorn maker
- Ice cream maker
- Bread machine
- Electric can opener (useful for those with arthritis)
- Electric fondue set
- Electric wok
- George Forman grill
- Electric knife
- Slow cooker
- Rice cooker
- Pressure cooker
- Waffle Iron
- Electric Skillet
- Sno-cone maker
- Hot dog maker
- Chocolate fountain
- Hand-held pie maker
- Pizza oven
- S’more maker/indoor marshmallow roaster
- Quesadilla maker
- Pasta serving size measurer
- Onion chopper
- Guacamole chopper
- Garlic Press
- Pineapple corer
- Egg separator
- Herb chopper
- Crank egg beater
- Strawberry corer
- Plastic chopsticks
- Corn butterer/corn silk cleaner/corn cob grips
- Apple corer
- Candy thermometer
- Meat mallet
- Melon baller
- Recipe card holders
- Pastry brush
- Turkey baster
- Cookie cutters (keep some, but maybe not all)
- Cake decorating tips and tools
A kitchen functions best when it is stocked with the necessary equipment (sharp knives, cutting board, measuring spoons & cups, cooking utensils, cookware), the extra equipment YOU regularly use (differs by person), and some breathing room. If you fight to get your kitchen drawers open, it is time to open them up and consider a purge.
What kitchen gadgets have you decided aren’t worth the real estate in your kitchen?
22 thoughts on “Kitchen Clutter Culprits”
I need to organize my kitchen. There are so many things I rarely use and doubt I ever will again.
And those rarely used items suck SO MUCH SPACE, right Amber? Sometimes we just get used to moving stuff around, and never take the time to actually clear out a space and get rid of stuff. Good luck!! It feels so great to free up some storage:)
Some of those things are just…so specific! I can’t imagine using them all year long. We do have a panini press but I can’t remember the last time we used it and it’s now in the basement.
And I’ve never heard of one person having success with a rice cooker!
Sometimes we receive these items as gifts because it is the holidays and they look cool and people don’t know what to get. But they take up a ton of space, and we just don’t ever realize “Hey, I can get rid of this thing!” I’ve never needed a rice cooker… maybe I’m strange, but rice, water, lid and I’m good to go!
My husband is a huge kitchen gadget lover and insists everything we have is essential. Recently I was frustrated with the crowded drawers so I took out everything I didn’t think we would use regularly and put it in an out of the way spot. It’s been MONTHS and we haven’t used anything in there! You can add “nut cracking tools” and “sushi rolling mat” to your list of drawer cloggers! =)
Oh “sushi rolling mat”.. I love that one! And nutcrackers… an item that used to be a staple and is now largely decorative at best. I’m smiling about your husband – out of sight, out of mind! Gadgets are fun – until they stuff your drawers, then not so much!
This is timely – I just started organizing my kitchen and pantry. I have lots of the above so I’ve got some decisions to make.
Good luck, Stephanie. This is one of those project where passing along even a couple of items can make a HUGE difference in your space. An uncrowded drawer or some freed-up shelf space just puts a smile on my face:)
I got rid of my breadmaker because I rarely, if ever, used it. I’ve moved the coffeemaker from the countertop to the cupboard under the sink for the same reason, because we prefer instant (it’s so much hotter). I know I should just let it go as well, but haven’t brought myself to part with it yet (you know… it was so expensive…)
Way to go on the bread machine!! I do understand that it is particularly difficult to pass along an item for which you’ve spent a lot of money, Janet. Getting rid of expensive items feels like a wasted investment. Do you perhaps use it occasionally (when guests come over?) If you actually NEVER use it, remember that the space it takes up is actually costing you convenience, ease, and storage space. It’s all a trade-off! Thanks for the comment:)
My husband and I are a terrible pair when it comes to kitchen clutter. He loves all the appliances and I tend to accumulate the utensils (yes, I have a pasta serving measurer, actually two!). We need to take a trip through the kitchen and evaluate each item to see if we really need to keep it.
Couples balance each other out in do many ways- I’m smiling at yours, Corinne! Must be some pretty delicious food coming out of that kitchen:) Sometimes just having the list of possible candidates to get rid of can be the spark to get you going. Good luck… Thanks for your comment!
I am guilty of buying gadgety kitchen appliances. I have the baby cupcake maker (which I do use) and the doughnut maker. I used to have the quesadilla maker too!
I totally understand, Carla – they are so fun to buy!!! And if you use them – like the cupcake maker – then I think they are terrific. It is the dust collectors that just aren’t earning their keep, right? Thanks for your comment!
I definitely need to go through my kitchen. I know there is a lot we don’t use…not so much gadgets but dishes! I’ve been thinking about doing this…thanks for the push!
Ah, dishes! Good thought. We often buy dishes for a special event, or inherit sets of dishes we don’t use. And dishes are the kind of thing that you can easily donate and instantly help a person in need! Thanks for the comment, Michelle!
UUUUGGGHHH! My hubby is the worst for collecting useless kitchen items and appliances that he only uses once or once a month. I can’t stand it, I actually only need a few items as we have such a TINY apt kitchen.
Sounds like the perfect opportunity for some negotiating… anything he wants you to do that might warrant a swap? (smile….)
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Great list, Seana! I have to say it’s just easier if you’re not much of a cook!
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Fair point, Hazel. Often the clutter collects around any space we go to for fun: sports gear in the garage, craft supplies, etc. Of course, we often acquire kitchen gadgets as gifts, whether we wanted them or not:)
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