Spring is finally (finally!) upon us, and that can only mean one thing: It’s time for spring cleaning. May we suggest starting with the kitchen? You can tackle clutter quickly with our breakdown of things to toss or donate, feel good about crossing something off your to-do list, then reward yourself with a nice little snack. Truly a win-win situation.
Toss: Plastic Storage Containers
Be honest: How many old, warped, mismatched, lidless, pasta-sauce-stained plastic storage containers do you really need? Far fewer than the ones taking up so much valuable space in your kitchen drawers, we’d wager. Now’s the perfect time for a clear-out, so toss any “vintage” containers that aren’t genuinely serving a purpose right into your recycling bin. Feel free to do the same with plastic plates and cups that have seen better days. It’ll feel good, we promise.
Related: 11 Places You Probably Forgot to Clean in Your House
Buy: Glass Storage Containers
Once you’ve cleared out all the plastic containers you weren’t using, you’ll have room for a sleek, eminently useful storage set, like this Crate & Barrel Pyrex Ultimate 10-Piece Variety Set ($89), which is safe to use in the microwave, oven, dishwasher and freezer.
Related: 11 Ways Your Can Organize Your Kitchen Like Marie Kondo
Toss: Chipped and Cracked Novelty Mugs
It’s a scientific fact that once you place a novelty mug in a cupboard and close the door, seven more will magically appear alongside it. They’ll live happily in that dark space for years, getting more stained, chipped and cracked with every use, safe in the knowledge that – despite the fact that you never really liked them – you’ll never work up the nerve to throw them out. Or will you?
Related: 10 Small Things that Make the Biggest Impact in Your New Kitchen
Buy: Stylish Ceramic Mugs
You’ve probably heard the expression “buy less, buy better,” but what you might not know is that it refers specially to mugs. Okay, not really, but it definitely applies. Why own 17 ugly old beverage vessels when three gorgeous ones will do? Your morning cuppa will taste so much better in one of these West Elm Clash Mugs ($6.99), by designer Aaron Probyn, than in that World’s Best Employee mug you’ve been using since 1994.
Toss: Mismatched Lids
Where do all the mismatched lids for pots and pans even come from? Why can’t we ever find a lid that fits when we’re trying to boil water for pasta? How does anyone keep their cupboards from looking like a jumble sale? These are the questions that keep us up at night. Don’t be like us: Donate those random lids. Clear eyes, empty cupboard space, can’t lose.
Buy: Silicone Universal Lid
This Silicone Universal Lid by Made In ($49) is one of those items you’ll buy and wonder how you ever lived without it, particularly if you’re not a fan of having 20 metal lids crash and clatter onto the floor every time you open a cupboard. It’ll fit all your pots and pans and is dishwasher- and oven-safe, with a stainless steel interior and bright red silicone exterior.
Toss: Knife Block
There comes a time in every home cook’s life when they go through a knife phase, dropping way too much money on a set of fancy chopping tools and a fancy knife block to match. Fast forward a few years: Only 20 percent of the knives are still in regular use, while that poor knife block just gets dusty and crusty, taking up precious counter space. If you feel personally attacked right now, it’s probably time to donate that neglected knife block. It’s okay. We’ve all been there.
Buy: Magnetic Knife Strip
Now that we’ve established that you only ever use three of your 18 expensive knives, why not free up some counter space and invest in a handy magnetic knife strip? We say “invest,” but this sleek, modern Ikea FINTORPP Magnetic Knife Rack will only set you back $12. That’s pretty sharp… geddit?
Toss: Old Oven Mitts and Potholders
We know we’re not the only ones who engage in weekly games of Oven Mitt Roulette, in which the player reaches into a drawer stuffed with singed and ripped potholders and over mitts, blindly takes one out and tries to avoid third-degree burns while pulling a hot dish out of the oven. Don’t hate the player, hate the game – and throw out those old mitts already.
Buy: Silicone Oven Mitts
Do you dream of a world in which you don’t ever burn yourself while taking scalding-hot pans out of the oven? (Hey, it’s the little things.) Make that dream a reality with this Silicone Oven Mitt Set ($43). Your hands – and the paramedics – will thank you.
Toss: Unused Small Appliances
For many of us, the kitchen counter is where lifestyle dreams go to die. Remember when we all bought bread makers, thinking we’d wake up at 6 am every day to bake fresh bread and maybe do some light meditation? Those were heady times. Whether it’s a panini press, ice cream maker or popcorn machine that’s gathering dust and taunting you, do yourself a favour and donate it. It’s the right thing to do.
Buy: Instant Pot
We know, we know. “Another trendy gadget?!” Well, yes and no. While the Instant Pot Ultra 8-Quart Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker ($230, other models available) is undeniably trendy right now, it’s also undeniably useful. The company even claims it eliminates the need for 10 other small appliances… if you count “egg cooker” and “cake maker” as appliances.
Toss: Plastic Bags
It’s 2019, and every one of us needs to work on reducing our consumption of single-use plastics – starting with that stash of approximately 12 million plastic shopping bags that have been stuffed under the kitchen sink since the beginning of time. Even if your adorable cat loves to play with them. Sorry, Whiskers.
Buy: Stylish Reusable Shopper
The perfect reusable tote is roomy, sturdy enough to hold the heaviest groceries and cute enough to carry just about anywhere. Enter the House Doctor Partisan Shopper Bag ($44), a sustainable tote made from a coated cotton-poly-rayon blend that will keep your goods safe from the elements (and it’s super easy to clean, too).
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