Kitchen Declutter Checklist | 24 Things to Toss & Organize!

a scene from a kitchen - a small marble countertop with a cutting board and oil and a fruit basket. Simple white cupbpards

Did you ever declutter your kitchen using a free printable checklist? Wait. What? Using a checklist if for no other reason, is motivating and it is fun to check things off a to-do list!

There are no longer items in my kitchen I do not use regularly. Long gone are the chipped mugs, duplicate wooden spoons, and small appliances I haven’t used since before the Y2K warning.

For many, the kitchen is the hub of their home. I use my small kitchen as a tool to prepare meals and seldom hang out in it. Not having a bunch of stuff on my counters makes it quicker and easier to keep clean and allows for my space in my little kitchen. I also prefer the minimal look.

Efficient Kitchen

My time is better spent elsewhere because cooking isn’t my thing. I do have to eat though so my kitchen is set up as efficiently as possible to minimize the amount of time I have to spend in there. 

Cleaning my kitchen quickly is important to me, because who among us wants to spend precious time cleaning? Thanks to bare countertops and only necessary items in my cabinets and drawers keeping the kitchen immaculate is easy. 

This routine works perfectly for me. I urge you to develop systems in your home that suit your needs and desires.

I have compiled a list of things for you to start going through to declutter your kitchen today.


The first thing to do when you are starting on your decluttering journey is to gather what you need. I always start with 3 heavy-duty trash bags and label each – Trash, Donate, and Sell.

It doesn’t matter if you are cleaning a large living room, dining room, or small area. Have these 3 labeled bags ready to make your decluttering process easier.

If you have trouble reaching the top shelves, like me, grab a step ladder. 

When I declutter a cabinet or drawer I remove everything and clean the surface with a spritz of vinegar and water and wipe dry.

Big bright yellow word WIN!

Easy decluttering wins!

I have listed below some different things to get you started with easy decluttering wins for you to check off the free printable declutter checklist.

Click on the purple image below to download the Kitchen Declutterbuzz Checklist. Print the checklist out and use the home checklist as a cheat sheet.

The great news is you don’t need more storage space. It is much better to declutter all your unwanted items and not need the storage space.

Duplicate kitchen tools

Seriously, how many wooden spoons do you need? I know the little mesh bag they come in includes multiple spoons of various shapes. Does it matter if you stir something in a pot with a round spoon or oval shaped spoon? Except for a solid and possibly a slotted wood spoon why would you need more?

7 wood spoons of varying shapes

Expired spices and herbs

Here is how I see it, if I’m going to the bother of cooking something I want it to taste great. The difference between a good-tasting and a great-tasting food item is the freshness of the spices and herbs. Toss the spices you have had since the eighties!

Chipped glassware and mugs

A mug that my sister gave me became chipped. I still have it. I don’t think my sister would care one way or the other if I tossed this. Don’t judge me, decluttering is progress, not perfection. ; ()

Follow along on the Declutterbuzz Kitchen Checklist and cross off each item as you declutter. Click on the picture below and download it!

Unused or broken small appliances

I did finally throw out the popcorn air popper because I had not used it in about 150 years. How about you, what unused appliance is taking up space in your kitchen?

Stained pot holders and dish towels

If you would be embarrassed to have a friend see the condition of your potholders and dish towels it may be time to toss. Enough said.

kitchen gadgets like old cookie cutters and beaters

Unused gadgets

Hey if you have a gadget that works and you use it enjoy! If you have a bunch of unwanted items and gadgets taking up space toss them or pass them along

Unused recipes and cookbooks

I get that some folks treasure cookbooks as sentimental items. Most folks find the hardest part of decluttering is dealing with sentimental items so you may want to save this for last after you have some practice under your belt. 

Keep in mind today any recipe is at your fingertips with a few clicks on your phone.

Declutter junk drawer

kitchen junk drawe filled with objects like pens, lightbulbs, and utility knives

Decluttering the kitchen junk drawer, what we call the OMG drawer, is such a quick decluttering job because no one is attached to broken elastics and other debris that has made its way into this kitchen drawer. 

After you toss all the bits of string and other alien objects remove everything unrelated to the kitchen and return to their designated spaces. Place your essential items back in your freshly cleaned drawer. Now wasn’t that easy!

Plastic containers

For a smaller painless task let’s address the jumble of plastic food storage containers you have cluttering up a large space. The easy way to do this is to pull all the containers out and match up the lids to the containers. The containers with no lids get tossed.

No more mismatched yucky plastic food storage containers for this kid! I am going to show off here and show you what my sister sent me. 

I know these cost more than leftover Chinese food containers, which is what I used for years, they are well worth the price though if you can afford the splurge! Or try being nice to your sister and see what happens!

Nearly empty pantry items

When I was growing up my father went nutty when he picked up a box of cereal, cookies, etc and there was one piece left. Pop accused of us being too lazy to throw the empty box away. This is all I will say about that.

Sharpen or toss dull knives

A decluttering list would be incomplete without addressing all the knives you are not using because they are dull. For years I saved a pile of decent knives that were so dull they could not cut butter. I thought it was too wasteful to toss.

Two things happened. I learned how to sharpen knives and I knew if I lived to be 102 I would never need these many knives. I tossed them all and bought two good knives, one small and one large. Additionally, I bought the proper knife sharpening tools and learned how to properly sharpen. Big win!

a refrigerator door covered with colorful magnets

Cull refrigerator magnets

Some people love magnets and pictures on their refrigerator, some not so much, and then there are people like me who would throw things away before hanging them on a refrigerator. 

Expired canned goods

I love to donate to my food pantry, no expired goods though, please. Get rid of expired canned goods and foods in dented cans because they are reported to be unhealthy. 

Did you know n addition to expired food products there are many other items in your home with expiration dates? Getting rid of old expired household goods is another way to declutter the home.

canned goods with expiration dates

Never and rarely used serving dishes

I just donated a cool serving dish I bought years and years ago because as cool as it was I never once used it! I decided to get rid of all the unused items that were taking up precious space. No more cardboard boxes filled with stuff I ‘may one day use’.

Unused water bottles

I have one water bottle. I am thinking my life would not be enhanced by having a cabinet full of additional water bottles. Declutter your water bottles.

Stash of soy sauce packets

Do you save the little packets of soy sauce and fortune cookies etc. that come with take out foods? Have you ever used these?

A long long time ago when breakfast restaurants would leave a container filled with packets of sugar on each table people of a certain age would fill their pockets with these. They would steal the creamers too!

Nearly empty cleaning supplies

Why save cleaning supplies with just a smidgen of product left? Use it up, toss the empty container and free up the space. And the cleaning product you bought and don’t like and will never use, toss it!

Unused bakeware

I discovered I had about 8 muffin tins of varying sizes. This was a real head-scratcher because I can count on one hand the number of times I ever baked muffins.

a pile of linens in a variety of colors and sizes, like green, red and striped and other patterns

Unused linens

If you love your linens and use them regularly enjoy! If you do not and the linens are cluttering your closet and drawers pass them on if they are in good condition.

Everything unrelated to the kitchen

For the biggest impact, everything unrelated to the kitchen should be put away in its designated space. Organized people do not suffer the constant frustration of never being able to find the things they are looking for.

Organize similar items for your clutter-free home. You do not have to hire a professional organizer like me because there is no shortage of storage solutions available for purchase today. You can get drawer organizers to fit most spaces because they come in expandable sizes.

When you have a lot of stuff scattered nilly willy the space looks messy. Organization is necessary to sustain clutter-free living.

Unused condiments

The condiments on the door of your fridge do not last forever. Unless you clean them well after each use they can get pretty icky. Time to sort though these.

Declutter paper and plastic bags

Unless you knit and crochet using recycled plastic bags like I do why do you save so many?

recycled plastic bags used to make shopping totes

Clean out refrigerator drawers

Refrigerator drawers can be the place where stuff goes to die. I have seen some pretty narly drawers in my time.

Unused cook and bakeware

Full disclosure – cooking isn’t my thing. As it happens I have a very nice pair of matching cookware a friend gave me when she replaced hers. I pretty much reach for the same pot every time I cook, so I am not sure why a set of cookware has so many pieces.

Here are the most common excuses I hear why folks can’t declutter:

  • I have no time
  • I can’t afford storage solutions.
  • It is too hard 
  • My spouse won’t help.
  • I have no space
  • I will declutter when I move


  • You do have time, just trade a small set amount of time with something else like scrolling. A great way is to do a little bit at a time breaking areas into smaller tasks.
  • You do not need to spend any money on organizational solutions. There are plenty of creative ideas out there using things you have a round the house.
sorted art supplies in handmade organizational system artist made
  • Starting is hard, decluttering is not.
  • Very often when one spouse or family member quietly starts to declutter the other spouse sees the amazing difference and joins in. I see this regularly.
  • You will have more space after you declutter! This is the best!
  • When are you moving? Start now. There is no time like today.

Bonus Points!

For bonus points clean off all the flat surfaces in your home, coffee tables, countertops, desk tops, etc. The stuff cluttering these surfaces should be organized in designated spaces. This one act makes a huge difference!

I consider clutter to be anything that interrupts my serenity. I repeat, I do not enjoy spending my time cleaning. This is one reason I detest clutter and disorganization because having to move stuff around to clean is not really practical to me.

I feel everyone needs to have a little nest to call their own, whether it is a small space in a wee size room or an entire home. Our nests should be our comfy safe place and organized in the best way for your individual needs.

Sometimes all a home needs is a good declutter for you to fall back in love with your surroundings!

Marj Bates is a life long ridiculously organized declutter-er and artist. Less is more are words Marj lives by in everything she does except collecting dogs. “Dogs are like potato chips! Can’t have just one.” says Marj. Marj wonders if growing up with a fanatically clean Jewish mom means her decluttering and organizational skills are in her blood.

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