4 things to get rid of in your kitchen cabinets — experts say ditch these items right now

The smartest things to get rid of in your kitchen cabinets for quick decluttering, according to professional organizers

An image of open wooden shelving at eye height with plants, spice racks and cups, and blue kitchen cabinets at knee level in a white subway tiled kitchen
(Image credit: Getty Images)

We spoke to experts about the things to get rid of in your kitchen cabinets first and quickly clear your clutter. It's easy to hang on to things because we once spent money on them, but sometimes, doing so will only lead to things piling up. 

Be prepared to let some of your kitchen items go. It'll be easier now our organizing experts have identified  four things to get rid of in your kitchen cabinets first. Doing so will make a tangible difference in the use of your storage spaces.

These expert-approved tips will have you ditching unnecessary items from your cabinets with confidence, and help keep your small kitchen organized in no time.

The things to get rid of in your kitchen cabinets right now 

Kim Harness, interior designer, says, “Opt for quality over quantity and regularly reassess your needs to prevent unnecessary accumulation. Best results come from a combination of intentional decision-making and strategic organizing solutions.” 

Once you know where to start, you'll be decluttering like a pro, streamlining your kitchen cabinets and maximizing your space. 

Kim Harness
Kim Harness

Kim Harness is a renowned interior designer, blending elegance and comfort to create personalized spaces. With a keen eye for detail, Kim transforms spaces into havens of relaxation through her mastery of design principles.

1. Duplicated items

Far too often an item will disappear into the clutter of our cabinets, so we’ll replace it, only for that item to turn up later, leaving you with duplicated items, and taking up valuable storage space in kitchen cabinets. 

Chances are you don’t need multiple tin openers, three ladles, and a couple of cheese graters (just one good multifunctional shredder such as this highly-rated one from Amazon should cover all of your shredding needs). Getting rid of duplicated items is a really great way to make extra space in your kitchen cabinets. 

Mohammad Ahmed, interior designer and home expert, says, "Out with the outdated and duplicate cookware, dishes, and utensils. Keep only the best and most used versions.” 

Mohammad Ahmed
Mohammad Ahmed

Mohammad Ahmed is an interior designer and home expert. He did his bachelors degree in interior design at the University of Minnesota in 2013, and since then has designed functional and beautiful spaces for clients. 

2. Expired products

It’s easy hold onto out-of-date products, especially when they’re spices or dried goods that don’t immediately make themselves know when spoiled. However, the taste and your health — not to mention your kitchen cabinet storage space — may be compromised with out-of-date items. 

Mohammad says, “Check for expired spices, oils, and condiments. Toss anything past its prime, freeing up valuable space.”

When storing dried goods in your kitchen cabinets, invest in adequately sized kitchen storage solutions. Whether it’s for your pantry or ideas for organizing kitchen drawers, it’s worth taking the time to source storage containers such as these handy storage bins from Amazon, clear caddies, or stacked storage trays such as this one from Amazon) to keep goods neatly organized within your kitchen cabinets. 

3. Appliances you never use

If you’re going to organize your cabinets and keep your kitchen neat and ordered, it’s worth taking the time to think about tossing some of the tools and appliances you rarely, or never use. 

If you're unsure what to keep, Mohammed says “Prioritize versatile tools like food processors, Instant Pots, or good blenders. They earn their cabinet space.”

Any items you use regularly and are in good working order, keep and store. But, any items you have just for the sake of having, or bought in a fad phase and is currently going unused, get rid of it now. 

Consider selling unwanted appliances in good condition on to those looking for second hand items. Good for your pocket, and good for the environment, too.

4. Broken or faulty items

Whether you’ve noticed a chip in a cup or a ladle that's peeling away at the edges, be strict with yourself and throw broken or faulty items out.  

Tupperware containers or coffee cups without lids, broken salad spinners, old Teflon pans that are no longer safe to use, small broken appliances beyond repair, and mismatched glassware, plates, and bowls,” should all be tossed out according to organizing expert, Amy Bloomer

Remember, only replace the items you use and need. After all, there's no point refilling your kitchen cabinets with items you're unlikely to utilize. 

Amy Bloomer
Amy Bloomer

Amy started organizing as soon as she could walk, sorting her toy chest by size, color and function. Her innate organizational acumen led to success in academics and extracurriculars, all the way up to a masters in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University and a successful Wall Street career.


How can you decide what to get rid of from your kitchen cabinets?

Kim says, “When choosing what to keep, consider functionality, sentimental value, and usage patterns.”

How can you make clearing out your kitchen cabinets less overwhelming?

Mohammad says, “Batch it out. Tackle one category of items at a time, like spices first, then glassware and pantry staples." If you need to take a break, or spread out groupable items to check and clear over a number of hours or days, do so. You can clear out your kitchen cabinets on a schedule that suits you.

What can you use to keep your kitchen cabinets organized?

When tackling things to get rid of in your kitchen cabinets, Kim says, “Begin by emptying the cabinet and categorizing items. Prioritize essentials, discard duplicates or unused gadgets, and evaluate the frequency of use.”

With guidance on what to ditch from your kitchen cabinets freshly in hand, take a crack at decluttering your kitchen drawers next.

Beth Mahoney
Freelance journalist

Hi! I’m Beth Mahoney and I’m a former staff writer at Real Homes. I’ve been a journalist for the national press for the past six years, specializing in commerce and trends-related lifestyle articles, from product reviews and listicles to guides and features. With an eye for pretty things (think: quirky wall prints, scalloped edge furniture, and decadent-looking tableware) but a limited budget, I love nothing more than a bargain buy.