Declutter Checklist for Kitchen & Laundry Room
Welcome to Week 2 of Declutter Challenge! In this post, we will focus on the Kitchen and Laundry room. This time the checklist includes 38 items commonly found in kitchens and laundry rooms that you can most likely discard and won’t miss! At the end of 7 weeks, you will have checklists of more than 150 items that you can toss! Think of it as a Decluttering Scavenger Hunt! Print off your Declutter Checklist for Kitchen and Laundry Room and let’s get busy.
If you are new to this Declutter Challenge, pop over to week 1 where we dive into our bedrooms and bathrooms.
If you haven’t joined the Declutter Challenge yet, you can do that here. Once you join, you will receive:
- weekly emails with a decluttering checklist for specific areas of the home. With these checklists, I feel that I am on a Decluttering Scavenger hunt, which makes the whole process a wee bit more enjoyable!
- additional tips, suggestions, and resources for your successful decluttering
And before you dive in, check out these 10 questions to ask yourself when deciding what to keep or what to discard.
Enough small talk, let’s get busy!
Some of these are affiliate links, and I will earn a small commission off the sale of these products, but the price you are charged is not affected. You can see my full disclosure policy here.
declutter checklist for the kitchen
So, let’s be truthful here. Decluttering the kitchen, in fact, decluttering any room, is not a one-and-done proposition! It has to be an ongoing analysis of what equipment and tools you really need to get done what you need to get done.
The kitchen is particularly prone to clutter because of all those alluring kitchen gadgets that convince you they will make your time in the kitchen so much more enjoyable and productive. AMIRIGHT?
While I do try to weed out unnecessary tools and gadgets on an ongoing basis, the truth is that I am more productive when I am motivated to make a bigger splash…like when I am committed to a Declutter Challenge. And having something to guide me, like this Declutter Checklist for the Kitchen, really does help.
It is helpful to know where your kitchen discards will be going. Do you know a young adult who will be setting up their own home soon? Does your church keep a stash of items for families in need? It really helps me let go of items when I know that they will be going to a good home. Don’t forget to pop over to see suggestions of where to donate or recycle your discards.
In my case, my daughter will be setting up her first apartment soon, so it is easy for me to set these aside for her.
so, let’s talk about some of the items on the declutter checklist for the kitchen
jars and storage containers
If you are anything like me, you can’t throw out a good jar! Especially ones of certain sizes…my weaknesses are pickle jars and small jars. I convince myself that ‘Oh, that is such a perfect jar size! You don’t come across those sizes all the time so I need to keep it for when I am sure I will need it!”
And then two years later I have 10 pickle jars that have never been out of the drawer. Sound familiar?
It’s really easy to toss a jar when you don’t have a corresponding lid, so start there. Or if you have a lid without the jar…out it goes. I know it hurts a little to throw out a perfectly good Clausen pickle jar with a perfectly good lid. But, come on…we need to be strong here.
Really think about how often you use those jars and other storage containers and how many you REALLY NEED and recycle the rest. PLUS, rest assured that you will be buying more pickles soon and so can have a new jar if you really need it.
duplicate kitchen tools
How many rubber spatulas does a family of 4 (when the 2 kiddos are home from college) really need? When I pulled them out of the drawers and counted them I had 8! I really had a hard time justifying 8, so I easily weeded out 3 that were a little ragged around the edges and 1 that was a duplicate.
Go through your tools and see what duplicates you have or tools that you really just don’t need anymore. (My daughter is thrilled that she will be gifted the mango corer. She used it all the time in high school, but it has sat idle for 4 plus years now!)
food in the freezer and refrigerator
I know it’s painful to throw food out, but if that jar of jam has been sitting there for 2 years and hasn’t been eaten yet, it most likely will not get eaten. It isn’t saving you money by just sitting there so go ahead and make the tough call.
Use this time to go through your freezer and refrigerator and make meal plans to use the food tucked in there. This declutter is coinciding with my ‘Zero Spend January’, so getting creative with leftovers is what I’m doing this month anyway! (Which reminds me, if you need motivation (or just a lovely read) on using every part of everything you bring into your kitchen then read An Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler.)
Sadly, it is also coinciding with my Dry January, so that’s another story altogether!?
And don’t forget to look in the pantry! What is lurking in there past its ‘best by date’? (I am actually a little loose with those dates…but you know what I mean)
consolidate where possible!
My son is a world-class consumer of Sriracha and panics when a bottle is nearing empty, so he opens a new bottle. Before we know it, we have multiple bottles of sriracha open!
This little gadget comes in so handy! I use it in the kitchen, in the laundry room (for soap and detergent), and in the bathroom (for shampoos). It has been through the dishwasher more times than I can count and comes out like a champ.
how many of ‘this item’ does your family of X really need?
OK, I am going to call out my SIL here (hope she forgives me!). When we worked in her kitchen this past fall, her family of four had 20+ mugs. I encouraged her to weed that down to 2 per family member. The same goes for casserole dishes, bowls, etc… If you have 5 casserole dishes, what is the likelihood that you will need all 5 at one time?
take a hard look at water bottles, travel mugs, mugs, and plastic cups.
Mugs, travel mugs, water bottles, and plastic cups seem to accumulate and turn into clutter quickly. If you go to any sort of company event, you will most likely be given one. If your family has a reunion, chances are there will be a mug, water bottle, or plastic cup given. Really take a good hard look at all these.
you can find carryout menus online…toss them.
While you are at it, toss the soy sauce packets…unless you want to pour them into your soy sauce bottle….you be you! I won’t tell.
cookbooks that you just are never going to use.
Does your library have a used book sale? If so, they will love to have them.
One other thing before you leave, take a quick look at how I have organized and stocked My Pantry Once you have used the Declutter Checklist for your kitchen and have ‘rehomed’ unnecessary and unused items, check out these Kitchen Organization Tips to arrange your kitchen so that it really works for you.
moving on…let’s declutter the laundry room.
So I’m using the ‘laundry room’ as a catchall for various rooms and storage areas. In my case, I’ve also lumped in the chest that sits in the hallway where I store stuff.
first off, make sure that the stuff in there belongs in there!
Laundry rooms are notorious catchalls for whatever hasn’t made it to its rightful home or for which you haven’t figured out a home. Start there and put away or toss the stuff that doesn’t belong.
how many ‘electricity’-related items do you need?
It seems extension cords, cords that come with electronic equipment, and timers are some things that accumulate in our homes. Weed through those and figure out how many you really need.
Through this decluttering, I am donating 3 extension cords and 8 timers and recycling a pile of electronic equipment cords that have sat in a drawer for years.
I was alarmed at how many of these timers we had accumulated over the past 30 years! You often don’t realize how many items you have until you have them all in one place. We have completely switched to smart plugs, so buh-bye digital timers!
Three years after I moved, I still had lightbulbs for fixtures that I don’t have in this home. And, along with digital timers, I had the dawn-to-dusk type that sat in my lightbulb box for years without being used. Someone will surely be able to use these!
paper and plastic shopping bags.
Tell me you have shopping bags filled with shopping bags, both plastic and paper. I mean, you never know when you will need 50 paper bags with nice cord handles…right?
C’mon, friends, let’s toss 75% of those. Don’t get crazy and toss them all; I mean…you never know.
half burnt or broken tapers and mostly burnt tea votives
What are the chances you are really going to light one of those tea votives with only 1/4 of the wax in it, only to have to replace it in 15 minutes with a full one?
What about the candles that you have where the wick has burned down the center, leaving 75% of the good-smelling candle that can’t be burned? I have a post about recycling these candles.
the dreaded junk drawer
You are on a roll now, so while you are focused, tackle that junk drawer.
What has been sitting in there for a year and never touched? What duplicate/triplicate items are in there?
I am guilty of stashing unused packs of that floral food that comes with flower arrangements. But, since every time I get a floral arrangement, I get a new pack, I think I can part with my growing stash.
If your laundry room is like ours and has plenty of cluttered cabinets (or, as in my case, formerly cluttered *happy dance*, check out this post about how I uncluttered and organized my laundry room closet and cabinets.
So grab your Declutter Checklist for the Kitchen and Laundry Room and get after it!
Let the Decluttering Scavenger hunt begin! Pop back in with your successes or challenges! How many items were you able to check off of your list?
If you signed up for the Declutter Challenge, you received a link to the PDF in your email inbox. If you didn’t sign up for the challenge but still want the Bedroom and Bathroom Declutter Checklist, you can grab it in the Subscriber Benefits Library, where all of the checklists will eventually land. Or, you can click the button below to subscribe to the Declutter Challenge. You can join the challenge at any time and receive one weekly email for 7 weeks with 6 checklists.
reward yourself with some organizational treats!
- Walmart has some fantastic pantry storage tools. Check out these bins. And a Lazy Susan is always a helpful organizational tool!
- This customizable drawer divider ‘tape’ made a huge difference in a drawer that was previously a hot mess.
The 2023 Decluttering Challenge
- We kick off this decluttering odyssey in our bedrooms and bathrooms with a handy decluttering checklist.
- During week 2, we tackle the kitchen and laundry room with a checklist to help you locate items that may need to be ‘re-housed’.
- Week 3 has us tackling the clutter in the den and linen closet with another handy checklist for items in those rooms.
- We go head first into our office and craft rooms during week 4.
- Did you know that your pcs and mobile devices get just as cluttered? Let’s deal with the clutter on those devices this week.
- During week 6, we tackle our garages and attics with a decluttering checklist aimed at those areas.
- New this year, we are dealing with mental clutter during week 7.
Bookmark this page or pin the following image to refer back to the Declutter Checklist for Kitchen and Laundry Room in the future.
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Until next time…
I love your checklist! It’s simple and doable.
For me, my catch all is my linen closet located in my bathroom lol.
I got rid of old towels and an array of misplaced supplies! I’ve had the best intentions of cleaning it out for some time. It’s finally done!
Oh Wanda! You made my day!!! Thanks for sharing your success and your challenges.
This is a great list! tea towels, sponges and dishcloths are my weakness. I’ll put that at the bottom.
Hi Karyn, I can’t believe I didn’t have those on the list! I added them! Thanks for the suggestion my friend.
I tried to get rid of old sheets that were falling apart; I really did, but my husband thinks they make great “dust covers” for out in the garage and he will not let me throw them out. There are other things (like worn out towels) that he won’t let me throw out – that is my biggest challenge!
Your husband must be related to my husband! I find I have to be a bit sneaky with some of my declutters. That being said, I do agree with him on the use of those threadbare towels and old sheets…but now you’ll just have to manage how many you have out in the garage (which we will be hitting at the end of this challenge!)
we used the old towels for dog towels..along with ratty looking wash cloths…after not having a puppy in 30 yrs they were refurbished and used like crazy..yes we made a specific spot fir them..thank you for the list
Thanks for that! I am so glad you foudn the checklists useful!
Oh boy, was this ever needed! I threw out some expired food that I didn’t even realize had been in my pantry that long! The freezer and fridge also contained some questionable items that are now gone. These lists are great! I intend to keep them and go back through – maybe every 6 months? My biggest challenge is going through my spices and throwing the old ones out – having a hard time doing that since some are so expensive. My next biggest challenge is getting rid of storage containers. I have so many and I did box them up, but I haven’t gotten rid of them yet….. 🙁
Good Morning Sheila!
It is shocking when we take a deep look into our refrigerators and pantries, isn’t it? I am taking it a bit further by trying to eat down my freezer and pantry before I go to Costco again! (Costco is my weakness!) We will be eating a good deal of quinoa and beans for a time. 😉
So, here’s a suggestion on all your storage containers. Why don’t you take half of them out of your kitchen, box them up and put them in your attic or garage. Make a note on your calendar for 6 months from now. If you haven’t needed those containers in the next 6 months, maybe that’ll encourage your to let them go for good/
As it relates to your spices, going forward maybe buy them in smaller quantities. Our local health food store sells all the spices in bulk and I can buy just small quantities if I don’t use them frequently.
Love the idea of revisiting these every six months…it truly is an ongoing thing!
Happy Decluttering my friend!
I was delighted to see the kitchen and den were next. I find tackling the kitchen can be so daunting and I would find it even more so down the road as the thrill of this ‘treasure hunt” may start to ware off. So far it has been manageable and the lists have been such a great help. Thank you.
I am sorting the den now which I am reorganizing to do some computer and craft work in. I am Decluttering as I go, but am having a hard time finding containers (for my crafting supplies and tools) without running out to buy. Do you have suggestions of things I might recycle/repurpose to use as containers for shaped scissors, stencils, stickers, glues, card stock and envelopes and the like?
So glad these lists are helping you!
As it relates to items to repurpose for containers, I use hanging files for my card stock, envelopes, and stickers. For scissors, you could use heavy glass jars, flowerpots and terra cotta pot, an unused mug tree, and heavy baskets might be ideas for scissors. Let me know what you end up using! I’m always gathering ideas.
Happy Decluttering, Lynn
My sister Stacia shared your site with me. I too am inspired! Thank you Stacia.
My biggest issue is that I’m a sentimentalist. I have such a difficult time parting with things folks have given me. This probably goes into the realms of psychology…lol.
However, with your lists I know I can make some headway on my weakness for dishes and linens…who needs 40 old dish towels!
I love the scavenger hunt approach, and plan to start on week one today! Thank you Lynn
Hello Saskia! And welcome!
Your mom sure did bless you two with lovely names! Well done mom!
Sentimentality sure does make it difficult and I’d be lying if I told you that I had it all figured out. Here are some questions I ask myself when trying to deal with Sentimental items:
1. Why is it sentimental? Does this item bring you joy? Is it just something that was handed down to you that you really don’t have an attachment to, but feel like you ‘should’ keep it? I’d keep the things the things that truly bring joy and rehome those that don’t.
If EVERYTHING brings you joy, then you might have to set a limit on the number of things you keep.
2. Can you display it or use it? Do you want to display it? If not, then it isn’t doing any good sitting in a box in the attic or basement. Are there family members that might enjoy it? A local museum?
3. If you had to leave your home quickly, would this be one of the things you would absolutely want to take with you?
Good luck my friend! Be kind to yourself and do it at your place.