January 2021 Use It Up Challenge – Kitchen Items

The November Use It Up Challenge is here and it's all about tackling sentimental clutter.

Gather your blenders, rice cookers, and cherry pitters. It’s time for the January 2021 Use It Up Challenge. This month we are focusing on kitchen items. We all have gadgets and gizmos in the kitchen that we bought thinking we needed them. Then, as it turns out, they have sat in our cupboards unused. Or, perhaps we used them once and then relegated them to the storage area. For this month, we won’t be just focusing on kitchen gadgets, but all kitchen items that are found in the kitchen. So that includes baking sheets, dishes, etc. Let’s make sure that the items in our kitchen are ones that we truly use and need.

In the first year of this challenge, we have tackled notebooks, candles, cleaning supplies, craft supplies, clothes, bath items, books, food, toys, games, sentimental items, and holiday decorations. Feel free to go back to a previous month’s challenge to ensure that you are giving your home a solid decluttering.

January 2021 Use It Up Challenge

What is the Use It Up Challenge?

This is a monthly decluttering challenge that focuses on using the items instead of simply getting rid of them. This helps to reduce waste and also gets your money worth out of those items. Each month, a new category is chosen and we will focus on that category all month long. However, you don’t have to stop once that month ends. Keep decluttering and using up those items all year long. It will have a huge impact on your home and life at the end of the year.

If you are joining in, be sure to share your progress on social media using #IHUseItUp. I’d love to see how everyone is getting along with the challenge.

Where to start

Since kitchens tend to be filled with all kinds of items, we will break this down into categories to make the process easier. That being said, the first thing you need to do is empty out all of your cupboards, drawers, and anywhere else you have kitchen supplies hidden.

Next break them down into categories. One for baking items, one for cutlery, another for actual gadgets, and so on. If your kitchen is small, you may need to spread these items out in your dining room or another space so you can properly see all that you have.

Use it or lose it

Now that you have sorted through all of your kitchen items you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed. I understand, it can be shocking to see how much you have once it’s all out in the open. However, that is the entire point of this challenge, to show how much stuff is in your home and help you reduce it. The goal is to keep only those items that are actually useful to you.

With your items spread out you are liking spotting ones you regularly use. Grab those items and place them back where they belong. Another scan may highlight a few that you weren’t even aware you still had. It’s time to decide if you want to keep it and actually use it or get rid of it. If you have owed something for years and have never used it then it’s safe to get rid of it. Donate or sell the item.

Another question to ask yourself in this process is the number of plates, bowls, forks, etc. good or excessive. If you have a large family or entertain regularly, then you will want to ensure that you have enough for those occasions. However, if there are only a few people in your home and you own 20 of each item, then it may be time to reduce those items.

Tip: Clean as you go. Since your cupboards and drawers are now empty, be sure to give them a good cleaning. We all know how easily crumbs, dust, and other items end up accumulated in the kitchen. Don’t put the items you are keeping back until you have cleaned that space.

Lesser used items

During this process, you may come across items that you use but not very often. These items can be difficult to make decisions on. After all, they do get used but not regularly. For me, that’s my canning pot. I use it a lot during a few weeks of the year while I preserve my garden harvest. However, for the vast majority of the year, it goes unused. Will I get rid of it? Heck no! While not a regularly used item, my canner is too important to get rid of.

It’s okay if you have items like this. Not every item in your kitchen will be used daily or even weekly. As long as you know you will use it often enough, then keep it. However, if you can see yourself without this item, then feel free to rehome it to a friend, family member, or donate it.

What I’ll be using up

To be honest, I think I have done a pretty good job of paring back my kitchen gadgets to what I use regularly. I recall getting rid of quite a few items we no longer needed or used back when I did a kitchen declutter. However, that being said, I will give my entire kitchen a good once over to ensure that everything there is what we truly need and use.

I do know that there are a couple of plates and bowls that have become chipped over time that I really should get rid of. Even getting rid of these few items, I know we will have enough for everyday use.

Will you be joining the January 2021 Use It Up Challenge? What kitchen items do you know you own but rarely use?


  1. Yesterday, I did a major clean out of my kitchen cupboards. I have so many gadgets and gizmos that I never use. It’s nice to free up more space for the things I do use.

    1. Author

      That’s great to hear. It always feels great to gain some space back and see unused items leaving our homes.

  2. Yikes! As someone who REALLY wants a new kitchen, I see this being a very important thing for me to do. But it seems so overwhelming!!!

    1. Author

      I can understand how it can feel overwhelming but I assure you that once you start it will get easier. It may feel like too much once you get everything out in the open but that eye-opening moment should also propel you to get rid of what you don’t need. Just take it one day at a time and you will get there.

  3. I definitely need to do this, especially when it comes to our kitchen! We have quite a few random odds and ends tucked away that I don’t even necessarily remember are there lol The catch to having a lot of cupboard and pantry space, right? lol

    1. Author

      It’s so easy to forget what you have in your kitchen as things get shoved to the back of cupboards where we lose sight of it. It will be well worth the effort to go through your kitchen and see what unused items are lurking in the depths of the pantry and drawer. Good luck!

  4. Happy New Year! I love the idea behind the Use It Up challenge! I know for me, this is big with beauty products. I found myself forcing the usage of all beauty products before buying a replacement. I find the kitchen having a lot of opportunities to use things up to throw it away. Those cans can pile up so quickly. It is great that you got to look at gadgets you don’t need anymore. Have a great 2021!

    Nancy ✨ mdrnminimalists.com

    1. Author

      Happy New Year! That’s great that you make yourself use up a beauty product before buying more. That’s a great way to ensure you are using what you have instead of buying more and neglecting what’s already in your home. Things certainly can pile up quickly and that’s why it’s important to regularly declutter and work on those spaces.

  5. This is a great idea! I have a small kitchen, but somehow I still have lots of random, unused items lurking in there. You’ve inspired me to get them out and have a sift through, as part of an early spring-clean!

    1. Author

      I’m glad I could inspire you to do some early spring cleaning. Kitchens seem to be a magnet for small items and gadgets that then get forgotten about. I hope you are able to get your kitchen cleaned out so only those items you use remain.

  6. Great post! I try to live as minimally as I can and often do cleanses every month. I donate a lot of stuff when I can or sell it on Facebook marketplace! This weekend I’m going to clean out my closet. Wish me luck xo

    1. Author

      Thank you. That’s great that you live minimally. That’s what I am working towards and this challenge really helps out a lot. Good luck with getting your closet cleaned out.

  7. I’m definitely all about sorting through things and repurposing/selling/giving away anything I haven’t used or no longer used. I want to create space and be more organized this year. I may try cleaning out a specific area each week and see how it goes! Great post!

    1. Author

      That’s great to hear. Keeping up with regular decluttering and cleaning will really help you reach that organized goal. Good luck!

  8. I love this! I set myself a similar challenge a couple of years ago where I gathered together items that I had had for ages but never used. I tried to use something from that pile of things every day!

    1. Author

      Thank you. That’s a great way to do it and will really help you identify the things you can or will use versus those things you won’t.

  9. This sounds like an interesting challenge – I’m trying to make an effort to use up everything I own pretty much in 2021!

    Tash – A Girl with a View

    1. Author

      Thank you. Good luck with your own challenge, I’m sure these monthly challenges I’m posting can help you with that.

    1. Author

      Thank you. It’s so easy to buy things you don’t end up needing but that’s why I decided to make this challenge, to help people deal with that unused clutter. Good luck with it!

  10. Love the idea of this challenge, a great way to get rid of unused items or put them to good use. I’ll definitely try it out in my kitchen!

    Anika | chaptersofmay.com

    1. Author

      Thank you. I’m glad you are joining in to make sure you have items you will truly use in your kitchen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *