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?