For many people, the kitchen is the heart of their home. A lot of activity happens in that room and a lot of time is spent there. So, it’s no surprise the kitchen is one room that can collect a lot of clutter. Perhaps you’ll be putting your home on the market. Or maybe you’ve been inspired by some spotless kitchens you’ve seen on HGTV or Instagram. Or you may simply be tired of dealing with things like shuffling a bunch of gadgets around every time you want to close a drawer. Let’s look at six kinds of clutter you can target.

Papers. It’s easy to wind up with drawers stuffed with takeout menus, old shopping lists, kid’s artwork, and owner’s manuals for appliances. Many of these things never get looked at again. Some, such as the menus and user manuals, can be easily accessed online. In other words, you should have no problem tossing the whole lot of them.

Takeout containers. When takeouts come in good plastic containers, many people wash them and put them away to use as storage containers for leftovers and other food items. The problem is, it’s easy to end up with more of these containers than you could ever possibly use. So, check to see how many you actually need, and get rid of the rest.

Mugs. Next, take a look at all those mugs you’ve accumulated. Some were gifts, some were just impulse buys, and others are souvenirs. Get rid of the ones you don’t use. If some of these are souvenirs with sentimental value, take them out of the cabinet and display them on a shelf.

Cookbooks. The ones you use for only one or two recipes aren’t worth the space they’re taking up in your kitchen. Photocopy the recipes you use, put them in a ring binder, and donate the books they came from, along with cookbooks you never use, to a thrift store or your library.

Kitchen gadgets. Kitchen drawers can get cluttered with culinary tools and gadgets you bought on a whim or received as a gift that someone at the time believed you needed. Anything you no longer use can be thrown out.

Foods you should no longer eat. You likely have foods you don’t often use sitting on pantry shelves or in your refrigerator. Pantry items might include spices, baking supplies, teas, canned goods, and special condiments. Refrigerator shelves could hold juices, steak and seafood sauces, and other condiments you haven’t used in a while. Check the expiration dates on all these items. Throw out the contents of all expired items and, if possible, recycle the containers.

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