Home Care

How To Tackle Spring Cleaning Your Kitchen

Know what to keep and what you need to throw out

Photography: Marc Jao (Main Photos)

Even if we technically don’t have a spring season, we can all relate to the yearly task of rummaging through our entire house to get rid of all our collective, excess clutter and junk. While some may actually enjoy this taxing chore, it takes a lot of work—especially when you’re tackling a space like the kitchen.

There are just so many nooks and crannies to check in the cooking area: inside cabinets, the fridge, cupboards, drawers, and other storage spots. It can be daunting to take on the task of deciding whether you'll still be needing a certain item in the future or if it's just taking up valuable counter space. Don't despair as we're here to help you out. Take note of these tips when you're in the mood to organize the busiest area at home:

What to Keep:

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When you have a bigger kitchen with ample storage, it's tempting to buy every gadget and tool out there to make cooking easier. The truth is, there are only a few tools you need to start cooking up a storm. This is perfect for tiny kitchens, but also good to adapt in bigger homes looking to get rid of excess stuff:

  • You can keep three knives in rotation: a versatile 8-inch Chef’s Knife for all of your chopping and cutting; a 10-inch serrated knife for slicing breads and some fruits and vegetables; and a small paring knife for smaller jobs like cutting olives and mushrooms.
  • Stick to two chopping boards: a wooden board and a silicone one for meats.
  • You’re also only going to need three pots and pans: a 10-quart pot for soups, stews, and cooking pastas; a sauté or frying pan; and a medium-sized saucepan.
  • As for dishes, keep one set for each member of the household and an extra two or three sets in case you need to entertain guests.
  • If you bake or enjoy a good roast, you’re only going to need a 9”x13” baking pan.
  • As for tools, keep only what you really need and actually use. This includes kitchen shears, a peeler, a grater, silicone tongs, a ladle, and a couple of mixing spoons. As for measuring cups and spoons, only keep one set of each. 


What to Toss:

We understand that kitchen must-haves don't come cheap, but if you're still keeping that red-stained, deformed plastic container—that's considered hoarding. Say bye bye to these items:

  • Warped or scratched pots should go even if you think “they can still be used.” This rule applies especially when you're using non-stick cookware—scratched pots and pans are not safe to use anymore.
  • The same goes for dull or rusted knives. Just because the manghahasa is willing to sharpen those 5-year-old blades, doesn’t mean you should keep them. There are plenty of affordable knives in the market. Toss out the old ones and replace them with new items (in limited quantities, of course).
  • Chipped or stained dishes and glassware should also go.
  • Finally, expired and old ingredients like condiments, spices, and herbs should be tossed even if you think they’re “outliving” their shelf life. If you don’t want to waste ingredients, try buying in smaller quantities the next time you shop. 


What to Give Away:

Of course there are some things in our kitchen that are still perfectly okay to use but are taking up a lot of storage space. Check for items gathering dust inside your cabinet which can be used by others.

  • Look for extra water bottles, souvenir mugs, and excess plastic containers.
  • Do you have unused small appliances? See if these are still working and give it away. You can also donate appliances and other must-haves to charity.
  • Baking ware you won't be using anytime soon can be given to a friend who loves whipping up sweet treats.

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