5 Things to Throw Away This Summer

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Diana Liang)

Maybe it’s the wide-open windows, or that bright sun shining a spotlight on every bit of clutter in the house, but summertime makes me want to purge, purge, purge my kitchen! Plus, I use the space totally differently in warm-weather months than I do in the colder ones. “Summer means more frequent and casual get-togethers, friends and kids running through the house, and a desire to keep entertaining easy,” says Tanya Whitford of Organizing Wonders.

So to clear my head — and my space — for a season of carefree entertaining, here are five things I’m throwing away this summer. Consider doing the same!

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

1. Yucky Food Storage Containers

Even the most resilient of food storage pieces can get stained, broken, or warped after a while. “If your containers put in a long winter storing soups and stews, it might be time to replace them,” says Whitford. Look for stain-resistant, BPA-free plastic versions if you’ll be bringing food to picnics or the beach, or glass ones if you mostly store food for home use.

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2. Rusted Grill Tools

“If your BBQ tools spent a winter outside and are now warped or fraying, they should be replaced,” says Whitford. Same goes for any outdoor-only gear that might not have been cleaned properly before you put it away — if that cooler smells like cole slaw from last summer, even after being cleaned three times, it’s time to get a new one.

3. Year-Old Popsicles

Despite what you may think, things don’t keep forever in the freezer. So look for season-specific items like Popsicles, hot dogs, or hamburger packs that are definitely a year old and toss them.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

4. Old Relish

Same goes for those BBQ-centric condiments, like pickle relish, horseradish, yellow mustard, or even mayo — if it’s not something you’ve been using day-to-day during the other seasons, it’s time to toss. “You know you haven’t been eating them since the previous summer,” says Whitford.

5. Single-Use Kitchen Gadgets

See: cherry pitter, pineapple corer, avocado slicer, kale trimmer, strawberry huller. If you’ve got one of these super-specific tools still in the packaging from last summer, you’re not going to use it this summer. But if you actually love one of these single-use gadgets and use it, keep it, Whitford says. (Huzzah, cherry pitter! You can stay!)

What are you getting rid of this summer?