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!
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.
3 Storage Containers We Love
- Pyrex Glass and Silicone Lids Storage Set, $35 for 18-piece set at Target
- OXO 8-Piece SNAP Glass Food Storage Container Set, $30
Rubbermaid Brilliance 22-piece Food Storage Container Set, $40 at Bed Bath & Beyond
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.
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?