A Brilliant, Regret-Free Way to Declutter Your Kitchen

updated Jun 14, 2021
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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

When it comes to decluttering tricks, there are many. From mantras and frenetic purges to viral methods, we go to great lengths to get things out of our homes. But there’s one popular trope that always works — and it involves showing yourself how often you use something, or, actually, how often you don’t.

It’s why the backwards hanger trick works for thinning out your closet to items that actually get worn. Or why it’s so easy to get rid of things once they’ve been boxed up in storage for a while: You realize that if you haven’t needed to get into the box all year long, you can confidently get rid of everything without even peeking inside.

It’s an effective principle because it eliminates the common, nagging decluttering thought hurdle of “But what if I need it?”

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

How to Declutter Your Kitchen With Just Tape

There’s a smart way to apply the “I don’t need this” technique to your kitchen items — and all without boxing things up or even moving anything out of your space.


Grab some washi, masking, or painter’s tape, and apply a small piece to some of the things in your kitchen that you need to assess, such as the handles or cords of pots and pans, small appliances, and other kitchen tools.

From now on:

Whenever you use something, peel the tape off.

In a few months:

In six months (or maybe a year, if you want to be sure to include a full round of birthdays and holidays), take stock. Items that are still sporting their tape can be removed from the valuable real estate in your kitchen and donated or gifted to a new home.

It works great in the kitchen, but truthfully the tape trick can be used on any category of things you wish to thin out, like cookbooks, clothes (put the tape on the hanger instead of turning it around and also use it on folded clothes), shoes, craft supplies, power tools, or anything else you can imagine.

This post originally ran on Apartment Therapy. See it there: A Brilliant, Regret-Free Way You Can Use Tape to Declutter Your Kitchen