Looking at you, garlic press!

Jaime Milan
January 10, 2020
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We're no Marie Kondo, but we know there are certain items in everyone's kitchen (including ours!) that don't "spark joy" or serve a purpose. Whether you're trying to eat healthier, get more organized or go green in the new year, taking stock of what's in your kitchen can help. After all, if you can't find your meal-prep containers or reusable grocery tote, how are you going to achieve those goals?

Getty / Allusioni

Here are six kitchen items we think you should toss, recycle or donate ASAP.

Duplicate Items or Stuff You Never Use

Hoarding two drip coffee makers or that panini press you never use is a waste of valuable kitchen space. Donate them, or try to sell unused items on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist for a little extra cash.

Plastic Containers

It's 2020, which means it's time to ditch the plastic containers. Opt for reusable and dishwasher-safe glass containers for a major life upgrade (we love these for meal prep, since they're oven-safe, BPA-free and boast plenty of room for all our favorite meals). The best news? You can recycle your old plastic food containers (here's how).

Expired Ingredients or Stale Spices

If your ingredients are well past their expiration date or you can't remember when you bought them, it's probably time to toss them. Spices are a little trickier, since not all of them have expiration dates stamped on the outside. A good rule of thumb: If your spices look dull in color or don't smell as fragrant as they once did, it's time to toss them in your compost bin.

Peeling Nonstick Pans

If the coating of your pan is coming off, it's time to say goodbye. Consumer Reports says that many nonstick pans are coated in PFAS, which are chemicals that can be hazardous if heated or consumed. So when in doubt, throw them out.

Dull Knives

Dull knives are more dangerous than super-sharp ones (your hand is more likely to slip when cutting with dull knife, which can cause you to cut yourself), and you should be having your knives professionally sharpened at least once a year if you cook regularly.

Fun fact: If you take your knives into Williams-Sonoma and Sur La Table (even if you didn't buy them there), they'll sharpen your first knife for free and each knife after that for just $5.

So, if your knives are still salvageable, get them sharpened ASAP. If they're past the point of recognition, it's time to invest in a new set and keep them sharp (we love this set from J.A. Henckles, and it's 74% off right now. Score!)

Single-Use Tools

That garlic press or hard-boiled egg maker is probably sitting in the back of your drawer or cabinet with a layer of dust on it. Unless you use it on the reg, it's time to donate it to charity.