Here’s a new feature I’m introducing on Solve My Space. Each week, I’ll highlight 5 items that I regularly see in homes that really should GO. And by toss I mean either recycle, discard or donate. This week the spotlight is on the kitchen.
1. Tupperware that doesn’t match: Bye bye! I see this all the time—drawers stuffed with too many plastic containers that create chaos in the kitchen, not to mention adding stress to the morning rush when you’re trying to find the right lid to fit over your lunch. Also toss out plastic food storage containers with recycle codes 3 or 7; many plastic containers before 2010 may contain BPA.
2. Old dried spices: Yes, this too. We all have drawers or shelves or bins filled with overflowing spices. Ground spices last 3-4 years, leafy herbs for 1-2 years and whole spices for 4 years. How do you know? Dried herbs and spices should smell and taste potent, and remember to store them in a cool, dry place away from sunlight and heat (including your stove).
3. Expired canned food: It may seem like canned food lasts forever, but it’s not accurate. On the average, canned fruits and tomatoes last 18 months and other items can last up to 5 years. Check the expiration dates on your cans to make sure.
4. Leftovers: According to the Mayo Clinic, leftovers should be consumed within 3-4 days after being cooked. However, always throw out food that has become moldy. In addition, a weekly clear out of your fridge means that you’ll actually eat and enjoy what’s inside and avoid funky smells and food going to waste.
5. Doubles of kitchen tools: Who doesn’t have a kitchen with duplicate utensils? Spatulas, whisks, apple corers, strainers, you name it, the list goes on. No one needs two electric can openers or three peelers — donate one!