6 Kitchen Tools That Just Aren’t Worth It, According to People Who Just Decluttered

updated Feb 4, 2021
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Raise your hand if you’ve spent more time in your kitchen over the last year than you ever have before. (If you can’t tell, I’m raising my hand.) There’s plenty to love about a space that can be as comforting and nurturing as you want it to be, but unless you are a character in a Nancy Meyers movie (or perhaps even Meyers herself), you likely aren’t working with an unlimited amount of kitchen space. Inevitably, you’re going to need to declutter your space from time to time again.

Inspired by Apartment Therapy’s recent January Cure, I set out to identify the kitchen gadgets and tools that I could probably live without. Here’s what editors, contributors, and friends all said they had dumped from their kitchen roster — and what they’re prioritizing instead.

Budget Nonstick Pans

“Cheap nonstick pans ALWAYS flake and chip on me, and then I need to toss them,” Kitchn managing editor Lauren Kodiak said. “The money I was spending continuously on replacing them ended up being more than just investing in a higher-quality pan from the start (like Material or Caraway).”

Buy instead:

A Pizza Stone

“I bought a pizza stone and used it precisely one time,” Apartment Therapy contributor De Elizabeth said. “I must have used it wrong because the pizza burned to a crisp after a few minutes.” She also wasn’t a fan of how heavy the piece was to lift in and out of the oven — while some people swear by keeping theirs in the oven to better distribute heat, there will come a time when you have to lug the thing out to clean it. (If you aren’t yet ready to give up on your pizza stone, our friends at Kitchn have tips on making the most of your investment.)

Buy instead:

  • A cast iron pizza pan will still be heavier than a baking sheet, but may be easier and more versatile than the stone.
  • Pros also love pizza steels, which provide all the benefits of a stone but can’t crack in the same way.
Credit: Cathy Pyle

A Hefty Spiralizer

Multiple members of Apartment Therapy’s Apartment Therapist and The Cure Facebook groups said they finally tossed a single-use gadget meant to spiralize vegetables and other foods. One reader called it her “most unused” tool, which “took up a TON of space in my cupboard, and didn’t work any better than the little manual one I got from my kids for Christmas about 6-7 years ago. Put it in the “donate” box with great glee!”

Buy instead:

A Mandoline Slicer

Two Facebook members mentioned that they tossed their bulky mandoline slicers. “It never got used — good knives are enough for me,” one explained. “I’ll see if I miss the mandoline enough to get a smaller, handheld version,” the other noted.

Buy instead:

  • If you’d prefer not to live in fear of slicing your finger on a mandoline blade, but aren’t confident in your knife skills or need adaptive tools, try a multipurpose food processor. The World Institute on Disability recommends it as a smart purchase for kitchen safety.
  • Still attached to the convenience of a mandoline? Kitchn editors are, too. They like the flat-lay version from Benriner, which comes with a safety guard for your hand. This $9 kitchen glove will also protect your hand from too-sharp blades.
Credit: Chloe Berk

Single-use appliances

One reader got rid of every single-use appliance in the kitchen had except for a waffle maker over the course of a five-week decluttering session, saying, “I had to get over the ‘this is still good’ mindset.”

Take some time to assess your cooking habits and how they align with your appliances. If you regularly whip up a batch of waffles, the waffle maker can stay. But when it comes to the popcorn machine, frozen margarita machine, or any other specialty appliance, is there another multipurpose tool you can use instead?

Buy instead:

  • Multipurpose appliances, such as blenders and food processors.

Novelty Bakeware

I know, I know: It’s adorable to think about owning a madeleine pan with heart-shaped indents for Valentine’s Day cookies, or a pan allowing you to bake DIY Twinkies. But I’ve learned the hard way to avoid the novelty bakeware that might feel out-of-season any other time of the year.

Buy instead:

  • Standard-issue cupcake pans — you can always decorate cupcakes and brownies with thematic frosting.
  • Thematic cutters, which take up next to no space at all.