7 Things You Have Too Many of (and What to Do with Them)

updated May 18, 2021
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)

Everyone has a different tolerance for junk. Some people have a very low threshold and are easily able to weed things out, while others have a much harder time letting things go. Wherever you fall on this spectrum, chances are you have too many of at least one of these things hanging around your kitchen.

Let it go, let it go, we say — but don’t just toss ’em. Here’s what to do instead.

(Image credit: Leela Cyd)

1. Cookbooks you never read

No, we are not saying throw out that dog-eared, stained, loved cookbook you turn to all the time. Yes, we are saying that maybe there’s a better use for that cookbook you’ve never even opened. Donate it or consider organizing a cookbook swap with your friends. You may get something you’ll actually use!

(Image credit: Cambria Bold)

2. Old dish cloths

When you get new dish cloths, do you get rid of your old, grubby ones? If the answer is no, then you have too many. Retire them to the “rag” section of your cleaning cupboard, toss them, or check with your local animal shelter. They may want them for bedding or for cleaning up messes.

(Image credit: Diana Liang)

3. Food containers

Invasion of the food containers is a real-life kitchen horror story and we’re here to help. Almost every kitchen in America has bottoms without lids and lids without bottoms. Go through and weed out any piece that’s missing a match. (Look to see if the pieces are marked for your town’s recycling or toss them.) Then, pull out anything that’s stained or misshapen and repurpose them to hold odds and ends in the garage or laundry room.

4. Takeout menus

Everything is online! You do not need these menus. Next time you have a messy craft project, use them to protect your table — and then throw them all away.

(Image credit: Jelena Jojic Tomic/Stocksy)

5. Tote bags

Reusable shopping bags are great — until you have too many and then they are not so great. First, stop accumulating them. Don’t buy any more, don’t take one from the free table at work. Just say no. As for the ones you already have, try to use them around the house in place of boxes or bins or just donate them. Turns out, shelters and food banks really like to accept tote bags, as their patrons can often put them to good use.

(Image credit: Lisa Freedman)

6. Plastic bags

Raise your hand if this is you: You have a million reusable shopping bags, but you also seem to have an endless supply of plastic bags. You’re in good company. Luckily, they’re pretty handy: Use them to line small trash cans (like the ones in your bathroom), to wrap your shoes when you travel, or to pick up your dog’s “business” or line your kitty litter box.

7. Chopsticks

If you save the chopsticks every time you get Chinese takeout, chances are you have way too many. Luckily, there are actually loads of ways to repurpose chopsticks! Use them as markers in your garden, asmake more space in a crowded refrigerator.

This post originally ran on Kitchn. See it there: 7 Things You Have Too Many of (and What to Do with Them