Spring is just around the corner (starting March 20), which means it’s that time of year to start your spring cleaning. The start of a new season can be inspiring enough to declutter and reorganize. So, why not get rid of things you no longer need in your kitchen and simplify your life this season? Read on for our guide on how to do a pantry purge!

Here are several items you need to purge from your kitchen right now and ones you can keep:

What to Toss:

  • Dirty sponge: a breeding ground for germs and bacteria
  • Moldy dish rack: should be cleaned before or after cleaning dishes
  • Worn cooking equipment: like any thin-bottomed pots or pans
  • Scratched nonstick pots and pans: can be dangerous to cook with
  • Silverware that’s literally bent out of shape: poses risk of mouth injury
  • Any and all chipped glassware
  • Burned and dirty oven mitts
  • Old or expired food: such as canned goods, spices and herbs
  • Plastic containers that are either years old, missing lids or stained
  • Plastic cutting boards that are clearly past their prime
  • Multiple versions of the same tool: consider donating
  • Broken or incomplete equipment: such as incomplete storage jars or appliances missing key parts
  • Things you don’t have space for: like bulky equipment that has been hanging around for months without ever getting plugged in, filled or used

What to Keep:

  • Well-made pots and pans: such as Dutch oven pots and those made from cast iron
  • Things with sentimental value: such as antique silverware or pottery
  • Some specialty tools: such as specialty spatulas or a pasta-making attachment

“How the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen Does a Pantry Purge,” Rochelle Bilow, bonappetit.com, Jan. 7, 2015.

“10 Items You Need To Purge From Your Kitchen Right Now, Dana Oliver, huffingtonpost.com, Jan. 16, 2015.