Declutter Plastic Cutlery & Take Out Supplies: 15 Minute Mission

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Today's decluttering mission is to declutter plastic and disposable silverware and cutlery as well as other take out supplies.

The sky's the limit on what these additional supplies may be. Everyone has their own types of things they tend to stash.

For me every time my family gets take out I end up using my own silverware (I prefer to use the real stuff!) but I end up saving all these forks, knives, and sporks.

For others it may be napkins, little packets of salt and pepper, condiment packets, etc.

There are many reasons we keep stuff like this. Some of these include that it was free, or I paid for it as part of my meal so I want to keep it. There's also, I hate to throw it away, and I might need them later. Or you just may hate to waste them.

For whatever reason you keep them what happens then, often, is that they all get tossed in a drawer and then eventually it starts to pile up.

When you are decluttering don't throw them all out, obviously, if you do periodically use some of it. On the other hand, be realistic. If you have accumulated a large collection of stuff you clearly accumulate faster than you use it so now is the time to pare it down to a more reasonable amount.

The question then becomes of what to do with the stuff you've decided to declutter.

Bonus points if you tell me ideas for what to do with the items in the comments.

Obviously, recycle when you can instead of throwing things straight in the trash can. But in addition, I believe many of these take out supplies could be used by someone, even if you personally can't. So definitely consider donation as well.

Tell me in the comments your ideas for places where you could donate these types of items that would really appreciate them.

In addition, at the bottom of the article I've provided a few simple ideas for how to stop accumulating this type of clutter in your home from now on.

Photo courtesy of Liz Latham at Hoosier Homemade

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Don't Forget To Check Your Car For This Stuff!

All the take out supplies and similar clutter found in car when Karin decluttered {featured on Home Storage Solutions 101}

When doing this mission don't forget to check your car and get rid of any of these types of items from there.

We'll do a full car interior decluttering mission later as well, but get that stuff out of these at some point soon!

The photo above is from a reader, Karin. She said, "When I cleaned out our cars last September, look at what I found...LOL"

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Look At What Readers Have Decluttered!

Here are some of the supplies that readers have decluttered when doing this mission.

Amanda found all kinds of take out containers that she'd saved. She exclaimed, "45 pieces GONE!"

Get rid of excess take out supplies as part of the #Declutter365 missions on Home Storage Solutions 101

Kate decluttered a bunch of spoons, saying, "I think we can stop saving our 16 Handles yogurt spoons."

Get rid of excess plastic cutlery as part of the #Declutter365 missions on Home Storage Solutions 101

Rita decluttered all these condiment packets, saying, "I recycle the cutlery and paper plates, but I did have packs of condiments I will not ever use! I used to take them to a place I worked, but haven't worked there in 2-3 years! So here's my stash I tossed today! Love these mini challenges! So quick and EASY to do!"

Decluttered condiment packets as part of the #Declutter365 missions on Home Storage Solutions 101

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Tips To Keep From Accumulating These Items In Excess In Your Home From Now On

If after doing this mission you find you've accumulated way too many of these supplies, such as enough condiment packets to use for a good three years or more, etc., then you need to set some ground rules for yourself for the future so this doesn't happen again.

Say No To Taking Them Just Because They're Free

You may think it takes too much effort to tell someone not to add these types of things to your take out packages, but just remember how much effort it is taking right now to declutter it!

You've got to get yourself out of the mentality that just because something is free you need to take it. In fact, I wrote an entire article on this concept here.

Similarly, only take what you'll use right during that meal, instead of also taking extra for later. That just leads to waste.

Designate A Space For The Supplies & When Its Full That's It!

A similar concept is to choose a container for these take out supplies, and once it is full, stop accumulating them. Don't try to keep shoving more in, or adding another container. Just say no.

Make A Concerted Effort To Use These Items If You Are Going To Keep Them

Finally, if you're going to save some of these items for later, make a concerted effort to make sure later comes.

Go ahead and use some of these supplies. Some ideas include:
  • Camping
  • Picnics
  • Packed lunches for yourself or kids
  • Busy nights in
Similarly, if you collect all those condiment packets actually eat them. A lot of those packets don't have expiration dates, but you know eventually even those condiments will be past their peak. So if you've had some in a drawer for 15 years, you might just want to toss it all to be safe and start fresh!

Tell me below your tips for not accumulating too much of an excess of these items again once you've done this mission.

Are You Ready To Declutter Your Home?

declutter 365
I hope this has inspired you to get rid of your excess take out supplies and plastic and disposable silverware.

When you begin to declutter the feeling you get is contagious, so if you're loving the results you're getting I would encourage you to keep going.

I've got a whole series of 15 minute decluttering missions (eventually 365 of them!) that you can do.

Just pick and choose the ones you want to do, that will make a big impact in your home. But if you want someone else to tell you the order you can also grab the 15 minute daily decluttering mission calendars and follow along as we all get our homes clutter free together!

How to declutter take out supplies, condiment packets, plastic silverware and more {#Declutter365 mission on Home Storage Solutions 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

Top photo courtesy of Rex Roof

Related Pages You May Enjoy

Getting Clutter Free 15 Minutes At A Time Hall Of Fame

Getting Rid Of Kitchen Clutter Hall Of Fame

Go From Declutter Plastic Cutlery & Take Out Supplies Mission To Home Page

Comments for Tips To Keep From Accumulating These Items In Excess In Your Home From Now On

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Other uses for take out supplies - camping and parties
by: Angel

I put my take out supplies in 2 clear plastic storage containers. One of them labeled camping and the other labeled party. We have about 3 annual pot lucks a year so I grab the container labeled party and use up the silverware and any condiment packages I can. This is also convenient when you go camping so you don't have to bring such heavy silverware or condiment bottles with you and they're both easy clean up.

Plastic cutlery and condiment ideas
by: Louise

I ONCE in awhile use the plastic knives for outside work, while I'm digging in my flower pots. Not that you need many. I do keep a ziploc bag in the car for plastic silverware, napkins, salt and pepper, etc., for when we order pizza and take it for a picnic.

As for the condiments, I keep them in a tupperware container. I Did use lemon juice one night for fish, which I did not have lemons for. Every now and then I open sugar packets, and put in my sugar canister, salt and pepper in the shakers. It does add up. I use the sauces from chicken nuggets, for marinating meats, etc. I'm always afraid I'll run out of something and won't be able to get to the store! Ketchup is about the only one that gets wasted with me. Jellies need to be used ASAP, b/c they do not have a long shelf life.

Keeping or Giving - ideas for both
by: Anonymous

I keep a large plastic tote in the garage for birthday/holiday leftover plates/napkins and birthday table d├ęcor, bulk plasticware, sleeves of large plastic cups and Styrofoam cups for large gatherings.

An idea for give-away for individually wrapped plasticware and condiments would be to put several into a baggie, perhaps with napkins, paper towels, or packaged wipes, and hand out to the homeless.

Teachers lounge
by: Anonymous

I'm a teacher and I'm taking all my plastic forks spoons, etc. to the teachers lounge. I can't tell you how many times my colleagues and I have needed a utensil while eating lunch but can't find any!

Bless your Workplace
by: Anonymous

Last time I decluttered my plastic cutlery I bagged it all up and put it in the lunchroom at work. We run out of it frequently there so it was a win-win for both places!

what to do with plastic ware
by: Jamie

1. People at work are always running out of plastic ware, so I put my extras in a common drawer in our office.

2. I keep a small bag of extra plastic ware in the car, so if we go to a picnic, we already have the forks in the car, so we don't have to use any of theirs--going green!

3. I keep a few in my car. If and when we go to fast food, I tell them "no spoons", etc., and then we use our own.

4. Taking food places that needs plastic ware. I take my menagerie from the drawers. Who cares if it doesn't match?!

plastic takeout silverware
by: Beth

We take ours on vacation and use instead of the silverware that comes in the condo. The salt and pepper come in handy if you don't want to buy those large items to take back with you.

donate them!
by: Joyce

Donate to a soup kitchen, your church for use at social hour after worship or summer picnic, area senior citizen group or child daycare center.

Take them to work!
by: Jennifer

I keep a bag hanging on our coat hooks, and toss the plastic ware in there as it comes into the house (I too prefer to use our "real" silverware when we get takeout, and plates too, usually). Then, every so often, I take that bag into work with me (I usually work from home, so it's not too often), and leave it in our communal area where we often bring in snacks to share, or have our potlucks. Our office no longer supplies plates and plastic ware as they used to, and sometimes someone finds themselves without a needed item - or when we have potlucks someone has to be assigned to bring plates/plastic, etc - this way there's a handy stash should someone be in need. We do the same with sugar packets and condiments too.

Reuse that plastic flatware!
by: Anonymous

I always take it home and wash it, if it has been used, then take it to the office for co-workers to use at lunch, for birthday cakes, etc. They usually throw it away after but at least it has been used!

tell them you don't want it when you get take out
by: Anonymous

When you order take out on the phone tell the person taking your order you do not want plastic dinnerware. When you pick up your order make sure then, that they did not put in your bag plastic dinnerware. It's called communication.

I take mine to work too!
by: Anonymous

I will take my extra plastic cutlery and take out supplies to my job and put them in the break room. They seem to be in great demand and I never see any leftover!

I'm going to donate mine
by: Anonymous

A local feeding program or soup kitchen might be willing to deal with the inefficiency of a mismatch day to help their utensils budget go farther. Haven't done it yet, but that's the plan your article inspired!

Plastic forks and condiments
by: Gwen

At our favorite Asian place I often remember to tell them not to put the forks and soy sauce in the order. We take it home and eat it, putting it on real plates and using real utensils. And I like the lower sodium soy sauce so don't use theirs.

Too much plastic!
by: Krista

The condiment packet may be free for the customer but not for the place that you got it from. Something to keep in mind. I have some of the plastic forks, etc. in an emergency pack in the car. Giving some others to my daughter when she moves out soon. I keep a gallon ziplock with the plastics in them in a cupboard. Use them in my lunch bag for work and for other places. Extra is disposed of. The hubby keeps bringing them home from the Mexican food place across the street from where I live. They are closing soon and then this problem will hopefully go away.

Give to the homeless
by: Anonymous

I keep them in my car and include them in my bags for the homeless. That way if you can donate food they have the utensils to eat it with.

Entertaining Basket
by: Anonymous

I have compiled a basket of supplies needed for when unexpected company comes over, or we are brown bagging, or picnicking. It has all the plastic cutlery, plates, bowls, cups and table cloths and napkins. It's labeled as "Pick-in-nic Basket". I restock as needed and always put any leftover takeout containers and spare cutlery and packets in there. Be prepared was the Girl Guide motto!

where to donate
by: Nancy

I put mine in a small bag with handles and take it to the elementary school near me for the teachers to use for lunch or using for birthday cakes. I was a teacher and half the time no one had silverware to eat their lunch with and they do not have time to search for some.

I freeze for later
by: Anonymous

I take the cheese and peppers you get with pizza and put them all together in one freezer bag and freeze for future use.

blessings bags
by: lw

I did this at the start of the year and made up "blessings bags" for anyone I see that needs one. They've also really come in handy when one my kids and I are in the car (dr's apt., road trip, etc.) I have an "emergency bag" (with socks and campstove, food, utensils); but I'd like to borrow the picnic bag idea too, to be a little purposeful about our outings!

Dealing with disposables
by: Anonymous

Once in a while we entertain the youth from church on Sunday. Last time we had an ice cream bar. I was very happy to use my paper bowls and my plastic spoons because they are so messy!

I decluttered my pantry a few weeks ago and put all my paper and plastics in one neat pile so that everything is now together and easy to get at.

Give to friends still working
by: Anonymous

I am retired so I no longer go to the office but I save this stuff and give to friends who are still working to take to their office or job site.

Plasticware and Condiments
by: Jean Gray

Keep a zipper bag of each, in your vehicle, for takeout. Keep a stash at home for lunch boxes/ bags, easy clean-up meals and snacks. Include unopened pieces and sets with canned good donations, or appropriate food gifts.

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