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Declutter Pots & Pans {15 Minute Mission}

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Today's mission is to declutter your pots and pans, and other cookware to keep only the best, and to ditch the rest. (We'll declutter bakeware in a later mission.)

Kitchen Drawer & Cabinet Organization Challenge
This mission is designed to be done while working on the Kitchen Cabinet & Drawer Organization Challenge here on the site.

At first glance some participants of the Declutter 365 missions who've done this task thought they didn't have much to get rid of, and that may really be the case, but stop and really think before you just assume you're fine with this mission.

Pots and pans tend to accumulate, because we buy a new one, but don't get rid of the older one, or you get a set for a present and don't use a few of the items in the set, and they get shoved back into the back of the cabinet, forgotten.

Today's the day to pull out all of your cookware from wherever you currently store it, and take a good hard look at everything, to make sure you want to keep it.

Pots and pans take up a lot of room and space, so getting rid of just one or two bulky pots can make a huge difference in the amount of space you can open up in your kitchen.

Questions To Ask Yourself When Deciding What Cookware To Declutter

6 questions to ask yourself when #decluttering pots and pans from your kitchen {on Home Storage Solutions 101} #Declutter #KitchenOrganizationuse this Pin it button to save to Pinterest
Here are some of the things to ask yourself when you do this mission, to make sure you keep only what you actually need and will use.

1. How often do I use this? Frequently, occasionally, or never?

If you never use a particular pot or pan, it should not be taking up space in your kitchen.

If you use a pan only occasionally, ask yourself whether you need to keep it. Would another pot or pan you're already keeping be able to serve the same purpose? If not, but you do occasionally use something, perhaps your turkey roaster for example, which you use on holidays, make sure to move it from the prime storage locations in your kitchen and put it somewhere a bit less convenient to reach, just so you can make room for the frequently used items in the most convenient locations.

2. Do I like to use this piece of cookware?

We all have our favorite pots or pans, the ones that cook beautifully, or clean up like a
dream. And then we all have that one pot that we absolutely detest using -- it wobbles, or everything burns when you use it, or everything sticks and it is a huge pain to clean up. Do yourself a favor and get rid of the ones you don't like to use, life's too short to mess with annoying cookware.

3. Is this too damaged or worn for use?

Also seriously consider decluttering any cookware that is deeply scratched, scorched beyond your ability to clean it up again, and definitely get rid of any non-stick cookware that has flaking or peeling coating.

4. Do I have duplicates of this pot or pan?

How many saucepans do you really need? Think about this question seriously. How many pots or pans can you actually cook with at one time? If you have four burners on your stovetop keeping six saucepans seems a bit excessive.

Even if you like each of the duplicate items you don't need and actually can't use them all at once. Clear out excess space, keeping the best, and then letting someone else use the ones that practically you can't use.

5. Does this cookware have its matching lid?

I have no idea how this happens, but it does. We somehow keep a lid without a pot, or vice versa. These are prime items to declutter, when you don't have all the parts of the pan or pot that are needed (assuming it needs a lid).

6. How much space do you have to store your cookware?

Finally, ask yourself have much space you've got available for storing pots and pans. Practically you can only keep as many as you've got space for, so you may need to get choosy. Of course, if you don't use something frequently there is no reason you can't store some of those items in a different location outside your kitchen to make room for the more frequently used items, as mentioned before.

With those questions in mind you're ready to begin this mission. Below I've added photos from readers who've already taken on this mission, showing their results, to get you inspired and motivated to tackle your own cookware today.

In addition, after you've finished decluttering, make sure to check out my companion article all about organizing pots and pans to get ideas for storing and organizing the cookware you decided were keepers.

Top photos courtesy of a reader, Kerry

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I Decluttered Before But Doing A Bit More This Year

by Robyn



Just because you decluttered your cookware once doesn't mean you'll never need to again. Here's an example from a reader, Robyn.

She said, "I did this last year and it's still pretty good." But she felt there was a little room for improvement, so in the after photo she explained, "We always struggle with the pans so I weeded two out and we'll see if they are easier to get to on the top."

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Don't Forget To Declutter Lids That Have No Pots Anymore!

by Jen

As I mentioned in the introduction to the article above, I'm not sure how it happens, but if you no longer have the pot that goes with the lid, it's time to let it go!

That's exactly what happened to a reader, Jen, who said, "I had apparently gotten rid of some pots, but kept lids, not sure why..."

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Are You Ready To Get Rid Of Your Cookware Clutter?

Results of a decluttering project from a reader, Erica, who took the declutter pots and pans mission as part of Declutter 365 on Home Storage Solutions 101.use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

I hope this has inspired you to get rid of your own pots and pans clutter, and given you ideas for which ones to get rid of versus to keep.

(And thanks to a reader, Erica, who shared these before and after photos of her results when she took on this mission!)

Once you've gotten rid of the excess remember to read the pots and pans storage and organization ideas article to get ideas for how to store what you've got left.

Want To Do More Decluttering Missions? Get Started With Declutter 365 Today!

Declutter 365 missions: 15 minute missions for your entire home

Once you declutter one type of item in your home I bet you'll want to declutter some more. After all, decluttering gives you a great reward for even a small investment of time and energy.

The Declutter 365 system is designed to help you declutter, over the course of a year, your entire house, with just 15 minutes of decluttering each day!

Hundreds of thousands of people use this proven system to get rid of their clutter, and bring peace and calm back to their homes.

Declutter 365 works to guide you to clear the clutter without overwhelm, focusing on just one small area at a time, and without making a huge mess in the process, so you see consistent forward progress without all that "messy middle" that makes it even harder to function in your home than before you started.

In addition to building a daily decluttering habit, the Declutter 365 program, along with the accompanying 52 Week Organized Home Challenge, teaches you the skills, habits, routines, and mindsets necessary to maintain the clutter free and organized state of your home from now on, so it'll never be as messy and cluttered as it is right now, ever again.

If you haven't already, make sure to get your copy of this year's Declutter 365 annual calendar here (it's FREE!), find today's date, and do 15 minutes of decluttering on the day's mission. Then, repeat again tomorrow, and again and again. Over the course of the next year, if you do this 15 minutes per day, you'll declutter your whole house!

Click here to take me to this year's Declutter 365 calendar

Get This Kitchen Decluttering Checklist + 32 Other Decluttering Checklists For Your Home

Right now you're decluttering your kitchen, and there's a lot of stuff to declutter in this space.

Get your 2 page kitchen decluttering checklist, plus 32 other decluttering checklists, to help you declutter your entire home here.

Get this kitchen decluttering checklist and 32 other decluttering checklists for your home {on Home Storage Solutions 101}

I've done the hard work of breaking down these tasks into smaller more manageable steps for you, so you don't get overwhelmed or worry you're forgetting a task, and you can go at the pace you want, whether that's fast or slow.

In addition, you can tackle these decluttering tasks in whatever order you want when you use these checklists!

Click here to learn more about 33 Decluttering Checklists Pack

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 Pots & Pans To Home Page

Comments for Are You Ready To Get Rid Of Your Cookware Clutter?

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Downsize your pots
by: Debbie

My pots and lids are easy to organize. I have three pots and one frying pan that I use on a regular basis. I put the lid of the largest pot upside down on top of the pot, then sit the medium pan on top with its lid upside down on top of the medium pot, then sit the smallest pan on top with its lid upside down. The frying pan doesn't even make it to the cupboard as we use it every morning and sometimes in the evening for dinner. Its lid is in the cupboard by itself, but only used if making dinner in the frying pan. I do have a couple of larger stock pots, but those are rarely used, so they are in harder to reach locations because I only use them 3-4 times a year. Does one really need two or three different frying pans and multiple pans with lids all similar in size? No. Most stoves only have four burners, so you don't really need more than four pans. Keep an eye on your pans, if you don't use it that often, either get rid of it, or store it somewhere else out of the way.

Organizing pots and pans
by: Donna

I'm 75 years old and cannot reach into the back of lower cabinets and couldn't afford the nice drawers on rollers - so I bought plastic tubs to hold the pans and that I can slide in and out of the cabinet to reach all my pans. I have to keep one hand on the tub so that it doesn't fall to the floor, but I have the other hand free to retrieve the pan that I want. It works for me very well.

Our decluttered went to our vacation home
by: Anonymous

Just when I got to the point to store the duplicates in the attic we bought a vacation home. Now what hasn't been needed at the vacation home has been donated! My donations have been a way of life since my children were young.

Using an oddly shaped lower cabinet
by: Heather

I live in a townhouse which doesn't have a lot of kitchen cabinets, though I do have a coat closet sized pantry. Really, there was only one lower cabinet - apart from the undersink cabinet- to use for pots, pans, and casserole dishes. It has one door and goes way back to the wall. I have to practically crawl in there to get stuff out. Half the storage space in that cabinet is "dead zone". Apart from redesigning and ripping the whole kitchen apart, what are your suggestions for making this space more useable?

Hard to reach
by: Cheryl

Heather, I have exactly the same issue you describe: a lower cabinet with space that reaches further back than I can physically reach, without getting on my hands and knees and pulling out everything in front and putting it on the floor. I noticed a suggestion above about using tubs instead of the expensive pull-out drawers (which I'd love to have if I could afford it, but how would that work in the space problem we have anyway?). I'd be interested in seeing other suggestions as well.

by: Anonymous

I have the same problem. Then I forget what I may have shoved in the back of my cabinet. When I do need something I have to pull everything out. I’m at a loss for how to store my pots and pans.

Hard to reach
by: Theresa

I have the same issue about the cabinet that goes way back. Sink is on one side but open on the other side. With mine, there is space to cut out part of the cabinet wall on the open side and put a door in its place so I can get to that stuff. I’ve bought the door, waiting for my husband to install it.

Plastic drawer bins with rollers
by: Kaye

I found someone who was decluttering plastic drawer bins and found a couple that had wheels attached. I have stuff like Christmas dishes and cookie cutters and serving platters in them and they are in the back end of the cabinet but not so far in that they get lost. It keeps the stuff that I do use more regularly like the crockpots, meal prep bins, lunch boxes and gear for our coffee bar out in part of the cabinet. This way the other lower cabinet that is smaller but not as deep can be just for pots/pans. I’ve also got a verrrry narrow pantry and have a similar set of wider bins on wheels that holds all of my flour, sugar and baking stuff so the actual shelves can hold canned goods and my labeled containers for pastas, cereals and other pantry goods. I also have an narrow rack inside the pantry door from top to bottom that holds cooking oils, spices and other condiments.

Organizing pots and pans with baskets for deep cabinets
by: Anonymous

I did this a couple months ago when I needed the turkey roasting pan that is stored in the far back corner of the lower cabinet. A few years ago I bought cheap large baskets from the dollar store and store my pots and pans there. They slide in and out easily. Something like this might work for those who only have deep "dead space" that is difficult to reach back into.

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