2017 Clutter Buster Challenge Week 5: Spices & Baking Ingredients

Who’s ready to start on the kitchen? The kitchen is the first room we walk into upon entering our house so when it gets messy and disorganized it makes the whole house seem crazy. I try to keep up with the dishes and the counters somewhat clear but usually it doesn’t happen like my dreams imagine. Hopefully by clearing more unneeded items out and only having what’s necessary I’ll be able to focus more on the important tasks!

One of my readers mentioned that a weekly task in the list doesn’t always fit their home needs – no problem! If there is a job on the list that you don’t need to take care of, like for instance last week’s movies and video games, take on an area that does need your help instead! Or if there is an area that needs more help you can always spend more time on it.

I want to encourage you to take on this challenge for yourself and make it work for you and your family. I’m just here as a cheerleader and guide. Yes, I’m doing it myself but I’d much rather see you guys make this challenge your own and get something out of it (and some things out of your home) than to pass on by because you don’t have movies to get rid of in your house. 


If you are just joining us, here’s the deal: 

I still had this mindset of decluttering being a big ol’ chore up until a few months ago when I read this fantastic post from Nony at A Slob Comes Clean. It was like a huge light went off in my brain! Decluttering is simply the act of getting rid of what doesn’t belong, isn’t needed, or belongs in the trash. It doesn’t mean buying a whole slew of new bins for your things to go in or coming up with some type of system that you hope will change your life – that’s organizing. It’s a whole different ball game. Right now, I’m in the game of decluttering. I just want things GONE.

When there’s less stuff, especially less of what has no purpose in your home anymore, organizing can often happen naturally. You won’t be cramming thirty towels into the closet because you only need ten and they fit nicely. You don’t need to dig through a tub of medicines to find what you need only to keep coming across bottles that are long since expired.

Here’s my challenge: Each week, take on ONE area of your home. I’ve already made the list for you so that part is done. Go to the area, throw away trash, put items that you no longer need but are still in good condition into a donation box, and put other items where they belong. Simple!

You can read more about the challenge on the week one post.

Week 5: Spices & Baking Ingredients

My small spice area was starting to get a little too busy so I was very happy to take on this task. We have a few spices we buy in bulk at Sam’s Club (onion and garlic powder, cinnamon, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and dried parsley) but everything else is in the smaller containers from the grocery store. I also have a few containers that I’ve created homemade spice mixes in plus other random containers… too much! The bulk containers are good and easy to find what I need so I focused on the smaller containers. And of course I didn’t snap a before picture. I’ve really got to get better about that!

I managed to find all of these to get rid of from the smaller spices. Meat tenderizer that expired several years ago and a spice mixture that I’m not sure what it was for and was all clumped together. There were also two bottles – one empty homemade vanilla extract bottle and one cherry extract. I’ve kept the vanilla extract bottle for over two years thinking I’d make more and I’ve yet to do it so at this point I figure it’s not worth keeping. The cherry extract we bought to use in ice cream and after using it once realized it tastes very artificial and it’s been in the cupboard ever since. Blech. 

In the baking cupboard I found Chex Mix seasoning that came free with a box of Chex… about four years ago! Also found bag of marshmallows that were stuck together and hard, a pouch of frosting that I’m not sure where it came from and a sifter that is broken and hasn’t gotten used in years. 

It’s not much but by removing those few items from each cupboard I was able to see what I do have on hand significantly easier. Shocking how getting rid of what wasn’t needed made organizing happen almost naturally! No more toppling piles or digging through everything to find the one bottle I need. Bliss! 

I am not a huge fan of the lazy Susan cupboard for anything. It seems as though there are no containers that really fit in a round space but I am making it work for now! I didn’t get rid of much in here since I use these items very frequently. There’s a lot of turn around for the ingredients but occasionally something gets buried and forgotten. At least now i know everything in here is okay to use. 


How did your decluttering go this week? Did you find anything really random in your spices or baking ingredients? Do you keep a wide variety or stay with basic staples? I’d love to see pictures!


Share a picture in the comments or on social media with the hashtag #clutterbusterchallenge of what you found to declutter.


Come back next week for week 6 of the clutter buster challenge: Kitchen Utensils and Silverware. I know we have loads of random utensils that definitely need to go away. See you then!

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