Dishes You Need To Finally Just Throw Out

You've "Marie Kondo'd" your closet, now it's time to tackle your kitchen. The problem is, decluttering your cabinets and counters means potentially getting rid of gadgets, gizmos, dishes, and serveware that you actually need. Before tossing everything but the literal kitchen sink in an effort to achieve a bare bones showroom aesthetic, you have to be realistic. Kitchens featured in home decorating magazines with counters that are free of everything except a bowl of fresh lemons do not reflect real life.

Real working kitchens have coffee makers and toaster ovens on their counters, drying racks filled with pots and pans from last night's dinner, and that pile of mail that seems to grow no matter how often you go through it. Just because HGTV doesn't offer a true view of what is likely the most heavily trafficked room in your house doesn't mean you can't purge some of the clutter to make at least emptying the dishwasher less like a risky game of Jenga.

As professional organizer Vicky Silverthorn told House Beautiful, "Your kitchen should work for you, not the other way round." That means paring down shouldn't be a project you dread, but rather something you can do with relative ease, and the best place to start is by getting rid of the serving ware that is no longer serving your needs. And these are the dishes you really just need to throw out or donate to give your kitchen the refresh and organized feel it deserves.

Get rid of chipped cups and dishes

Most people live under the assumption that you can never have too many plates, cups, dishes, and bowls, but unless you've got commercial-sized kitchen storage that's simply not the case. As Well + Good points out, "next to cookware and appliances, dishes definitely tend to take up the most real estate in the kitchen."

If crowding cupboards are a way of life, and pulling out a plate for an afternoon sandwich means unstacking countless bowls and dishes to reach your frequently used service, it's time for a purge. Stop using dishes right out of the clean dishwasher because it's too much of a hassle to put them away, and if you don't have the heart to part with a perfectly good plate, at the very least get rid of the ones that are damaged. In addition to being potentially dangerous to eat off of or drink out of, Silverthorn explained they are simply unnecessary to hold onto. She adds, "all you need in your kitchen is enough for a daily meal with the family, plus a couple of spares in case of breakage or visitors" (via House Beautiful).

The formal plates for parties and holidays shouldn't be cluttering the same cabinet as your everyday plates either. As The Spruce notes, your fine china should be stored safely out of the kitchen since you don't use it regularly and not only will that free up space, but it will prevent your expensive sets from getting unnecessarily damaged.

Get rid of mismatched and unmated plastic containers and lids

Don't be embarrassed about your leaning tower of Tupperware containers. Pretty much every kitchen has one. Instead of wasting way too much time trying to find a container and matching lid combo every time you put leftovers away, consider going through the plastic container drawer or cabinet and getting rid of anything that doesn't have a functioning lid. You aren't using them anyway!

Cleaning coach Leslie Reichert explained to Better Homes & Gardens that in addition to tossing out any unmatched plastic containers and lids, you should get rid of any container that contains harmful BPA's by checking the embossed numbers on the bottom of each container as well. She stresses, "Throw out plastic containers labeled 3, 6, or 7, which are made of hazardous plastics." Adding, "Keep those coded 1, 2, 4, or 5, which are safer for humans and the environment."

Additionally, Apartment Therapy urges that while storing lids on their matching container is convenient, it's not exactly utilizing your space efficiently. Instead keep lids and containers separate so they are stackable, but be sure to employ an organizing system to keep them neat and easily accessible.

Get rid of souvenir and joke mugs that you never use

Every home has an array of mugs that are shoved in the back of the cabinet because no one likes to use them or they are just plain unsightly. It's finally time — time to either donate or toss that mug you got for free from a company you don't even work for anymore. Same with the joke mugs that you got as a white elephant gift but never really liked.

You should never feel obligated to keep something because it's functional, especially if you don't like it or don't use it. Donate it to someone who can not only use it, but will also appreciate it. Same goes for anything that has party personalization on it like a favor gift from a bridal shower or bachelorette party. And if something has sentimental value as a mug, but you just don't use it as a drinking vessel, Better Homes & Gardens recommends repurposing it out of the kitchen, as a possible pencil holder or even a toothbrush caddy!