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10 Things You Shouldn’t Store in Kitchen Cabinets, According to Experts

Which are the things you shouldn’t store in kitchen cabinets?

Despite the many amazing storage products out there to help us keep stuff neat, our kitchen cabinets easily become disorganized, which we all have to admit makes cooking stressful. The best way to organize kitchen cabinets is to keep them clutter-free and ensure things are stored in logical spots while bearing in mind how often you actually use them.

Coming home from the farmer’s market or grocery store and putting away groceries seems like an easy task. Spices go in the cabinet, milk goes in the fridge, ice cream goes in the freezer, and cleaning products go underneath the kitchen sink—or do they?

We asked some home organizers for the things you shouldn’t store in kitchen cabinets for a functional and stress-free cooking area where everything has its place. Keep scrolling for the items that simply should not go in there in the first place.

things you shouldn't store in kitchen cabinets
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1. Nuts

If you’re nuts about nuts, don’t store them in your kitchen cabinets. Nuts are usually a more costly snack product, and grocery stores have them in the snack aisle, so it would make sense to keep them in a cabinet, right? Wrong.

As a category of things you shouldn’t store in kitchen cabinets, nuts need certain conditions to stay edible. They are high in unsaturated, or “good” fats, which break down quickly, causing goods to become rancid, and nuts are no different.

So, keep any kind of nuts in an airtight container and store them in the freezer. Yes, that’s right! It keeps out moisture, keeping the nuts fresher longer.

2. Bananas

Next on the list of things you shouldn’t store in kitchen cabinets are bananas. It may seem like a good idea to toss these yellow fruits in the pantry when you get back home from the grocery store, but do that, and your bananas will ripen faster.

So, if you don’t want to encourage ripening, protect your bananas from light and keep them cool. This way, you’ll prolong their shelf life. Ideally, bananas should be stored at 56 to 58°F, which means your countertop is the best place to store them.

3. Unsalted butter

It may seem obvious to keep butter in the cabinet (or on the counter) to maintain spreadable texture. However, it’s important to note the kind of butter you’re keeping out.

You might not know this, but unsalted butter lacks the extra protection offered by salt to prevent any bacterial growth. This being said, this is one of the things you shouldn’t store in kitchen cabinets.

The best thing you can do when it comes to unsalted butter is to refrigerate it unless you plan to use it within a couple of hours for a recipe.

4. Bug killer

According to organizing experts, bug killers are best kept out of any kitchen cabinet, even if it may seem like a convenient spot. You shouldn’t store these products under the kitchen sink either, because they can be easily accessed by kids and pets.

Compared to other things you shouldn’t store in kitchen cabinets, bug killers can be pretty dangerous. That’s why it’s best to store them in an area with less traffic, such as the basement or garage.

After all, you don’t want bug chemicals in the place where you prep and cook meals.

Read on to discover other things you shouldn’t store in kitchen cabinets!

cleaning mistakes
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5. Cleaning products

Again, this is stuff you may think it’s ideal to have at-the-ready in your kitchen, but experts recommend keeping it in an adjacent room or safer spot. Similar to other things you shouldn’t store in kitchen cabinets, cleaning products can be harmful if spilled or ingested.

Little hands and furry companions can easily get into cabinets, especially those frequently used for cleaning supplies, like under the kitchen sink. Natural cleaners, such as baking soda and vinegar, may be safe, but anything containing chemical ingredients should be stored elsewhere.

6. Scented products

Wherever you stash your cleaning products is where all scented products—think air fresheners and scented trash bags—should be stored, too. While you may think it’s harmless to keep those in kitchen cabinets, it’s not.

This is because air fresheners and trash bags aren’t made of food-grade plastis, so it’s possible that the chemical ingredients used to create the scent can be absorbed and contaminate edible goods. You don’t want that to happen.

Basically, products that aren’t edible are things you shouldn’t store in kitchen cabinets.

7. Pure Maple Syrup

Unlike maple syrup bought at the grocery store, which may be more shelf-stable, pure maple syrup doesn’t contain any preservatives. Preservatives are known to prevent spoilage and extend the food’s shelf life. When you don’t have them in an edible product, which is the pure maple syrup case too, it’s best to store that product in the refrigerator.

8. Plastic or paper bags

Whether they are plastic or paper, shopping bags can easily clutter up the place where you keep them. Also on the list of things you shouldn’t store in kitchen cabinets are things that can create a mess like nothing else. In fact, they often end up shoved in a space where they don’t belong.

To avoid this from happening, keep plastic or paper bags organized in another place, like the laundry room or even in your car. You can also use a bag organizer like this one, which does a great job of storing all of them in one place.

stack of papers
Photo by Kagai19927 from Shutterstock

9. Non-kitchen items

Chances are, several items have made their way into your kitchen cabinets, despite the fact that they simply don’t belong in the kitchen. From their experience as professional organizers, experts we’ve talked to say far too many use the kitchen for non-kitchen objects—stuff like home office equipment, crafting supplies, or miscellaneous papers.

This may be understandable if you don’t have a dedicated home office, for instance, but the issue is when those things spill out into the kitchen and hinder you when you’re using that room for its designated purpose.

A pile of papers on the kitchen countertop will only attract more clutter, and it’s not a good home organizing system for dealing with the paper. It may work if there’s a dedicated area, such as a family command center, to corral the objects and if the papers stay organized and visible within it.

Otherwise, these items and other non-kitchen objects are things you shouldn’t store in kitchen cabinets. Just keep in mind that the kitchen must serve its main purpose as a functional place to prepare food.

10. Unnecessary clutter

Finally, stuff that you tend not to use day-to-day should be kept out of your way and stored elsewhere, not in your kitchen. This could be a baking tray that only comes out at Christmas or mugs and cups that are sentimental but don’t actually tend to be used for your morning coffee.

Professional organizers say these are things you shouldn’t store in kitchen cabinets to avoid losing track of what you have and to prevent objects from getting dusty and broken at the back of a cramped cabinet.

If you liked our article on things you shouldn’t store in kitchen cabinets, you may also want to read 6 Organizing Trends That You Should Leave Behind Right Now.

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