Half of UK households are set to have a ‘spring clean’ of their kitchen cupboards

By Staff

And the typical household estimates they will bin 1.4kg of food – adding up to almost 20 tonnes across the nation, including flour, baking powder, and tins of fruit

Half of British households (49%) are set for an upcoming kitchen “spring clean”, throwing out 1.4kg of food each – amounting to almost 20 tonnes across the UK.

The most likely ingredients to end up in the bin include unusual herbs or seasonings, that were bought to be used in just one recipe (21%) – followed by tins of soup, baking powder, and bicarbonate of soda.

One in 10 (11%) are holding on to pasta that they rarely use, while 16% say the same of flour that is sat in their cupboards. And stock cubes, corn flour, sugar, and tea bags also rarely see the light of day – and are likely to be cleared out.

In fact, half of the 2,000 adults polled admit they have ingredients tucked away in the back of their kitchen cupboards that have been sat there unused for years – while 16% even claim they haven’t pulled out these items for three years or more.

As a result, just 29% feel as though they have “total control” of their kitchen – with two-thirds admitting the space could do with a spruce.

However, a third reckon their kitchen has become more organised in the last year, with 57% thriving off cupboards filled with matching and labelled containers.

A spokesman for food storage and hydration brand, Sistema, which commissioned the research, said: “It’s amazing to see how much food is being binned, mostly because of cupboard chaos.

“It’s so easy to forget what you have – especially if you’re lucky enough to have lots of space – so aligning things in a way that makes it quick and easy to understand what you have is always a good shout.

“Whether it’s ensuring everything is visible, or dispensing foods in the labelled containers, a tidy kitchen can really help you cut down on waste.”

The research also found 35% turn to social media for cleaning and organisation inspiration – with Instagram (55%), TikTok (41%), and Facebook (39%) at the top of the list.

More than half (52%) scour social media for inspiration as they love watching others categorise food in functional containers – with ASMR-style videos of boxing items away a favourite for 35%.

Meanwhile, others are inspired by tips from the internet in general (21%), friends and family (17%), and even when out shopping (14%), on how to systemise their pantry.

As a result, the average adult will reorganise their food cupboards every four months – or three times a year. Taking the time to tidy up gives them the opportunity to get rid of anything past its use-by date (47%), dig out forgotten items (42%), and simply make more space in their kitchen (41%).

And 76% feel it is easier to know what you’ve got in your cupboards when it’s laid out in a neat and tidy fashion.

But the research, carried out via OnePoll, found a lack of time is stopping 35% from being more scrupulous with the layout of their cupboards – as well as a gap in their knowledge when it comes to how best to organise everything (15%).

The spokesman for Sistema, creators of the Ultra range, which has been designed to help reduce food waste in homes by improving kitchen organisation through food storage solutions, added: “You can have a lot of fun with how you put together your kitchen cupboards.

“There are several ways you can personalise containers, and being able to see things in clear containers can give you an immediate understanding of what you need to buy – saving you a considerable amount of time in the long term.”


  1. Unusual dried herbs or seasonings, bought for one recipe
  2. Flour
  3. Tins of soup
  4. Bicarbonate of soda
  5. Baking powder
  6. Tins of fruit
  7. Stock cubes
  8. Corn flour
  9. Pasta
  10. Tins of beans, such as black-eyed, kidney, etc. – but not including baked beans
  11. Sugar
  12. Tea bags
  13. Dried lentils
  14. Plain rice
  15. Custard powder
  16. Gravy granules
  17. Porridge oats
  18. Jam
  19. Tins of rice pudding
  20. Dried fruit

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