When people talk about applying minimalist principles to their home, the kitchen tends to be one place where they are overlooked.
That’s too bad, as the kitchen is one of the most central and well-used parts of the house – and a place where we tend to accumulate way too much stuff. Slimming down your kitchen to the essentials, ridding it of excess and focusing on clean, efficient design might the single biggest thing you can do to simplify your home interior and make things a bit easier everyday – without sacrificing the ability to make all your favorites foods, either.
By paring down to the right tools and appliances and tossing all the ones you don’t actually need, you can transform your kitchen into something comfortable, calming and easy to use.
Getting Rid of Utensils and Dishes You Don’t Need
The first thing you should do when creating a minimalist kitchen is get rid off all the extra utensils and dishes you don’t use – and thus don’t need. To do this, you need to avoid and toss any tools or appliances that serve only one or two limited purposes and opt for more versatile ones. Here are 5 of the most common kitchen items you don’t need.
A Stand Mixer
If the thought of tossing your stand mixer hurts, you’re certainly not alone. This is one item that many people can’t stand the idea of losing. But it takes up a lot of room on the counter – room that could be left open for food prep. The exception is if you do a ton of baking, in which case it might be worth keeping it.
A Rice Cooker
Rice cookers make it easy to make really good rice really easily, with minimal effort. But do you really need one when any old pot and lid will do just fine? Nope – not if you’re trying to keep your kitchen as minimalist as possible. Just learn proper rice cooking technique and you can give this one away, too.
Okay, not many of us have these anyway…as they really are unnecessary. Yes, it’s cool to be able to just toast your sandwich in a matter of minutes on its own specialized grill, but toasting sandwiches isn’t anything you can’t do on the stove with a hot pan and a good, firm spatula. We make homemade Reubens like this all the time.
If you don’t need a griddle, you don’t need a griddle pan. You can get the same toasting abilities from your regular pans, just without the superficial grill marks. If you have a grill out back, just use that!
Too Many Pots and Pans
Yes, it’s nice to have a spare pan or two in case you need to cook large meals for multiple people. But if your cabinets are overflowing with old, flaking and chipping, and dented pots and pans, it’s time to toss. It’s better to have a few high-quality and easy-to-clean pots and pans made to last years, than a smorgasbord of cheap ones you rarely use. How about sets of 3 pots and 3 pans?
An Ice Cream Machine
Homemade ice cream can be a lot of fun in summertime, but you can make delicious homemade ice cream without a machine. Getting rid of it also saves a TON of room in the kitchen, as they’re usually huge. A bike ride down to the local ice cream shop is a good way to spend a hot summer afternoon.
Are all those extra utensils cluttering up the drawer really necessary if you only use them every 6 months? Of course it’s important to have quality chef knives, but how often do you need a real pizza slicer? And what about that old milk frother? And do you really need like 5 spatulas and 4 wooden spoons?
The Next Step
If you’re like most of us, then by this point, you’ve got a big garbage bag or two full of old pots, pans and kitchen utensils, as well as some old appliances you’re ready to get rid of. If your stuff is in good shape, we always recommend donating it, but it’s past its prime it can go to the dump with all your other clutter from the basement. (And if you don’t have the time or the space in your car to dump it yourself, there are businesses that will take care of that for you see more).
You’ll be surprised at how much stuff you can toss in an hour or two of going through your kitchen, as well as at how much of a difference it can make: cooking gets so much easier, so try it for yourself.
With all the benefits of removing clutter from your home, once you complete the kitchen, move on to each room (including the garage and backyard) clearing out anything you haven’t used in a year, unless it’s something you can’t absolutely live without.