What if you could actually enjoy being in the kitchen?
I never understood it until I heard my friend say " if you have to keep "organizing" stuff, you may just need less stuff". How had I not thought of that before? I didn't need more space or more organization skills. I needed less stuff.
January is a great time to simplify your kitchen and your home. Remember to take it slow so you don’t get overwhelmed. Items that you don’t use can be kept in storage for 3 months just to make sure! If in 3 months, you haven’t used them, get rid of them without going back through the storage container.
Our house is around 1100 square feet with kitchen counters that leave little space for rolling out fancy doughs or cinnamon rolls. That being said, it's really all we need...as long as we keep our stuff to a minimum as well.
I am constantly taking inventory of what we need and what we use and getting rid of what we don't. Simplifying your kitchen will help you enjoy your kitchen again! Here are 5 areas we chose to focus on to give us more usable space and less need for storage space.
- 1 pair of large tongs
- 1 pair of small tongs
- 2 wooden spoons
- 1 ladle
- 1 whisk
- 1 spatula (steel to use with cast iron)
Is your utensil crock constantly overflowing? If you're like me, every time I reached for tongs, out came a whisk and random spoon too! They were all connected every time and I just couldn't deal.
We really only use 1, maybe 2, at a time. This was an area I really thought I would regret simplifying, but--- In over 2 years since I paired it down, I have yet to wish I had more!
Fewer Pots and Pans
- 1 medium sized saucepan (with lid)
- 1 large soup pot (with lid)
- 1 large frying pan (with lid)
- 1 large cast iron skillet
- 1 small cast iron skillet
- 1 large dutch oven (with lid)
I had to let go of the notion that I needed everything that came in the "set". It felt very wrong to get rid of perfectly good pots and pans, but the reality is that every time I opened my cabinet, there simply wasn't enough room for it all. Instead of cursing my small house, I cleaned out the supplies I rarely use. I moved them to the storage room to be sure I didn't need them. Three months later, I felt certain that simplifying my collection was the right move.
On a regular basis, I only use my cast iron skillet (the large one) and my dutch oven. I could honestly keep only those two and let the rest go, but I'm not there yet!
Surprisingly, fewer dishes means less dishes pile up! You have to clean one if you want to use one. It feels much easier for me to maintain.
Dishes for the People Who Actually Live There
- 6 bowls
- 6 plates
You should know, I love dishes. I love that they can be photo props and that I can have 25 people over with a pretty place setting. While I do have a couple nice sets of dishes, I only have 6 plates for JT and me to use daily. Obviously, there is only 2 of us, so we could use less, but I have found that 6 let's us eat together a couple times a day (helpful on a Sunday) without constantly doing dishes. I store extra dishes out of the kitchen so that if we have guests, I can bring them in. I never want to run out but I can't keep them all in my small space.
Cups were seriously downsized! I kept noticing my glasses would get broken when I set them inside each other to save room. So, I kept 4 tall glasses, 4 short, 2 red wine, and 2 white wine in the cabinet. I have others stored, but this makes it easier to reach the ones we actually use daily without sifting through the excess.
Knives and Silverware
- Chef knife
- Small pairing knife
- Tomato slicing knife
- Silverware for 6
- Steak Knives for 6
Think about what you can actually use at one time. For me, that is one large knife, 1 small Rada knife, and 1 tomato slicing knife. Other silverware and steak knives are kept to a minimum keeping in mind we do have guests over and we are civilized humans.
Since JT and I are the only ones eating daily, 6 is more than enough. Obviously this varies with family! I keep some extras in with my stored wedding dishes for days when I know more are coming over. But the goal is making our every day life easier by not over cluttering everything!
Your comfort level may not be where we are--that is totally fine! The goal here is knowing what is in your way daily, and getting it out of the way. My whole mentality with being more of a minimalist is that I don't want to spend my time at home managing my stuff at home. I want to enjoy being at home!
- Wooden board for daily use
- Wooden board for if more than one person is cooking and chopping!
- Plastic board for meat
These are a true necessity! But too many, means I just use too many and then have to clean too many!
I have a great wooden cutting board that we got as a wedding gift and I use it daily. I have another wooden one that I love but use less often. Finally, I have a plastic one that I use strictly for meat. I find the wooden ones absorb too much for me to feel comfortable cutting raw meat on them. The designated meat cutting board gets cleaned more thoroughly than the others whenever it's used.
What works for us may not work as well for you! But, if you start paying attention to what you use, you may be surprised at how little you need. I certainly was! My friend's advice to simply have less stuff was the kick I needed to keep my stuff to a minimum. It's not about living on less for me. Instead, it's about enjoying my space, in my off time, without constantly cleaning it! Once I started simplifying, I knew I'd never go back!