Minimizing: The Kitchen

Since one of the goals I set myself for the coming year included eating better, decluttering the kitchen seemed like a good idea. Plus, this was an area I had pondered downsizing, along with our photo collection, while watching Minimalism.

But we need dishes and silverware. And Tupperware to store leftovers. And baking dishes and skillets and sauce pans. But we definitely didn’t need two full sets of silverware; six plates, salad plates, and bowls; or the pint glass and coffee mug collection we had acquired.

We are a household of two. Our dining table seats four, max. There was no need for so many place settings, and there never will be. Yet, we had them. Just in case.

In case of what exactly? Well, in case something breaks or we mangle a fork beyond usability, which seems silly, now. Dishes and silverware are easy to replace. In most cases, you can buy them individually to replace that one broken or missing item.

So, out went plates, bowls, cups and coffee mugs. Goodbye, second set of silverware. Adios, empty Mason jars shoved to the back of cabinets.

Post-Minimizing Kitchen “Must-Haves”

  • 4 plates and 4 bowls
  • 2 wine glasses, 1 tumbler, 6 coffee mugs (I know, we have a problem!), 5-pint glasses
  • 2 cast iron skillets
  • 1 cast iron Dutch oven
  • 3 stainless steel, nesting saucepans
  • 1 large stock pot
  • 1 set of silverware (service for 4 + serving utensils)
  • 1 whistling tea kettle
  • 1 cast iron teapot with warmer
  • 3 nesting mixing bowls
  • 4 12-ounce “casserole” dishes (used as prep bowls)
  • 4 baking dishes (varying sizes)
  • 1 pie pan
  • 1 casserole dish
  • 9-piece glass food storage containers + 10 larger plastic ones
  • 1 set of measuring cups and spoons
  • Set of 4 canisters
  • 3 stainless steel knives (chef’s, utility and paring)
  • 1 strainer
  • 1 rolling pin and dough mat
  • 2 cutting boards (one for meats and one for everything else)
  • French press and coffee grinder
  • 2 cookie sheets and 2 muffin tins
  • Misc. appliances:
    • Crock-Pot
    • Coffee pot
    • Microwave
    • Toaster
    • Blender
    • Food processor
    • Hand mixer

Sure, we got rid of quite a few extraneous dishes. Our cabinets certainly look more organized and less cluttered. But after looking through all of them to compile this list, it still seems like an awful lot!

Now, here I am, questioning the utility of some remaining items.

Do I really need two teapots? Probably not. Do we need a French press and a coffee pot? Maybe not, but I’m not sure everyone will be up for losing either. Is a microwave necessary? I’m not sure. We could reheat/cook things in the oven or on the stove.

Perhaps minimizing kitchenware is a gradual process, like clothing.

Feature image by atravellingmom/Flickr.

3 thoughts on “Minimizing: The Kitchen

  1. I’ve been decluttering and minimizing for a while now. Some things are easy to part with, others take lifestyle adjustments to make the parting easier (it was easy to get rid of the weights when I switched to bodyweight exercises, for example). I’m getting ready to pack up one set of dishes and [get rid of them]. Oddly, there have been one area that requires more of an item now, not less, and that’s Mason jars. Our household has significantly cleaned up our diet and we do a lot of juicing and making fresh fruit smoothies. We each take a few Mason jars of freshly-squeezed juice and smoothies to work every day. Instead of the few Mason jars that I used to keep, we now have more than a dozen!


    1. Thanks for the comment, Scott!

      Mason jars are definitely one thing we always have PLENTY of!! My parents garden and can a lot of tasty things (salsa, spaghetti sauce, green beans, etc) that they like to send home when we visit…and we definitely don’t mind! I’ve even bought a dozen quart jars to use for freezing soups to have on hand for quick meals, but I also love a green smoothie or refrigerator oats for breakfast so the extras we have always come in handy. Since we don’t live as close to home/parents anymore and don’t return them as often, I’ve recently started using extra Mason jars for food storage to keep rice, lentils, flax meal and other goodies. I love how easy it is to see exactly what we have and how much is left. Good luck on your family’s decluttering!!

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