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:
- Coffee pot
- 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.