Blog, Minimalism

Minimalist Target: Kitchen Clutter

Clearing out a kitchen is a big job. There are so many areas of a kitchen to focus on that it can be instantly overwhelming. Breaking it into smaller more manageable pieces is definitely the way to go. Today’s target is the kitchen clutter found in your drawers or in those nifty decorative containers that display your clutter on your counter.

When we combined households with my parents, we essentially had two of everything in the kitchen. Some things we even had more of because on our own it’s far too easy to collect kitchen gadgets you don’t really need. I spent almost two hours working on just three drawers. They were packed!

Looking at things through the eyes of a minimalist gives an entirely different perspective. Instead of asking, “How many of these should we keep?” I started asking, “Do we really need to keep this?” It’s a small difference, I know, but it gave me a totally different starting point. One instance began with the assumption we would keep something as long as it wasn’t old or broken and we had room for it. The second question seeks to determine if it’s necessary and if we could manage without it.

With ten people living at home, we mostly cook from scratch. It’s much cheaper and it’s not usually too much added effort to scale up a recipe you were already making anyway. So letting go of kitchen gadgets was somewhat challenging since we use them a lot. But when I reflected on the small amount silverware we managed with, I figured we could make do with a lot fewer gadgets and utensils.

Tips for Getting Rid of Kitchen Clutter:

Start by throwing out anything old, broken, or rusty.
Prioritize by picking out the items you use all the time.
Then pick up every other item one at a time and determine if you use it often enough to justify keeping it. Would you buy it again?
If you have more than one of something, consider only keeping your favorite one.
Pay special attention to the items with only one purpose. See if you have another tool that could perform it’s function and get rid of the unnecessary tool.
Finally, give everything a home, place similar items together, and space items out so they’re easier to see.
Here are the Before Pictures:

I didn’t think to take a picture of drawer three until after I was done. In fact, I didn’t plan to clean out the drawers at all when I did it. I just went looking for something and when I couldn’t find it, I just attacked the drawers. I’d had enough of the clutter!

Here are the After Pictures:

Here are some of the things I threw out:

5 Spatulas (I saved two regular sized and one tiny one for small jobs. No matter how many cooks we’ve got in the kitchen, it’s not likely we’d ever need more than that)
Yellow Metal Lemon Juice Press (never been used that I’ve ever seen, yet most of the yellow paint was rubbed off)
Plastic Measuring Spoons & Cups with sizes rubbed off (we still have 2 sets but now we don’t have to guess if we grabbed the right one)
Wooden Dowel Thing to Press into Pastry Cups (I can’t believe I actually bought this from Pampered Chef. I’m pretty sure a spoon or even my thumb would do the same thing)
Giant Red Metal Lobster Claw Cracker (on the rare occasions when we would need to crack into some stubborn seafood, the regular metal nut crackers will work just as well)
Marble Slab Cheese Cutter (took a huge amount of room and was difficult to clean)
2 Pairs of Dull Kitchen Shears (when they don’t do their job anymore, they gotta go)
Apple Corer & Slicer in One (I have never had this work right for me. I guess I always find crooked apples)
Talking Digital Thermometer (I have a digital timer that is also a thermometer so no need to keep both. Plus, there’s just something creepy about a talking thermometer)
The drawers certainly aren’t empty and I imagine I’ll take another pass at them closer to holiday baking time. For this attempt, I threw out an entire laundry basket full of goodies. It sure feels nice to be able to find the item I’m looking for when I’m trying to cook now. Go ahead and try it. Just pick one drawer if that’s all you have time for. Be sure to come back and let me know what silly or useless kitchen gadgets you were able to declutter.