Becoming a Minimalist in Your Kitchen
Bring minimalism into your kitchen and eating lifestyle with these top 8 tips for a minimalist kitchen.
Minimalism is the new trend! And it’s goes beyond your sock drawer and closets to the kitchen. If you’re like most people, you’ve probably accumulated a few more things than you need in your kitchen. I, personally, am loathe to part with any of my dearly beloved cookbooks, as well as vintage kitchen tools passed down from my grandmother. However, minimalist living spaces, including bedrooms, living rooms, and now kitchens are growing in popularity, and many people are ditching their unnecessary kitchen clutter and embracing the minimalist lifestyle dans la cuisine.
If you aren’t familiar with minimalism, it involves a few concepts: getting rid of excess, purchasing less, and living life based on experiences rather than possessions. In kitchens, this can mean anything from reducing your plastic waste to getting rid of useless gadgets and appliances. How many items in your quintessential “junk drawer” are actually useful? I’m afraid mine is full of twist ties, old pens, and miscellaneous tchotchkes I’ve picked up over the years—sentimental, yes, but not useful! However, that’s not to say that sentimental items don’t have a place in a minimalist life, especially if you are mindful about what to keep and what to discard. If an item—from a cute refrigerator magnet to the mug your best friend gave you ten years ago—truly brings you happiness, then keep it! But if you’re holding onto a cookbook because you might possibly someday try one of the recipes in it, then maybe it’s time to let it go.
There are quite a few reasons why many people are adopting minimalism, from economic stress to the environmental burden created by overconsumption. Taking a critical look at your purchases to determine what you truly do need will not only help you save more money, but also will benefit the Earth in the long run.
Here are my top 8 tips for bringing minimalism to your kitchen.
Top 8 Tips for a Minimalist Kitchen
1. Clean and organize your pantry. You’ll feel more inspired by neat and orderly shelves, and you’ll also be able to plan out meals and write shopping lists much quicker. Having an organized pantry helps to reduce food waste, as you won’t forget about boxes and cans until their expiration date has long passed, and you also won’t waste money purchasing doubles of foods that were lurking in the back cabinets.
2. Get rid of old dishes. It’s nice to have a set of matching dishes, but having more than you need takes up space, which can add stress to your life. Sort through your dishes and remove all of the chipped, stained, and otherwise unused, unwanted ones. Donate them to a charitable organization thrift shop in your community.
3. Donate unused mugs. You might have two or three favorite mugs—the big one that’s perfect for a morning cup of tea, a souvenir from a state park, and one that’s miraculously survived since your childhood. But what about the fifteen others cluttering your cabinets, from birthday favors to old, chipped mugs that just appeared somewhere along the way? Free up cabinet space by donating these unnecessary mugs. Or, try repurposing into flowerpots, candles, or other upcycled goods!
4. Create storage space. Something as simple as cleaning off your kitchen counter can really open up a room. Use drawers, cabinets, and bins purposefully to efficiently create the look of an uncluttered, minimalist kitchen.
5. Only keep essential pots and pans. Having a few pots and pans to cook with is okay, but when they start stacking up, it’s time to think about getting rid of the ones you don’t use or need. Consider if you really need one pan for sandwiches and another for scrambles, etc., and keep going until you only have the essentials.
6. Don’t accumulate too many appliances, gadgets and tools. You may think you need a banana slicer, strawberry stemmer, five pairs of tongs, and any one of the hundreds of “makers” out there, from quesadillas to yogurt to cupcakes, but chances are, you already have a basic pot, pan, or utensil that can do the same thing. Instead of using a fancy avocado masher, you can use a fork and a bowl. Before buying one of these flashy products, think about whether or not you can do the job with what you’ve got and if you have the space to store it.
7. Choose a simple design. You don’t have to remodel your kitchen and paint it a sterile white, but decluttering tabletops and using simple, elegant décor can create a minimalist kitchen that’s incredibly pleasant to work in.
8. Be mindful. It’s easy to make impulse purchases when you’re out and about, especially because stores bombard us with so many new gadgets, tools, and other useless items. Write a shopping list before entering a store, don’t get distracted, and remain aware of what you are buying! Additionally, before throwing something out, consider whether it can be reused, donated, or repurposed.
With these tips in mind, now you’ll be able to create the minimalist kitchen of your dreams!
Written by Kathryn Atkinson, Dietetic Intern with Sharon Palmer, MSFS, RDN
Images by Sharon Palmer, MSFS, RDN
For other blogs on sustainable living, check out the following: