I am not an amazing cook, but that’s alright by me since cooking is not a big passion of mine. However, I value eating healthily, which means that I do cook regularly and eat around 90% homemade meals.
I prefer foods that are simple, easy to cook, and won’t make a huge mess. I think that last part is key. Because I don’t have a huge love for cooking, I can’t justify having loads of kitchen wares.
Even though I like to keep my kitchen supplies simple, they still need to function fully, so I have a few guidelines for what I allow myself to keep to maintain a minimal kitchen that functions maximally (in this non-chef’s opinion):
1. No one-use appliances or gadgets. If I’m going to purchase or keep a small appliance, it has to serve more than one specific purpose. And if it does only do one thing, it has to be something I can’t do without.
For example, I use mason jars for drinking out of and storing food in. Another great multi-purpose item is my rice cooker, which doubles as a slow cooker. Examples of single-function items that I keep around are my lemon juicer, which I use daily, and a can opener, which I use less often but would have a hard time doing the job without.
2. I don’t need a pot or pan for every occasion. There are so many types of cookware available. As a non-expert cook, I spent some time looking into what size, materials, and types of cookware would be the most versatile for the way I cook. I wound up with 2 frying pans in different sizes, 1 medium pot, a cast-iron skillet, and a Dutch oven. This assortment works extremely well for me and fits easily into one cabinet. As for baking, I’ve got one baking sheet, a muffin tin, a cake pan, and a small loaf pan that all fit in the drawer below my oven with plenty of room to spare.
3. No special serve ware, china sets, or holiday dishes. I think most of us could live without having multiple sets of dishes, unless cooking and having dinner parties is what you love. In that case, enjoy your passion (and invite me over for dinner!). For many people, what they really lack is a set of versatile, everyday dishes. If your everyday dishes are a hodgepodge of surviving pieces from old sets, hand-me-downs, and free restaurant to-go cups, consider replacing them with a matching set in a versatile color or pattern. I’ve found that simple white and clear dishes fit my style and work for whenever I’m eating alone or entertaining.
4. Don’t keep too many dishes. For one day, pay attention to how many dishes your household uses. Now, how many more dishes than that do you own?
It seems like having more dishes than you use regularly would be more convenient, but I’ve found it actually makes keeping up with washing dishes harder. When dishes are dirty, having a lot of backups makes me think, “I don’t need to wash those now. I’ve got lots of clean ___ left.” A few days of this go by and bam, I’ve got a mountain of dirty, crusty dishes to wash. And I hate washing dishes. (Seriously. I prefer cleaning toilets. Not even joking.)
To avoid this, I’ve narrowed my dish collection down to 3 bowls, 6 salad plates, and 6 larger dinner plates, plus mason jars for drinking out of. Could I live with less than that? Absolutely. I would still be very comfortable with just 1-2 of each, but then I wouldn’t have dishes for entertaining, so I’ve kept a few more. To avoid building up dish mountains, I made a habit of washing my dishes as soon as I’m done eating so I never have to face crusty food gunk again. Hallelujah. This doesn’t just apply to dishes. Having too many multiples of other items can cause dirty dish backups, too. After all, how many spatulas do you really need?
In general, in my kitchen I’ve found that basic works best. It keeps my cabinets and drawers from being crowded. Clear counters are pleasing to the eye and are easier to wipe down, so I actually keep my kitchen cleaner, not just tidier.
Have you simplified your kitchen? Leave me your tips & thoughts down below!
Catch up on more #MinimalismMonday posts!