I love cooking and baking, especially since I went vegan back in 2017. I enjoy trying out new things and I have some really cool equipment. I also try to live a more minimalist life. Combining a love of cooking, which often comes with a massive amount of different ingredients, a bunch of cooking utensils and probably also a fully stacked cabinet full of plates, cutlery and so on, with the desire of living more minimalistic can get a bit difficult.
How to minimize kitchen clutter
First off, do you really need 10 different types of pots and pans? Be honest with yourself as to what type of person you are in the kitchen. DO you prefer simple cooking but love extravagant baking? Are you a chef and love trying out new things? Do you cook for one person or do you cook for multiple people? All of this influences the type of equipment you need. Generally though, you probably don’t need all the pots and pans that you have. The same can definitely be said about all the tupperware and storage boxes we all keep and collect, half of which probably don’t have the matching lid anymore. Keep a few storage boxes of course, but no one ever needs three cabinets filled with a colorful variety of containers. When trying out a new recipe, you might need a special equipment for it that you don’t have. If you are unsure whether you will use it again, how about asking your friends and family first if they have it and then go ahead and borrow it. That way, you don’t have to spend money on an item you might never use again that will then just take up space. Also, what food do you actually eat and like? Do you have a juicer, but always drink store-bought? A panini maker, but are not a fan of paninis? Sell those items or gift them to friends. If you ever crave another panini, I am sure they will loan it to you. 😉 Maybe you also have multiple items that complete the same task? A hand mixer and a standing mixer for example. Or three types of spatulas. Ask yourself, if you actually need them all or if one might be enough.
Especially when trying new recipes there sometimes are ingredients that I have never heard of. As I also do not want to buy small bags of ingredients because of the waste, but prefer a bigger container, I try to first figure out if I actually need that ingredient or if I can potentially replace it or leave it out of the recipe altogether. If that is not possible I figure out what other recipes use the certain ingredient and make a list so that I remember to try out those recipes in the future as well. There is no need to try them all in one week, but it might be good to keep a list so you don’t forget that you still have the ingredient open somewhere. That way you reduce the risk of finding an expired full bag of something in the back of your storage three years from now. Moreover, I try to keep my counter as clean as possible while cooking. Obviously, often it gets a bit messy in the kitchen, but I do not wait until I am done cooking with starting to clean. When I am done chopping, I immediately put the chopping board and knife away to have room for the next thing on the to-do list. If the kitchen is already cleaned (or at least almost), I also enjoy the dinner much more because I don’t have to think about cleaning afterwards.
What helped me personally, is storing everything in cabinets and not leaving anything out on the counter other than maybe 2 or 3 items that I use daily such as my smoothie mixer or my coffee machine. Other than that, every equipment and item is stored somewhere where I can easily grab it but it is not cluttering the working space.
The most important thing to remember though is: It is your kitchen. A minimalist kitchen does not have to be empty and you can own all the pans and pots in the world if you want. Living more minimalistic means living in a way that helps you and makes you happy. If you prefer your spice rack out in the open that is totally up to you. Minimalism just means to be more mindful of your surroundings and the way you go about things. If you want three mixers because you use all of them every day but do not eat toast, then get rid of the toaster and buy more mixers. It’s your choice, no one else’s. There is no right or wrong way to stack your kitchen.
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