Small kitchens can be tricky to organize, especially if your goal is minimalism. Here is my list of top ten minimalist kitchen essentials along with recommendations for how to choose your own.
What is a Minimalist Home
Like most people, I spent a lot of my life always feeling behind and stressed about keeping a tidy home. It seemed like I could never get to a point where my home was clean and organized in every room. That is, until I discovered minimalism.
While there are many varying definitions of minimalism (some more extreme than others), I have embraced the mindset that minimalism for me involves only keeping things that are important and useful for us in our current stage of life. This will look different depending on the person, but this greatly helped me in my goal of having a tidy and organized home. I wanted to have a lifestyle where I spent far less time cleaning and organizing and much more time enjoying my family. I have finally reached the point where my home is almost always 10 minutes away from being “company ready,” even with two small children!
How to Become a Minimalist
This home and lifestyle transformation did not happen overnight. It took me several years to finally get to where I am today. Depending on how much stuff you have and how crazy your life is, it may take you less time or much, much more. Try not to feel too overwhelmed! I recommend starting with one small area or room of your home. For me, that room was my kitchen.
Our tiny kitchen is truly the heart of our home. Not only do I spend a majority of my time there, but it is also open concept and within view of our living room and front door. Therefore, if my kitchen is messy our entire home feels messy.
The other reason I started with our kitchen is that I immediately feel behind for the day if I wake up to a messy kitchen. It is difficult to cook in a messy environment, and with limited counter space I normally have to clean before I can easily cook. The state of this little room really sets the tone for my day.
3 Steps to Choosing Your Essentials
Choosing your minimalist kitchen essentials can feel like an intimidating process, but don’t let this stop you! Just take a step back and consider a few things:
- Step 1: Take a week of normal cooking and write down everything you used during that week. You could also look through your supplies and if you haven’t used something in the last several months, it is probably not essential.
- Step 2: Consider what items in your kitchen could serve multiple functions, and what things only serve one purpose. Do you really need that fancy veggie chopper, or could you simply use a regular knife?
- Step 3: Get rid of unnecessary multiples and similar items. Most of us don’t need five different water bottles, four sets of salt and pepper shakers, and 7 different spatulas. Try downsizing to what you actually need.
If you are having trouble letting go of items that you spent good money on, you are not alone. It can be difficult to let go of things we invested in, especially if we never actually used them. However, if these items are not getting used, you can benefit yourself by clearing out space for things you really love and help others by donating quality items you no longer need.
My Top 10 Kitchen Essentials
While your list may end up looking different from mine, here are my top 10 minimalist kitchen essentials. Of course, I have more than 10 items in my kitchen. These are simply the most important tools that I use almost daily that also serve multiple purposes:
Kitchen Essential #1: Cast Iron Skillet
I am somewhat new to the world of cast iron, but I am already loving it! I have gotten rid of pretty much all of my other skillets and just have a couple different cast irons on hand. These are great because they tend to be a healthier option than non stick skillets and can be used for many different types of cooking. New to cast iron? Lisa with Farmhouse on Boone has a great article to help you get started.
Kitchen Essential #2: Instant Pot
I personally think there are two types of people in the world: Slow Cooker Fanatics and Instant Pot Lovers. Maybe you are someone who prefers the crock pot, but I personally lean toward the instant pot. I love that it allows me to throw dinner together super fast, saute meat and veggies, cook up a whole chicken, and even make bone broth! Such a great multi functional tool.
Kitchen Essential #3: Coffee Maker
My husband and I are coffee fans. Actually, it is more like an intense coffee obsession, or maybe a severe addiction. Whatever you want to call it, we absolutely love our coffee. In fact, this is the only appliance that has won a spot on my kitchen counter. My recommendation here is to choose your favorite form of coffee maker and let that be your primary tool. While I love a good French Press, if I am honest with myself it hardly ever gets used in our home. Therefore, our cheap 12 cup coffee maker won the top spot.
Kitchen Essential #4: Knife Set
Because I don’t have any fancy chopping gadgets, having a good knife set is important. I definitely do a lot of chopping, slicing and dicing, so a nice set of knives is vital to my cooking success. I would honestly love to invest in something a little higher quality in the near future.
Kitchen Essential #5: Cutting Board
I love cooking from scratch, so I keep a nice cutting board right next to our stove. Be sure to find a cutting board that works for your space. If you are going to keep it out on your counter, consider picking one that also fits your decorating style.
Kitchen Essential #6: Dutch Oven
We bake a ton of sourdough bread in our home, so a dutch oven was an essential tool for us. It is also great because it can be used on the stove and in the oven.
Kitchen Essential #7: Cooking Utensils
I think most people tend to have way more cooking utensils than they actually need. I know I received something like two cookie scoops, five spatulas, three slotted spoons, four pizza cutters, and ten wooden spoons at my bridal shower. Way more than I could ever go through in a week. My utensil drawer currently consists of something like one wooden spoon, two spatulas, one slotted spoon, one pizza cutter, and one whisk. These are quick and easy tools to clean if I need to use them multiple times in a day and take up very little space in my kitchen.
Kitchen Essential #8: Pots
I keep three different sizes of pots on hand: A stock pot, a medium pot and a small pot. These three sizes work perfect for pretty much anything I need to cook.
Kitchen Essential #9: Cookie Sheets
I only keep a few cookie sheets on hand as I can realistically only fit one or two in my oven at once. By the time I need another, the ones I was using have usually cooled down and I can just reuse those. Parchment paper is also amazing as there is really nothing to wash after you use them.
Kitchen Essential #10: Blender
If you love making smoothies, a blender is a fabulous tool to have on hand. At this point, I only have one regular blender. While immersion blenders are great, I haven’t found them to be necessary because most things I can just toss into my regular blender.
And there you have it! My list of my top ten minimalist kitchen essentials and how to choose your own. If you are looking for more kitchen organization ideas, be sure to check out my post on pantry organization here! I hope this gave you some inspiration and a good idea of where to begin with downsizing your own kitchen. Why not get started today?