Are you doing some kitchen decluttering, and want a little minimalist inspiration? (Or should I say…minspiration?) Or maybe you’re kind of overwhelmed and not sure where to start, so you want to figure out which things you can safely get rid of?
Well stick with me, my friend. Because I’m about to run you through 30 things I decluttered, and really don’t miss in the slightest.
My partner and I live in a 300 square foot (28 square meter) studio apartment, and trust me when I say that our kitchen is TEENY TINY. We have very little storage space, and even less counter space, so we have to be super selective about what we keep in it. It really doesn’t take much to clutter it up!
For the last few years, we’ve decluttered our things in “waves.” Whenever we moved, had the motivation, felt that our space was too cluttered, or just wanted to simplify our lives, we’d start to question what we actually used, and then we’d part with the rest. And along the way, the 30 things below didn’t make the cut.
Now, obviously no two people have the exact same needs, and I’m not telling you that you should declutter all these things just because we did. You might have some of these things, and have space for them, and use them all the time – and that’s okay! Plus there are probably things that we’ve kept and use all the time – like our pasta maker – which you might find ridiculous. We aren’t the same, and we don’t always have the same cooking styles, and I actually think that’s super interesting and cool. You do you, boo!
I hope this list serves as inspiration, and a gentle reminder that we really don’t need all the things we think we need, or that we’re told we need. Use it to think critically about which shit you actually use, and which shit you’re just keeping because you feel like you should!
OH! And P.S., did you know that there’s a free decluttering guide that can help simplify the process for you? Grab it here:
Now that you’ve grabbed your free declutter guide, here are the 30 kitchen items we got rid of and don’t miss at all!
The first apartment I had when I moved to Toronto had a microwave, but the next one I moved to didn’t. I decided to do a little experiment and see how long I could last without one – and two years later, the experiment is still going on! We reheat our food on the stove top or in the oven. It takes a little longer, but the space it saves is TOTALLY worth it.
2. SERVING PLATTERS
We’re pretty chill people, and we really don’t entertain often enough to warrant keeping any fancy serving platters. Plus, if our guests aren’t okay with their food being served in normal bowls or baking trays, then are they really people we want to be friends with?
3. CAKE PANS
Hi, my name is Sara, and I bake cakes in a casserole dish. Just call it one of my little eccentricities, or my signature baking style! (I expect a call from the Great British Bake-Off any day now.) 😉
We toast our bread in the oven. It might not be the most efficient from a power standpoint, but we really don’t have room for a toaster! And honestly, I’m not that much of a breakfast person to begin with.
I used to have a dozen teapots. I collected a whole bunch, but really only used two or three of them. So I gradually got rid of them over the years, until I decided to just make tea in my big mugs (or in a pot, if I’m making it for more than one person). It works just fine for me!
6. FRENCH PRESS
I’m a sucker for lattes, and we have a little secondhand espresso maker that I use every morning. But believe it or not, I used to have five (!!) other types of coffee brewers – two French presses, an aeropress, a drip, and a little Vietnamese coffee maker. They were taking up so much space in my kitchen, and I felt like I had decision fatigue every morning, so I decided to keep my fave and ditch the rest.
We used to have an electric kettle, but it took up way too much counter space for this apartment. We just boil water in a pot on the stove.
8. TABLECLOTH AND PLACEMATS
Okay, this might be controversial. (Let’s be real though – pretty much any of these could be controversial!) I find it way easier to wipe down the table when something spills than to wash placemats or a tablecloth. It also saves us a bunch of precious storage space in our tiny apartment!
9. SERRATED KNIVES
I mean, look – we’re both vegan. We really don’t need steak knives. We also keep our chef’s knife sharp enough that it cuts through bread super well! So we ditched our bread knife, too.
10. PIZZA CUTTER
Our chef’s knife also works perfectly fine for cutting pizza, so that’s one less “uni-tasker” in our home. (See #29 for more on uni-taskers!)
They always look so fancy, but we never used them. That’s just not our style of cooking or baking! (We’re much more into batch cooking and freezing meals over here.) So we gave them away, and never looked back.
12. FOOD PROCESSOR
You might be one of those people who say you couldn’t live without yours. But we have a high-powered blender, which works just fine for most things – and we kind of enjoy the process of chopping veggies by hand.
13. IMMERSION BLENDER
Our regular blender gets used all the time, for everything from smoothies to soups to making almond flour and icing sugar. We really don’t need a second type of blender.
14. EXTRA BOWLS, PLATES, AND CUTLERY
We kept about five of each, because we really don’t entertain more than a couple of people at a time. (We’re both introverts, haha!) If we ever do want to eat as a big group, we’ll go to a restaurant or we’ll get creative and serve finger foods. Why hang onto more than we really need, amirite?
We don’t have a barbeque or grill here, but we did keep one single skewer for all our poking needs. (It comes in handy if things get stuck in our funnel, or for juicing a lemon. Seriously! See #20 for more on that.)
16. SLOW COOKER
I love the experience of cooking, and I felt like I was kind of missing out on that when I used our slow cooker. I know they’re super handy for a lot of folks, but with my working from home and my enjoyment of the whole cooking process, the appeal of the slow cooker kind of wore off! (Plus, they take up a LOT of room.)
17. TOASTER OVEN
Like with the microwave and toaster, we just use our oven. And it’s just dandy, thankyouverymuch!
18. EXTRA CUTTING BOARDS
As I mentioned, we’re vegan – so we only chop veggies, fruits, and other meatless things. That means we don’t need a separate cutting board for animal products. We use one side of the cutting board for fruits and the other for vegetables, so our strawberries don’t end up tasting like onion.
19. SALAD SPINNER
To quote the Simpsons… you don’t make friends with salad! Just kidding. We eat salad. We just dry off our lettuce with a towel. It might take longer, but it’s one less dish to wash!
20. CITRUS JUICER
If you use a skewer to poke a hole through the nipple bit of a lemon, you can squeeze the juice out in a stream! Honestly it works surprisingly well. Alternatively, you can cut it in half and squeeze it out by hand.
21. GARLIC PRESS
One of my talents and pleasures in life is being able to finely mince garlic into ridiculously tiny, perfectly even little pieces. But also if I’m feeling lazy, we have a microplane.
22. MUFFIN TIN
We just didn’t use it often enough to keep it. So in instead of muffins, I’ll make cake, banana bread, zucchini bread, or lemon loaf!
23. PLASTIC WRAP
As part of our low-waste efforts, we wanted to reduce our reliance on single-use plastics – and plastic wrap was one of the first to go. For food storage, we’ll mostly just put a plate on a bowl (or a bowl on a plate), but there are tons of other options out there, including reusable waxed cloth wraps, shower cap-style bowl covers, silicone lids, or even just good ol’ plastic or glass food storage containers.
24. ALUMINUM FOIL / TIN FOIL
We ran out a few years ago, and started experimenting without it. Mostly, we just grease or flour pans really well, use a lidded casserole dish, or omit it altogether. So far, my food has remained entirely edible. 😉
25. PARCHMENT PAPER
I know many folks who say that parchment paper will only ever be pried out of their cold, head hands – but I ran out years ago and haven’t really missed it. I find that greasing or flouring a surface prevents sticking most of the time, and that’s good enough for me!
26. WAX PAPER
Honestly, I think I only ever had wax paper because I was told it was essential – I never really understood the purpose for it. I ended up giving it away about four years ago and haven’t really thought twice about it.
27. TRASH BAGS
We still end up with some plastic bags as packaging, so we’ll either use those, or nothing at all. Our trash is all dry stuff, since any food products go into the compost bin – so it’s mostly just produce stickers and the odd packaging that can’t be recycled. There’s nothing gross that will stick to the bottom of the trash bin, which necessitates a trash bag.
28. PAPER TOWELS
We use washable rags for cleaning, and tea towels for drying things. They’re better for the environment, and also it’s one less thing to cart home from the store!
What I mean by “uni-taskers” is anything that only serves one purpose – things like a strawberry huller, avocado slicer, corn-on-the-cob holder, taco holder… I’m grouping these all together because honestly, there are so many that this could probably be a whole blog post in itself! We did keep some uni-taskers that we actually use, like our tofu press and can opener, but we probably got rid of about 95% of the ones that used to clutter up our kitchen.
30. OTHER PEOPLE’S EXPECTATIONS ABOUT WHAT I SHOULD KEEP
Keep what makes sense to YOU, and don’t let anyone else (your parents, society, or even me!) tell you what’s important to hang onto. Oh – and this applies to your whole life, and not just the kitchen.
These kitchen tools might be essential for some, but decluttering them has made our transition into tiny living WAY smoother. Since we have limited storage and counter space, we had to examine our cooking habits and keep only the things we actually need and use!
Whether you want to declutter for a move, to make cleaning easier, or just for a little more simplicity and peace of mind, your kitchen is an awesome place to start. You’ll notice the benefits right away (since, if you’re like us, you probably spend quite a bit of time in there), and so many of the kitchen things we think we “need” really aren’t must-haves at all.