Downsizing: Kitchen

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As we prepare for our upcoming move, we’ve been working our way through each room of our apartment and doing some hard core downsizing (if being the most excited about downsizing was an Olympic sport, I’d win the gold. Maybe silver. Definitely at least bronze.)

The kitchen was actually our easiest room to downsize.  I took care of it in about 5 minutes. Obviously, this isn’t the first time I’m cleared out this room, but I did get rid of a ton of stuff. Most got donated, some just got tossed. In making these decisions, we asked ourselves two simple guiding questions. This helped to keep us on track. If an item passed the two question test, we kept it.

Our questions:

1. Do we use this item at least once a week?

2. Is this item a functional duplicate? (i.e. we don’t have pot holders because dish towels work just as well.)

So without further ado, here a list of what we kept (and why):

4 Bento salad plates – these are smaller than our old dinner plates, which helps a TON with portion control. They’re from CB2 (a branch of Crate and Barrel. I love C&B’s responsibility statement.) Our goal for dinnerware was to have four complete place settings, as we entertain often. Bonus? When we aren’t entertaining, we have two “uses” for each piece before we have to wash dishes.

2 Bento soup bowls – Also from CB2. These are gorgeous. I only got two, because I have…

2 Avocado jumbo mugs – These double as bowls when I need them. If instead of four bowls we need four mugs, I can supplement with…

2 Coffee mugs – One pirate mug for him, one pixie mug for me.

1 Pour over coffee mug  – This replaced my coffeemaker a while back. I drink coffee all the time, but the Dude doesn’t. No reason to lug around a big coffeemaker for just me.

2 Tumblers – These are our travel coffee mugs. We take road trips a few times a month, so these get a lot of use.

2 Water bottles – These are our cold water “glasses” on a regular basis.

2 16 ounce Mason jars – For  company.

1 Le Creuset Cast-Iron Skillet – Our one frying pan. It’s not very big, but then, we don’t need it to be since it’s just us.

1 Medium saucepan – A 2 quart pan for boiling and steaming veggies, and making rice and corn pasta.

1 Small pasta strainer – For above veggies and pasta.

1 Flexible cutting board – You know, one of the really floppity ones.

1 Hamilton Beach smoothie blender (with two blender tumblers) – The hubby has a smoothie almost every morning for breakfast. I try, but I usually end up eating an apple instead. 😉

1 Mortar and pestle – We love to grind and mix our own spices.

1 Tea kettle – I use this ALL DAY. Sometimes for coffee or tea, sometimes for making minute rice in my…

4 Pyrex dishes – 1 large, 2 medium, 1 small. Glass, microwave safe, oven safe. The perfect Tupperware alternative.

1 Pizza wheel – Honestly, this one is probably on its way out. We’ve recently gone gluten-free, so not much more pizza for us.

4 Tiny screw-top tupperware bowls – These are for things we don’t need to heat or refrigerate. They’re really tiny, so I send them to work with the Dude full of peanuts, baby carrots, or slivers of beef jerky.

1 Large melamine mixing bowl – For making mashed potatoes, banana cookies, etc.

1 Small melamine mixing bowl –  For holding snackables like veggie chips and fruit.

1 Dish scrubber – From Norwex. If you haven’t checked them out, do.

4 Dinner forks – Self-explanatory.

4 Tablespoons – And this.

2 Butter knives – Ditto.

1 Glass measuring cup – Take a wild guess on this one.

4 Steak knives – Moving on.

1 Cheese grater – For grating cheese. (Maybe the explanation bit wasn’t the best idea.)

1 Potato masher – For mashing potatoes. And bananas. And tomatoes.

1 Wooden spoon – Also.

1 Wooden spatula – And.

1 (Set? pair?) wooden tongs – I mean, really, what else do you use these for besides… tong…ing?

1 Manual can opener – I give up.

Note: dish rags and towels don’t make the list because they’re in my “linens” section – coming soon!

Total: 59 items
Now at first glance, I felt embarrassed at that number. My long-term goal has been to get my total possessions down to 100 items, and this makes my kitchen nearly 60% of my goal! But as I thought about it in terms of what I consider minimalism, I felt a lot better. In reality, I no longer believe that minimalism is about owning fewer items than anyone else. As long as everything I have is functional and useful on a daily basis, I’m happy.

What do you think? Is there anything on my list that you would add or subtract?

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5 thoughts on “Downsizing: Kitchen

  1. Funny you should post this as the wife and I were talking about cleaning out the cupboards this week and getting rid of stuff we don’t use. I think we will end up with more than you so I think your list is a great size. Interesting how each piece has a story behind what it’s for though lol.

  2. I realize that every person uses their kitchen differently but limiting myself to the items on this list would drive me completely nuts. A couple of years ago we downsized to a home 1/3 the size of our last one. I purged the kitchen when we moved, then had to buy replacements for much of what I’d disposed of. That was an expensive lesson! I have more kitchen equipment than I do items in any other part of the house. Some are absolutely necessary, others less so, but I do use every single item in my kitchen either for cooking or as props for my blog photos. Even with lots of duplication (two complete sets of pots and pans, 3 Dutch ovens, two stock pots, 6 glass measuring cups, 3 complete sets of dry measures…) I use every one of the functional cooking items at least once weekly, and often more.

    • And I think you’ve hit the nail exactly on the head. If an item is functional, there’s no reason at all to feel guilty about owning it. That’s been a difficult truth for me to realize. I’m glad you’ve reached an equilibrium in your own home that makes you comfortable without feeling overwhelmed with clutter!

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