Minimalist Kitchen: Making it more functional with LESS

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Hi friends! This is day (7) of the 31 Days of Minimalism Challenge.

If you missed yesterday’s post, you can find it here: Minimalist Bedroom.

Welcome to the Kitchen!

  • 2 Melon-ball scoopers
  • 5 Strawberry Pitters
  • 3 Milk Frothers
  • 156 Tiny Spoons
  • 5 Meat-temperature gauges
  • 2 Popcorn Machines
  • 9 Types of Dish Soap
  • 3,984 Wine Corks
  • Ice-cream Maker
  • Bread Maker
  • Rice Maker
  • Slushy Maker
  • La Croix Maker
  • Small Crockpot
  • Medium Crockpot
  • Large Crockpot
  • Extra Large Crockpot (you know, for the future banquet!)
  • And…well, what else is there?

We’re sold on lots of kitchen appliances, all supposed to make our lives easier and better.

And while some appliances are truly helpful and beneficial for performing specialized tasks (french press, of course), the rest are mainly used for one other purpose: catching specialized dust.

They catch dusk in the pantry, in the cabinets, under the table, and most importantly, on the countertop.

Welcome to the store! We sell you dust collecting appliances so that you will never have to dust again! And better yet, EVERYTHING IS 70% OFF!

Contrary to many people’s beliefs that all these things make life easier, they do not.

They make it harder and harder for people to clean, move around, and breathe in their very own house.

When it gets out of control, this is what happens:

Minimalist Kitchen
Shadwwulf at English Wikipedia [CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons
And while many people do not let their homes get this out of control (hoarding is a real mental disorder and we respect it as such), they tend to collect a massive amount of stuff over the years, sometimes without even realizing.

Collecting useless junk is much like the smell of our houses: we don’t realize what it is like until someone tells us.

So then, what is your home like? Do you have every single product we listed at the beginning of this article?

If so, maybe it’s time to start thinking about minimalism. If you are not yet aware of the amazing benefits of downsizing and simplifying your life, please check out this article before continuing: Reasons to Embrace Minimalism.

Today, we are going to be talking about the Minimalist Kitchen: Making it more functional with less.

Minimalist Kitchen

The Minimalist Kitchen

For all the rooms in the house, a minimalist kitchen is most important to us. It is where friends and family gather, where we spend most of our time, and where our health is most directly effected.

Having less in the kitchen is often more. It takes away the stress of choice and distraction, allowing us to focus more on healthy living and cooking.

In the past, we have lived with cluttered kitchens and have found that they promote unhealthy eating. This is because there is a lack of inspiration to eat healthy when we are distracted by random things.

For example, the more food there is in the fridge, the more we will focus on the non-veggie items (such as fatty leftovers, savory goods, and ice-cream), because they are quick and easy.

When there are only fruits and veggies in the fridge, we find inspiration to create healthy meals.

Minimalist Kitchen

This goes with appliances, too. When there is a microwave in a house, we feel obligated to use it, leading to more unhealthy and quick food choices.

That is why we no longer have a microwave. Anything that can be cooked in a microwave can be cooked on the stovetop or oven, adding only a tiny bit of time.

To narrow this topic down, we will focus on three aspects to a minimalist kitchen:

  1. Having less in the first place
  2. Keeping the counters clear
  3. Multi-use appliances

1. Having less in the first place

A key aspect to minimalism is indeed, well, minimalism. No minimalist kitchen is complete without minimalism.

This means only having what is necessary and what serves a purpose.

If there are things in your kitchen that you use only once every two or three years, it might be time to consider getting rid of them.

Remember, these items are simply collecting dust more than they are simplifying your life.

If you want some great downsizing tips and tricks, including what to get rid of and what to keep, check out this article. We also have an article covering everything we own and use in our tiny-little bus kitchen, as well as how we built it. That article is here.

Again, the fridge is a huge part of a minimalist kitchen.

We all know the feeling when the fridge is too full and needs to be cleaned. It is one of the worst kitchen-cleaning duties. So then, why not keep the fridge clean in the first place. Purchase less food in the first place and eat everything before shopping again.

This not only makes the cleaning easier, but it saves money by minimizing food waste and promotes more healthy eating. There is nothing better than the look of fruits and veggies in the fridge without the dirty take-out containers and half-full ketchup bottles.

2. Keeping the counters clear

A quick and easy way to make your kitchen look a whole lot bigger and cleaner is to simply keep things off the countertop.

Traditional “countertop bound items” such as the coffee maker, banana holder, cooking spices, etc. can be placed away in the cabinets to open up the kitchen.

We only keep items on our countertop that serve some artistic purpose, such as our succulents and candles.

This photo is a bit old, but this is usually what our kitchen looks like (minus some recent remodels).

School Bus Conversion Kitchen

As you can see, there is absolutely room for improvement on our part. Being that our kitchen is already small, it would benefit to keep less on the countertop.

Since this photo was taken, we have removed the peninsula and moved our toaster oven/water kettle, shelf elsewhere. We’ll update with a new photo soon!

Consider moving some of your countertop items to the cabinets and see how it changes the feel of your kitchen.

3. Multi-use appliances

What better way to cut down on appliances than by owning appliances that do several things.

Some examples:

  • Our blender is also a great food processor and coffee grinder
  • Popcorn can be made on the stovetop in a pan, no need for a popcorn maker
  • Rice can be made on the stovetop, no need for a rice cooker
  • We can use a spoon as a melon baller, ice cream scooper, and just about everything else.
  • Hands and the toaster-oven are a great way to make bread
  • A large eating bowl can also be a mixing bowl
  • A fork can also be used as a whisk and smasher

By using simple common sense and a bit of imaginary thinking, you can pretty much create anything you want with less than half of the appliances already in your kitchen.

Multi-use appliances also allow us to own high quality appliances that are durable for the long-run, rather than purchasing the same thing year-after-year when it breaks.

Challenge Yourself

If you are devoted to living a more minimalist lifestyle and a healthier lifestyle, try to downsize your kitchen. You will not regret it!

Remember: minimalism is a personal lifestyle and choice. Alter it to meet your needs.

Thanks for reading, everyone! We are about one week into the 31 Days of Minimalism Challenge and have more useful content coming this month.

Stay tuned, and let us know what you think in the comments below!

As always, BE WELL! 🙂
Riley & Cece

 

 

 

 

 

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