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Minimalism is gaining some major ground in kitchens, homes, and lives across the world.
It’s safe to say that we’ve seen a “shift” in the last generation.
People are valuing experiences over things, and they’re trying to make better use of their space.
But when it comes to the kitchen …
How exactly do you go minimalist while still having the tools you need to prepare fabulous family meals and culinary works of art?
That’s the big question. And in this post, we’re going to dig deep and uncover the answers.
Let’s jump into it.
1. Start with Basic Food-Prep Utensils
Start with the basics.
One of the most important (and essential) food preparation utensils is a knife.
But one single knife probably won’t cover all your bases.
Rather than going all-out with many sets of cutting utensils, you’re going to want to opt for a simple/single knife block that includes:
- A serrated knife
- A chef’s knife
- A paring knifes
- A knife sharpener
- A pair of scissors
You’re also going to need a simple set of silicone, plastic, wooden, or stainless cooking/stirring utensils.
The elements you’re probably going to use the most will include:
- A spoon
- A flipper/turner
- A spatula
- A whisk
2. Pots and Pans
Pots and pans are another musts in any kitchen, regardless of the size.
You may be able to get away with one pot, but you’ll fare better (and still take up a minimal amount of space) if you go ahead and stock up on several sizes.
First off, a stockpot is a must for cooking large portions or oversized items.
Buy one with a removable steamer tray at the bottom to steam stalks of kale, bok choy, crab legs, etc.
You’re also going to need these kitchen pot/pan essentials:
- A medium-sized saucepan (4 quarts)
- One small frying pan/saute pan
- One large frying pan/saute pan
3. Nested Mixing Bowls
Everyone needs a set of stainless-steel mixing bowls.
You’re going to need these if you plan on baking, preparing a range of ingredients, chopping vegetables to combine later, etc.
For best results, buy a nested set of three in small to large sizes. They’re easy to stack/conceal in a cabinet, they won’t take up much space — and if you buy good ones, they’ll last you a lifetime.
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This is an essential kitchen item for most people.
Remember. Above all else, minimalism is about functionality.
Do you/would you use a toaster?
If so, it’s an essential item, and you should get one — because they do save a lot of time and don’t take up much space.
A small, two-slice toaster is more than enough.
Something like the Smeg 2-Slice Toaster from Williams Sonoma is the perfect example of a minimalist toaster. It won’t take up too much precious counter space but you’ll still get a stylish, minimalist vibe
Even if the only thing you need to strain is pasta, you’ll need a colander/strainer.
This is an absolute must-have, and you can use it for all kinds of different foods.
To maximize space, opt for a collapsible silicone colander. Make it flat and store it in a drawer to save space.
6. Measuring Cups and Spoons
Measuring cups and spoons are another must-have kitchen essential, even in a minimalist kitchen.
Buy stackable spoons that can nest into one another and store them away in drawers or cabinets.
You really only need one or two of these, at the most. Opt for the clear glass or plastic models that give you multiple measurement options.
Buying smaller is fine. If it measures one cup and you need four, just fill it four times.
7. Cutting Board
If you plan to cut anything, you’re going to need a cutting board.
Wood or marble is the way to go. They last longer and will serve you reliably for years to come.
The plastic/silicone ones are easy to damage with knife cuts and heat. They’re also more challenging to keep clean.
If minimalism is what you’re pursuing in your life, it’s better to invest in one good one than to have multiples for different types of food.
8. What You DON’T Need in a Minimalist Kitchen
Alright. We’ve talked about what you need.
Now let’s go over a quick list of things that you can probably do without.
If minimalism is a goal, consider passing on these options to cut down on clutter, save space, and make the most of your kitchen square footage.
- Air fryer
- Bread maker
- Kitchenaid mixer (as pretty as they are, you don’t need one unless you’re a frequent baker)
- Panini press
- Electric can opener
- Salad spinner
- Dutch oven
- Ice cream maker
- Muffin tins/specialty-sized bakeware dishes (bread pan, bundt pan, etc.)
One Caveat …
All the items listed above would fit better into the category of luxury items than necessities.
But with that said, keep in mind that minimalism is all about functionality.
It’s about only keeping and possessing things that serve a useful, functional purpose in your life.
So, if you would actually use one of the items listed above regularly, and if using that item would add value to your life, feel free to opt for it.
Minimalism is unique to each one of us. And every minimalist journey is going to look different because every life is different.
Whether you’re delving into hardcore minimalism as a lifestyle or you’re simply redesigning your kitchen, remember that:
Minimalism is a philosophy for creating greater meaning in life.
When you cut down on your belongings to reduce clutter you make more room for the things that matter. While also cutting down on stress and optimizing your life for greater efficiency and success.
But it isn’t necessarily an overnight journey.
It takes time to figure out which exact style of minimalism will work for you.
So be thoughtful and self-aware as you embark on this beautiful journey.
Adam Marshall is a freelance writer who specializes in all things apartment organization, real estate, and college advice. He currently works with Copper Beech Bowling Green to help them with their online marketing.