Creating a Minimalist Home: Day 17- The Kitchen

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a bit of a whirlwind in the kitchen and it does not always look as clean as it does in these photos. If you saw the behind the scenes of my Christmas content photoshoot with something simple, you know what I’m talking about… The kitchen is a well used area in our home, and we like to cook real food, so we need the tools and space in order to do this.

Hold onto your hats, because this is a longer one!…

I may seem difficult to have a minimalist kitchen, but remember that minimalism isn’t just about the number of items you have, but rather ensuring the items you do have are used and/or bring you joy. Minimalism is simply a way to help organize, declutter, and simplify your life. Keep that in mind when going through your kitchen.

I suggest doing your kitchen in stages. I’ve already covered the countertops and pantry in previous posts, and I’ll be focusing on drawers, cabinets, and appliances in this post.  

The kitchen is naturally a gathering place for family and guests, so keeping it clutter free can feel like a daunting task (hence why I’ve left it until now …).  Keep in mind the meals you cook, the entertaining you do, and the functionality you need when creating a minimalist kitchen.

For us, it’s currently just my husband and I living in our home, however we do enjoy entertaining and having family over. Keeping our kitchen minimalist isn’t too difficult for just the two of us, however I’m sure that will change at some point in our future once we decide to expand our family. We were also lucky as we were able to design our kitchen when we build our home. We opted for a large centre island, modern and glossy white easy-to-wipe clean cabinets, a pantry, some open shelving, and large deep, but strong, drawers.

When creating a design for our minimalist kitchen, we wanted to keep our countertops clear, so we tried to give each cupboard/drawer a specific function or item to store.

 

Drawers:

We have 6 drawers in total:

  1. Flatware, Serveware, Cooking Utensils
  2. Pans, Oven Mitts, Trivets
  3. Pots, Colanders, Grater
  4. Knife / Spice Drawer
  5. Reusable Plastic Containers
  6. Casserole Dishes

 

1. 

For flatware, serveware, and cooking utensils, we’re still working with some “hand me downs”, mostly because I haven’t found exactly what I’ve been looking for in terms of flatware… and it’s an investment! But, keeping these items in a drawer organizer is a definite must-do. I’ve also gone through and donated duplicate cooking utensil items that I did not need. The items I use less often are at the back of drawer, while items I use everyday are at the front.

2. / 3.

I like to keep my pots and pans in a drawer rather than cupboards as it makes it easier to access the one I need, without having to move things out of the way. I can (for the most part) keep then unstacked and therefore unscratched giving them a longer lifespan. If you need to stack them however, these pot/pan protectors (or similar) work great!

 

4.

Our spice and knife drawer is one of our favourite in our kitchen! They were custom built for our drawers, but you can totally find similar organizers at Ikea (spice drawer insert , knife tray). If you know me, you know that all of our spices are organized alphabetically, which makes it super easy to find what I’m looking for while cooking. When I empty a spice jar, I head to my bulk store and buy enough to fill up the jar I already have. It keeps the drawer looking uniform with similar labels and jar sizes.

 

5.

On day 10 of the Minimalist Home Challenge, you would have already gone through your tupperware to ensure each base had a matching lid. Try to get matching sets of tupperware as they will usually be able to stack in your drawer more easily, keeping it tidy and simple to find what you’re looking for.

 

6.

This drawer is opened the least often, but it holds all of our Corningware Casserole Dishes that we got as a wedding gift. We opted to store these in the bottom drawer as they aren’t used as much as other items,  but put them in a drawer rather than a cupboard as they are heavier pieces.

 

Currently, my kitchen has way more cupboard space than I know that to do with. I’m definitely not complaining, as I know all too well what it’s like to have the opposite situation to deal with.

Lower Cupboards:

My lower cupboards (I have two) currently hold items such as cutting boards, glass bakeware, mixing bowls, tea towels, measuring cups/spoons, aluminum foil, and larger serving dishes.  Smaller items such as measuring spoons are stored in baskets in the cupboard. When I need them, I just pull out the basket and replace it when finished. As our cupboards are quite deep, this helps from having to search way in the back for the tablespoon. We also keep our cleaning items in the cupboard under our sink. Since we’ve gone minimal on our cleaning products, this space stays pretty clutter free.

Upper Cupboards:

Upper cupboards in our kitchen house our glasses, travel mugs, plates, bowls, and one cupboard currently serves are our “bar” storage. We try not to have more of these items than we need (however I have a tonne of coffee mugs that I need to find a new home for… I think these are a go-to teacher gift?). By doing our dishes the same day, we don’t have a need to buy more than we need. In case you’re curious, we have these ones by Royal Doulton / Gordon Ramsay. They’ve been totally scratch proof, hold up great in our dishwasher, and fit our kitchen/dining aesthetic. These baking sheet vertical separators (similar) are also a staple in our kitchen, making selecting the item you need a breeze (and quite frankly a lot quieter!).

 

Open Shelving:

We have a few open shelves in our kitchen thanks to my husband’s design work. We’ve dubbed this as our “coffee bar”. Here we have our coffee maker, mugs, sugar dish, and some decorative items such as plants and small marble cutting boards. The items I use the least often are on the top shelf, as I can’t reach them without a stepstool. We both drink our coffee black, so our creamer jug and sugar dish are here are well for when we have company.

 

Waste & Recycling:

Our trash, recycling, and compost area have a dedicated pull-out drawer as part of our kitchen island. It helps reduce odors and makes it a bit easier than storing our garbage under the sink. However, Simple Human sells a similar pull-out system.

Appliance Garage:

Last but not least, if you watched my Instagram story earlier today, you know that one of my “must-haves” in this kitchen was a place to store my small appliances. I talked about this spot a bit on Day 8 of the Minimalist Home Challenge. I asked my kitchen designer to create an appliance garage for us. This is where I keep my toaster, kettle, blender, crockpot, and food processor. Because we bought many of these items in stages, many of them do not match. This means, we just pull them out when we need them, clean them, and park them back in the “garage” when finished. We don’t feel the need to spend more money on matching small appliances, saving money and the environment. #WIN

The biggest thing to take away from this, is keep things in the kitchen, that you use in the kitchen. If you haven’t used it in the last year (fancy china, a 1-function appliance, or a cookbook, etc.) you should donate it. Keep your kitchen functional, it’s easier to keep cooking utensils closer to the stove, glasses closer to the fridge, you get the picture… Try to keep your cupboard and drawers organized, and your counters clear for food prep. Trust me it makes cooking more enjoyable when you have room to put things!

And yes, I know I didn’t even touch on the fridge, but I’m proud that you read even this far! I’ll be talking about the fridge/meal planning soon!

 

How have you created a minimalist kitchen?

Is there an item you aren’t sure why you have so many of? (For me it’s coffee mugs!)

 

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