Does your kitchen stress you out? Mine did for a very long time until I finally decided to simplify it. A calm and clutter-free kitchen is more inviting and makes cooking more fun. You can simplify your kitchen and keep it clutter-free by following these five simple tips.
We live in a 1200 square foot ranch and our kitchen is small by today’s standards. We have very limited counter and storage space. Any surface or storage area is prime real estate. When you have a small kitchen, it’s important to decide what is deserving of the space it takes up and what isn’t. Below are some principles that I use to simplify my kitchen and keep it clutter-free.
Five tips to simplify your kitchen:
1. Clear your counters
Don’t leave anything on the counter that doesn’t need to be there. This is the number one thing that will help your kitchen feel calm and clutter free. Even if you’re not ready to do a full declutter of your whole kitchen, this is one simple thing that makes a huge impact!
Put away that crock pot that you use once every 2 weeks. Put your spices and oils in the cupboard. Find a home for those leftover containers that always seem to be floating around. Everything needs to have a home in order to keep your counters clutter-free. If you’re going to do one thing on this list, this is definitely it.
2. Avoid unitaskers
I only have one usable drawer in my kitchen. After we DIY’d our kitchen renovation, we realized that the only other drawer in the kitchen opens only about 3 inches because it runs into the side of the stove… (oops!). My kitchen, with its single kitchen drawer, does not have room for unitaskers.
I literally don’t have room in my kitchen for egg yolk separators, bagel slicing contraptions, meat shredding claws, or strawberry hullers. You can prevent accumulation of these unnecessary gadgets by using the basic multitasking tools that your kitchen is already stocked with (see tip #5).
“The only unitasker allowed in my kitchen is a fire extinguisher.” –Alton Brown
3. If it’s broken, repair it or get rid of it
Your kitchen space it too valuable to store broken, un-usable items. You know those things that come to mind right away – the panini press that won’t turn on, the spatula with the handle that comes off every time you try to use it, etc. You don’t even necessarily need to replace it right away with an identical item. Try to find something else that you already have that may do the same task just as well. Necessity is the mother of invention.
4. Move seldom-used items out of the kitchen
If you have items you don’t use that often but are not ready to part with, just store them elsewhere. I don’t use our Instant Pot that often, so I actually keep it out of the way in the buffet in our dining room. The same goes for my pie plates and tart pans that I do use once in a while, but not often enough to justify them taking up valuable cabinet space in my small kitchen. As a result, there is less clutter inside my cabinets. There is more space inside the cabinets (at least try) to keep all of my everyday essentials neatly organized.
5. Focus on durable, multipurpose pieces
At one point in my life, I finally realized that you can get higher quality, long-lasting items when you focus on quality instead of quantity. Most of the time these items even function better than their more cheaply made counterparts.
The “fewer, but better” mindset has made it easier for me to keep my kitchen simple and clutter free. For example, you could spend $30-40 on a whole set of kitchen knives from a big box store. The other (and in my opinion better) option is to spend $30-40 on one knife that actually keeps its edge, stays sharp, and makes dinner prep so much easier. It took me many years to really embrace this concept, but now it’s what guides all of my purchases has really transformed my life! I’m still a major work in progress, but I’ve come a long way with my shopping habits.
Hopefully these tips have inspired you to simplify your small kitchen. Share your own tips in the comments below!