Kitchens are one area of any household where clutter can really take hold. Whether gifts, impulse buys, or things you got for that one specific dish that one time, people tend to end up with a lot of kitchen tools. The truth is, most people don’t actually use those single-purpose kitchen utensils nearly enough to make them worth the space they take up.
If you really do make a ton of melon balls each week, then sure, keep the melon baller. Otherwise, here’s a quick list of what’s actually essential and what can go while decluttering your kitchen.
There are three basic knives you need. A chef’s knife covers a huge number of cutting needs alone, whereas a paring knife can step in when you don’t quite need that bulk, and a serrated bread knife helps deal with not only bread, but other softer foods you need sliced.
These can cover pretty much all the cutting tasks you may have. At most, add a filet or boning knife if you eat a lot of fish or will need to cut around bones, and keep a honing steel to maintain sharpness. But all those special peelers and single-fruit slicers? Just use a knife.
Pots and Pans
A modern non-stick skillet is a must-have for general cooking. If you’re willing to put a little effort into upkeep, then a cast iron pan is a tremendously useful as well. Other than that, a stainless steel saucepan and a stockpot will handle the rest of your general cooking needs.
You’ll also want a baking pan, but you may be surprised to hear you can often get by with just the one. You can build compartments with foil if you want to keep things separate — or can purchase cheap, single-use baking pans for special occasions.
If you’ve accumulated extras over the years, a downsizing move is a great opportunity to sift through and keep only the best. How often do you really need two of any of these at the same time?
Besides knives, you’ll need a fair few other things — but probably not so many as you think. Again, you really only need one of each, but this is a prime area where people tend to have multiples. Maybe you had a few when you first moved into your current home or lost a few and bought a new set.
You’ll want a spoon, a spatula, a whisk, and a can opener. Again, if you’ve got four spatulas, which one do you always reach for first? Leave the others behind.
And the Rest
Unless you want to burn your hands, make sure you’ve got a good pair of oven mitts. A set of three differently sized mixing bowls are essential for a wide variety of prep work, and measuring cups and spoons are vital tools.
A strainer and a cutting board round out the list of a minimalist, downsized kitchen.
The items on this list are the things it’s hard to substitute for. Again, if you have particular tastes that mean yes, you do use that food dehydrator, and no, you couldn’t just use the oven on low instead, then by all means hold onto it.
But by stripping your kitchen down to these essentials, you’ll wonder how you ever managed with drawers stuffed full of utensils you never use.
Need a hand getting there? Two Small Men has a downsizing service you may find useful! And when you’re ready for the move itself, we can get all your downsized possessions to your new home, safe and sound. Learn more here.