How to Get a Minimalist Kitchen

Knowing what to get rid of in your kitchen is a tough call.  You don’t want to make your life way more difficult than necessary because you threw out some handy little tool. So allow yourself some creative liberties here, and consider focusing on the amount of space you have in your kitchen. For example, I’d say as long as all of your pots and pans can be put away, it’s probably fine. BUT I will continue in saying that it really is easier to keep up if you have LESS. Having fewer dishes has forced me to keep up on washing them immediately because if I don’t, there is nothing to eat out of. There are no backups. I have a total of six pans, and honestly think I could get by on less. Some were kept after having to compromise with my husband (pretty sure he would have a heart attack if I threw out the pan we heat tortillas in). 

We have kept one set of dishes for four. Four big plates, four small plates, & four bowls. We are now a family of five, and as the kids grow, we will have to get one more of everything… but for now, this works well. The kids use small plates and we use big ones. I think it’s best to keep a coffee cup for each member of your household, that can obviously double as a cup for cold drinks/the kids’ drinks as well. Ours actually do not match 🙂 One was kept because it was given to me at my aunt’s baptism, one because I bought it after a cool sailboat ride in Seattle with my dad, my son picked out one with Jack Skellington on it, and I kept two that I just liked. If you’re worried about having enough dishes to entertain, you could always just plan ahead and get some disposable plates and cutlery. 

Also, please note that a simple kitchen ≠ simple food!!!


  1. one spoon and one fork per person

2) two butterknives

3) one or two kitchen knives (I have one chef’s knife. Any chefs that read this are probably going to cringe at my list…those of you who do are welcome to leave comments for possible swap-outs or improvements). 

4) This cool tool! 

5) one large serving spoon

6) one pair of tongs

7) potato masher

8) can opener that, of course, doubles as a bottle opener

9) two oven mitts

10) versatile blender or food processor (We have a vitamix)

13) one strainer that doubles as a cutting board

14) dish drying rack 

15) 3 kitchen towels and 3 kitchen rags (you can always knock those down to 2 or 1)

16) one pitcher if you make juice or other drinks

17) crock pot (might not be necessary for everyone)

18) one large pot like this one from Princess House*

19) one saucepan

20) one decent sized pan/skillet

21) one or two cookie/baking sheets

22) one pyrex 13X9 glass dish

23) perhaps a wine opener

24) peeler with brush

25) one adjustable measuring cup

26) one adjustable measuring spoon

27) whisk

Remember this is not an extremely minimalist list, but I do think it’s a very BASIC and SIMPLE list. To me, this is an easy kitchen to keep track of, organize, and control. Sometimes I run into issues when baking a dish in the oven, such as Chile Rellenos, because technically, I fill the equivalent of two 13X9 glass baking dishes. However, when I need more room, I choose to improvise… and put whatever doesn’t fit onto the cookie sheet! It all turns out fine 🙂

And I know it is definitely not glamorous to pour that local Pinot Gris you just bought into your kid’s Jack Skellington coffee cup, but you know what is glamorous? Being clutter free!

*If you are not familiar with Princess House, check them out! Their products can be on the spendy side, but will last an extremely long time! 

**I keep returning to this list to update it as I realize any areas in which I failed!


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