The Maybe-Minimalism Project: kitchen utensils

I know I promised last time that the first thing I'd tackle is clothing.

But I changed my mind. I have too many ideas for clothing reduction and I lack any of the tools necessary to implement them (ie, mental capacity shelving).

Instead, I decided to go straight to the heart of the matter our home for my first Maybe-Minimalism step.

The Kitchen!!

Now, our kitchen isn't as bad off as the kitchens of other people. I have a pretty good idea of what all is in there, where it is, and just how often I use something (or don't use something). I have a few pretty serving dishes and party trays and special dessert presentation things that were wedding gifts, that have pretty much gone unused for the past 3 years. I am putting off tossing those things just now because we are, for once and finally, in a position to entertain, and I want to see what ends up seeing the light of day in the next several months. I know this doesn't really fall in line with 'minimalism' per se, but since I'm afraid of "real" minimalism at the moment, I'm going with this plan anyway.

Justifications aside, my kitchen could use a reduction in inventory. And the biggest culprit at the moment is my stash of utensils. You know the ones - the spatulas and spoons of various plastics, metals, woods, and rubbers. We have way too freaking many. And it's time to cut back.

Here's the plan:

1. Take ALL utensils (I'm just taking about the cooking/baking things, not the pizza cutters and vegetable peelers and the like) and put them somewhere they don't normally reside. For me, that means they are sitting in a pile on the counter. Lovely. You might have an empty drawer (ha!) or at least a nice basket you can leave on the counter.
2. Designate a home for the utensils you do use. For me, that means the stainless steel crock next to the stove.
3. When you go to cook something and you need a utensil, get what you need: FIRST check the utensil home for whatever it (for me, the crock) and THEN, only then, check the holding place if you don't find what you need.
4. After you've used something, wash it and put it in the home spot.

After a week or so of cooking (assuming you cook at home every night like I do) you'll have a pretty good idea of what you use regularly (aka NEED) vs. what is unnecessary.

I think it's also important to give yourself a decent time frame for deciding what utensils to keep vs. what gets tossed. I'm planning to keep my pile of utensils on the counter for two weeks (which actually ends today, October 15).

At the end of my two weeks (meaning, this evening) I will put the unused ones in a small box for a month, to allow time for my husband to adjust to the change. And if, after the combined 6 weeks, we don't use something, it will make its happy little way to Freecycle or the nearest donation center.


  1. I went through my kitchen utensils maybe a little under a year ago? It was very freeing, both in space and in mind. I had WAY too many wooden spoons and duplicates of little gadgets and stuff like that. Now everything actually FITS in the drawer.

  2. What a great idea! My utensil drawer is getting stuffed, so I will try this. Beats just throwing a bunch of things away and then having to go out and buy a replacement the next week.
    (PS: I just LOVE the 'voice' in your blog!)

  3. That is great! It's true...we have too much stuff "just in case". I'm Freecycling a few baby items to a church this afternoon actually.

  4. Isn't decluttering freeing! I went through my closet this week. Threw away quite a few things and have three bags of clothes to take to Goodwill! Now, if I could just get my husband to let me clean out the plastic cup cupboard in the kitchen, I would be flying high!

  5. That is a really smart way to do it!


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