What do you do when you want to downsize your living space and start a minimalist lifestyle? While most people think of downsizing their wardrobe or their trinkets, there’s a lot of downsizing you can do in your kitchen. One of the main ideas of environmentalism is the classic “reduce, reuse, recycle.” That’s super easy to do in the kitchen.
We’re going to talk about how to start the process of downsizing, making sure everything in your kitchen is doing double duty or you’re just using it all the time, and then how to save money by buying in bulk and making your own cleaning products.
Downsizing Your Kitchen
If you’re trying to have less stuff in general, that means that the stuff you do have better be useful. This is nowhere more true than in the kitchen. When it’s time to downsize your kitchen, start with your appliances and look for tools that do more than one thing. That turkey baster? It just bastes. Honestly, how often do you need to baste something? Once a year at Thanksgiving? Get rid of it. There may be some one use items that you need to keep. For example, we have a vegetable pasta maker, but there’s nothing else we could use for that particular job.
As far as dishes go, you have to be realistic about your needs. If you are a household of two people, do you really need a tableware set for eight people? If you have dinner parties of more than five people regularly, okay maybe. But if you only have family over for Thanksgiving once every three years? You don’t need that many dishes. You really don’t. This is a good place to exercise the downsizing skills you’ve developed and figuring out where the appeal in a particular item lies. If this little teacup set reminds you of your grandma, keep it and put a plant in there. If you can process the emotional attachment and then let go, then put it in a box for a charity.
Organizing Your Kitchen
The key to having a minimalist kitchen is to be organized in what you have. As with anything, the specifics of how you do this depend on your own personal version of minimalism. Some people need to have empty counters to feel like everything is clean, and other people want to see everything in clear jars. I’m really weird in that I don’t like labels everywhere. It makes me feel like I’m in a store or something, and I just hate all that advertising even in my own home. So I transfer things to other containers like clear jars. Find your comfort level with having things on your counter or visible in your kitchen. Then you can easily set your kitchen up to have the minimalist look you want.
Another component of minimalism is reducing your consumption, and that’s easy to do in the kitchen. One of the easiest way to do this is to find a grocery store that sells certain things in bulk. Then you can store them in recycled glass jars or bottles you’ve saved from other foods. Use a permanent marker, some chalkboard paint, or a paint pen to label the jars, so you don’t end up with a really salty cake!
We have these mason jars that we keep everything in.
Great Bulk Foods
- rice, quinoa, or other grains
- sugar, salt
- flour, corn starch
- borax. washing powder, or detergent
Another way to be more minimalist in the kitchen is to cut out having to buy cleaning supplies. For most cleaning, you can just use plain ol’ vinegar. You can use baking soda for scrubbing. You can make laundry soap, dish soap, and all kinds of things at your house, saving money and the environment in the process.
Here are some of our posts about DIY cleaning supplies: