Organize a Minimalist Kitchen

  • How to Create a Minimalist Kitchen

    Kitchen cabinet organization ideas
    Elfa shelving. Photo / The Container Store

    What’s difficult about creating a minimalist kitchen is that kitchens are made up of so many parts. You have to deal with countertop clutter, sort out food storage, and arrange cookware, utensils, and plates - and that’s before you even think about storing cleaning supplies or adding anything decorative. But paradoxically, this difficulty can also make the process of organizing the kitchen easier: rather than tackling the whole room at once, you can start with one section, move on to the next,...MORE and continue until you’ve created your ideal minimalist kitchen.

    What you’ll need.

    -Garbage bags for any trash or food you’re throwing away.

    -Boxes for items you decide to donate.

    -Organizers for drawers or food storage (optional.)

    -Cleaning products (optional; organizing is always a good opportunity to clean rooms like kitchens or bathrooms, which can get cluttered easily and should be cleaned often anyway.)

    Why you should create a minimalist kitchen.

    The kitchen is prone to clutter, and paring down its contents to the essentials means you’ll have an easier time cooking, eating, and cleaning up. In a minimalist kitchen it’s always easy to find what you need, and putting dishes away or planning a meal or shopping trip takes less time and feels less stressful.

    How to create a minimalist kitchen.

    First, walk through your kitchen in search of anything that belongs in another room. Return these items to their proper place. Also look out for anything that should obviously be thrown away, and toss it.

    Then, pick an area of the kitchen - say, the cupboards – and go through every item in that area. For each item, ask yourself whether it works, whether you really use it, and whether you like it. Anything that’s broken beyond repair, that functions badly or annoys you, or that you dislike or never use – in short, any item that is not actively helping you in your kitchen, - you can get rid of.

    If you’re not sure what is necessary and what’s excess, it can help to think about the minimum you could live with. A single person cooking for him or herself would probably need about two pans, pots, plates, cups, and so on, and could survive with just one of each if need be. (You may have lived like this in your college dorm room or while camping.) Of course, you’ll probably end up with more than you strictly need, unless you are already a very committed minimalist. But the idea of the bare minimum is useful when you’re wondering whether you really need that special apple-slicing gadget or if a knife will suffice.

    When the first area is done, move on to the next: refrigerator, pantry, counters, and so on, until every part of the kitchen has been sorted out.

    Once you’ve decluttered your kitchen, you can organize what you’ve decided to keep. Use existing drawers and shelves as much as possible, and introduce organizing products only when there’s no other way to neatly store what you need. Remember that any organizers don’t have to be specifically made for the kitchen, and they don’t have to be traditional – for example, a large mug can hold forks and knives as well as a drawer divider if that works better for you.

    Resources to Create a Minimalist Kitchen

    For more kitchen decluttering and organizing ideas, check out the articles below.