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When I look up pictures of a minimalist kitchen for inspiration, it’s easy to find beautiful, clean counters without a single item out of place.
There’s only one issue:
Their kitchen is probably bigger than my entire apartment.
It’s easier to be a minimalist if your house is big enough to store everything.
When you have a small kitchen, you will run out of storage space fast.
So how can you maximize your space?
The Most Important Requirement For A Minimalist Kitchen:
If you want a minimalist kitchen, the most important thing you need to do is declutter.
This is especially true the smaller your kitchen is. Small spaces just don’t have the space to hold extras, so you must simplify it to things you use frequently.
Table of Contents
How Do You Declutter A Small Kitchen?
If you are just getting starting the decluttering process, here are some tips to get started:
Remove Excessive Tupperware
How often do you have the container but can’t find the lid? Or does Tupperware literally fall out when you open the door?
It means you have too much. Get rid of it.
I would say start with 10 good containers of varying sizes:
- Small cups for dressing
- Medium sized for packing meals
- Large for storing leftovers
You can adjust this depending on how often you cook, but the point of a minimalist kitchen is to not have excess. If you feel that 10 doesn’t adequately hold all your food, then get a few more pieces at a time.
I highly recommend having mixing bowls with lids, since it can be used for mixing ingredients as well. Since we cook the majority of our meals, it’s important to have good reliable containers.
It doesn’t necessarily matter if you prefer plastic or glass, but I personally have used these glass containers for years. I also find glass is easier to clean than plastic.
Get Rid Of Dishes And Utensils
Look in your drawers and literally count how many you have of each:
- Plates (by size)
- Bowls (by size)
- Drinking cups
- Serving plates/utensils
When my husband and I first married, we probably had about 15 cups among the 2 of us. Now we have 4.
There isn’t a set number of dishes that are “correct” for a minimalist kitchen – I don’t enjoy trying to have as little as possible, but I do try to only have what I need.
Similarly, evaluate how much you host or have guests over. If people don’t come over much, you probably don’t need large serving dishes or a large number of plates.
Let Go Of The Knife Block
Keeping the counters clean is important for a small kitchen since you have limited amount of counter space to work with.
Getting rid of the knife block will help
Keep just a few knives, and that way, they can be stored in a drawer (with the utensils). To start, I recommend simplifying down to:
- Small knife for cutting veggies
- Medium for chicken and meat
- Large for potatoes or squash
- A few steak and butter knives
In all honestly, the number of knives isn’t important. What matters more is the quality of them.
I use this small knife sharpener to keep my knives in good shape. I got it years ago and still use it all the time. My knives stay sharp it’s incredibly compact – perfect for a minimalist kitchen!
No Need For One Time Use Appliances
Most one-time use appliances are pretty useless. At one point, we owned a cheese slicer AND a cheese grater but we didn’t buy cheese??
Evaluate the appliances you have to see if it’s necessary. Do you need a bread maker if you buy sliced bread? But maybe you bake frequently and love your Kitchen Aid mixer. Then, by all means, keep it
Minimalism isn’t about trying to get rid of everything, it’s about keeping things you love and enjoy.
Some other one-time use appliances you may not need:
- Apple core remover
- Ice cream maker
- Rice cooker
- Avocado slicer
- Waffle maker
- Quesadilla maker
Remove Extra Pots And Pans
See how many pots and pans you own and if it’s necessary to keep all of them.
We use two large non-stick skillets, one large pot, and one small pot. We cook almost all our meals and have found that we don’t need more than this. You can also use a cast iron skillet instead of nonstick.
Organize Your Cleaning Supplies
I try to avoid having multiple items that can be used for the same thing. For us our cleaning supplies are:
- Swiffer with wet wipes
- A broom
- Multi-purpose stain remover
- Disinfectant wipes
- Glass cleaner
How Can I Keep My Kitchen Organized?
Once you’ve decluttered, it’s time to organize what you own in order to keep your counters clutter-free and maximize storage space.
Here some tips to keep your minimalist kitchen organized:
Keep Your Food In One Place
For many kitchens, the pantry will hold non-perishables. But in my small apartment, we don’t have one.
Instead, we dedicate one cupboard into storing our non-perishables like cans, sauces, oatmeal, oil, etc.
For perishables that don’t go in the fridge, we put into a large serving bowl on the counter. Even though it’s sitting out, it doesn’t take up much space and it consolidates all my food into
Put Away Spices
I often see people put spices on top of their oven. This makes the kitchen look crowded and messy.
Instead, put spices into a drawer so it’s out of sight.
If you don’t have drawer space for this, use a spice rack instead of just leaving it out on top of the oven.
Dedicate One Cupboard For Cookware
Put all your cookware and appliances into one place.
This could include pots, pans, slow cooker, toaster, or any appliance you use to cook with.
If I run out of storage space in this area, I take it as a sign that I’ve started to accumulate too much and it’s time to get rid of something.
Don’t Stack Tupperware Containers
Before I decluttered my Tupperware, it could only fit if I stacked the containers and lids separately. This makes it easy to lose lids and create a mess.
But now, I’m able to keep containers and lids together as a set. This makes it a lot easier to see what you own and avoid fumbling around looking for the matching lid.
Keep Bulk Items Out Of Sight
Use those hard to reach cupboards to store Costco or bulk items.
This could be cat food, k-cups, napkins, etc.
Since I stand at a tall 5’1, I keep this folding step stool close by so I can maximize my storage space.
If you have multiple cookbooks, scan your favorites so they’re available online.
Instead of having cookbooks, you could also try $5 Meal Plan to get weekly recipes and meal plans emailed to you for $5/month.
Minimalist Kitchen Equipment List
Besides what has been mentioned, here are some other appliances that could be beneficial in a minimalist kitchen:
- Slow cooker or InstaPot. When you’re busy or work full time, it makes it so easy to throw things in and not think about it. Here are my favorite easy slow cooker recipes.
- Handheld spiralizer to create zoodles (zucchini noodles) for pasta. We could’ve opted to get one with a handle to make it easier to spiralize, but the extra bulkiness wasn’t worth it to me, especially because it would’ve had to sit on my counter.
- Manual food processor. It’s small, compact, and easy to clean which makes it worth it to me.
Tips For A Clutter-Free Kitchen Counter
There’s one guideline to go by in order to keep your counters clean:
If you don’t have space for it, you have too much stuff.
A de-cluttered kitchen gives you the opportunity to have clear kitchen counters because it means everything you own as a home.
If an appliance or item doesn’t have a home, it will just end up taking up space on the counter.
For items that can’t be put away, try to consolidate where they sit. For instance, we keep our Keurig machine and utensils in one corner to maximize space.
A minimalist kitchen doesn’t mean your kitchen sits empty and it’s unusable.
We cook almost all our meals in our small apartment kitchen, yet we don’t feel like we need any more space.
By first decluttering and then organizing, you may find that your kitchen has more space than you initially thought.