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Old 03-08-2013, 08:45 AM   #1
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Tell me about a Minimalist Kitchen

I keep purging and purging things from my kitchen cabinets, but somehow it seems like I still have so much stuff in my small kitchen. I also always seem to have something on the counter. My husband and I have two small children, and rarely have groups of people over for dinner (one other family would be the max, typically). What works for you? How many dishes, glasses, pots and pans? How do you keep your counters clear?
My coffee maker, fruit basket, and knife block live on my counters. I am unsure how else to store knives, esp with my little ones around. I wouldn't want them in a drawer! Should I just store fruit in the refrigerator?
I would love tips, and photos, of course

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Old 03-08-2013, 09:03 AM   #2
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Re: Tell me about a Minimalist Kitchen

do you have room in a cupboard to store the coffee maker? Near where you would plug it in?

I don't think a fruit basket is clutter. Maybe put it somewhere else as a double duty decorative piece. I hadn't ever considered putting knives in a drawer. Maybe I'll do that. By the time the kids can get into the silverware drawer, they should be old enough to understand the dangers of a knife. I think.

I'm not exactly a minimalist in the kitchen, but I pared back to just the stuff we actually used and also got rid of any duplicates and looked for things that could do double duty.

If you decide to pare back to X number of dishes but worry about having company, you can always put the extras in a box somewhere out of sight.

We are a family of 5 and run the dishwasher just about every other day, so it's nice to have enough on hand for a couple of days. Everyone will have their own scenario.

For the paper clutter, I finally found a solution that WORKS. YMMV, but it was life changing for me. It's a basket, rectangle in shape and it fits file folders in it (standing up....are you following me here? lol) There are about 8 files in it and a few are empty but the others hold stuff that normally sat out on the counter until I was ready to deal with it. Like we're getting estimates for new windows, so all window materials go in one file, DD's PreK packs go in one, there's one labelled To Do with stuff in it, my coupons go in there, the checkbook and Kindle go in there. It's seriously awesome! I've actually had other baskets on the counter to contain the mess, but this one works because it holds file folders and you don't have to dig to the bottom to get to stuff.
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Old 03-08-2013, 10:12 AM   #3
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Re: Tell me about a Minimalist Kitchen

I had a few decorative things on my kitchen counters but ended up putting them away. Once I did, I realized that even nice decorative things are still clutter, just dressed up. I had 3 potted plants along my counter top that I moved, and discovered that it opened up the line of sight and made everything look bigger. I agree with PP about having a fruit basket double as decoration. That's one thing I haven't taken off my counter top. Just put it front and center so it looks like you did meant to put it there as deocration, otherwise if it's in a corner it looks like you just didn't have anywhere to put it. I ditched the knife block and keep them in a drawer. Both my kids know not to play with them, and only my4-year old can actually reach them. I will add here that if you decide to put them down where kids can reach, it's better to teach them how to use them properly rather than tell them never to touch. Do you actually use the coffee maker? If not, find a cupboard for it.

I only have out our toaster oven and our juicer. Because those two things do not fit in a cabinet. I've had a lazy-butt week, but if I can get it in me to put a few things away in my kitchen, I'll take pictures. It looks WAY cluttered to me, but I probably have, like, literally, a dozen things laying around, if even. It won't take long at all for me to do. The perks of a minimalist, uncluttered, clean kitchen!
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Old 03-08-2013, 10:16 AM   #4
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Re: Tell me about a Minimalist Kitchen

What about a hanging basket for the fruit?
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Old 03-08-2013, 10:17 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by badmisterkitty
For the paper clutter, I finally found a solution that WORKS. YMMV, but it was life changing for me. It's a basket, rectangle in shape and it fits file folders in it (standing up....are you following me here? lol) There are about 8 files in it and a few are empty but the others hold stuff that normally sat out on the counter until I was ready to deal with it. Like we're getting estimates for new windows, so all window materials go in one file, DD's PreK packs go in one, there's one labelled To Do with stuff in it, my coupons go in there, the checkbook and Kindle go in there. It's seriously awesome! I've actually had other baskets on the counter to contain the mess, but this one works because it holds file folders and you don't have to dig to the bottom to get to stuff.
So smart! I'm doing this!
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Old 03-08-2013, 10:46 AM   #6
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Re: Tell me about a Minimalist Kitchen

I use a butter and bread knife for everything and instant coffee, my counter ends up with packages I never get to opening. You'd be shocked what you can live without sometimes
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Old 03-08-2013, 12:03 PM   #7
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Re: Tell me about a Minimalist Kitchen

I keep all my sharp knives in a canister in the cabinet above the range.

Otherwise I am not a good resource for a minimalist kitchen. I keep my counters clear except for the Kuerig, the fruit basket, the bread basket, the recharge phone/ereader basket, and the fire extinguisher. I have too much stuff in the cabinets tho. I am thinking about maybe getting those nickel-sized stickers and putting them on everything in the cabinets and taking them off as I use the stuff. Then in X number of months ask myself why I still have the items with stickers on them.
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Old 03-08-2013, 12:18 PM   #8
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Re: Tell me about a Minimalist Kitchen

I consider myself as having simplified my home, but I probably don't have what is to be considered a simplified kitchen because I do have gadgets here and there. I keep the Kitchenaid mixer on the counter because I use it all the time and the coffee maker stays on the counter during the colder months. The blender and food processor usually get put away. You mentioned a fruit basket; I actually use a two-tiered wire planter as my fruit basket! It's off the counter and really handy.

We recently got rid of our big microwave after finally coming to grips with the fact that it isn't healthy to be subjecting our bodies with food heated up that way. Instead, we use our toaster over to toast/re-heat/cook small items. And of course our oven! I love that the microwave is no longer part of the kitchen, though it did take some getting used to.

Hm, maybe I am a minimalist... the only sharp knives we really have ARE in the knife block! I have one more paring knife that fits in the block with the others. I like to group often-used items - like spatulas, wooden spoons, whisks, etc. - in vases/jars near the stove.

On my counters I have two ingredient canisters (rapadura and white wheat flour, since I use them all the time), my mixer, spice rack with most-used spices and olive oil, toaster oven, utensil jars, knife block, most-used cookbooks, bread box and a wooden serving tray propped up against the wall. Some of the items change with the seasons - like coffee maker and mugs that stay out in the winter, and blender which comes out in the summer.
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Old 03-08-2013, 02:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elizabeth.scalf
I had a few decorative things on my kitchen counters but ended up putting them away. Once I did, I realized that even nice decorative things are still clutter, just dressed up. I had 3 potted plants along my counter top that I moved, and discovered that it opened up the line of sight and made everything look bigger. I agree with PP about having a fruit basket double as decoration. That's one thing I haven't taken off my counter top. Just put it front and center so it looks like you did meant to put it there as deocration, otherwise if it's in a corner it looks like you just didn't have anywhere to put it. I ditched the knife block and keep them in a drawer. Both my kids know not to play with them, and only my4-year old can actually reach them. I will add here that if you decide to put them down where kids can reach, it's better to teach them how to use them properly rather than tell them never to touch. Do you actually use the coffee maker? If not, find a cupboard for it.

I only have out our toaster oven and our juicer. Because those two things do not fit in a cabinet. I've had a lazy-butt week, but if I can get it in me to put a few things away in my kitchen, I'll take pictures. It looks WAY cluttered to me, but I probably have, like, literally, a dozen things laying around, if even. It won't take long at all for me to do. The perks of a minimalist, uncluttered, clean kitchen!
Good idea with moving the fruit basket! It was tucked in the corner next to the knife block, and yes, just looked like I had nowhere else to put it! I just moved it onto a small counter next to my stove. That counter is really too small to do food prep, but has been a constant dumping ground for mail and other papers. Maybe the fruit bowl will give this counter a better meaning

As far as the coffee maker....YES, I use it! Typically twice a day.....maybe I will cut back someday when my toddler doesn't scream in the night. I actually don't mind the idea of putting the coffee maker away, and I cleared a spot in a cabinet under the counter. I often avoid using that counter for dinner prep since the coffee maker takes up space there. Then I complain to my DH about not having enough counter space....when all I need to do is clear them!,
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Old 03-08-2013, 02:07 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the ideas! Nobody was brave enough to post photos, though

Today is a snowy day, and I got the purging jitters. While my kids ate lunch I took another look through my kitchen cabinets, and found more things to purge! I posted them on Freecycle, and they have already been picked up by a single mom who actually goes to my church. It always makes me feel good when I can meet people or have personal stories to share about my purges. It helps DH deal better with my purging efforts, too!
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