The Minimalist Kitchen: 5 Top Tips

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In This Post

  • Step by step guidance on how to create your perfect kitchen set up using minimalism
  • How to declutter your kitchen
  • How to organise your kitchen
  • The importance of simplicity in your kitchen
  • Planning & preparing for a simpler cooking process
  • Embracing whatever is easy, as a way to optimise your kitchen space

If the first image that pops into your head when you think of a ‘minimalist kitchen’ is a luxurious, clinical white scene with empty countertops and perfectly matching glass containers with cute little chalk labels then you’re in the wrong place! Minimalist kitchens don’t have to be this impractical, expensive, unrealistic image you have in your head. Although you can create that type of kitchen if you want!

True minimalism isn’t the co-opted aesthetic you’re thinking of that maybe makes you feel inadequate, too messy, or too unorganised. Many people don’t have a lot of space in their homes and the kitchen is often a place where space is at a premium. So, if you’re hoping this post was going to be about how to create a serene, pristine and aesthetically pleasing kitchen, think again! 

In today’s fast-paced world, many people are seeking ways to simplify their lives and reduce unnecessary clutter. We can apply the useful principles of minimalism to the kitchen in order to, yes, make it more aesthetically pleasing, but also to be more functional. Allowing you to spend less time dealing with your physical things, gadgets and prepping, and more time doing things that bring you joy. Of course, if you love to cook and your kitchen is your happy space, these tips will still help you to enhance your space even more.

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Tip 1: Declutter Your Kitchen

As with the main principles of minimalism, the first step is to remove the clutter. We have a more general post about decluttering here which you can check out to learn a bit more about preventative measures, and how clutter can impact you physically and mentally.

As for your kitchen specifically, it’s a good idea to set a regular schedule for decluttering. Our dry cupboard ingredients, the jars and pots in the back of our fridge, and the dented cardboard boxes in our freezers are all things that live in clutter hotspots. These are places that easily get cluttered, especially with food that might have expired, so these need to be regularly checked and reorganised. If you can get into the habit of doing a little check and declutter before you do your grocery shopping each week, this will help you get rid of any clutter, but also help prevent you from overbuying things you may already have.

How Do I Avoid Wasting Things?

It’s also a good idea to declutter things that you know you won’t use. This doesn’t mean throwing them away, but finding an alternative home for them. Maybe you have a friend or family member who will know what to do with that niche ingredient, or someone in your life who will appreciate a few extras of something.

You can donate things you don’t want to use to your local foodbank, but you must ensure that they’re good quality items, they’re in date, and are likely to be used. Many foodbanks have information online that you can look at to see what they’re in need of – try to avoid donating items that are likely to be wasted further down the line. 

Hopefully your kitchen space, whether that’s your countertops, cupboards or freezer, now only contains the things you can and are likely to use. It’s important to extend this to kitchen utensils, gadgets and accessories, not just food items. If you’ve never used that tupperware because you can’t find its matching lid, please throw it away, recycle it, or find an alternative use for it! It isn’t leading a useful life at the back of your cupboard, so let it go. 

Tip 2: Organise Your Kitchen

When it comes to organising your kitchen, this will depend largely on the things you need to organise and the space you have available. Some good things to keep in mind are the areas in which you prepare certain ingredients, or would like to have them readily accessible. Keeping the herbs and spices near the stovetop is a good idea, as is keeping the towels and dish-cloths near the sink. 

Here we will acknowledge the stereotypical empty countertop trope. It’s aesthetically pleasing (although this is contested) but it is also functional. The reason so many people prefer an empty countertop is that it makes cleaning up a lot easier. You are more likely to do tasks that don’t involve that much effort, and lifting up an appliance every 2 seconds is likely to put you off wiping down a surface. Having a few things out so they’re super accessible is fine, but try to avoid having all your surfaces covered in clutter.

What About Appliances?

You should also try to keep appliances and utensils you use often in the more accessible places, and the things you need less regularly at the back of the cupboard, or higher up. Depending on your space, you may need to invest in some organising systems – whether that be a shelf that makes the most of the vertical space you have, a can shelf to stack multiple cans so you can see them, or some drawer dividers. Consider the space you’re working with, and go from there.

Investing in the things to keep your space organised can be expensive, but it is a really worthwhile investment. You’re unlikely to need to repurchase these items, and the benefits of a clearly structured system in a high-traffic area will be around forever. Remember that Tupperware with no lid from earlier? This is a great time to use those. Maybe you can use it to hold your cloths, or measuring spoons instead. Saving and reusing nice containers, tins or boxes from other places around the house is a good habit to get into while you’re looking to reorganise your kitchen. 

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Tip 3: Stick to Simple 

When it comes to cooking in a minimalist kitchen, one of the easiest ways to simplify the cooking process is by sticking to simple and versatile ingredients. Choosing ingredients that can be used in multiple recipes and meals to minimise the number of things you need to keep in your cupboards or fridge helps you reduce your physical clutter and means you’re less likely to accidentally waste something by letting it expire. Things like pasta, rice, beans, lentils and canned vegetables can be used in a variety of dishes while providing a solid nutritional base.

Keeping your ingredient list simple also helps you spend less money and simplifies your meal planning. Having a staple set of ingredients that work for you, your cuisine preferences, and your lifestyle is an effective way to apply minimalism to your kitchen. 

In a minimalist kitchen, it’s also important to choose kitchen tools that are simple, versatile and serve multiple functions. Instead of cluttering your kitchen with specialised gadgets and appliances, invest in multi-functional tools that can perform various tasks. For example, a good quality chef’s knife, cutting board, and a set of pots and pans can cover most of your cooking needs. A blender or food processor can also be versatile for making soups, sauces, and smoothies. By choosing multi-functional tools, you can reduce clutter, save storage space, and simplify your cooking process.

Tip 4: Plan and Prepare

Planning your meals beforehand and batch cooking is an absolute game changer for your kitchen. If you’re not making more than you need when you cook so you have some leftovers for later, what are you doing? Setting aside a set time per week to plan your meals and shop accordingly is a great way to make sure you don’t over or under buy, while also giving yourself a clear vision for the week ahead. A meal plan for the week can feel a bit over the top, especially if you live alone, but it can be useful to help you try new things and actively incorporate nutritionally dense meals that you enjoy and are good for you. 

If you don’t end up sticking to your plan 100% of the time, that’s okay! It’s only there to give you a framework to work from. The main purpose is to prevent you from getting to the middle of the week, feeling tired, with no idea of what to make. This is typically the time when we make choices that aren’t good for us – nutritionally and financially.

What’s the Best System to Use?

Even if you’re not prepping full meals ahead of time, just making a little extra each time you cook so tomorrow’s lunch, or dinner is prepared can be really helpful. If you don’t like eating the same thing each day, you can freeze your meals and have them in a few days’ time.

Of course, if you’re a meal prep hater and you don’t like the idea of meals that aren’t freshly made, you can still feel some of the benefits of preparing individual ingredients instead. Washing, cutting and properly storing your produce means you’re more likely to want to use it, you prevent food waste, and it takes less time to make the meals when you do get around to cooking. 

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Tip 5: Embrace the Easy Option

When trying to create a more functional kitchen and improve your chances of eating meals that you enjoy and are nutritionally beneficial, it’s useful to consider what barriers you face. If the main mental barrier you face to wanting to cook or use your kitchen is that you hate doing dishes, let me introduce you to the magic of one-pot meals. Cooking things in one saucepan, frying pan, baking tin, or slow cooker is the easiest option sometimes, and that means it’s the best option!

One-pot meals are excellent strategies for minimalist cooking because you only need one pot (duh) and you only have to clean one pot. Soups, stews, stir-fries, and traybakes are easy to make and require minimal cleanup. They also allow you to use up leftover ingredients and create flavourful and satisfying meals.

Something that requires the least amount of effort is often the behaviour that we will tend to gravitate towards, so use this to your advantage and find a few staple one-pot dishes that you enjoy, and keep the relevant ingredients on hand. 

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A Little Reminder

Adopting a minimalist approach to your cooking and meal planning can bring many benefits, including a simplified and organised kitchen, a streamlined food preparation process, and efficient meal planning. By decluttering and organising your kitchen, sticking to simple and versatile ingredients, planning ahead and prepping in advance, and embracing one-pot meals, you can create a minimalist kitchen that promotes efficiency, reduces waste, and enhances your overall cooking experience. So, take a step towards simplifying your kitchen and enjoy the benefits of a minimalist approach to cooking and meal planning. Happy cooking!

  • Step by step guidance on how to create your perfect kitchen set up using minimalism
  • How to declutter your kitchen
  • How to organise your kitchen
  • The importance of simplicity in your kitchen
  • Planning & preparing for a simpler cooking process
  • Embracing whatever is easy, as a way to optimise your kitchen space

To Put it Minimally

  • If you want to create a more serence, calmer kitchen space, you can try implementing minimalist practises to help you get the most out of your kitchen space
  • The first step to creating your dream kitchen space is decluttering – getting rid of appliances, food items and systems that don’t serve you
  • Making sure everything has a place, and investing in organisational items like baskets, shelves and dividers is a worthwhile investment
  • You can save yourself time, effort and money by preparing and planning your cooking – whether that’s meal planning, buying in and cooking in bulk, or sticking to a set rotation of dishes
  • Keeping things simple and easy is the best thing to do, as these require the least amoung of willpower to maintain