5 Tips for Keeping it Simple in the Kitchen
After you spend time cleaning out your kitchen, it seems to draw stuff back in within minutes. It's like a giant magnet for jiggly, jiggly.
Since we don't have a large kitchen or a pantry, I've had to learn how to keep it pretty minimal in the kitchen.
Here's some tips I've use to keep it simple in the kitchen:
1. Starve your pantry/food storage. When your pantry/fridge starts to overflow with food, it's time to tighten its belt loops. Instead of going to the store and buying another week/month worth of groceries, try to creatively use what you have first. You may need to go to the store and pick up a few items, but you may be pleasantly surprised with how much food you actually have on hand. Josh knows that when I declare it "starve the pantry week" that we'll be eating some weird meals. But, I think it helps us from food hoarding and not letting food go bad because we have too much of it.
2. Meal plan. I can't emphasize how much meal planning has not only saved us money, but how much food it has saved from mold and expiration dates. I don't plan fancy meals for each day--yeck, I'm lucky if we get one fancy meal a week. I usually start with looking at what we have (example: if we have extra tortillas, I'll plan tacos for the next week) and then build a menu from those items. On the weekly list, I include our staples like oatmeal, bread, eggs, milk...etc, and then I choose two to three main dishes. I always plan to have at least one meal provide left-overs. Want a cute menu print-out? Check out this one or this one!
I'm not so cool and usually write them by hand or one a piece of scrap paper.
3. Ditch the thingity-bob-over-there-in-that-one-drawer that you never use. I don't have one hundred kitchen gagets, and I like it that way. I have an apple slicer; I rarely use it. I had a chopper; I gave it away. There are always weird kitchen accessories you use once a year (like a turkey baster), but don't be afraid to say "adios" to the things you don't use--even if you bought it from an infomercial.
4. Don't buy what you don't need. Simple. If you already have two casserole dishes, don't buy another one. If you have five wooden spoons, don't buy more. If you want something new, ditch the old when you bring the new item into your kitchen. The kitchen clutter I typically notice is having repeats of items such as five sets of dishes, six cutting boards, mounds of silverware, and forty coffee mugs. Also, try using items in more than one way. For example, I love my glass jars because they serve as storage containers, overnight oat holders, and a cup for drinks! The more items you have that can be used in more than one way, the simplier your kitchen will be :)
5. Keep items where you can see and use them. I've bought items I've already had because I couldn't see the item I needed. Use clear or labeled storage so that you know what you have. Why buy another package of shredded coconut just because you couldn't see the one you already had? This tip relates to the first tip. If you have too much food or stuff in your fridge, pantry, or other food storage area, then it is much harder to keep track of what you have.
Obviously, I realize these tips will not work for everyone, and I'm quite sure that they are not the only tips for keeping it simple in the kitchen! These are just tips that have worked for us :)
I'd love to know what tips you have for keeping your kitchen purposeful and simple!