Minimalist living can be tricky in a kitchen environment. By its very nature, a kitchen is just full of so much stuff – appliances, ingredients, crockery. The list is never ending which makes it one of the toughest spaces to keep organised. However, it’s something we’ve managed to navigate successfully…
Minimalist kitchen design is huge at the moment as people look to streamline their living spaces. But we’re not designers – we’re smoothie lovers. We like to practice minimalist living in all areas but especially in the kitchen. It’s easy for things to pile up and get cluttered, so we follow some simple steps to keep this to a minimum.
In this article → we share 5 ways that we practice minimalism in our kitchen (and you can too).
#1 – Keep appliances to a minimum
We don’t have a toaster or kettle. Some people think we’re a little odd – how can we meet British tea drinking requirements without having boiled water on demand? (The minimum intake is 3 cups a day in case you’re wondering ;) ).
But the truth is, Mr. Blendery doesn’t drink hot drinks full stop so there’s zero need for him to use a kettle. I drink 1-2 cups of coffee most days but just boil what I need using the hob. We use the oven grill to toast food so the only appliance we have is a Nutribullet. Sure, we could make smoothies without a blender but it’s something we use all the time and think is worth having around.
#2 – Take a Japanese approach to crockery
It’s no secret that the Japanese are masters of minimalist living. When we lived in Tokyo, we loved their approach to combining crockery like cups, plates, and bowls. Instead of having matching sets where everything was the same colour and design, they often used different dishes. Each one would be unique and have its own character.
I read somewhere that Japanese people appreciate imperfections and try to repair crockery that breaks. If they don’t have a complete set, they mix and match. It doesn’t stop them using the remaining plates or mugs and this concept really stuck with me.
Their table decoration still looked super-smart and put together – the sizes matched even if the colours and patterns didn’t. If one item in a set breaks, it doesn’t matter. The rest aren’t automatically relegated to the back of the cupboard – they can still be used regularly.
I love this mix and match approach to crockery. We try not to buy too many new things but when I do see a mug or bowl that I love, I’ll just buy one or two. I no longer feel obliged to buy a full set and this helps to free up space in our cupboards.
#3 – Stick to simple recipes
We don’t like to buy ingredients that’ll only be used once. There’s nothing worse than a cupboard full of spices, vinegars, and other random knick-knacks that were bought for just one recipe. Speciality ingredients are usually on the expensive side too, which makes them even harder to throw away. So, we try to avoid buying them in the first place.
We like recipes that use a small number of everyday ingredients. It’s one of the reasons that our own smoothies and soups only have 3-5 ingredients. A long list of ingredients is guaranteed to put us off making something so we prefer the simple approach. This makes recipes quicker and easier to prepare, plus it doesn’t leave a cupboard full of unused leftovers!
#4 – Find smart storage solutions
We make the most of every available cupboard and surface. There’s no space that’s wasted which means we can fit everything we need into our limited space.
For us, this involved adding extra shelving, Command hooks to the insides of cabinet doors, and racks on the walls too. By doing this, we can keep our surfaces clear and the kitchen space feels less cluttered.
There’s also a trend towards using deep drawers instead of cupboards. The space at the very back is often wasted because it can be difficult to get too. Crouching down to reach the very depths and then moving all the stuff in front out of the way is awkward. Drawers allow you to make the most of your space and access everything easily.
#5 – Reuse wherever possible
We reuse and upcycle wherever possible – jam jars, baked bean tins, even our cabinets! We didn’t love the design of the existing kitchen when we first moved in. But I didn’t want to replace the entire thing. Partly because we didn’t have the money to do it! But also because it seemed a bit wasteful.
The current units worked fine and weren’t even that old. Chucking them out and adding to landfill didn’t seem necessary – the kitchen really wasn’t that bad. So, we painted the cupboards white and grey to reflect a more traditionally minimalist palette (they were brown before). We also painted the tiles as the base pattern wasn’t our style. This made the kitchen look more simple and cleaner design-wise.
These are the five ways that we’re currently practicing minimalist living in our kitchen. By being intentional about the things we bring into the space, we keep ‘stuff’ to a minimum. This helps us to live more simply with the things we truly love.