Reducing Kitchenware

I told you recently that my totally clean countertops are the best thing to come from my Decluttering and Simplifying Project 2010 so far.

If that’s number one, reducing kitchenware is number two.

Only two people live in my house, so we don’t need many eating utensils or much cooking equipment. What was I thinking when I bought all this stuff?

Actually, I didn’t buy some of it. A large collection of glass pie plates David inherited from someone in his family joined the hand-me-down cooking utensils my mother gave me when I first moved out on my own. There were also the things from my grandmother’s house. And David had some things in his old house, too. But when we didn’t have the exact item we needed for a particular recipe, we bought something else. Soon, clutter overwhelmed the few items we actually needed.

Here’s what I did that made a real different in my life:

  • I reduced the silverware in the drawer to only a few of each item. Other items went to a thrift store.
  • I slightly reduced the number of plates, bowls and glasses in the kitchen cabinets so they fit in better. I’m keeping the extra under the counter in case we need them. If we don’t, they’ll go.
  • I eliminated pots and pans that I rarely use. (I still seem to have more than I need, so a further culling will happen in the coming months.)
  • I matched plastic food storage containers with their lids, then only allowed a limited number of them to stay in the cabinet. I sacked up a few extras and put them under the counter. Mismatched containers and lids — which accounted for most of the things I had — went in the trash.

Combined with my totally clean countertops, I’m using fewer dishes — because I have fewer to use and because I want to keep the counters clean. Now, a simpler kitchen is a huge part of my simpler life.