Minimalist Kitchen Essentials: The Ultimate Checklist

Welcome to my article about Minimalist Kitchen Essentials!

Minimalism is becoming more and more popular around the world, and with good reason.

In addition to being an attractive design choice, it also reduces stress. It eliminates clutter around the home, which in turn eliminates clutter in the mind, allowing for more calm and clarity.

There are many ways you can incorporate minimalism in the way you organise your house, and the kitchen is a good place to start.

A minimalist kitchen will provide you with a stress-free cooking experience. It will give you the space you need to cook your food properly, and prevent you from having to dig through unnecessary tools and utensils to locate what you need.

To achieve minimalism in your kitchen, you will need to part with things that you no longer require.

But throw out too much and you may find yourself without a certain tool when you need it most.

So, what should you be keeping and what should you part with?

Below I’ll share my own personal story of minimising my kitchen, and then go through a checklist of the minimalist kitchen essentials you’ll need to ensure your space is useful but not overcrowded. Let’s get started.

Minimalist Kitchen: My Personal Story

I’ve always been pretty good at throwing things out and keeping my home organised. But my kitchen at home is quite small, and recently I was finding it difficult to access the utensils I’d need to make food properly.

For example, my larger utensils draw that kept things like knives, tongs and ladles was overflowing. It was difficult to even see everything that I had in the draw, let alone get the specific item I needed.

My pots and pans cupboard was also stuffed. I usually only used the same frying pan and the same 2 pots, but every time I reached for them, I’d first have to move other pots out of the way.

I also had a number of sponges, rags and cloths stuffed underneath the sink. Every time I opened the door, some of these items would fall onto the floor, meaning I’d have to bend over and pick them up.

All of this made for a very unpleasant cooking experience. Cooking was a lot of effort, and difficult to do. Sometimes I would just order take out because I didn’t want to deal with the mess.

Recently, I finally decided to clean out my kitchen. I wanted to remove all the items I wasn’t using, and re organise everything I wanted to keep so that I could reach every item in my kitchen easily.

My first rule was that I had to throw out anything I had more than one of. My second rule was that if I hadn’t used it in 3 months, it had to go. My third rule was that I would also part with anything that was broken, old or cracking.

I ended up parting with so much more than I was expecting, including:

5x Knives
3x Ladles
2x Wooden spoons
2x Tongs
3x Spatulas
2x Small pots
1x Pair of scissors
1x Knife sharpener
4x Tea towels
1x Peeler
1x Bottle opener
5x Measuring cups
1x Serving Platter
1x Pie tray
1x Cupcake tray
1x Bread loaf tray
5x Mugs
3x Water glasses
4x Bottles of expired wine

items I decluttered from my kitchen

Items I decluttered from my kitchen – This wasn’t even all of it!

This was enough to fill a whole entire new kitchen! I couldn’t believe how many extra items I had that I didn’t use that were taking up space.

After removing all these items from my kitchen, I organised everything that was left over. I still feel that I have more than enough tools in my kitchen for any kind of meal I want to make, but now they’re all organised and easily accessible.

Not only do I enjoy cooking in my kitchen now, but I actually look forward to it too. I won’t be wasting any more money on take away, or time trying to find things at the back of cupboards.

I hope my story inspires you to clear out your kitchen too. Now let’s get to my minimalist kitchen essentials checklist, to discuss the specific items I recommend keeping, and throwing away.

Minimalist Kitchen Essentials: The Checklist

I’ve broken up this checklist into different categories. Please keep in mind that this checklist is best used as a guide only.

An item that I might use every day and want to keep might be collecting dust on your shelf, and should be thrown out. By contrast, there may also be items that I recommend parting with below that you might use regularly.

By using this list as a guide only, it can help you identify items that might be worth throwing out. However, it’s up to you to assess how much you use the specific item and whether there is space for it in your kitchen.

The ultimate goal is for you to create a kitchen that is tidy, organised, clutter free and easy to use. As you go through your kitchen, assess each item and determine if it fits in the framework of your ideal kitchen.

Food Prep Utensils

Food prep utensils are a necessary part of the culinary process. Here are a few you should have handy.

  • Grater: One compact multi-purpose grater should be all you need for grating cheese and vegetables and peeling fruit.
  • Can Opener: A can opener is a necessary kitchen tool. You can minimise space by purchasing a can opener that has bottle opener and corkscrew attachments.
  • Peeler/Brush Combo: Any combo tools will be welcome in a minimalist kitchen. A tool like this will help you clean and peel fruit.
  • Scissors: Scissors can help you cut open food packages and trim and cut food items. If you get the right type of scissors, you may be able to use just one pair for your kitchen and other household tasks. Be sure to get one that’s easy to clean.
  • A Knife Set: A knife set may seem like overkill in a minimalist kitchen, but let’s face it, you will need a variety of knives to cook with. It’s best to get a one stop solution instead of having them accumulate over time. A block that holds knives and features a sleek, compact design may be your best bet.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: Measuring devices are another kitchen must-have. A Pyrex measuring cup will be a good choice it can also be used for heating liquids in the microwave. Get a set of spoons that attach to stay organized, and your measuring needs should be covered.
  • A Wooden Cutting Board: A wooden cutting board is preferable to plastic as it will stand up to the test of time.
  • Silicon Hot Pad: A hot pad will protect your surfaces and can also be used instead of an oven mitt or jar opener.

What to Get Rid Of

Here are some food prep items to consider ditching:

  • Specialty peeling and coring devices: It’s likely these will rarely get used and you will be able to find other tools that do the job.
  • Garlic Press: The job of a garlic press can be achieved with a chef’s knife.
  • Graters that are not multi-use.
  • Extra cutting boards.
  • Measuring cups and spoons that don’t fit together for compact storage.

Cooking Utensils

You may think that you need an excess of cooking utensils but, the truth is, you can get away with just a few.

You may even be able to find everything you require in a set. This will end up saving you money and the set may even come with an easy storage solution.

When searching for your set, here are a few items that should be included:

  • A ladle
  • A spatula
  • Tongs
  • A flipper or turner that will work on various foods
  • A serving spoon that can also be used as a mixing spoon
  • A sturdy whisk

What to Get Rid Of

Here are some cooking utensils you can remove from your arsenal:

  • Multiple Sizes of the Utensils Listed Above: In most instances, just one size will do.
  • Specialty Cleaning Devices: It’s unnecessary to have a cleaning device that is specifically designed to clean one item. It you try hard enough, you’ll get it clean.
  • Pasta Spoon: A spoon, ladle and spatula will have you covered eliminating the need for a spoon devoted specifically to pasta prep.
  • A Mixer: Most cooks will not have need for a mixer, but if you bake a lot and require one, stick to a hand mixer that takes up less space.

Cooking Tools

In addition to utensils, cooking also requires pots, pans, and baking sheets.

So, what should you be including in your cabinets? Here are some suggestions.

  • Cast Iron Skillet: A skillet will come in handy and cast iron is a great choice as it’s sure to last for years.
  • Stainless Steel Saucepan/Stockpot: A stainless steel saucepan and stockpot should be the only pots you will need. A 4-quart saucepan and 8-quart stockpot are ideal. Stainless steel is not a must, but it’s recommended as it will be long lasting and food safe.
  • Silicone Handle Pad for Cast Iron Skillet: This will be helpful in reducing burns.
  • Muffin Tin: Keep this only if you regularly bake muffins. If you don’t, this one might be worth parting with.
  • 12-inch fry pan or wok with a lid
  • 4-quart sauté pan with a lid
  • A glass baking dish that can be used for meats, sweets, and casseroles
  • A medium sized mixing bowl
  • A metal baking dish that’s ideal for baking meat or grilling vegetables
  • A colander or mesh strainer

What to Get Rid Of

Here are the items you can kick to the curb:

  • Dutch Ovens: These seem like handy tools, but they rarely get used.
  • Additional versions of the items listed above such as multiple mixing bowls and additional sizes of pots and pans
  • A salad spinner


Unless you entertain for big parties on a regular basis, you can cut down on your tableware considerably. Here’s an example of what you may need.

  • One Set of Cutlery: Most cutlery sets will have all you need to serve a family of four.
  • Glasses: Glasses don’t need to be overly large. A few that are 16 oz. or smaller will hold plenty of liquid and won’t take up excess room in your cabinet.
  • Plates: It’s unnecessary to stock up on plates. Six plates will be enough for two people and you can increase your needs accordingly. You also won’t need a large variety of sizes. One dinner plate size and one dessert size should be enough.
  • Coffee mugs
  • Bowls
  • Wine glasses
  • Kids tableware: If you have young children, you should get them kid-appropriate tableware, so they don’t break the good stuff.
  • Insulated water bottles that can be used in the home or outside. Each family member should have their own.

What to Get Rid Of

Looking to clear out your tableware cabinets? Here’s what you can lose.

  • Specialty Beverage Glasses: It’s likely you have accumulated a good deal of souvenir cups in the time you’ve been living in your home. If no one is using them, show them the trash.
  • Fancy Versions of the Items Listed Above: Fine China will probably end up just gathering dust. If you entertain often, your guests will be happy with what you have.
  • Multiple Sizes of Bowls and Plates: If you really want to go minimalist, think about a one size fits all mindset.
  • Shot Glasses: A measuring cup can be used to mix cocktails and you can’t go wrong with a larger glass.

Small Kitchen Appliances

Here are the kitchen appliances you won’t want your kitchen to be without:

  • A Specialty Meal Cooking Device: A device that cooks specialty meals such as a rice cooker or Dutch oven can come in handy. However, I only recommend keeping this if you use it regularly, as usually you can also make the same food in a pot.
  • A Coffee Machine or Pour Over: This is a must for coffee drinkers.
  • A Coffer Grinder: If you choose to grind your own coffee, this is a necessity.
  • A Blender: Only if you regularly make pastes or smoothies, otherwise consider parting with.
  • A Toaster: If you enjoy toasted bread, a toaster is a must.
  • A Kettle: This will enable you to boil water easily, and is usually worth keeping.

What to Get Rid Of

Now here are some small kitchen appliances that you can say goodbye to:

  • More Than One Coffee Maker: Once you find the type of coffee maker that best suits your needs, you shouldn’t need more than one.
  • Panini Press: It’s likely you won’t use this item very often.
  • Countertop Convection/ Toaster Oven: These can come in handy, but it’s likely your toaster and oven can do many of the tasks a convection oven performs.
  • A Bread Maker: If you don’t bake bread often, your bread maker is probably just taking up space.
  • A Juicer: If your juicer is just collecting dust, toss it.
  • Dutch Oven/Slow Cooker: If you have multiple specialty cooking items, choose one and donate the rest.

Minimalist Kitchen Essentials: Conclusion

Going through your kitchen might seem like a daunting process, particularly if you haven’t cleaned it out in a while. However, the end result makes the effort extremely worthwhile.

I hope this article has given you a good idea on the kinds of things you might want to keep in your kitchen, and those that it might be best parting with.

Here are some related articles you may also enjoy:

How To Store Crystals: Tips and Organization Ideas
How To Clean a Crystal Chandelier