7 Steps to Create a Minimalist Kitchen for Less Stressful Cooking

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Kitchens tend to accumulate a lot of gadgets and tools. Paring down those items to just the ones you need can make your kitchen more useful and less stressful.

The minimalist lifestyle isn’t just about decluttering. It’s also about making your home less stressful, more calm and relaxed. As the heart of the home, the kitchen is a great place to start going minimalist in your home.

Minimalist kitchen with breakfast bar

Minimalism in the Kitchen

A minimalist kitchen focuses on simplicity, functionality, and intentional design. It eliminates unnecessary clutter, excess storage, and gadgets that are rarely used.

The goal is to have a kitchen that looks great, is easy to maintain, and helps you be more efficient with cooking and meal prep. It’s all about simplifying your life.

Decluttering Your Kitchen

Gloved hand cleaning kitchen countertop with microfiber cloth

Decluttering is the first step in making this happen. Start by removing everything from your cabinets, drawers, and countertops, along with any decorative items on the walls

Sort through each item and ask yourself if it really still serves a purpose or makes you happy. If not, let that item go. If it’s in good shape, you can donate it, sell it, give it to a friend, offer it for free on a neighborhood app to the first person who comes to get it. If it’s broken, recycle it or throw it away.

Give extra scrutiny to any single-use items. Do you really need a gadget that does one thing you can do almost as easily with a knife? Probably not.

Once you’ve pared down your kitchenware, organize everything into categories like cooking utensils, bakeware, and dinnerware. This will make it easier to figure out how much storage space you need. It’ll also help you visualize the layout of your minimalist kitchen.

Streamlining Your Cookware and Utensils

Two Duxtop pans sitting on induction cook top

Your minimalist kitchen thrives on versatile, multi-purpose tools that can replace single-use gadgets. Only keep – and in the future, only buy – quality essentials such as a chef’s knife, cutting board, stainless steel pots and pans, and a set of durable cooking utensils.

Consider your cooking habits and choose items that align with your needs. Do you mash potatoes often enough to justify keeping a potato masher?

It may sound obvious, but also avoid duplicate items. Do you really need multiple sizes of the same pot or pan? As your lifestyle changes, so do your kitchen needs. Maybe you used all those pots  when the kids were home, but rarely need more than one now that they’ve moved out.

Another good purchase is stackable or nesting cookware. This will save space in your cabinets.

Simplifying Your Dinnerware and Glassware

Set of white dinnerware in a cabinet

When it comes to dinnerware and glassware, simplicity is key. Choose a set that suits your style and daily needs.

Consider getting white or neutral-colored plates and bowls, since they go with everything and never become dated. Or you can embrace having mismatched plates, saucers and bowls. It can be fun!

For glassware, select a few versatile glasses that can be used for multiple purposes such as water, juice, or wine. Keeping the number of glasses to a minimum reduces clutter and makes it easier to store them efficiently.


Collection of many mugs taking up four shelves in a cabinet

Mugs deserve their own section. Some of us absolutely collect these things. We buy ones with funny slogans, get them from friends, and buy them as souvenirs from trips.

If you’ve collected way more mugs than you use, consider donating some of them. It’s okay to keep any that have sentimental meaning, but if you’re not using them, then keep them somewhere other than the kitchen. Display them in the living room or some other room in the house.

Maximizing Kitchen Storage

Spice rack mounted on wall

Efficient storage is essential in a minimalist kitchen. Especially if your kitchen is small, you need to optimize every inch of available space to keep your countertops clutter-free.

Install wall-mounted shelves or racks to utilize your vertical space to store frequently used items such as spices, oils, or cookbooks. Magnetic knife holders can also be mounted on the wall to free up drawer space.

Store dry goods such as grains, pasta, and snacks in stackable containers to save space in your pantry or cabinets. Clear containers are ideal as they allow you to easily identify the contents.

Use drawer dividers or organizers to keep utensils neatly arranged and prevent them from becoming a jumbled mess. And consider using an over-the-sink cutting board that doubles as additional counter space when needed.

Streamline Your Pantry

A well-organized pantry is crucial for maintaining a minimalist kitchen.

Shelves of well-organized pantry with jars

Categorize Food Items: Group similar items together such as grains, canned goods, snacks, etc., to make them easily accessible. Use clear containers or jars for storing bulk items like flour, sugar, or rice. Label them for quick identification.

Regularly check expiration dates and use older items first to prevent food waste. And arrange your pantry in a way that allows you to see everything at a glance. This will help you avoid buying duplicates or forgetting about hidden ingredients.

Minimize Countertop Clutter

Coffee maker on kitchen counter

Once you’ve cleared your countertops, the goal is to put back as little as possible. Your countertops need to provide space for meal prep and cooking, not just hold gadgets.

Consider which appliances you use frequently and keep them on the countertop within easy reach. Store appliances that are rarely used in cabinets or dedicated appliance garages.

Install hooks or racks on the inside of cabinet doors to hang mugs, utensils, or measuring cups. This frees up valuable drawer space while keeping these items easily accessible.

Keep frequently used ingredients such as salt, pepper, or olive oil in attractive containers near the stove for easy access during cooking.

Making It Look Good

While functionality is key, style matters too. Your design elements can make your kitchen both easier and better-looking.

Stick to a neutral color palette such as whites, grays, or earth tones for a clean and timeless look. Consider open shelving to display attractive dishes or glassware while maintaining a clutter-free appearance.

Add a touch of nature by incorporating potted herbs or fresh flowers into your kitchen design. They bring life to the space while promoting a sense of tranquility.

Maintenance and Mindfulness

Maintaining a minimalist kitchen requires ongoing effort and mindfulness. Here are some tips to keep your culinary space clutter-free:

Schedule regular decluttering sessions every few months to ensure that unnecessary items do not accumulate over time. Before buying new kitchen items or gadgets, ask yourself if they align with your minimalist lifestyle and if you genuinely need them.

Cultivate the habit of cleaning as you go while cooking to prevent dirty dishes and clutter from piling up.

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Last Updated:

April 26, 2024