Sometimes I wish a professional organizer would have held my hand while shopping for my home over the years. How much money and time would I have saved if I had known that so many of my purchases were unneccessary? I really don't want to calculate that at all.
A list of five kitchen things that I didn't know I could live without, until much, much later ::
2. Tons of cookbooks. I started realizing that I was only using one or two recipes from most of my cookbooks, which was wasting limited cabinet space. I now use primarily one cookbook... America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. I also sometimes use the Williams Sonoma Food Made Fast Vegetarian and the Gluten-free Vegan. And, if I am honest about my own laziness in the kitchen, I often don't make real recipes... just stuff like tacos or pasta and sauce or a veggie plate that doesn't require a recipe at all. It has been nice to resell or give away cookbooks that I think someone else would find useful.
3. A bread box. I totally registered for that for my wedding. I am pretty sure as a super young bride I just went to Dillard's and started scanning every item that I thought I was "supposed" to have as a newlywed. I'll put a counter top spice rack in that category, too. These were items that took up a lot of counter space and I now live without. Some people love these items and find them useful, so it's not like these things aren't for them. In fact, a good friend loves her counter top spice rack because she feels that it helps her remember what she has and she experiments with the various spices. But, I have almost always had a small kitchen, and I need to keep my counters free for food prep. So, my spices are in plastic bins in a cabinet and the bread stays in the fridge or freezer. Another friend of mine uses her microwave as a bread box. When she needs to warm something up, she just sets the bread on the counter and then replaces it after she is finished using the microwave.
4. Knives of all sizes. I used to have a drawerful of knives of various qualities and uses. A few years ago, I read in the Test Kitchen cookbook mentioned above that really only three knives are necessary.... a chef's knife, a paring knife and a serrated knife. This was freeing! I dumped the junky knives and got a nice set of the three, and now my total knife collection stands at seven. I keep the other four because they fit in a knife block and I use them occasionally for a specific task like slicing particularly stubborn bread or something.
5. Large dinner plates. When I remodelled my kitchen in New York five years ago, I decided to get some white plates. As I shopped, I decided not to get "full" sets of dishes. Instead, I bought Pottery Barn Great White Coupe salad plates, cereal bowls, and coffee mugs. The salad plates (measuring 9 inches, versus the dinner plates that were 11 inches) serve as our dinner plates, though they are smaller than standard dinner plates. I find this keeps things simple... there is more space in the cabinets and on tables. Also, the temptation to overload a plate with food is diminished because there is less surface area. I really don't miss having two sizes of everyday plates. (For the record, I do have two other sets of 6 decorative plates that I use when I entertain, but they are not kept in the main area of the kitchen.)
|The dishes are stored in a bottom cabinet so that my kids can reach them and learn to help with dishes.|
Anyone care to share a kitchen item that they realized they could live without? Would love to hear more thoughts!