Lately I’ve been trying to purge my house of extra clutter. Last year I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and I still think about Marie Kondo’s credo of keeping the things that bring joy and letting go of the rest.
I was able to apply this principle to my closet and drawers fairly easily and now maybe have too few items to wear? But when it comes to my kitchen, I have a tougher time letting things go. Sure my melon baller doesn’t really bring me joy, but I use it. So even though it is joyless, it stays.
Because the principle of JOY is tough to apply to my kitchen items, instead I’ve been relying on the good old “do I use this” system. Except I’m really good at talking myself into believing that I’ll need an item one day. I know I’m not alone…raise your hand if you’ve kept something around for one day.
Scott and I have been married for ten years and many of the items in our kitchen date back to wedding gifts from our registry. You know, when two twenty-something kids still in college go into the big box store with a laser gun tagging all of the things they think they might need for their lives together.
Least Used Kitchen Items
For some reason I needed a Martini set with pretty swirly patterns. Nevermind that I don’t drink martinis and have had an unopened bottle of vodka in my pantry since the day I found out I was pregnant with Elle (six years ago). I keep thinking that I’ll use these one day for ice cream desserts?
The Shake Maker, used once in ten years, has recently gone to Salvation Army. Ok, truthfully it’s still in my cupboard while I type this but I’m going to get it right now…
My China. But I’m not getting rid of it and refuse to feel guilty about it. Now…I’m not sure why I thought I needed ALL of those fancy wine and champagne glasses.
The Blender. I’m thinking about ditching this in favor of my immersion blender. Please tell me why I would regret getting rid of my big bulky blender that I use maybe once a year.
Basically any piece of entertaining-ware in my cupboards. The cheese tray/knife set that I’ve never used. The buffet pieces. My Arthur Court collection. I don’t entertain at my house (ahem, three kids who have destroyed it!), but maybe one day? One day. We eat buffet style, so I don’t even use serving bowls/plates unless we have company.
Sometimes Used Kitchen Items
The Fondue Pot. This is used exclusively for queso. Except that one time I made chocolate fondue the day after Valentine’s Day this year.
Our George Foreman Grill is falling apart, though these days we go through phases where we use it a lot and then don’t use it for months. I love cooking pork chops on it and we recently discovered it’s the best way to cook fajita chicken without it charring on the grill. We aren’t big grillers.
The Immersion Blender is growing on me. It’s been too hot to eat soup lately, but I’m hoping it will get more use in the winter. I’ve also heard it’s great for scrambled eggs! I tried whipped cream, but still prefer the hand-mixer for this.
While we don’t use it often, the Ice Cream Maker is so much fun. I’d probably use it more often if I didn’t love custard based ice creams so much and could whip up a frozen treat more quickly!
Most Used Kitchen Items
Even if they don’t get used all the time, I love my crockpot, waffle maker, Le Creuset dutch oven, and Kitchenaid Mixer. I couldn’t live without my liquid measuring cups and cutting boards (I have three of each in varying sizes).
After 10 years, I still adore our everyday plates, though I do wonder if I would regret getting rid of all those tea cups and saucers. Why do plateware sets still come with those extras? On the other hand, where do all the spoons go? I’m missing about 4 from our original collection and have no idea where they disappeared to.
And there’s the list of non-essential kitchen essentials–the stuff that you wouldn’t think you need but that I use all the time. Yes, I cannot live without a meat thermometer.
Kitchen Items I Wish I Used More
Number 1–the Instant Pot. I know this pressure cooker could do wonders for my busy schedule but I’m still so very intimidated by it. My favorite ways to use it so far are to make a family favorite bean dish (no more babysitting my dutch oven) and to make chicken stock.
When I was looking into pressure cookers, Scott decided we had to have a deep fryer and bought one. We’ve never used it. I keep thinking that something like egg rolls would be fun to make, but otherwise I need at least one thing to cook in the deep fryer!
Our dehydrator could use some love as well but I wonder if I even need this item or if I could ditch it in favor of a low heat setting in the oven.
Sitting down to write this post ended up being a good exercise in evaluating my kitchen things. I said goodbye to the swirly martini glasses. Surely someone else could love them more than I can. I also ditched the sandwich maker that was Scott’s college roommate’s and a couple other extras that I don’t need.
All I have to say is thank goodness I took the hot dog roaster off the registry when Scott wasn’t looking. Can you imagine an Operation Use My Kitchen Stuff for that?!
Update: Scott noticed the shake maker in the SalArmy box. “We have a shake maker?!” Me: “yes, one that hasn’t been used in ten years.” Him: “Because I didn’t know we had one!” Me: “Well, we won’t after today.” Him: “But that was the one thing that I really wanted when we got married. Besides you.” (I am not making this up. I did not mention the hot dog roaster).
What are your most beloved and least loved kitchen items?
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