4 Things Minimalists Never Have Inside Their Kitchens — 'Avoid Them if you Want a Calming, Streamlined Space!'

You can transform your kitchen into a zen oasis and promote more mindful cooking by ditching these unnecessary items

Stewart-Schafer Kitchen counters
(Image credit: Sarah Elliott)

Kitchens are often the vibrant hub of the family home. It’s almost impossible to keep your kitchen perpetually pristine and clutter-free, especially if you’re an avid chef who's constantly cooking up a storm. Whether your marble countertop is splattered with stains or crammed full of pots and pans, kitchens take a lot of wear and tear. It’s easy to see why some of us assume that the words ‘kitchen’ and ‘minimalism’ might not belong together.

But, believe it or not, it is possible to incorporate minimalist practices into your kitchen organization. Far from just a 'clean' design style, minimalism is a lifestyle choice that prioritizes functionality within living spaces, and there are certain steps you can take if you want to incorporate some more zen into your cooking environment. 

According to professional home and lifestyle organizer Di Ter Avest, curating a calm and minimalist space is more simple than you might think. ‘A minimalistic kitchen is about simplifying and streamlining the culinary space to focus on what truly matters,’ she says. ‘Whether you're already a minimalist or aspiring to embrace a more minimalist lifestyle, incorporating certain principles into your kitchen can help you cultivate a space that promotes mindful cooking and intentional living.’

We spoke to interior experts for their advice on what to avoid bringing into the kitchen in order to create a more serene and zen culinary oasis. Avoid these four items if you want a calming, streamlined space in your modern kitchen

1. Overflowing food storage

Minimalist kitchen by Decus

(Image credit: Anson Smart)

The kitchen is a room that never stands still, so it’s no wonder that it can become home to an excess of stored food and goods. You might not see it as clutter, but overflowing ingredients will certainly detract from a minimalist kitchen aesthetic. To avoid this mistake Di Ter Avest, owner of Di is Organized, advises a more slow-paced and measured approach when it comes to purchasing new products.

‘Non-minimalists often stock up on canned goods, packaged snacks, and condiments, leading to an overwhelming abundance of food items,' she says. 'In contrast, minimalists adopt a more mindful approach to grocery shopping, focusing on purchasing what they need and will use.'

The underpinning premise is all about living well with less. ‘Minimalists also prioritize fresh, whole foods and avoid buying items in bulk unless necessary, Di adds. 'By maintaining a lean pantry and refrigerator, minimalists minimize food waste and ensure that everything they have serves a purpose.'

2. Unnecessary appliances

Minimalist modern kitchen with marble sides

(Image credit: Sarah Elliott)

We’ve all fallen victim to a deceptive advertising campaign that lures us in by convincing us a bizarre new contraption is a must-have appliance in our kitchen. However, Amanda Wiss, founder of NYC-based organizing company Urban Clarity, recommends stripping it back to the basics, especially when it comes to deciding which appliances end up on your kitchen countertop.

‘Be aware of countertop appliances you bring into your home,’ she says. ‘If they can be stored in cabinets, it will be worth the peace of mind to keep them stored away until you need to use the appliance. Wire clutter from too many appliances on the countertops will create disorder.’

Di agrees that excess clutter from unnecessary appliances can spoil an otherwise ordered space. While they seem to bring more ease into our lives, an excessive build-up of gadgets can be overwhelming. 

‘From avocado slicers to strawberry hullers, these items often promise convenience but take up valuable space,’ she says. 'Minimalists opt for versatile, multi-purpose tools that can perform various tasks efficiently. A sharp chef's knife, a sturdy cutting board, and a high-quality blender are staples in a minimalist kitchen, serving multiple functions without the need for specialized gadgets.’

3. Catch-all storage solutions

Minimalist kitchen by Studio DIAA

(Image credit: Studio DIAA. Photo credit: Kevin Scott)

It may initially sound somewhat counter-productive to suggest that our kitchen storage solutions can actually make a space look more cluttered. However, Amanda explains that open storage options tend to look more messy than we bargained for, and she advises those looking to create sleek and seamless simplicity in their home to steer clear. 

‘Avoid any “catch-all” storage solutions,’ she says. ‘Bins and baskets on the counter invite extra clutter, so start by eliminating any traditional drop zones.' To cheat a minimalist lifestyle, you can always hide a catch-all away inside one of your cabinets. 

4. Excess cookware

Minimalist modern kitchen by Studio Author

(Image credit: Studio Author. Image credit: Niamh Barry)

Sometimes, without even realizing it, you end up hoarding so much cookware and bakeware that you’re practically drowning in it every time you cross the threshold into your kitchen. To avoid falling into this trap, Di advises ditching any excess cookware in favor of versatile and sturdy staples that will stand you in good stead for most (if not all) of your cooking needs. 

'Minimalists understand that they don't need a dozen different pots and pans to prepare delicious meals,' she says. 'Instead, they invest in a few high-quality, durable pieces that cover their cooking needs. A versatile skillet, a stockpot, and a baking sheet can handle the majority of cooking tasks with ease. By reducing the number of cookware items, minimalists free up space in their kitchen and simplify the cooking process.’

Ready to simplify your space and make your kitchen look more minimalist? Take heed of this advice and give your kitchen a much-needed declutter - your future self is sure to feel much more serene as a result.  

Minimalist kitchen must-haves

Katie Baxter
Trainee Writer

Katie is a freelance writer and MA student at City, University of London studying Magazine Journalism. Katie discovered her passion for lifestyle journalism after finishing her BA at The University of Oxford, when she started pitching to major lifestyle publications and covering various topics from popular culture to wellness. She is a regular contributor at Well+Good, where she writes experiment-based beauty and fitness pieces.