My Most Used Kitchen Utensils (and What I Got Rid of)

My Most Used Kitchen Utensils (and What I Got Rid of)

Lately, I have been completely obsessed with organizing every inch of my home! It started with this FREE mini e-course all about organizing your life. I organized so many different spaces that I share in that course, and it had a ripple effect on my whole house, I think. Ha.

Additionally, I have become completely obsessed with the show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. We have been fans of her methods for years now, but the show has quickly become my favorite reality show. Trey has heard me say “spark joy” probably more times than anyone really needs, but I can’t help it. I have pretty much organized our entire house (except our garage—saving that for when it warms up a little more) and it has seriously brought me SO MUCH joy.

I feel like I know where everything in our house is. Like, the other day, my Instax camera batteries died and I immediately knew where our spare double A batteries were and I was able to swap those out in under five minutes. It felt so good! I also love having less visual clutter. I am a super visual person (I learned best from notes or PowerPoints in college rather than audio only) so having less visual clutter really does make a difference on my mood and productivity levels. I feel like I have less to clean, which for sure sparks joy. Ha! And in my closet, I’ve noticed it’s much easier and faster to get ready in the morning because I have less clothes and ALL of them are things I want to wear. And, I know where little things are like black tights that don’t have holes in them, or a plain tank top to wear under certain shirts. It’s awesome! If you haven’t gotten on the organizing and pairing down KonMari train yet, you need to!

Anyway, I recently cleaned out our kitchen and I thought I might share a few tips as well as what kitchen utensils I ended up keeping and what I got rid of (donated). Every time I visit Elsie, I’m always surprised the things she has (and doesn’t have) in her kitchen. I think what things you need and use are so custom to what you and family cook often, so it’s sort of interesting (at least to me) what the most used things turn out to be. I’d love to hear what your most used kitchen items are was well!

I have two drawers that hold most of our handheld, miscellaneous items. These two drawers used to be WAY more full and it was hard to find things. Now I feel like I use everything we have and I know where it is. Our most used (like daily or weekly used) items are in the upper drawer and the lower holds things we use but not as often.

My most used items:
rubber spatulas (we keep four)
wine opener
citrus squeezer
can opener
reusable straws
large spoon
thin spatulas (we keep two)
pizza cutter
whisks (we keep three, different sizes)
kitchen tongs

Items I got rid of:
garlic press
potato ricer
extra spatulas (thicker or damaged)
extra spoons
extra whisks (yes, I had more than three. Why?!)
avocado slicer
handheld grater (I prefer box graters, which I already had)

For me, the vast majority of what I realized I didn’t need was things that were duplicates, damaged, or so specific that I rarely or never used them. This all seems obvious but I honestly didn’t realize how much of this I had cluttering up our kitchen!

This cabinet may not look organized to you, but to me it is! I know where every item is, we use all of it, and it’s grouped in a way that makes sense for me. Which this leads me to three tips I have for anyone looking to clean out their kitchen cabinets or drawers:

-Can you remember the last time you used it? 

Once you get everything out and make a big pile (this is from the KonMari method and it makes a huge difference, so although it’s a pain, you should absolutely make the time to do it) as you go through things, ask this question. If you cannot specifically recall the last time you used an item that’s an easy one to get rid of. This helps me do an initial pare down.

-Does it have a specific purpose? 

I don’t have a citrus juicer just because I think it’s cute. I have one, and in a prominent spot no less, because I had lemon or lime juice to my tea and drinking water almost every day. This helps me drink more water throughout the day and it tastes so much better. So for me, this is an important item to keep. But for someone else it might not be. Everything should have a specific purpose for you—not just an item that some wedding registry list or magazine article said you should have. Your kitchen drawers should be as unique as your family.

This also helped me to realize I have quite a few things (like a whole much of extra small plates, and extra forks, etc.) that I use a couple times a year for hosting wine pairing dinners. I love to host and cook for people, so having enough dishes to do so is important to me. But these items have a special place that is mostly out of the way since I only use them 2-4 times a year.

-Does it spark joy? 

This is such a funny and sort of silly question to ask as you hold a spatula in your hand. I would know! But I actually think this is the most important thing I’ve learned from the KonMari method and from organizing my house these past 3+ months. I’ll give you an example. We owned three spatulas before I cleaned out the kitchen. Two are ones we love, they are thin and lightweight. The third one was thicker and larger and just always ended up being the one neither of us reached for, but if the other two were dirty we would reluctantly use it. It probably came in a set from a wedding gift or honestly who knows. We’ve had it long time. But it didn’t spark joy because no one liked using it. It felt really good to donate it. And now every time we reach for a spatula it’s one of the two that we like to use. Yes, we have to keep them clean (as we no longer have the third) but this isn’t a bad thing. We less dishes that we own we clean more often, and which makes it easier, and we only use things we actually like owning. I love it!

Have you been organizing lately? What things spark joy in your kitchen? xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.