It’s so easy to get sucked-in to convenience and manufacturers are experts are making us think we need things, and the kitchen is a place we all look for the promise of quick easy solutions. And those manufacturers deliver. And then after a bit of time, the novelty wears off and we end up with cupboards full of rarely used, and often expensive, kitchen gadgets and appliances. (If you prefer video, scroll to the bottom of this post.)
Today, we’re pulling out our small kitchen appliances from all the cupboards where they are stored and away from the wall on the counter where they take up space. Put them all together on your dining table so you can see them. This includes kettles, coffee makers, toasters, blenders, food processors, instant pots, slow cookers, mixers, toaster ovens, sandwich makers, ice cream makers and so on and on and on.
And we come back to our two basic questions:
- Do I love it?
- Does it serve a purpose?
It no longer matters how much money you spent on it. The money is gone and not coming back. You can only control where you spend your dollars in the future and through this process of decluttering, you’re learning valuable lessons about your spending habits. And I’m sure you’re making some decisions about your spending habits in the future.
Everyone has different appliances that they swear by and use regularly, so no one can tell you which ones are necessary or more of a priority over the other.
The additional questions to ask yourself are:
- Do you use it?
- How often do you use it?
- If you didn’t have this appliance, what would you use instead?
Just because you use it, doesn’t mean you need it.
Appliances take up a lot of counter space. If there’s room in the cupboard for them, they should have a home off the counter and be pulled out when being used. As convenient as it is to have them on the counter, it’s clutter and can add to visual stress. Clean tidy counters create for a calm mind in the kitchen. For appliances used often, their home should be somewhere easy to get to, for those used less often, they can be housed with a little inconvenience.
We have appliances that were a novelty and now just sit collecting dust. Maybe that ice cream maker was fun for the first month or two, but now, no one uses it. When was the last time you used your air fryer, Instapot, slow cooker? And I’m not saying all of these items should go, I’m just saying to be realistic about when you use them. I use my slow cooker every week, so it’s an important appliance in my house. We’ve talked about instant pots and air fryers as we know many people who have and love them. But I figure we’ve gone this long without them, why spend the money now? And they would just be a novel item for a short time in our home, I’ve learned that about us over time too. So, here we save our money.
Sometimes we buy these new fad cooking devices and get frustrated because our food doesn’t turn out the way we thought it would. These devices take some time and intention to learn how to cook with them. If you’re going to invest in a new appliance, make sure you’re willing to take the time to learn to use it properly so you get the most out of it. If you have an Instapot in your cupboard and don’t know how to use it, either commit to learning it and decide if its really something you will use, or pass it along to someone who will.
Your regularly used appliances also take up precious counter space. The toaster and kettle and coffee maker can be tucked away into cupboards also. Pull them out when you need, give them some time to cool off and then put them away. However, these appliances likely need a very convenient home though. Somewhere were it literally takes a second to pull out and put away. We humans do like our conveniences. “Make it easy” is one of James Clear’s keys to developing new habits, from his book Atomic Habits.
Give or donate those appliances that aren’t serving you, and gain back some precious storage space in your kitchen.
I welcome your ideas, thoughts, and questions in the comments below.
Remember you can share your journey with me and others by using hashtag #MarchMicroMinimizing, and tag me on Facebook or Instagram using handle @suzannegouldenILC.
Here’s me talking about small kitchen appliances!
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