BuildDirect Blog: Life at Home

8 Things You DON’T Need In Your Kitchen

small kitchen uncluttered counters

If you have a small kitchen, every square inch of counter space counts. Chances are you have a collection of items on your kitchen counters that you don’t use regularly, only have a single use, or both of those . Maybe space is so tight that you been thinking that you need to get a more minimalist vibe before you drown in clutter.

To cut clutter and liberate your cooking area and counter space, consider ditching the following 8 items.

1. Toaster

Let’s start radically by challenging tradition, shall we? While a toaster might seem like a can’t-live-without item, it’s really an unnecessary kitchen tool when you really look at it. The pop-up toaster was only developed in the way we recognize it by 1913. Before that into the late 1800s,  a broiler or a skillet was used for making toast. You can do that too!

To use the broiler for toast, put bread on a baking sheet and slide it onto the top rack of the oven. If you prefer to use a skillet, set it over medium-high heat and flip the bread from side to side until it turns that golden shade of brown. No problem!

2. Microwave

Ack! Are you insane???

Well, it might seem even more radical to suggest that a microwave should be anything less than totally central to your kitchen. But, one thing to consider is the relationship that you have with your kitchen as far as what you actually do while you’re in it. For instance, how central is your microwave, really, to the daily meals you’re preparing in your kitchen? Ask yourself this question, and then decide whether or not the counterspace or cabinet space your microwave takes up is really justified.

Also, think about where your microwave  might serve you better outside of the kitchen. If you use your  microwave to make popcorn, warm up hot chocolate, or to heat up other snacks while you’re spending time in front of the TV, or on board game night, or kids craft time, then maybe the microwave should be more central to those activities in family rooms, or living rooms.

You could do worse than to match up the function of your microwave with the kinds of activities it  supports. And it’s your house, so you get to decide where everything goes, even if tradition says otherwise.

3. Sandwich maker

In your quest for a minimalist kitchen, small appliances that have only one function (like your toaster!) are prime candidates for demotion on  your countertops. Sandwich makers have a certain appeal. But, unless your really expanding on ways to use it, or are maybe writing an eBook about the versatility of the sandwich in modern cuisine, it might be time to give your sandwich maker its walking papers when it comes to taking up countertop space.

And again, is there a better place for your sandwich maker? Basement family rooms, bar areas in recreation areas, and even in outdoor dining spaces might be a better choice for single-function appliances like this.

4. Extra dishes

You know that hideous floral dinnerware that your well-meaning neighbor gave you? Drop it off at the nearest secondhand store. You might keep stuff like that around in your cupboards and cabinetry, just in  case you ever have more guests than your regular set of dinnerware can handle. But if that happens, renting plates from catering companies or borrowing them from friends and family are always viable options. Your well-meaning neighbor won’t even notice.

5. Deep fryer

While your doctor probably wouldn’t argue with you if you gave up completely on those treats from the fryer, getting rid of your deep fryer doesn’t mean you have to go without the goodies. A sturdy saucepan and a thermometer will get the job done, and you’ll have one less bulky item hogging your counter or cupboard space.

6. Rice Cooker

Here’s the thing. You don’t really need a rice cooker. All you need is a saucepan with a lid. Cooking rice on the stove top is almost as easy as using a rice cooker.

My method? It’s one-part rice, two parts water, cover and set to boil, turn off the heat completely when boiling is achieved. Then, let it sit with the lid on for about 15 mins. Easy peasy.

7. Popcorn maker

You got rid of the microwave in the kitchen, and now the popcorn maker is on the chopping block, so what are you going to eat on movie night? Once again, making popcorn on the stove top is a solution. Granted, making popcorn on the stove isn’t as easy as throwing a bag of popcorn in the microwave or using the popcorn maker, but you still end up with a delicious treat—and a new skill to add to your growing list of culinary feats.

And like you did with your microwave, maybe this is just  a matter of re-location rather than changing your approach to making a buttery treat. Move that popcorn maker into the family room where you play your boardgames, or watch movies. Redefine where your appliances are according to your needs. This is your space. You get to decide where things go. Simple.

8. Extra knives

That big wooden block sitting on your counter probably only has a few slots that see frequent action. A chef’s knife, a paring knife, and a bread knife are all essential, but that’s really all you need. Keep them sharp, keep them clean, and say farewell to all the knives that you kept around for reasons that may now escape you.

The same goes for that drawer (you know the one, everyone has one …) with the jumble of mysterious implements with uses that remain to be a mystery. Clear that out and be brutal about how often you use each item in there. You’ll thank yourself later.

Efficiency that suits you

An efficient kitchen can make cooking easier, and it spares you the trouble of finding homes for all those extra items. It also leads to less physical clutter, and thereby gets rid of a lot of mental clutter, too.

And remember, you get to decide where these kinds of items serve you best, even if that means putting them in another room.  When it comes to organizing where things go in your home, the only rules to follow are the ones you decide on yourself.

Take a leap and challenge tradition by getting rid of all the non-essentials, and resolve to keep your kitchen a clutter-free zone.

Your kitchen counter space

What challenges have you had in freeing up counter space in your kitchen?

Are there common appliances you’ve removed or relocated that have done the trick?

Which items are not featured on the above list that should be?

Tell us all about it in the comments section of this post.

***

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Rob Jones

Rob serves as Blog Content Manager at BuildDirect, and is your humble Editor-In-Chief of BuildDirect Blog: Life At Home. Rob is also a writer, father, and music fan.

281 Comments

  1. Boy is this a thought provoking article. As the years go by my style of cooking changes and things I used to use all the time are no longer needed. Toaster is staying- I use it to defrost bread. I may get rid of my Cuisinart which I used all the time when I was younger.

    I now have a Vitamix blender which does wonders. When I was going to have to cook Christmas dinner for my family in a hotel room the only appliance I took with me was this blender. I made mashed potatoes in it and mixed the pumpkin pie ingredients. Rice cooker is staying, rice just tastes better and I do not have to watch it. Microwave in wall staying but since I use it multiple times a day not going to get rid of. Deep fryer is now going to leave the cupboard. Not supposed to be eating that stuff anyway. Sandwich maker and extra dishes are currently in the garage for donation. Ditto with the multiple sets of silverware all incomplete.

    Coffee maker has always been for guests but it has a good hiding spot in a cupboard. Bread box is a sentimental item as my mother made it but it can find a new home else where to store DVD’s. Tea kettle leaving I would rather heat water in a pan. Knife block stays I agree that it is a safety issue. But extra knives are leaving. I bought a new spatula so out go two or three old ones. Tupperware is history. AARP says it does cause cancer. In Tupperware’s defense only the old stuff does. I still have a few pieces but am replacing slowly with glass or ceramic storage containers and bowls.

    I refuse to get rid of my antique cash register!!!! Somethings just have to stay. LOL

    Thanks for the ideas. Drawers are my next goal.

  2. Get rid of the toaster? Rediculous!!!! Far easier to use and quicker than broiler and used often.

  3. Rob, thanks for this! I totally agree with Nan — here it is a year later and it’s still getting traction. :-) I swear to God that clutter is going to kill me, but I’m happy to know that based on your post, I’m doing all these things right!

    I moved the toaster out of sight into a slide-out shelf under the cabinet a few years ago. Cut way down on carbs — especially bread — so we NEVER use it.

    Got rid of the huge ugly wooden knife block and put the knives in the drawer.

    Recently got an over the range microwave, so that freed up a lot of counterspace.

    Have to make another pass at the extra dishes. I swear I did this once. Maybe people are sneaking into my house and stashing dishes in the cupboards while I’m sleeping?

    Next to go: Canisters!!!!!!! Those lovely cobalt canisters. Maybe a shelf in the pantry. And we hardly use the coffeepot anymore, so maybe that can go out of sight, also.

    But please tell me how that corner where the phone used to be keeps filling up with paper and doodads — receipts, mail, pens, you name it. Anyone else got one of those magically filling up areas?

    • I have a 7 Ft. island in my kitchen. On one end is the microwave, stand mixer, & Keurig for coffee. The rest should be empty. It never is. It collects stuff–the newspaper, bills, empty wrappers, anything. No kids in the house either. Help!!

    • Pat,
      The paper, mail, doodads, etc. are always the problem. I bought a big, beautiful fruit tray/bowl for the island so fresh fruit is always at hand, now it’s a jumbo junk catch-all. It’s a tough battle to win!

  4. Much of this article and the comments made me chuckle a bit, since I live in approx. 120 sq. ft. (plus closet and bath) with a “kitchen” that is 7.5 sf (45″x24″) (countertop) with 4.2 cu. ft. overhead storage and an undercounter fridge. No oven or cooktop (open elements are banned).

    The microwave and my rice cooker are essential – and the rice cooker is *not* a one-use item! I’ve made one-pot rice and bean dishes, bulgar wheat for tabouleh (with fresh mint from my windowsill garden), lentil, barley and split pea soups, huevos ranchero (leftovers make great next-day burritos!), rice and tapioca pudding, Irish oatmeal and even a chocolate cake (more chewy, brownie-like, admittedly, but still!). And it fits on top of the microwave (btw – this is a $15 on-clearance-at-the-discount store 6-cup cooker, not one of the high-end multi-setting ones). A little research, imagination and a few failed experiments … but more successful ones.

    One big space saver for me was getting a plastic industrial 2-step step stool (approx. 19″x19″x12″) (~$20) that I parked on the counter – effectively doubling that space. Things like spare paper towels rolls (11″ high) and such that I don’t need daily fit neatly underneath, while the treads supply stacked storage of things I do use. Easy enough to clear when I actually need a step stool – a quick wipe down when done and back it goes. Also adds a kind of industrial chic note to the space – may spray paint it something other than black at some point. Same with “shelf saver” stepped racks ($3 ea.) – a couple of those in the shelves, a few cheapy plastic baskets ($1 for 3) and re-used jars underneath for small tools and such – cleared counter and shelf space and added organization for those little things that accumulate.

    Microliving can be easy – especially when you make good friends with your measuring tape!

    • pizza maker works wonderful if you don’t have stove.i make all kinds of things in mine.chicken breast grilled cheese sandwiches. many more. some of your ideas are very good thank you.

  5. Jo Ann Reply to Jo

    You want me to get rid of the microwave? I do most of what I eat in the microwave. Please, I want to keep it.

    • Then, by all means – do! :-) It’s your space. You get to decide what stays and what goes.

      Thanks for reading!

      • Rice cooker is more useful than a toaster OR microwave. Besides making perfect rice and quinoa, we also cook chicken and potatoes in it.

        • I LIVED 3 YEARS W/O A STOVE OR OVEN. RICE IS EASIER COOKED IN THE MICROWAVE: 1 PART RICE 2 PARTS WATER, SALT AND COOK ON HIGH FOR 30 MIN DOESN’T MATTER AMOUNT. PLUS ALUMINUM LEACHES INTO FOOD AND DEMENTIA PATIENTS HAVE HIGH LEVELS OF ALUMINUM IN THEIR BRAINS. BAKED CHICKEN IS A BREEZE IN THE MICROWAVE – 20 MIN AND YOU CAN HAVE CURRIED RICE W/ GREEN VEGETABLE WITH BAKED CHICKEN BREASTS ON TOP, ALL COOKED IN ONE DISH. FOR DESERT PEANUT BRITTLE IS YUMMY COOKED IN THE MICROWAVE. POT ROAST W/GRAVY. THE LIST GOES ON. IF YOU NEED TO COOK IN A POT USE AN ELECTRIC POT AND TO ROUND OFF YOUR KITCHEN USE A SLOW COOKER FOR EVERYTHING ELSE – MY FAVORITE: NEW POTATOES WITH CHOPPED BACON, AFTER COOKED ADD SOUR CREAM, GREEN ONIONS AND CHEESE.

  6. Some of these suggestions are just ridiculous. Use the broiler or stove top instead of a toaster? Put the microwave in the family room? I don’t know about you, but the stench of microwaved popcorn in the family room is not appealing in the least. My kitchen is pretty uncluttered to begin with. I have a knife block, but none of those other gadgets listed. Those sandwich makers are dumb, and who keeps a popcorn popper out on the counter all of the time? Not buying silly gadgets is more helpful than putting the microwave in the living room, lol.

  7. onita caldwell Reply to onita

    Got rid of the fancy china before I moved in this house. the toaster stays because yes it is faster than the broiler or skillet. The microwave is also a permanent fixture, use it many times a day. If the picture that goes with article is supposed to be a tiny kitchen I want one. It has miles of countertop, compared to mine. I have one strip of counter space about 31/2 ft. and one about 2 ft. Fortunately, there was enough floor space that I was able to add a microwave cart and 2 drawer units from the thrift store that makes the kitchen fairly functional.

  8. Dorthy Johnson Reply to Dorthy

    My bread machine can go. Have not used it in much longer than I care to admit, so it will leave!! Thanks for all the other thoughts.

  9. I use coffee maker constantly but down sized it to a 4 cup,microwave husband use s it along with a small toaster oven.my problem is too many pots skillets. Bowls,and small electric appliances,stored in cabinets

  10. I did most of this during the recent sale and showing of my home. Made a huge difference not to have everything on the counter. Now the microwave over the stove is a must keeper. Do most of my cooking in it. I would rather get rid of the oven and just have a cooktop. Toaster isn’t going as it’s much more efficient than firing up a broiler to brown toast and it’s timed as well. Use it constantly too. The Ninja has to stay in the corner – I’m on a health kick and use it often. Hung up the kitchen tools on a rod and S hooks to get rid of the container they used to spill out of and get dusty. Knife block? Hmmmmm I’ll consider that one. Moved the coffee maker onto the adjoining dining area buffet space recently along with the coffees and teas and fixings. Not only freeing up counter space but cabinet space as well. A “coffee bar” if you will. I’m only a tea drinker so it’s for guests anyway. Don’t have the other items but trying to figure out where the banana hanger is going to go.

    • What about a magnetic knife holder on the wall? Those are great.

      • Great idea, but a magnetic knife holder gives me flashbacks of “Carrie” and practically every other horror movie that I’ve seen: that a telekinetic or psychopathic person will make the knives fly off the holder and impale me to the wall.

        • A valid point, Josie. Here’s a new rule to consider; no paranormal activity allowed in the kitchen. It’ll be kind of like a “shoes off at the door” type of arrangement.

          Hope this helps!

    • I screwed a hook from the garden tool section under my kitchen cabinet and that is where my bananas hang now. Also, I am tall and keep my microwave on top of fridge. Perfect for me. Keep toaster hidden away most of year but it gets lots o use at tomato season for BLTs.
      Thanks for new ways of thinking.

    • Rochelle Siegel Reply to Rochelle

      Use a stainless s hook over a cabinet knob.

  11. Fran Blank Reply to Fran

    Keep the toaster! Making toast in a skillet or on a tray under the broiler simply makes more dishes to wash. Forget it. The toaster is clean and efficient and takes little room on the counter. My kitchen is relatively neat – but clutter free? No. I cook from scratch and preserve vegies and fruit from our gardens. I also dehydrate a lot of our food, make pickles, jams and jellies. My kitchen is loved and seriously used and lived in. I want comfort not a sterile space. I suppose if all you do is reheat prepared food and open cans a sterile kitchen suits you. No thanks. I think the new mantra “clutter free” is being taken to a ridiculous level.

    • I agree about the toaster. For my part, I have burned too many pieces of bread under the broiler. Toasters make it possible to not watch the bread like a hawk.

    • You are totally right. Keep on doing it your way!

    • Haven’t noticed anyone mentioning a toaster oven. Works fine if cooking for 1-2.
      Mine sits atop small a metal shelving unit. I never use my gas oven. Makes the kitchen too hot in the summer & takes too long to heat up. Even though my micro is small it takes up too much space on the counter. My stove is smaller than standard so there isn’t room to install an over the stove microwave unfortunately. Would love an island, but no room. Impressive that you accomplish that much if your kitchen is small.

  12. It uses more electricity to heat up the broiler for 2 pc. of Toast and it takes forever. Skillet means more dishes. Microwave is used for more than just heating up food( Defrosting if I forgot to take something out the freezer.), and putting it in the living room is just plain stupid
    Knives are in the Drawer. The rest of the mentioned gadgets I’m not using anyway.

  13. I have two grind/brew coffee makers on mh counter (caf for me, decaf for him); keep thinking about replacing with Keurig but can’t get past the cost of K-cups vs. beans. The biggest thing on my counter is my mixer, which weighs a ton, doesn’t get used often, but I can’t thnk where to put it where it doesn’t have to be lifted into place. All my drawers are pull-outs (very handy). Electric can opener — maybe I can put that in one of the drawers. I’ll try it. The toaster has to stay. I have a little “file organizer with drawer” for notepads, restaurant coupons, address stickers that I got at a yard sale. Very handy and better than a basket. Paper towel holder may be replaced when I find a hanging one that I like. The article is thought provoking.

    • I read that the inventor of the Keurig is now full of regret, because of the HUGE environmental cost of those K cups. They are all just one-time use, and non-recyclable.

      • I heard that too. But I started looking around and see much worse offending items. Single serve puree’s, bottled water, and have you ever considered the heavy duty packages that coffee comes in? I find the Keurig is pretty handy especially as we entertain a lot and it allows us to offer all of the choices people want: regular coffee strong or mile, decaf, herbal tea, green tea, spice tea hot cocoa and hot cider.

      • SanFrancisco coffee makes biodegradable k cups-

      • I was getting so disgusted creating so much waste using single use K-cups in my Keurig (but LOVE my Keurig!), so I bought two stainless steel reusable K-cups and I love them! Easy to clean, makes great coffee. I use organic coffee. It’s all good!! They have plastic/mesh reusable cups too, which I’ve tried in the past. The stainless steel cup is the way to go.

      • You all haven’t heard the worst part of the Keurig. You can’t clean the thing. With warm water in it all the time it grows bacteria and you can’t clean it. No thanks on that one. Besides the waste issue, this is not good for you. We had one a work, and I wanted to clean it. No way to.

        Plain old glass pot Mr Coffee for me. You can also easily use it for just hot water for tea, or brew tea in it and cool and refrigerate for later.

        mine is used daily for one or the other or both some days!

    • YOU CAN GET A SHELF THAT SLIDES OUT AND POPS UP JUST FOR THAT MIXER, BUT I USE ONE THAT SLIDES OUT AND I LIFT KITCHEN AID TO COUNTER OR KITCHEN TABLE AND THEN PUT IT AWAY. I ALSO LIKE KITCHEN AID’S HAND MIXER – A REAL SPACE SAVER IF YOU DON’T USE THE MIXER OFTEN.

  14. I love uncluttered countertops. They are an invitation to cook and create. They announce that the rest of the house is clean. They lift your mood and make you smile. But here is my answer to countertop clutter–a very large pantry. The walk-in kind. The kind the butler had. Building contractors rarely have this feature on their radar and we kitchen caregivers need to change that. A good pantry should have large expanses of shelving that can accommodate your tallest appliances and yet be shallow enough to prevent losing canned goods. It should hold all of your serve ware without too much stacking or crowding. It should hold turkey roasters, lobster pots, canning supplies, large canisters for staples, an adequate bread box, a potato bin, an onion bin, and anything you can’t live without that you don’t want out in plain sight all the time.

  15. Cynthia buddemeyer Reply to Cynthia

    I will make it very simple, I do not like small appliances.

  16. I can easily move the blender, cookbooks, canning jars, vases and large pots to another area. This will free up cabinet, counter AND drawer space. Thanks for the inspiration!

  17. I’ve always loved a clear counter top. I prefer oven broiled toast and don’t like toasters which seem to invite bugs in our humid area. I love my variety of sizes, clear glass Fido jars with the wire clamp for oatmeal, cereal, crackers or anything else you keep in canisters. They are kept in the cabinet. (except Flour which we use rarely and so it goes in the freezer). I had a few pangs of guilt when I threw out the useless jar opener that took up quite a bit of drawer space, but I’m over it now. Keeping the microwave in the wall and the coffee pot in the utility room since I don’t drink it and don’t care for the smell.
    Great article. It may not all apply to everyone but it’s useful and helpful information.

    • Carol Beall Reply to Carol

      Should feel guilty. If was functional, donate to charity. Just keep in back of vehicle any items will donate. Then when doing errands in area of a charity store, drop off-get a tax write off too if itemize. Less clutter to planet as well as your kitchen. Carol.

  18. I have a space in the garage where I keep my juicer, slow cooker, ice cream maker, etc. All my gadgets would never fit in my kitchen! An earlier commenter pointed out the benefits of a butler’s pantry. Yes! That would be my ideal.

  19. Too many electric items sitting out on the counters make a kitchen look crowded and un-appealing, so it is a good idea to jettison or hide seldom used appliances. That said, I think some of the minimalist decor shown lately is much too severe and stark, as if no one actually lives in these homes. I despise that kitchen featured with the article, it simply screams characterless, vanilla “show house.”

  20. Rob Jones obviously never had to clean the pot after some fool burned the popcorn on the stove. Perhaps I could do with fewer small appliances, but the toaster, microwave and popcorn popper are staying Oh, and the rice cooker/vegetable steamer too. What a God-send that one is.

  21. Roy Smith Reply to Roy

    Lots of bad advice here. Some of he appliances, like deep fryers and dedicated toasters, are designed to make certain kitchen operations SAFER. Improvising may lead to personal injury, kitchen fires, or possibly loss of the entire house. No thanks.

    Microwave ovens have been recommended for decades due to the lower heat load they put on the air conditioning system during hot weather. Getting rid of them is another stupid idea, especially as electric rates keep skyrocketing thanks to leftist political pressure to shut down generating facilities, steadily rising demand due to increasing population, and failure to build nuclear generating capacity to take up the slack.

    • Good points, Roy – I keep my microwave on top of my refrigerator – out of the way and easy to use. We all will benefit from keeping the environment in our minds and choices.

  22. I liked much of the things said but I have no intentions of getting rid of my toaster, microwave, knife block, numerous knives, and much more as mentioned in the article. I will keep all of the things I do not use ever day because the minute they are thrown away is when you start looking for them. I can keep things out of sight when I want to do so. If too much clutter for visitors, sorry for them — let the door hit you in the back. I will discard things as I come to it, only for me.

  23. I love some of your ideas and can see how helpful they could be especially for people living in tiny spaces. These are the very people I help with advise and will be glad to use your ideas for them.

  24. REMOVE IMMEDIATELY ALL FRUIT BOWLS / BASKETS

  25. David Warren Reply to David

    Just wondering if you are actually mentally retarded or were just drunk and/or high when you wrote this ‘article’ on used wrapping paper with your favorite crayon? Removing the toaster in favor of heating an entire oven each time you want toasted bread,muffins, bagels or pastries. No microwave..again…heating a stove top element or the oven instead of a few minutes in the mwave. I could go down your half assed list, but all the suggestions are half thought out and ignorant…

  26. Toast is better made in a toaster because while the outside is browned, the inner layer stays soft. Other methods resemble stale bread.

    Microwaves are superior for making vegetables, allowing you to steam them quickly. Bacon is also better cooked in a microwave, unless you’re cooking for a crowd (in which case an oven at 400 degrees does the trick nicely). Melting butter and chocolate are also much easier done in a microwave. We do use it for re-heating leftovers and heating commercially frozen food, too, so the appliance has earned its place in our kitchen, especially in summer, when we’d prefer not to use the range..

    What we don’t do is heat water in a microwave. If you have ever superheated water and enjoyed the resulting explosion you won’t want to repeat the experience. I make space on the counter for an electric kettle. No explosion, my kids can safely heat water without using the microwave or gas burner, and it makes it easy to avoid the temptation to use hot water from the tap for cooking (which exposes you to lead in the water — sounds like paranoia, but it happens to be true).

  27. Using the oven broiler to make toast? It takes more time to monitor the bread/bagel to prevent burning plus it takes twice as long because you can only do one side at a time, and it takes a lot more energy to use an oven instead of a stand alone toaster for a few minutes.
    As to the microwave, it’s energy efficient both for heating leftovers and not heating the house up during summer while running the A/C. Get an over-the-oven or undershelf mount microwave if counter space is an issue.
    While I’m not a fan of cluttering up the kitchen or house with specialty appliances, many people don’t cook very much or very well and some of these appliances are both a cooking aid as well as a cooking convenience including cleanup.
    While the kitchen should be tidy, it is after all a kitchen so what’s wrong with it looking and functioning as an efficient kitchen as opposed to a room for show? If one cooks regularly it doesn’t make sense to have to drag heavy stand mixers and blenders in and out of drawers and cabinets. There are nice covers for many appliances and even appliance garages under the cabinets.
    Each to his own.

  28. I donated much of my pots and pans away, and kept (a) wok. Wok can be used as a giant fry pan or steamer. Other tools I kept is (b) stockpot, which can also serve as a giant steamer, or make enough soup for parties; (c) fry pan, which doubles as a toaster; and (d) 2 quart pot, which doubles as a rice cooker.

  29. Will take your advice and reorganize my kitchen. No wonder it is so squeezed with everything. That is a good idea.

  30. I agree with your premise that we have too many kitchen gadgets, but everyone uses different ones. So when I wrote my article (http://www.hometipsforwomen.com/kitchen-gadgets-for-the-holidays), I called friends to see what they have on their countertops … as that’s really the limiting factor, how much space can you allocate to these gadgets.

    PS Wouldn’t live without my microwave as I use it to cut down on dishes, from my morning oatmeal to zapping fresh veggies (or frozen/steam) and so much more.

  31. There are a few really bad ideas in this article. First, to heat an oven just for toast is not only wasteful, but if you lived in the south in the summer you would know better. Also, if you lived in New Orleans you would know a rice cooker is extremely necessary. As for the microwave, is it really easier to dirty a pot to heat water or warm something on the stove like soup. Not if you have to wash the dishes its not. Besides if you have the microwave you don’t need the popcorn maker.

  32. I’ll agree to most of this article. But one needs to take into account your style of cooking. For example my family has rice as a staple. Throughout the day the kids can always have warm rice from the rice cooker.

  33. This was an interesting article but I like many others find a few faults in it. Several years ago I decided to store my toaster in a cabinet even though we use it often it is easy to move in and out . I also did away with the knife block and instead purchased an In-drawer knife holder, it is much neater and very handy. We also use a toaster oven. We use it almost daily! You will not heat up. Your kitchen in the summer if you have one. And it is superior for heating up leftover pizza! Our microwave is part of our in wall oven unit so not a problem. Do not use many of the other appliances mentioned
    It was a thought-provoking article.

  34. Rob. Great article. Except I just bought a new toaster and I love it! It goes with my decor and doesn’t show fingerprints and is bright red with small amount of stainless steel with digital numbers ! Nobody ever care before about my toaster! My microwave is mounted under counter cause everyone knows you need it ALL the time! Put those knives away they are dangerous for angry adults and children alike. Everything I agree with. This is my first time blogging. It’s fun cause I’m kind of board. Stranded in house with crippled feet or at least they don’t go where I would like to go. Thanks again

  35. After New Years, anything not used for a year goes to donation. Microwave has a spot in the walk-in food pantry, a light and airy space where appliances are stored in a tower. I cannot handle counters, top of refrigerator or every kitchen surface to be cluttered while cooking. The cat on his favorite stool is fine. And buy the way living in AZ in the summer means a toaster, electric pressure cooker and an infrared counter top cooker makes the kitchen so much more bearable for meal preparation.

  36. I won’t give up my microwave. I use it nearly every day and, as part of my stove hood, it takes up no space on my counter or cabinets.
    Nor will I give up my toaster. I don’t have it out all the time, but when I need it, it’s too handy to give up.

  37. The only things on my counters is toaster/convection oven, coffee maker, knife block. On the cooktop island I keep salt and pepper mills, trivet and spoon rest. All other items like rice cooker, blender, crock pot etc are in under counter cabinets. Microwave is built in over oven.

  38. I just did a purge not long ago and took a critical eye at was on my counter. I love my toaster oven, espresso maker. Most of what he lists here I got rid of years ago. Can you believe people still use an electric can opener??? The best thing I did was purge a very deep drawer that was full of ‘stuff’ I never used but thought I needed. I condensed it down to fit in a shoe box, move it to another drawer and now use that deep drawer for paperwork that I have gone through but don’t have time to file or shred as my island is also my central bill paying area and schedule for all of us. I have a rice cooker, it’s a little one but never stored it on my counter. Now my kitchen doesn’t stress me out! It works for us great.

  39. We used to have an “appliance garage” in the corner of our kitchen counter. It was a little corner unit with an accordion rising door on it that hid our toaster and stand mixer. We got rid of it when we redid our countertops in granite. Now the toaster sits kitty-corner in the corner (and is used every day for my husband’s sandwiches,) the espresso machine is on the counter, (gotta get my daily caffeine fix,) the high speed blender is in the kitchen cupboard, (used daily for my smoothies,) and the appliances, like the stand mixer, pressure cooker, air fryer, bread maker, emersion blender, slow cooker, and my food processor are all on a shelf in the basement. We do have a knife block and use the knives in it. I think it’s safer than diving a hand into a drawer and slicing your fingers.

  40. If I got rid of our toaster,rice cooker and microwave oven, my husband would get rid of me! He uses these every day. And your method for rice is ok, but it won’t make sticky rice for Asian dishes.

  41. What with everybody’s taste, and the relative importance of individual gadgets is going to vary. But your suggestion of getting rid of the toaster in lieu of the broiler or a skillet is just not thought out. No matter how much you use a toaster you are failing to consider the COST of using a stove burner or (especially) a full size oven set to broil. Plus the heat up time… Plus consider the cost/time of cleaning a skillet if you choose that option. My solution, was to switch a lot of things to a good toaster oven. Since all the kids moved out, I don’t cook nearly as much or in the quantities I used to. The toaster oven almost completely replaces the oven for just about anything with the added advantage of having more room for toasting larger things like bagels. Even using it as an oven is much cheaper than the actual oven (without the added heat to the kitchen on a hot day) and heats to temperature in a fraction of the time.

    Also, to me anyway, to suggest moving or getting rid of a microwave is just silly. The space it takes up can nowhere near compete with it’s usefulness as opposed to cupboard space.

  42. A broiler or skillet for toast? There is something much more convenient and you don’t have to dirty a pan. A toaster! You can have a kitchen just like the one in the picture. Just don’t ever use it.

  43. Except for the toaster which my husband loves…I happily don’t have any of that stuff :)

  44. Rice cooker is #1 for my counter space. Beyond rice, it is single-handedly the most useful tool in the kitchen. Rice, soups, steaming, slow cooker, and bread maker all in one. If you have never made more then rice in a rice cooker then you’re missing out.

  45. Having recently moved from a 4 bedroom/1300 sq ft home to a 1 bedroom/466 sq ft apartment in a senior facility I had already done nearly everything suggested. No use for a microwave, I cook from scratch to monitor ingredients. I toast on the stove, only takes a few minutes while I check emails. I do miss gas, we only have electric here but I manage.

    The only concession I have is the popcorn maker. My old one died after 30 years and I decided to try the stovetop method, for a year. Looking for a new popcorn maker. The added oil (even tho heart healthy), potential fire hazard, plus standing over the stove for 5-7 minutes shifting the pot, very time-consuming. While the popcorn maker is popping (2-3 minutes) on its own, I’m multitasking and then eating healthier popcorn. Besides, those microwave bags are full of fattening, harmful carcinogens! The popcorn maker can go right in my appliance cabinet when done. My kitchen is compact, but serviceable because I only kept what I actually use. The only appliances on my counter are an espresso machine and a French Press.

  46. I opted to omit a dishwasher from my tiny galley kitchen. The cabinet space I would have lost is more valuable to me than a dishwasher. Especially since I live alone and rarely have more than one or two guests for dinner.

  47. It seems to me that this article applies just to the author’s kitchen/lifestyle and is far from universal. I have a small kitchen with my microwave built into the stove (not overhead). I’m a low-carber so we tossed the toaster, rice-maker, bread-maker, popcorn-maker, and sandwich- maker in 1997. If we did eat bread, turning on the oven to make toast, especially in FL, is energy-inefficient. Relocating appliances outside of the kitchen? That’s an invitation to spilling food on the carpet, plus adds extra steps to my cooking triangle. Sorry, Rob, but most of this article doesn’t seem to apply to most of us.

    • Thanks, Rani. It would be a boring world indeed if the kitchen described here did appeal to everyone. Luckily, there’s been some great discussion that’s come out of it. Thanks for your contribution to it!

  48. I use my microwave multiple times a day. I’m not getting rid of it.

  49. Sounds like you DEFINITELY side with the destination over the journey. There are many pleasures associated with creating from raw ingredients, cooking and eating.
    Watching someone pull the opaque cover film off a colorless, tasteless container of “chemically infused glop” passing for soup, for example, poses additional health issues. To name a few, they are anorexia-bulimia, obesity, high blood pressure, not to mention the olfactory and mental satisfaction gained from the process.
    I have observed countless times that this kind of pseudo-food is hurriedly consumed–after all, with no eye or taste appeal, as demonstrated by your photo above, and your

  50. Seems like you are advocating the destination over the journey and nothing about the photo connotes sharing conversation or sustenance with another–not even a pet!. Real creation and cooking of food actually stimulates several senses and provides relaxation in the process.

    Your so-called kitchen looks like no one lives there–more like the office kitchen where a non-conversant hired plant guy makes the rounds of the multi-story tower, giving plants a modicum of water –perhaps a small measured dose of plant fertilizer every few months.

    “Sanitized” kitchens like this one encourage less use. At the end of the workday and a complex commute, there isn’t even a kitchen stool to plop on to re-heat something,with fragrance that might actually stimulate gastric juice to flow into the stomach, thereby aiding digestion. Olfactory, eye-appeal and well-being obtained in the process of creating something are some of advantages “by products” of spending time in a kitchen. I don;t see much to encourage that in the photo.

    Have noticed countless persons enter a setting like this, open the freezer door, take out the paper carton, peel off the opaque film, revealing a mass of colorless, aroma-free “pasty glop,” toss it in the microwave and hurry to the window to look out for some stimulation outside because no satisfaction is going to occur from consuming this “glop” in this place –same goes for chewing something and nutrition.They often appear overweight, distracted and not particularly happy with this swift, get-it-over-with process. There are links to be gained between PREPARING and enjoying food in a kitchen that induce positive mental health, not to mention aiding digestion rather than seeing how fast one can consume unappetizing, cardboard, chemically impregnated pseudo-food, a kitchen robot could set out or produce on the spot. Often, frequent freezer users are seen over-consuming on unhealthy snacks, not getting much pleasure there either.
    HINT: LOTS OF MEDICAL EMPLOYED IN HIGH-STRESS AREAS INCLUDING SURGEONS TAKE GREAT PLEASURE IN COOKING AND BAKING BREAD.

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