This one goes out to all the ladies who have a zucchini noodler, an avocado slicer, and a pizza pan collecting dust in the back of your cabinet. Anyone else still swear that you’re going to use them someday despite the fact that they still have the sticker on them? Same.
Considering kitchens often don’t get the same spring cleaning that your closet does, chances are there is a lot of stuff that you’ve accumulated over the years—most of which you’ve shoved into a drawer and forgotten you own. Beyond the fact that having a clutter-free kitchen can streamline the meal-prep process, ditching the excess junk can actually make a real difference in your stress levels around cooking. Because, as Material co-founder Eunice Byun jokes, who wants to play Jenga with their kitchenware every time they want to fry an egg?
“Mentally, having an organized kitchen can help you feel less stressed out and overwhelmed,” she says. “Trying something new out will feel less daunting, and maybe, just maybe you’ll feel more in control of your space so that you can cook with more confidence and ease.”
Having an organized kitchen can help you feel less stressed out and overwhelmed.
To be clear, she doesn’t expect you to go full Marie Kondo on your kitchen (because, let’s be honest, you probably *should* hold onto your cutlery regardless of whether or not it brings you joy)—but rather she’s created her streamlined line of “Fundamentals,” which includes an 8-inch knife, a 4-inch knife, tongs, a wooden spoon, a metal spoon, a slotted spatula, and a base to store things in.
In addition to these basic staples, she has a pretty killer way to discern what to keep and what to donate. First, take everything out of your cabinets and put it on the counter in groups (so, spoons with spoons, baking dishes with baking dishes, etc). Once you realize how many of each of the tools you have, ask yourself the following three questions about every item: 1) How did I first get this thing? 2) When was the last time I used it? 3) Do I like using it or have I just gotten used to it?
“We like being intentional with what we keep in our kitchen, which usually means having things that can serve multiple purposes or functions so that we’re getting good use and value out of them,” says Byun, who’s a big believer in double-duty products. “For pots, pans, flatware and dishware, it really boils down to how often you cook, what kind of things you cook, who you’re cooking for and how much precious space do you have.”
We can’t promise that this collection will make you a better cook, but it will make you a less stressed-out one — even if you’re no longer the proud owner of a never-been-used noodler.
Here, her 20-item list of the “must-haves” for any cook’s kitchen.
These are the 20 items you need
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