More To Go

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A couple of days ago I read a comment online by someone unknown to me that they had decluttered so much that they had nothing left to declutter.  I have no idea what their circumstances are or what they consider essential but I know that I have not reached that point.  In fact, I am not sure that I ever will or even want to.  We do not have a huge amount of stuff but for me it is more about carefully streamlining what we own to a selection of good-quality items that match our lifestyle.  Our needs change and therefore, our possessions will change accordingly.

On the weekend I was cleaning in the kitchen and one thing led to another and I ended up re-looking at the cooking utensils that I use.  I have supposedly decluttered these on at least 2 previous occasions but it never hurts to look at them with fresh eyes and a more detached point of view.

This is what I am taking to the op shop today.

2015-02-04 01There are a couple of sharp knives that have seen better days and I simply do not use them.  A scraper for cleaning a George Foreman grill which we no longer own.  A cleaning brush for something – I don’t know what and as far as I can see it has never been used.  Spoon and spaghetti strainer which are not used.  Meat mallet – I haven’t beaten meat for over 20 years – our diet does not include recipes that require it.  Spaghetti measure – was part of a corporate Christmas hamper a few years ago and has never been used.  Small aluminium skewer – I have a set of stainless steel skewers and this is no longer required.  Chip cutter – this came from my mother’s place when she was decluttering some years ago and I have never used it.  A good idea but I cannot remember the last time I made chips at home and I am quite capable of cutting potatoes into chips if the fancy happens to take me.  Anyway, aren’t “hand-cut chips” the latest craze on menus??

So what stays?

2015-02-04 02Electric knife
Carving fork
Scone cutter
Rolling pin
Fine grater
Metal tongs
BBQ tool
Pineapple peeler/corer
Apple corer
Cheese slicer
Cherry/oliver pit remover
Garlic press
Ice-cream scoop
Citrus zester
Grapefruit knife
Skewers
Vegetable peeler (not shown)
Jar opener
Tea strainer
Tea infuser
Wine vacuum sealer
Cork remover
Bottle/can opener
Measuring spoons
Corn cob holders
Egg rings
Knife sharpener

The electric knife/carving fork and cherry pit remover are the only items that would be rarely used.  Everything else is used regularly, mostly on a weekly basis.  Some, like the grapefruit knife and corn cob holders are seasonal but still essential.

2015-02-04 03I also have 2 jars of cooking utensils that I use almost daily.  There location on the bench means that they are easy to grab as I am cooking and preparing food.

Wooden spoons x 4
Metal whisk
Potato masher
Metal spatula
Non-stick spatula
Non-stick spoon
Slotted spoon
Small sieve
Can opener
Pizza cutter
Rubber scrapers x 3
Brush
Citrus juicer
Pie slice

I also have a knife block with 6 assorted sharp knives.

To a hard-core minimalist this probably looks like a huge number of utensils, however, I prepare and cook most of our meals and use these items very frequently.  It is important to keep and use what works for you.

There are lots of areas of my life where I could reduce my possessions but I think I have completely decluttered the kitchen utensils to my satisfaction.

What utensils do you use every day?  Are they much different to what I have shown here?

Mysteries of the Universe

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One of the great mysteries is how the utensil drawers get so grubby when the utensils are clean when they are put away.  If anyone can throw some light on this I would appreciate it, but in the meantime two of my kitchen drawers are clean again after a blitz yesterday.

2012-10-20 01I decluttered this drawer a few months ago so everything in it stayed, even though there are a couple of things that only rarely get used.  The contents include:

Electric knife
Rolling pin
BBQ tool
Tongs
Cleaning brush (for the juicer)
Avocado slicer
Chip cutter
Garlic press
Cherry stoner
Apple corer
Pineapple peeler/corer
Scone cutter
Cheese slicer
Jar opener
Ice-cream scoop
Vegetable peeler
Grapefruit knife
Fine bladed knife
Citrus zester
Tea strainer
Tea infuser
Knife sharpener
Spaghetti measure
Egg rings
Measuring spoons
Corn cob holders
Wine aerator
Wine vacuum seal
Corkscrews x 2
Can openers x 2 different styles

This is in addition to the knives in the knife block and 2 jars of utensils which are on the bench.  Everything in the utensil jars gets used at least once per week.

2012-10-20 02This is what could probably be described as a ‘junk’ drawer, although nothing in here is junk – it is all useful.

Matches
Notepaper (an old desk calendar)
String tin
Jar of rubber bands
Black felt-tipped pens x 2
Wind-up torches x 2
Set of small screwdrivers
Compass
Calculator
Scissors x 2
Sticky labels
Brown paper
Zip-lock bags (rewashed)
Muslin
Worn-out tea towels (for covering defrosting food etc)
Bag of twist ties
Bread bags (rewashed)
Cling wrap                   }
Alfoil                            } – these have been sitting here for at least 10 years
Freezer go-between  }    will not be replaced whenever I use them up
Baking paper – I bought this last week as it is apparently essential when
baking grain-free
Cut milk container of bits – homemade plant labels, spare O-ring for the breadmaker, labels for homemade cordial etc.

I regularly clean a drawer/cupboard or two each week, so although it seems like a never-ending merry-go-round it is never a huge job.