How To Streamline For A Downsized Kitchen
A downsized kitchen is something that comes along with downsizing a home. Many of us are thinking about downsizing in midlife or we have already done it. In 2021, we sold our large home that had a very large and very well equipped kitchen. I love to cook and whether you are cooking for 2 or 10 you may need to use multiple appliances for any given meal. What you also don’t realize is all of the kitchen “stuff” that you accumulate just because you have the space and storage capacity to do so.
So going from a cook’s dream kitchen to a much smaller kitchen with fewer and smaller appliances has been an adjustment to say the least. Many days/nights I feel more like a short order cook than home chef. I used to methodically plan out meals and time what dishes I was going cook where. Also, ventilation is not very good in our current housing situation. There are so many things you just can’t cook on the cooktop or the house smells for hours. We learned that the hard way and had to open the windows in the middle of winter. You can read more about how we landed into temporary housing here.
Our plan is to start building a new home later this year and trust me I now have an ongoing list of things that I really miss and know that are important to me. As that process rolls out I will be sharing more about it. Now onto how I am managing with a downsized kitchen.
What I Unpacked for My Downsized Kitchen
When we moved almost a year ago we didn’t know how long we were going to be here. I knew that I couldn’t live without certain things especially since I had fewer appliances. I also knew that my storage space was much smaller in the kitchen and pantry. So here’s what I unpacked.
- 1 set of dishes and a few coffee mugs.
- Minimal wine glasses and regular drinking glasses. (Knew we wouldn’t be entertaining here.)
- Some of my cooking utensils and 1 set of silverware.
- My most used pots and pans.
- Our coffee maker and electric teapot. These were not an option.
- The small appliances included slow cooker, blender, hand mixer, air fryer.
Things I Bought to Make Things Work for Me
Ok, my first thought when I started to cook in this kitchen was…..how am I going to steam my vegetables and make hard boiled eggs? I know that may be strange to many, but those are things that I make over and over again. For the last 10 years I had had a steamer unit that was built into my countertop. Easy, peasy. First thing that I purchased was an InstaPot. Can’t believe I had lived without one for so many years. They are extremely handy to have around for more than just vegetables and eggs.
The other appliances that I was missing was my big food processor and heavy duty stand mixer. Our blender of many years died soon after we moved in and I replaced it with a mixer that took care of those other items all rolled into one.
Small Appliances That Are Must Haves for a Downsized Kitchen
What I recommend is really taking a look at the things you use the most in your current kitchen. See if you need to purchase small appliances that are multifunctional since you won’t have as much storage space and counter space. Whether you are a short order cook or really love to cook here are the small kitchen appliances that I feel are must haves.
- Blender/Food Processor
- Coffee or Espresso Machine. We love our Jura F50 Classic.
- InstaPost (multicooker)
- Slow Cooker
- Immersion Blender
- Toaster oven
- Good Hand Mixer
- Air Fryer (I even make baked potatoes in mine since there’s only one oven now.)
Thanks so much for taking the time to read about my coping methods for a much smaller kitchen this past year. I can’t wait to plan and design a new one. But until then, we are still able to have lovely meals and I have learned some new cooking skills at the same time. We always have to look for that silver lining. If downsizing is on your radar screen, then here’s a great article I came across about things to consider for the process. I’m always happy to answer any questions you have about the process of getting ready for this life change.
What a challenge. We did get rid of a lot when we moved (like it’s silly to have 10 different wooden spoons, haha), but we have grown to love our air fryer especially since we purchased the kind that can be a toaster oven, etc!!
Exactly. I got rid of so many duplicates. I did keep most of my spatulas/cooking spoons. There were so many things that I really didn’t use. I think that my style of cooking has changed so much the last 10 years and that really impacted what I used. I will say that I miss my double ovens. The InstaPot has been a very worthwhile purchase too. I use it a lot more than I thought I would.
We moved six years ago. Our kitchen here is smaller and has less counter space. It really did make a difference.
Your advice about purchasing appliances with dual purposes is a great suggestion.
You don’t realize how much space you actually use until you don’t have it. What I didn’t realize is how many meals I cooked that I used 2 ovens at the same time. The air fryer has really come in handy for that substitute. I now bake my potatoes and sweet potatoes there.