Kitchen Minimalism - The art of keeping your stuff but not too much stuff

Growing up in the 1980s in the Midwest meant transitioning from a culture of keeping stuff that you purchased for a number of years to a culture of buying a bunch of stuff and throwing away only some of it to make room for buying more stuff. The idea of having modern kitchen cabinets was only for the purpose of making room for more stuff, more gadgets, more kitchen. More kitchen meant more kitchen cabinets to store and hide more stuff.

Kitchen minimalism, that is to say, being a kitchen minimalist, means having the utensils that one uses regularly and practically for preparing meals and entertaining one’s guests without allowing kitchen gadgets (which we all love) to overwhelm the function and beauty of our kitchen spaces. It means having what you need, but not hoarding needlessly, things that you might need “someday.”


Kitchen minimalism is the art and practice of having the right number of things in the kitchen to be able to use the kitchen effectively and efficiently, putting everything in its place, out of sight, quickly and easily. Kitchen minimalism is being the master of your kitchen, using the kitchen cabinets but not stuffing them full of things, mismatched and overfull. Minimalist kitchens don’t need to have things out on the counters when they are not being used because everything has a place.


Renown subject matter experts and Netflix documentary stars, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus of The Minimalists, write and discuss their own experiences in minimalism in their own lives and in their own homes - at length. You can watch the trailer for their documentary here: and you can check out their amazing blog here:

In their blog titled, Tour My Minimalist Apartment, Joshua Fields Millburn states, “People are often intrigued by my living space, or rather by the idea of my living space, wondering what it looks like, how a minimalist really lives, often posing all sorts of voyeuristic questions: How many things do you own? What does your living room look like? Do you sleep on the floor?”

No doubt, many can relate to this idea when considering what a minimalist kitchen might be. Is it a blank white room like the TV Room from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory? Is it just a blank nothing with a bar stool and a microwave? - Hardly.


Kitchens have a very specific purpose even though we often take them for granted. This purpose has transitioned over the last 150 years or so, but the fundamental kernel of purpose has remained true - safely feed the people in the home, provide ease and comfort while doing so, and be the hub of activity and work.

Kitchen Minimalism

When we open our homes to guests, naturally, they gather in the heart of the home, the place where all of the action and emotion occur. This is the place where all of our memories are made.

Many times when people are in the kitchen cooking and preparing food, it is natural to come in and check to see what is being made and maybe have a taste. Of course, that leads to conversation and that leads to more people joining in, more conversation and the virtuous cycle begins until nearly everyone is pulled in to the fun.