Until last week this was the state of the top of our refrigerator – a cluttered eyesore packed with small kitchen appliances that we didn't have room to store elsewhere. Then, in a fit of spring cleaning, we decided we'd had enough. Every small appliance in our kitchen – 13 in all – was subjected to scrutiny with the goal of getting rid of anything we didn't really "need."
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to appliance assessment and purging. For us, the factors included kitchen space, cooking styles, frequency of use, performance, and how essential (to us) an appliance is for a particular activity. We wanted to share our thought process in the hope that it may help others to assess their own appliances and kitchens and make them less cluttered, more useful, and more beautiful.
|Stand mixer: Ahh, my beloved KitchenAid Epicurean mixer! This was a gift from my parents nine years ago. It has always been a challenge to find room for it in our small apartments, and I don't use it every day or even every week. But, like Sarah Rae, I consider it one of the Basic Baking Tools I Can't Live Without. I also use it to roll pasta.|
|Upright blender: Our blender had such a weak motor that my boyfriend and I rarely used it. Time to say farewell! We can get by with our food processor, though we're also considering replacing it with a space-friendly immersion blender (any favorites to recommend?).|
|Rice cooker: It took a long time to let go of this one. What "proper Asian household" doesn't have a rice cooker?! But the truth is we never really liked the Zojirushi and have found that we can make rice just fine in a ddukbaegi on the stove. We don't miss the rice cooker at all!|
|Food processor: Not everyone needs a food processor but in our home it gets used all the time for soups, sauces, nut butter, bread crumbs, doughs, and more. (Check out these Top Ten Ways to Use Your Food Processor!) Keeping it was a no brainer.|
|Juicer: Ever since I bought the Hurom Slow Juicer I've become one of those juicing fanatics and use it almost daily. It works beautifully, feels like it will last a long time, and has a relatively small footprint. I also waste fewer fruits and vegetables now that I can juice them.|
|Electric kettle: I loved this Breville One-Touch Tea Maker and the quality of tea it brewed. So why part with it? Ultimately I realized heating water in a pot on the stove works well enough for me. Plus, I thought my boyfriend's mom would appreciate it even more. At least we can visit it!|
|Convection toaster oven: Our Breville Smart Oven hogs up a lot of counter space but it uses less energy and time than our full-size. We use it all the time for baking, roasting, reheating, and in place of a toaster or microwave.|
|Coffee maker: My boyfriend uses this Jasper Morrison coffee maker daily and it actually looks nice on the counter, so it gets to stay.|
|Coffee grinder: I'd be up for replacing this with a charming non-electric coffee grinder (not that it would save space) but I don't think my boyfriend would agree first thing in the morning!|
|Seltzer water maker: We're keeping the SodaStream for my boyfriend, who likes to drink soda. It doesn't take up too much space, helps cut down on plastic waste, and friends always seem to enjoy trying it when they come over.|
|Hand mixer: This is useful for those times when I want to make whipped cream without hauling down the KitchenAid or whisking by hand. I also take it with me when making and serving desserts at relatives' houses or other places without a mixer.|
|Waffle cone maker: We got this for one reason only: to make waffle cone pasta. It was fun but certainly not a necessity. Off to Goodwill it goes.|
|Yogurt maker: We used this a lot when we first got it but haven't touched it in years. It's totally possible to make yogurt without a yogurt maker and we've given ourselves one month to use this or it's gone.|
We also regained quite a bit of cupboard space after the weevil incident
(a blessing in disguise!) and some additional reorganization. We're happy to report that all of the appliances we've decided to keep can now be stored out of sight, except for the stand mixer, which is so tall it must live on top of the fridge, and the coffee maker and countertop oven. The kitchen feels lighter, cleaner, and ready for spring!
: Kitchen Cure Week 2: Clean Out Tools & Gadgets
(Images: Emily Ho; Amazon.com)