8 Little Things That Seem Unnecessary but Totally Aren’t

updated May 1, 2019
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We hate clutter and junk more than anyone. If you can get by with one oven mitt, why amass a collection of five? Sometimes, though, little things that seem silly are actually super helpful. Here are eight seemingly unnecessary things our staffers couldn’t live without.

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1. A spoon rest

Whether you get an actual spoon rest, or you just start using a small plate to hold your spoons between stirring sessions, you need something here. By using a spoon rest, you have a set place to put your dirty spoon besides your sink (which means you can’t use it again) or your counter (which makes your counter dirty).

3 Spoon Rests We Love

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2. A lemon squeezer

Squeezing lemons by hand (for vinaigrettes, cocktails, and more) is a total pain — especially with all those pesky seeds. Get a lemon squeezer and you’ll get all the juice without having to worry about seeds sneaking through.

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3. A pair of shears

We know what you’re thinking, “I have a sharp knife, isn’t that enough?” No. No, it is not. Shears can help you cut up a chicken, open packages, chop herbs, and more.

Our favorite: Wüsthof Kitchen Shears, $20

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4. A ring dish

Rings really should go somewhere when you’re washing dishes and cleaning produce. If you take them off and leave them on the counter all willy nilly, you risk losing them. Have a designated spot for them and you’ll always know where they are.

3 Ring Dishes We Love

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5. Dishwashing gloves

They may seem like a staple for housewives in the 1950s, but rubber gloves continue to earn their keep in the modern kitchen. They’re a luxury that you’re going to be happy to have. Promise.

Our favorite: Casabella Waterblock Gloves, $8

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6. A garlic press

C’mon, you knew we were going to include the garlic press on this list. For many, it’s a controversial pick, but we are totally pro garlic press here at Kitchn. If it makes your life easier, why wouldn’t you be?

Our favorite: OXO Garlic Press, $16

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7. A baby whisk

If you’re just scrambling two eggs for breakfast, a little baby whisk is all you need. No need to dirty a bigger one. Bonus: It’s small so it doesn’t take up that much space.

Our favorite: Norpro Mini Whisk, $9

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8. Nonstick Silicone Baking Mats

Yes, parchment paper can do many of the things that these mats can do, but these are reusable and will help you make perfectly baked cookies every single time.

Our favorite: Half-Sheet Silpat, $25

Did we leave anything off? Add your own suggestions in the comments below!