5 Kitchen Things I’m Glad I Got Rid Of — And the One I Already Miss
In a social isolation-influenced burst of the Konmari method, I completely overhauled my kitchen cupboards and drawers. I tried to look honestly at every tool, plate, and pot and ask myself a few questions: How often have I used this in the last year? How much space does it take up? And, maybe most importantly, Can it perform more than one task? Man, did I learn a lot about myself.
Turns out, I had more than a few things that didn’t spark joy. I gifted the majority of these things to friends, but also kept a small box of tools and utensils that I plan on bringing to Goodwill once they begin accepting donations once more.
Here’s what I said goodbye to.
1. Salad Spinner
Does the internet need another think piece about the inefficiency of salad spinners? Probably not. So I’ll just say this: I feel so free without my salad spinner taking up space in a cabinet! It was one of the biggest items in my cupboard, believe it or not. Now, I have more room for snacks, which is important. I also do not miss washing and drying three different pieces of waffled plastic. To work around its absence, I have been purchasing head lettuce, not spring mix. It’s much easier to rinse full, large leaves and pat them dry with a clean tea towel. I haven’t yet tried the helicopter plastic bag method, but I’ve heard good things.
2. Plastic Wrap
These days, I’m extra conscious about the amount of waste I produce while cooking. When possible, I have replaced single-use plastics with reusable options. So, the plastic wrap had to go. I gave away my last roll and replaced it with assorted sizes of eco-conscious Bee’s Wrap. While I was initially skeptical about its clinging power, I’ve got to hand it to the bees: This stuff works. I used to wrap cut fruits, vegetables, cheese, bread, and pretty much everything else in plastic wrap. Now that I’m using Bee’s Wrap, I’m happy to report that it fits snug and cozy around literally everything. I will offer this piece of advice: Although you can rinse it and reuse it (again and again!), it’s best to keep the onion wraps away from the fruit wraps. Strong scents do linger — but it’s a small price to pay.
3. Wine Glasses
Warning: Controversial topic ahead. I will preface this by admitting that I am not a wine snob. I know a little bit about the stuff, but I’m also a big fan of the $9.99 “farmhouse red” bottle at my neighborhood shop. I do know enough to know that, yes, the glassware does matter. A larger and wider bowl allows reds to aerate. A thin flute keeps sparkling bubbles fizzy. I understand these things. And yet, when I’m drinking at home … I just don’t care. For me, the real joy comes from enjoying a little treat at the end of the day. I’m not looking to have an ethereal tasting experience. Even when the wine glasses cluttered my cupboard, I found myself reaching for my favorite ceramic cup instead. I gifted my set of matching glasses to a friend and celebrated by drinking a nondescript sparkling rosé out of an Outlander-themed mug. Slàinte.
4. Full Set of Matching Plates, Bowls & Mugs
I get that having matching dinnerware is nice for special occasions and holiday dinners (should they ever be a thing again). But it just wasn’t worth keeping all of that around for a few times a year. The dinner plates alone took up way too much valuable real estate in my kitchen. Besides, I don’t entertain often enough to justify their presence. Like many home cooks, I do have an assortment of mismatched flatware and plates. I decided to keep all of that, because each one has a story attached to it. The next time I have folks over for a meal, I’ll let them choose their own plate and cup. Because I am a cool and fun hostess.
Am I out of control? Maybe. But I also never have to scrub a colander again. When I started this purge, my goal was to get rid of everything that could only perform one trick. As for that colander, the only thing I ever used it for was straining pasta. And honestly, I barely even used it for that! Most of the time, I just transfer pasta directly from the cooking water to a skillet or sauté pan of sauce by using a spider strainer. A spider is more practical and quicker to clean. It also has the perk of carrying with it a little extra pasta water into your sauce, which is a good thing. If I really miss the colander, I’ve still got a large mesh sieve that will work in a pinch.
I know what you’re wondering, and no. I do not regret saying goodbye to any of these clunkers. But there is one tool I seriously regret giving up. Honestly? I’ve regretted boyfriend breakups less than this.
The One Tool I Wish I Had Kept: Nonstick Skillet
What was I thinking? I love my cast iron skillets so much, and I have many of them, that I figured, “Meh, who really needs a nonstick?” Turns out, I do! I miss my nonstick pan. Although I do use cast iron the majority of time I cook, there are just some things they can’t do. If you’ve ever tried to clean scrambled egg from a cast iron, you know what I’m talking about. Do yourself a favor and never let go of your nonstick skillet. I will be on the hunt for a replacement.
Have you done any kitchen purges recently? Tell us what you’ve gotten rid of and if there’s anything you wish you had kept.