For those of us who live in abodes with less-than-sprawling kitchens, counter space is a precious thing, and it can be hard to decide who gets to hang out in the open. Basically, your countertops are a work space, which means you need space to work, and having each and every appliance out can get kind of crowded.
Photo by Jeremy Levine.
Japanese organising consultant Marie Kondo set off a decluttering craze across the world with her pocket-sized book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. After reading the book, it's easy to see why. This book can transform the way you see your possessions.
Rather than going all Kondo and banishing everything to a drawer or cabinet, I keep my kitchen neat and serviceable by only allowing appliances to live on my counters if they fall into one of the following categories:
You use it at least twice a week
Look around your kitchen and take note of what you use the most. For me, it's my Anova Precision Cooker (and accompanying Cambro), my vacuum sealing system, a cast iron pan, a cutting board, and my mortar and pestle. With the exception of the cast iron pan — which I keep on the stove or in the oven — all of those things have a place on the counter, because diving in to a cabinet to dig them out would cause me almost daily annoyance. It's important to be really honest with yourself here, because the point of this rule is to streamline your kitchen in a way that fits your unique needs, and you may find yourself storing appliances that most people would never think of putting away. For example, I get most of my caffeine from Diet Coke and cold brew concentrate, so my coffee pot lives in a cupboard.
It's heavy or cumbersome
I don't use my KitchenAid stand mixer on a daily, or even weekly basis, but I'll be damned if I'm going to try and pull that thing down from a shelf every time I feel the need to bake or (during the summer months) churn ice cream. My Instant Pot, however, is surprisingly easy to move around, so that stays in a cabinet until needed.
Looking at it brings you joy
Do I use every single wooden spoon I own twice a week? No, but they look really cool grouped together — kind of like a pretty kitchen tool bouquet — so I like keeping them out on display in a cute little crock. I also like looking at my red stand mixer, which is another reason I keep it on the counter.
Again, I'll stress the whole point of this is to create a cooking space that is tailored to your very specific needs, no matter how niche the appliance. Drink a constant stream of bespoke carbonated beverages but only enjoy a smoothie a couple of times a month? Keep that Soda Stream out and store the blender, societal norms be damned.