Living in an RV for almost 4 years has taught me a thing or two about kitchen necessities. When we were packing up our possessions, I quickly realized that I would need to get rid of 80% of my kitchen “stuff” in order to fit what I needed into my tiny new kitchen. I was totally confused about what to keep and what to donate. I think culture and society has taught us to think that we NEED certain things, but we don’t need any of this stuff. We USE it. I will say that in the beginning, I probably got rid of too much of what I used and kept too much of things I really no longer used. So, if you live with a small kitchen whether it be in an RV or an apartment or studio, hopefully this article will be helpful to you.
Here is what I’ve learned:
DONATE – donate the things you’re aren’t going to keep to a friend or family member who is in need or give them to someone with more space to store stuff:
Extra silverware. Chances are, if you live in a space small enough to care about this article, you won’t be entertaining that many guests in your abode, hence no need for extras. Keep at least 4 of each piece. If you have large or multiple sets that you want to keep for the future, store them somewhere.
Lots of gadgets. Keep the ones you use at least once a week. The ones you can’t remember ever using more than once or can’t even remember what they’re used for, donate. If you don’t do this, they will end up shoved in the back of your drawer or cupboard, taking up valuable real-estate.
More than one of. This is self-explanatory. I’m not talking about silverware and dishes here. Since there are only 2 of us, I keep 4 of each silverware piece and four bowls, plates etc. You can always store the sets for use if you do get a bigger place. I am talking about utensils, colanders, mixing bowls, cutting boards, etc. Keep one of each of each type of utensil you USE on a regular basis. If you don’t use it, or don’t even know what it’s used for, get rid of it. Keep one of each size mixing bowl, although I recommend tossing the smaller ones because you can always use a big one for any small mixing endeavors. Keep one wooden cutting board and one plastic. I recommend one large and one medium-sized. Keep your favorite colander (I recommend the ones that collapse) to save even more space and I would also keep a small strainer.
Appliances. I know that purging perfectly good and working appliances is difficult, but if you don’t use it, you don’t need it taking up more space. We received so many appliances for wedding gifts but I only used about half of them. I donated our big toaster and opted for a smaller one that I could store under my stove. I sold our giant juicer and ended up getting a Nutribullet which is about 1/3 of the size and I use it so much more than I did the juicer. We got rid of our smaller crock pot and kept the large one which I have already had to replace because it gets so much use. I can also store smaller items in the large crock pot which saves space. My 12 cup coffee pot went to a friend in need and eventually I got a single serve Keurig with a 20% off coupon from Bed Bath and Beyond.
Cleaning supplies. You only need a dishwashing liquid (or powder if you have a dishwasher), disinfectant, such as Lysol or Clorox, Windex, a sponge or brush for your dishes and a sponge for wiping down counters. I would also recommend acquiring a “sink caddy” to put your sponges or dish brushes in.
Keep… for now. You can always change your mind later and donate the things you initially decide to keep. For now, I would suggest keeping this list short. You’ll be thankful later on when you’re not attempting to shove stuff into your drawers could never possibly fit. Nobody wants to l
ive like that and getting used to living and functioning in a small space is difficult enough.
Keep indefinitely. Things that you really like or are family heirlooms. Things that you can’t replace or feel like you can’t live without. As long as you really like it, I think you should keep it. You can always change your mind later on down the road. I have a set of vintage dishes that were used and given to me by my God Mother and I will never let them go. Not only do they have sentimental value, I absolutely love them.