The Capsule Kitchen Method Will Make You Love Cooking Again
WHAT IS A CAPSULE KITCHEN?
If you’ve been anywhere on the internet in the last 5 years, you’ve undoubtedly heard about the concept of a capsule wardrobe—a closet “full” of only essential garments that are high quality, timeless, and perfectly tailored to you.
A capsule kitchen is the same.
A capsule kitchen is a straightforward approach to creating a simplified kitchen full of everything you need, and nothing you don’t.
This minimalist approach allows you to make room in your cabinets, on your countertops, and within your heart for many beautiful meals prepared for the ones you love.
WHY YOU NEED A CAPSULE KITCHEN
A cluttered kitchen kills the joy of cooking. And if we’re going to cook most days of our lives, I believe we deserve to actually enjoy it.
A capsule kitchen will bring simplicity to your cooking and grocery routine, so you can:
- RECLAIM TIME: The more "stuff" you have to manage, the more time it takes to manage it.
- REDUCE WASTE: A streamlined kitchen inventory will ensure you utilize the ingredients you have before they go to waste.
- SAVE MONEY: Make delicious meals out of simple, affordable staples, and avoid impulse buys and "extras" that burn your budget.
- FIND JOY: You'll enjoy the art of cooking more when you focus on fewer, simpler, fresher ingredients.
5 PRINCIPLES TO CREATE YOUR OWN CAPSULE KITCHEN
Ready to get started making your own capsule kitchen? Here are the five principles to creating the simplified kitchen of your dreams!
1. 80%/20% Rule
It’s a safe bet that right now you’re using only about 20% of the items in your kitchen on a daily, or even weekly basis. That’s 80% of your storage and energy that isn’t being used.
Flip that ratio and strive for a kitchen stocked with more of the items you use every day and fewer of the items you use only occasionally.
Obviously, we all have a few serving pieces, spices, and ingredients that we hold on to for the right occasion, but by being intentional and creative with what you have, you’ll get to use more of the things you love, without the burden of the things you don’t.
2. Invest Up Front
Buy pieces designed to or proven to last rather than pieces that are trendy or low quality.
Buying one set of pans that will last is cheaper than many pans that will fail you along the way.
Make sure you not only love the function of a piece but the feel and look as well. Cooking is an innately sensorial activity so you want every aspect to be pleasing. And a well-designed metal mixing bowl or beautifully aged wood spoon can easily double as a serving piece when needed.
3. Cook To Your Kitchen
It can be tempting to attempt the latest internet-breaking recipes and jump on the latest gadget-requiring food trends but resist the temptation to do so.
Stock your kitchen with the basics and then cook to that as much as you can. If you keep finding recipes that require a special tool or gadget, wait to pull the trigger until you find multiple, tangible uses for that tool.
This applies to ingredients as much as it does tools. If you simply have to make that recipe with a unique ingredient, look up others that use the same ingredient and plan to make them soon so you can utilize the ingredient before it moves to a hiding place in the back of your pantry or goes bad.
4. Shop Your Pantry
I can definitely be accused of ignoring what I have on hand to make something I crave. Which results in me bringing more and more into my kitchen rather than managing my “inventory”.
Shop your pantry, and your fridge, first to see what ingredients you have and then plan your meals and your grocery shopping to fill in what you don’t have.
Ideally, pick meals that require more staples you have on hand than new or meals that share specialty ingredients so you’re able to ensure you use all of your ingredients before it goes bad.
5. A Process, Not A Destination
Achieving a Capsule Kitchen is an on-going process, not a nirvana you achieve once and then enjoy forever. (I wish that was the case!)
But it’s inevitable that things will come into your kitchen throughout the year that may not really fit with your ideal Capsule Kitchen. Don’t stress about it.
Before you find a cozy space for it in your kitchen, consider whether its something that you truly love and will use. If not, regift it, donate it, accidentally leave it at a pot luck, or just let it go.
Revisit this list a few times a year against your own kitchen and decide if the “extras” you have need to stay, or can go. Or if it’s something you really love, consider the “one in, one out” rule, and find something to replace it with rather than add.
START YOUR CAPSULE KITCHEN JOURNEY
Need help taking the next steps in your capsule kitchen journey? Download our 21-page guide now to get essential recipes, easy checklists and more to help you create your simplified kitchen!