What's In Our Kitchen?
Before we started traveling full-time, I read everything I could about downsizing, simplifying, and living on the road. I read so many blogs, but when it came to simplifying my kitchen it was a huge process.
When we moved into our 5th wheel, our first trip was to Indiana where my sister proceeded to get rid of nearly half of what I had kept. It was painful but actually very helpful.
Since then, I’ve simplified a bit more and sometimes I’m still overwhelmed by how much stuff we have. I think we could do better and have less, but for now… let’s talk about what we kept in our kitchen!
Let's break this down a bit.
I’ve done away with measuring cups! Yes, I bake a lot, but I’ve discovered I can get by just fine with my 2 large measuring spoons (they used to be a set of 4). One is a 1/2 cup and one is 1/4 cup. They double as serving spoons, and they’re one of my most used items. They’re most commonly used to beat the ice bag to break up the ice for drinks. HA!
I did keep a set of measuring spoons because they are my absolute favorite spoons I’ve ever owned. In the 5th wheel, I started out with like 4 sets of measuring spoons! So yeah, I’ve come a long way.
I have one large spatula that I use often for making breads. I use it to knead the dough in my big mixing bowl so I don’t have to make a huge mess on the counter! I also have 2 small spatulas that are used nearly everyday. Dishes get scraped off into the trash to avoid food going down the drain. They’re also super handy for spreading peanut butter on apples for a quick snack, and their size is great for cleaning out jars of food!
I just recently picked up a flat whisk and I LOVE it. It’s much more compact than the traditional round ones which makes it fit in my drawer better and takes up less space. My sister would argue that I could just use a fork, and I did for a few months, but I like to bake pies and a whisk just comes in handy so many times.
I have 2! One large one for cheeses and a small one for zesting citrus. Yes, I love to make a good Key Lime Pie and I NEED that zester!
We love to make smoothies and having a juicer is key to a good smoothie. Fresh orange juice, frozen strawberries and some mango thrown in a blender…heaven in a cup!
Obviously! If you don’t have a garlic press, I’m not sure we can be friends.
A must for any baker. I used to have like 6 wooden spoons, so yeah! I’ve learned to simplify a bit.
This one we hardly ever use but those few times I need to open a can, it’s a necessity. The Pampered Chef one doesn't leave a sharp edge and I've had it for YEARS.
Yep! I like to peel my carrots. We could get into an argument about how you shouldn’t peel them so you get all the nutrients, but…to each their own. I like my peeled.
Okay, what’s a solid turner? Some call it a flipper. Some call it a spatula. But it’s not a spatula…I never knew what to call it until I started writing this post and looked it up. Turns out, it’s a solid turner! Or call it a pancake flipper…whatever, I don't care! I’ve got one and use it daily!
I was 34 before I bought my first 'real' chef knife. They're not great knives, but affordable-good knives, and they can be sharpened with this! Hallelujah!
Ice Cream Scoop
Okay, okay. If you also live in an RV (with an RV fridge) you know ice-cream just doesn’t stay solid in the freezer (at least, not in ours). However, Jonathan bought this for me on a trip to Portland when we still lived in a house and I just can’t get rid of it. We really never use it so it’ll probably go back to storage (aka: Jonathan’s parents’ attic) when we visit Knoxville this summer.
That may not be a technical term, but I do use it a lot. I could definitely get by without it, but it’s one of those versatile tools. I also use it to scrape off the counter after making pastries or kneading dough. It gets used weekly and I’m keeping it!
I actually have two sets of these. A small pair for salads and a big pair for getting stuff off the grill. We could totally get by with just one set, but...
I finally broke down and replaced my 12 year old knives we got from our wedding with some decent ones from World Market. No, they’re not top of the line, but I love them! They’re weighted nicely and they can be sharpened which is all I cared about. Tired of trying to cut stuff with knives that aren’t sharp! Do yourself a favor and invest in a good set of knives. I find that I could probably get rid of that black handle one, but for now, it stays!
We have 8 EKOBO Side Plates. They’re around 7 inches square and the perfect size for watching your quantities. I love all of their dishes, but so far, I just have their plates. We used to have the gusto bowls but they took up too much room and plates just made more sense for our family.
I actually don’t like our bowl situation. We have 8 stainless steel bowls but they can get too hot to touch which means we have to use plates underneath. I’m still wanting to replace them with small bowls from EKOBO and hope to do that soon. These will go in 'storage' when we make it back to TN this summer.
Gasp! I know, I know. Sometimes you just have to do it. We burn them if we can…if not, they’ll decompose at some point. Sorry earth.
Okay. I blame it on World Market! We were in search of a tiny bowl for soy sauce cause I like to make sushi and then we saw these! I had to have them. We bought two, then I got sad when we went to the car that the kids din’t have any, so Jonathan went back in and got 4 more! We use them for movie nights when we have popcorn and Reece Pieces or M&Ms. Perfect little serving size.
Yellow Side Dish
This is actually one of the EKOBO Gusto Bowls from the set I told you about early that was too big to fit in our drawers. I loved them, but didn’t have room for 6 so I did keep one which has come in very handy for side dishes or just as an extra plate.
I love this Blue Serving Tray from EKOBO. If I had a house, I'd buy all of their items. We use this all the time, plus it's just super cute. Have I mentioned how much I love EKOBO?
Okay…hear me out. At our old house, I had like 12 of everything. When we started traveling I kept 8 of everything. It all matched, blah blah. We’ve lost a few here and there and now we pick up random forks and spoons from Goodwill that we love and I love that they’re all miss matched. It leaves a good reminder of places we’ve been. We all have that one favorite spoon and sometimes we fight over it! Sometimes I just hide it and keep it for myself :)
I bought chop sticks for the kids, but I do make sushi so sometimes we feel a bit fancy eating it the proper way. Random fact: I love to eat pudding with chop sticks! It just makes it last longer!
Hi! My name is Ashley, and I have a cup problem. We have way too many! Another thing we’ll fix when we get to Knoxville. We have several Yeti cups that we don’t use because we mainly just use our Hydro Flask bottles. Jonathan does use his big Yeti cup daily but we have 5 others we need to get rid of! Plus, we have some small cups we keep on hand for guests and if we want a quick swig of green juice. I really love cups. Water bottles are my weakness. This is something we really need to minimize. I think we'll just keep one Hydro Flask per person, and the 4 small Green Steel Cups, and Jonathan's Yeti.
Pots & Pans
If you travel full time, you’ve got to look into these nesting Magma Pots and Pans. They all stack together and take up hardly any room. They’re awesome. Great quality and it’s really all we ever need. Although, I wouldn’t be sad if I acquired a cast iron pan!
Oh, if you could see my old kitchen. I probably had 8 mixing bowls! EIGHT! Like, why in the world would I need eight mixing bowls? Well, to be fair, I did bake a lot of bread for people back in the day and they did get used. But now I have one large mixing bowl and one small one. No, I don’t love them. EKOBO has some great mixing bowls that also come with a strainer which would be awesome to have…maybe when these break I can get new ones!
Yes, I’m telling you. Just because I live in a trailer doesn’t mean I can't bake pies. I don’t do it often, but enough to warrant keeping a pie pan. Plus, I use it for baked dishes. It’s a stone pan and it heats very evenly. I love this thing. It’s from Williams Sonoma and I would highly recommend it if you also like to bake amazing pies.
I have one tiny cookie sheet that gets the job done. One day I'd love to invest in a good baking stone, but for now, this is it!
Yeah, I could probably do without one, but sometimes it’s nice to bake muffins with fresh blueberries from Main or Oregon! Plus, it's from my late Grandma's kitchen and I just could never part with it.
See, if I got the EKOBO mixing bowls, they come with a strainer and I could get rid of this janky one! I think I need to place an order!
Storage Containers For Food
Okay friends. I love glass containers, but sometimes they’re not the best choice when you're home is bumping down a dirt road. I do have 2 small Anchor containers with lids that I love for left overs in the fridge, but they’re heavy!
If I lived in a house, I would have glass containers for everything but I live in a house that moves 60 MPH on a highway and bounces down washboard roads. So, sometimes you just have to use plastic. We have several different kinds of storage containers but the Ikea ones are my favorite for living on the road. They stack great, come in different sizes and the clear lids are perfect for knowing what's inside. If you're near an IKEA, that store is so great for traveling families. Loads of ideas for storage and organization in small spaces.
We have blue bins we got from Target that help contain food in the pantry. Keeping everything organized is key in a small space. You’ve got to know what you have and be able to see it. And keep it from sliding all over the place and falling onto the floor when you’re driving down the road! We even have these in our shoe drawer to keep everyones shoes organized!
I use OXO containers I got for white sugar, brown sugar, and flour. I don’t love them. The lids don’t fit tightly, but they’re fine for now. They’ve never fallen over so, that’s a plus I guess.
Ikea Grundtal Containers
We have a few of these Ikea Grundtal storage containers. The two round storage containers are for pens and pencils (something we have way too many of). One of the rectangular ones stores Kleenex because I hate having a Kleenex box out on the counter. The other rectangular box is a bunch of random crap that accumulates. Think of it as our 'junk drawer.'
Say what? We live in an Airstream, we don't have an 'outdoor kitchen', but we do have things we use to cook with that are outside! So, it's kinda like we have an outdoor kitchen.
This is a huge part of how we cook. We have a Davy Crocket Green Mountain Grill. It's freaking amazing. We smoke huge pork butts, whole chickens, cookies, pies, bread. I love that we can control it from our phones since it has built in wifi. We use it all the time and would highly suggest it if you have room for a grill/smoker in your truck! If you don’t have room, make room cause it’s that awesome!
We just purchased this Camp Chef Everest Stove because come summer, I’m not going to want to be cooking meals inside. Some days it’s just too warm to do that so I’m thankful we now have the option to cook outside!
We went with a Nutri Ninja, but this is something that I go back and forth on. I don’t like having to use specific cups with this blender cause storage is an issue, but when I want a blended chai or the kids want a fruit smoothie, I’m thankful I can do it. We also made sure to get one that doesn't overpower our Inverter output of 1000 watts.
Hand Held Mixer
I only use a hand held KitchenAid mixer for pies. I'm telling you, come hang out with us for a few days and you'll likely end up with a nice Chocolate Meringue Pie or a decadent Key Lime Pie and you'll be glad I have this mixer :)
Berkey Water Filter
I can’t emphasize enough how much we love our Berkey. We’ll never be without one! You can read more about it here, but seriously…research what’s in the water you drink…it’s scary. GET A BERKEY!
Wasn't sure if I should include this in the post but I'm going to so...sorry. At only 7.5 cubic feet, this Nova Kool fridge is the perfect size for our family of 6. In our house, we got the biggest most expensive and fancy fridge we could. Now, I think this is the most perfect size plus it's 12 volt which means it runs off of our solar power and we don't have to worry about the ever too common propane fridge fires! Seriously, if you have a propane fridge...make sure you have a fire extinguisher!
Other Random Things in the Kitchen I Find Useful
My kitchen scissors were hidden in Jax’s bed when I took the picture of our utensils. But yes, I love me some good kitchen scissors. I use them daily and they’re perfect for cutting bacon…or for Jax to cut up straws in his bed???
We went a little overkill on our sink purchase during the renovation. It’s huge! I now wash dishes in this white basin so that I use less water. Plus it can be taken outside to wash dishes if it’s nice out! Win/Win
This colander fits perfectly in our sink! It’s from Ikea and I use it to put our clean dishes in so that they can air dry a bit before we dry them with a towel.
I love, love, love Turkish towels. But seriously…do your kitchen towels get stained like mine? Like, mine are embarrassingly stained. I use them to get dishes out of the oven, pans out of the grill, cleaning up messes, and drying dishes (of course I use freshly laundered ones for drying dishes).
But man, they get stained so fast! I always see peoples kitchen pictures with perfectly placed kitchen towels that have zero stains. I’m like, “what am I doing wrong?” Is it just me??
Okay RV owners…Does your stove still light with the spark knob? Ours hardly ever works so we just light it up with the lighter. Yoga and a lighter are necessities when lighting that pilot light :)
If you don’t have a fire extinguisher, go out today and get one. Pray that you never have to use it, but if you do, you’ll be glad you have one handy.
Hidden Trash Can
It may be something that you didn’t think about, but most RVs don’t have a space for a large trash can. We wanted to make sure we had room for one, but we wanted it out of sight. Thankfully my dad is a master builder! He made this awesome trash bin and even built the custom size trash can to fit perfectly! It’s as large as it can be to fit a standard 13 gallon trash bag. I love that it’s out of sight. This is also where we keep our fire extinguisher and extra trash bags!
I have a love hate relationship with this market bag. It’s too long to put where I want it and we eat a lot of fruit so it’s too heavy to hang on these birds if I put all the fruit in it. I just don’t have a great place for it so I’m not sure it will 'hang around' much longer. Perhaps when we go to Indiana I’ll make some kind of fruit storage that I can mount to the wall! That would be awesome!
Random Storage Boxes
I’ve had the wooden box with 4 drawers since Adali was a baby. I found it at my favorite store, World Market, and am so glad I bought it. It’s one of my all-time favorite purchases. We keep our essential oils in it. Yes, It’s big and I could put our oils in a much smaller bag and take up less room, but it’s one thing that I never get tired of looking at…
The blue box may get left behind in Knoxville this summer but for now, it holds our extra cups.
We have exactly one useable wall in our kitchen for 'decor'. So, not much room for cute stuff! However, it's important to love what you have so, I made sure that whatever goes on this wall...I LOVE IT!
I get asked about these bird hooks all the time. They're cast iron and my favorite part of our kitchen. I found them before we even started our renovation and made sure to have the perfect place for them.
You either love them or you hate them. I love this Mini Board for our tiny home. It's the perfect size to put snarky comments on!
Adali and I have started making some macrame items (when we have spare time) that we sell on @tinyshinyhomestead. We will be using the money we make to save for buying land to start a small homestead one day!
Well, I think we just about covered it! As you can see, things get moved around often in this tiny kitchen. I crave change, even if it's just moving a couple boxes in this tiny space.
If you stuck around and read this whole post, you’re a rock star and should win a medal! I hope this helps someone who is struggling to downsize their kitchen! Or perhaps it will inspire you to simplify what’s in your home! You’d be amazed at how much you have in your kitchen that you don’t really need.
Good luck my friends, and remember:
You don’t need more organization, you need less stuff!
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