Can A Minimalist Have a Full Kitchen?

We have been purging our house since January 2015 (even if we felt like we aren’t very good at it).

Though we’ve gotten rid of over a dozen truckloads, I still feel like I’ve been failing at ‘minimalism’ because of this one room….

The kitchen.

I do feel exhausted with this space. It is our main living space. And living life can be messy.

We spend all of our time right here and all I see are dishes in the sink and remnants of play on every surface.


the kitchen is the heart of the home


It is where all our household management is run out of (code for my laptop and stacks of papers). Everyone’s bags and shoes and coats are tucked into nooks they don’t really belong. It is where legos fill half the dining table, cupboards are full of kid’s crafts, appliances and mixing bowls. There are trails of pillows and princess dresses and baskets of laundry in the corner. ProMomTip: putting it in the corner suddenly makes it invisible!


toddlers playing at dining table
It is because of all this daily life, in spaces it might not fit or belong, that I always feel like I am still failing at simplifying our living space.

But I’m not failing.

I feel the space overwhelm and the defeat because of how we use all this space. Not necessarily because of what is in this space.


By ‘strict minimalist’ standards, we have overstuffed kitchen cupboards. Though we have purged it a few times already,  I feel that now we only have what we really want (except for all the extra glass jars, because what is wrong with me!? I’m turning into my grandparents!).

But we did get rid of lots of things.  Like the collection of 43 forks, extra bakeware, so much plastic, all our mismatched drinking glasses, mammoth utensils we never really used, small appliances that never saw much love, about 10 to-go coffee cups (we only need 2-4!).



We have lots of ‘kitchen stuff’, and though I feel frustrated in this space because it becomes hub of life. But, I don’t mind all the things here that actually fit and belong in the kitchen, because we use it all.

We will never have a ‘minimalist kitchen’, and I think that is great because minimalism is something that helps you declutter the excess and uncover your real priorities. FOOD is our priority. It is something we devote our time, money and space to. We are a family centered around food.

dad and kids in the kitchen toddler with csa farm box garlic

Every special event in this house requires the slow planning and preparing of meals and cakes together.

We have regular spaghetti dinners with candles and Italian music. . . .

toddler learning to cook
We spend slow mornings making waffles and having kitchen dance parties.

It is the buffet zone for our great big BBQs with all the wonderful people we’ve found in this small mining town.

This place is where I gather my momfriends over for some tea and something gluten-free that I’ve neglected to follow the recipe, but they eat it anyways, because #momlife…..

It is where each of my kids (at least the first two) ate the freshest of homemade babyfood that I was SURE would lead them to a lifetime love of chickpeas and vegetables. (It didn’t)

And though they think it’s their own little secret, it is where Lenayah has a quiet, attention-rich 4am breakfast with just her Dad when she hears him up getting ready for work in the morning.

The kitchen is the heart of our home, and there is lots of ‘stuff’. But it has value to us. So I’m okay with it.



I’ve found the more I purge, the more I want to purge.  This is because I feel it, I see it, I get it: the more we’ve removed all the stuff we didn’t love, we are left with the things we do love. The things we want to grow our family around, the hobbies we will actually do, the everyday passions we have.

I think this will be unique to each family. There might be a family that loves camping, or sports, or music. For us, it is food – the ritual of preparing, the learning of it, the growing, the simmering, the seasoning and the gathering around the table together. And cheese. And #plattersofemotion.



The idea of becoming a minimalist family can feel really distant to most people. But it isn’t so black and white. It isn’t about a stark house filled with only three wooden toys for the children and set of ceramic bowls for all meals.  It is a tool to help you find out more about the life you do want.  It is about going through the purging process. Letting go of what needs letting go, removing the excess distractions and filling your home with things of value to you and your family.


Side note: Because we love food so much….and saving money, I’ve started this brand new Pinterest board called Frugal Foodies board for me and some fellow moms to post recipes we have tried and loved. If you would like to join it and pin along with us, then follow me on Pinterest and send me a message 🙂 The more the merrier!

Visit Shawna Scafe’s profile on Pinterest.


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