Creating a “Capsule” of Essentials
In the 1970’s, boutique owner Susie Faux created a collection of a few essential items of clothing that don’t go out of fashion. The idea was that with a few good basics, you could create a wardrobe of clothing that was infinitely useful, always interchangeable, and came with the confidence that no matter which items you paired – you’d be well dressed. The question of “What will I wear?” was drastically simplified by owning less, while each item was of a better quality. Thus the “capsule wardrobe” was born and various clothing designers, boutique owners, consumers, and bloggers have continued the tradition.
I love my capsule wardrobe and find that I am better dressed than ever. I’m wearing better quality clothing, and I leave the house with more confidence. Plus, once I have my capsule in place, I find it much easier to donate good quality items that didn’t make the cut.
Recently I asked myself… “Why can’t I apply this capsule concept to the kitchen?” And that’s how this Capsule Kitchen idea began. And really… what could be more perfect for a tiny house kitchen, than a key group of essentials from which you can cook anything?!
Therefore, I’m bringing you my capsule kitchen with this Tiny House Foodie website. This is a little group of classic foodie essentials that bring cooking back to the age-old basics without sacrificing flavor or contentment.
I’ve recently given my website a big makeover, and set up the material more like a class. You can see the various modules of the class on the front page of the website. Take them at your own pace, and as you dive into each section, follow this simple process:
First, go through your own kitchen with me, section by section.
And the first thing to do is to take inventory. Bring everything out of the cabinets (one section at a time) and put it all on the table or on the counter tops, and have a look around at it all. Does it surprise you that there is so much?
Second, as you look at the collection, look for items that are not good for you.
Toxic Teflon coatings on cookware, or glasses with chips that have made the edges sharp, or plastic that could be leaching chemicals into your food. Immediately remove those items from your collection to the trash, and recycle where possible. Also remove malignant items – things that have a negative memory or sense of shame attached. We have all outgrown having toxic things around, people and malignant things. As an act of self care, remove these items.
Third, assess what’s in your collection.
If items are broken, or if a pan has a loose handle that looks like it might let loose at some inopportune moment, remove those items to the trash. If the mixer has been hanging on by a tattered cord, remove it. Things that are simply worn out may be removed to the trash. I know the environment is in crisis, but your home is not the landfill. You have permission not to live with trash in your home, so quickly remove worn out things from your space. Recycle where possible. Donate if there seems to be some life left in an item.
Now, create the capsule kitchen you want based on the way you cook.
(Not the way you want to cook, or the cook you wish you were… but the way you actually cook today.)
- Consider what equipment in your kitchen gets used once a month or more often, and remove the rest to be donated. Donating rarely used items frees you to be who you are, not who you were.
- Upgrade key items to lifetime pieces using the buyer’s guide on these pages.
- Never purchase something to match your kitchen – always purchase items in the colors you love the most. They will inevitably match or blend nicely together.
A friend of mine suggested to her daughter to purchase a white Kitchen Aid because it would always go with everything. But her daughter was inclined toward a beautiful green one. My friend told me later that she regretted giving this advice to her daughter because she knew that she would find pleasure in having the green one – and it would always match her kitchen because she’s always loved green. Choose colors that match you – and those items will always look great in your kitchen.
Before you begin taking things out of your kitchen cabinets, watch this:
I’ve set this up this website like a class, and the first thing I’d mention may not be the first think you think when you enter your kitchen and take a look around with downsizing on your mind. However, it’s foundational to the process. So today we begin by asking “What’s your Why?” Think about it, find me on social media and leave me a comment. I look forward to hearing from you.
Next, pick your favorites.
Your assignment for the day is to look around your kitchen and choose your favorite items. Get everyone in the family in on this. Choose items that have good memories and stories attached. Choose items that are beautiful and useful. Narrow it down to just three items per person in the household. It may seem like an easy assignment, but it may be harder than you think. This is where the simplicity of the Capsule Kitchen begins.
My very favorite thing in my kitchen is a vivid fuchsia Kitchen Aid. When we had the restaurant we had to create a schedule for using the one Kitchen Aid so it was time to purchase another to improve efficiency. I happened to be walking by when my husband was shopping for the new one and saw the vivid fuchsia one and exclaimed over how beautiful it was. Then I caught myself, because that wasn’t the wise purchase at that time. Later when the box came and the gorgeous Kitchen Aid was inside and my Austrian just shrugged and said “It matches you…” and that simple machine became an example of the way he loves me extravagantly. What a blessing he is to me! Guess what’s on my counter in my kitchen – even though I don’t bake as much these days because of food allergies?!
Finally, Choose Your Cause
Today we talk about selling, donating, and giving away the things in your home that no longer serve your purpose. What is the charity in your area that supports a cause that matters to you? What kinds of donations do they accept? What other options do you have that are unique to your area and your values? How can you use your extra stuff to support these missions in your community? Prepare a few boxes for the things you no longer need and make a plan now to deliver those items to the charity of your choice. I’d love to hear how it’s going with you, please connect with me on social media and let me know how it’s going.
There is an exciting transformation ahead of you!