Examples of today’s mini mission

Today’s mini mission is ~ Declutter one hand powered kitchen gadget you don’t use enough to warrant wasting the space on. So let me give you some examples of the things like this that I can remember decluttering over my four year mission. Hopefully that will give you inspiration to let go of a few yourself.

Flour Sieve ~ I had had my flour sieve since before I was married. It used to belong to my Grandmother. I used it most times when I baked. However in a mission to minimise and simplify in my kitchen I decided that I didn’t need this item. I already had three progressive sized multipurpose sieves that I used for all other sieving need. I figured these could suffice to take care of the flour as well.

Garlic Press ~ To begin with I usually bought crushed garlic in a jar. But then I discovered that fresh garlic was much better. By this time I had already decided that my garlic press didn’t work all that well and was difficult to clean. I am sure there are better ones on the market but instead I chose to use the internet to get tips on chopping and mincing garlic with a knife and never found the need again for a gadget to do this task with.

Hand Powered Rotary Mixer ~ This one was easy because I hardly ever used it because I had long ago decided that I preferred other methods of whisking and mixing ingredients. This one was too laborious and besides I rarely bake these days.

Box Style Microplane Grater ~ Once again, this item was rarely used. It was cumbersome and bulky. I had two or three other flat microplane graters to perform any task this one could, and they took up less room. I sold this one on ebay.

Apple Corer ~ A knife can do this job quite well and since I wasn’t coring a multitude of apples everyday then I didn’t need a faster method. Out it went.

Gas Stove Igniter ~ I hadn’t had a gas stove in at least 15 years or a BBQ in about 8 years so I sure didn’t need this gadget. I now have a gas stove again but it has inbuilt igniters. So no regrets there.

A Rotary Grater ~ I must have had some sort of obsession with graters at some point. This one was only being used for one purpose in the end. That was for thinly slicing apple for making Polish Apple Pancakes. I only make these every now and again and slicing the apples is a job easily done with a knife. That freed up a good bit of space in my utensils drawer.

I think this is enough examples to give you the idea of my thinking when it came to letting go of these items. I could have kept them, sure, and I probably would have continued to use them occasionally, but my goal was to free up space. With less items in my kitchen to choose from I didn’t didn’t find preparing food any harder in fact I found working in my kitchen more efficient, therefore actually saving me time. With less stuff to dig through to find the items I needed I simply wasted less time.

From my kitchen, I also decluttered numerous crockery items, utensils, baking trays, glassware and plastic storage containers. The more I removed the more pleasant the working conditions in this area became. And now that I have a slightly smaller kitchen I am still on the look out for more items I don’t really have a need for. My goal now is to make a little space in my kitchen cupboards so I can move some of my most frequently used craft items closer to the kitchen bench where I do my crafting these days. This will make crafting more efficient as well.

Today’s Mini Mission

Declutter one hand powered kitchen gadget you don’t use enough to warrant wasting the space.

Eco Tip for the Day

Subscribe to your local government newsletter, if they have one. This will keep you abreast of the chemical and electrical recycling opportunities they have on offer. I read my Newcastle City Council newsletter this week and discovered dates for these and other drop off days coming up soon in my area.

For a full list of my eco tips so far click here

It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow

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About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.


  1. Hi Colleen,

    My goal is also to free up space, especially on the kitchen counter. In 2012, I got a convection microwave as a gift. I let it go last year. Although the convenience of a microwave cannot be underestimated, I found I have less use for it. I don’t bake or cook anything in the microwave, so I didn’t want to keep it just for re-heating food. We have a gas stove and use that for everything. Now I have more space on my kitchen counter and one less thing to maintain. Also, I returned the microwave to the person who gifted it to me and she was more than happy to take it back since she has more use for it than I do.

    • Hi Saigeetha, well done handing on something you don’t use. I have always wondered how good convection microwave ovens are. Do they bake and roast as good as a normal oven. I ask because I hate cleaning the oven and considered replacing my microwave with a convection one if it ever breaks down.

      • I have never baked or roasted anything in the convection microwave. I just used it to thaw food from the freezer or heat up some soup. Now I just keep the food outside the fridge for a few minutes and warm it slightly on the gas stove.

  2. I went through my kitchen back in January, but it needs done again with a more ruthless hand. How did I end up with this much stuff in the first place?

    • Hi Shoeaholic…, there is nothing wrong with returning to a more ruthless declutter over and over again. We see things differently as we become more dedicated to reducing and work to that. Well done.

  3. GracefromBrazil

    I use a lot of fresh garlic. I grate my garlic with a handy flat grater that I use for other things like cheese (can’t get it pre-grated where I live), carrots for quicker stir fries. It is so easy to clean as well. I can grate over the pan so I don’t even have to use a cutting board. Ohhh the smell : )

    I also don’t have a mixer and have not missed it. It is amazing what you can do by hand.

    • Hi Grace…, I have to say I have never grated garlic but it have grated carrots plenty of times. I just discovered a use for one of my microplane graters for a craft project, justifying its position in my house even more.

  4. The toaster and the electric can opener (not hand powered, but the easiest pickings). These were housewarming gifts and have only been used once each in 14 years. I have an older house with only one outlet near the countertop so small appliances have to live on a shelf in the pantry and be carried to the kitchen be used. I find that I use the manual can opener and the toaster oven instead. These need to be dusted off and carried to the donation box.

  5. This one is a challenge when other family members like gadgets you don’t need.

    • Marianne, we all have gadgets we don’t need. I have my share of those. But I limit them to ones I use. I would never suggest not to own gadgets at all. Some of them are so useful and so much fun. But any that aren’t used then why keep them.

      • Wisch you could convince my husband that we don’t need a mushroom slicer, egg slicer, etc. I am happy to just use a knife myself. He puts up with the dog, so it’s fair for me to give him some slack. Wie rarely use the apple corer, etc., so I would dump it in a heartbeat myself.

        • Hi Marianne, I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a mushroom slicer. They must be the easiest thing int he world to slice, the fact that someone designed a gadget for it boggles my mind.

    • Agreed

  6. Today I realized I don’t need 2 strainers. I tested out the one tonight that I rarely used. I don’t like it as much as the one I usually use so I will donate on my next trip. Although the one I am keeping is bulkier, it is my preference so I will honor my choice.

    • Hi Anna, I have three and I use them all. One is slowly breaking though and might not be replaced. We all do things a little differently and that is why we declutter to suit ourselves too. We don’t need to follow others, often that is what gets us in a cluttered mess in the first place.

  7. Our microwave died. We use it more each day than the stove or oven. We are going to replace it. But there are a lot of other things that I’m so glad we have decluttered. I can’t even think of them all right now. Garlic press. A fancy cheese slicer we never used. Nut cracker. Funnels. Various sieves. Melon baller. Baster. Hand powered mixer. Garlic press. Appel corer. And on and on. SO glad they are all gone.

    • So many of those things sound familiar Deb. If I didn’t declutter them in the last four years I did some time before that. Like you I am so glad they are gone and I have a much more functional kitchen for it.

  8. I use my hand mixer quit often as there is no room in my new kitchen for my old Oster Kitchen Center, which I also used frequently when it was out. On the same point I have found I prefer my immersion blender of my stand-up one as it is easier to use and easier to clean. Unfortunately, I do have need to drag that think out a couple times a year. Finally, if I were the only one cooking in my kitchen I would keep my box grater and ditch the flat one. I am certain I will find something, electronic or not, to remove from the kitchen today.

    • Hi Chris, sorry for the late publish and reply. Like you I like my immersion blender better but we are opposite on the box greater. I find I only grate small amounts of stuff these days and I have all, very sharp, microplane graters so don’t feel the need for a box one any more. I did use one for the first 20+ years of marriage though.

  9. this has no relation to anything in the post, but is a spoof on “government spending” to give everyone a little chuckle: