Can one ever have too many kitchen tools? | Living with Gleigh

I recently reorganized my kitchen tools. They have been stored in cylindrical, stoneware crocks on my kitchen counter for the past 10 years. I know it’s been that long because they are Pampered Chef crocks I purchased in 1999 when I was a sales consultant with Pampered Chef.


We remodeled the kitchen in 2003 and Pampered Chef had long gone by the wayside (the salesmanship, not the product). I figured I was never going to use those crocks for baking the luscious loaves of bread that were my catalyst for buying them. The stoneware was thick, making for a longer baking time than normal; however they came with plastic inserts for use as storage.


One of my favorite types of products is one that has multiple uses. So I repurposed those brightly colored crocks as utensil storage on top of my counters.


I don’t know if I planned poorly when we replaced all the cabinets or if my kitchen is just small, but I don’t have a lot of drawers. Last month the disorganization of my drawers and the crocks were making me a little crazy. I’d pull out one kitchen utensil and disrupt the tangle of tools. If I was in the middle of sautéing or stirring something on the stove, I’d have to leave the chaos on the kitchen counter until my hands were free to put everything away.


I thought, “I must have too many kitchen tools.” It seemed a major cleanout was in order. My philosophy on cleaning out is always to get rid of anything you haven’t used in a year, but when it comes to my kitchen it doesn’t necessarily apply.


This is the place I spend most of my time. I cook three meals a day for myself and/or my family. My espresso maker is in here, the tea, ice maker and my whole identity as a homemaker is wrapped up in my kitchen. Can I ever have too many kitchen tools?


I don’t have many small appliances because I don’t have the space; however what’s wrong with hanging on to a hand-held julienne peeler I’ve never used? It’s there when I have a screaming desire to julienne a wayward carrot and it doesn’t take up much space. I need all five of my scoops; they are all different sizes and all have different uses in my life.


If I was going to keep everything, it was apparent I needed to reorganize. But stuff couldn’t be put away like a puzzle where in order to get one thing out, you need to remove another item, which means it never gets put away properly; something different needed to be done. So I got out my label maker and set to work.




I repurposed the crock I was using next to the kitchen sink for scrub brushes as a stove utensil crock (in which one keeps next to the stove for cooking utensils), then found a lovely, unused, ceramic planter for my sink brushes.


I labeled the crocks: scoops, whisks, cooking, tongs, spread. “That should do it,” I thought. “My family will now know where to put all the cooking tools so they don’t get tangled up and disorganized ever again. BWAHAAHAHA!”


Apparently, I overestimated my family’s capabilities or they can’t read or choose not to read or are hoping if they do it wrong they’ll never have to unload the dishwasher again. The system I put in place has served only my own purposes as I stand and rearrange what they have done or rather not done.


So now it’s me and my label maker versus my family. Can one ever have too many kitchen tools?


Gretchen Leigh is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Covington. She is committed to her label maker. You can also read more of her writing and her daily blog on her website or on Facebook at “Living with Gleigh.” Her column is available every week at under the Lifestyles section.
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