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A Few of My Kitchen Essentials

Ok, aside from the obvious heavy hitters in my kitchen, like the dishwasher, stove and refrigerator, I have a few things I consider practically essential resources, besides my organizational tools.

, A Few of My Kitchen Essentials, Joyful HomemakingThese are a few things I use over and over again.

, A Few of My Kitchen Essentials, Joyful Homemaking

Hands down, numero uno, most used small kitchen tool is my kitchen scissors. You may know of this handy dandy tool, but in case you don’t, these are scissors made especially for kitchen use. We use these for so many different jobs in our kitchen–cutting up waffles and pancakes, vegetables and meats, fruits such as peaches, slicing pizza, and opening popsicles and other kitchen packaging. Especially when you have little ones, and need to cut things up into bite size pieces, these are essential as a time saver. If you don’t have these, just check out any kitchen accessories section of your favorite store. The paint splatters on mine are not included. A little tip I offer is to wash by hand and let them air dry. I think they last longer, and it seems to keep them from rusting.

, A Few of My Kitchen Essentials, Joyful Homemaking

When we moved into our home about 4 years ago, we bought a brand new dishwasher, and despite it’s substantial price, my dishes started coming out of it covered with a heavy white film. I tried everything to make it stop. I bought different rinse aids, ran lemon koolaid through the dishwasher (which the internet said to try) and  also vinegar. I even had the repairman come out to check out my new dishwasher, and he promised that nothing was wrong. If I remember correctly,  I found out about “Lemishine” online, and to me it’s a miracle. I sprinkle a little bit in my detergent cup for each load of dishes, and they come out sparkling! When nothing else worked, this did (I am not being compensated whatsoever for saying that)!

, A Few of My Kitchen Essentials, Joyful Homemaking

Another essential in my kitchen is this little tool bag, that is just mine, and I keep it in my pantry.  It was a gift from my sister (thank you, sis) years ago, so I can always find the right tool when I need it.

, A Few of My Kitchen Essentials, Joyful Homemaking

I love little “dessert” sized dishes of which I have several different types, some oven proof and others not. These can be used for SO many different things–serving snacks, fruit or icecream, jello or pudding, holding recipe ingredients, appetizers, or even for organizing items in a drawer (paper clips, thumbtacks…).
Since they’re small, they take up much less room in the dishwasher too, and they come in glass or plastic.

, A Few of My Kitchen Essentials, Joyful Homemaking

I was completely tickled to find this tortilla keeper/warmer at my local Aldi’s store for around six or seven dollars. It comes with a warming stone to keep your tortillas warm till you use them.We have burritos/soft tacos A LOT around our house, in case you haven’t noticed from my menu planning, and this to me makes the meal a little fancier.

, A Few of My Kitchen Essentials, Joyful Homemaking

My label maker was begging to show up, since I use it so often in the kitchen for labeling things like my light switches (so I’m not always turning on the disposal), to medicines, food in the pantry and in the refrigerator, not to mention all my files and notebook tabs.

, A Few of My Kitchen Essentials, Joyful Homemaking

The last of my things that gets LOTS of use in my kitchen are placemats. Many times when family members ask me what I would like for my birthday or Christmas, I say “placemats.” It all started when we bought a new dining table a few years ago, and I didn’t want the kids to scratch it up, so I bought some placemats, and we started using them for every meal. Now it’s just habit, and I think it makes our table look prettier, and helps it last longer as well. Placemats can be pricey when you are buying them six at a time (or more), and so I always like to keep my eyes open at the various thrift stores I frequent for an inexpensive set that I like!

There you have it, a few of my favorite kitchen tools that help make my kitchen more efficient. Hope you find a helpful resource that you can add to your kitchen!


  1. Love your blog! So many great recipes (so little time) to try them all! 🙂 I also enjoy reading your tips. I would like to know where to find the “Lemishine”. I read that you found it on line, but I’m wondering if it is available at any of the big box stores? TFS!

  2. I have to agree with you on the kitchen scissors – the uses are endless. I might have have to try the Lemishine – where do you find it?

  3. I just googled it, and it is available at WalMart! Yippee! I can’t wait to try it as we have well water. My dishes are going to be so-o pretty! Thanks again!

  4. I love you idea about tools in the kitchen. I have never heard of Lemishine but can’t wait to try it. Do you know if it will take the film off of dishes that I already have? Thanks!

  5. love the Lemonshine. We replaced a dishwasher after only 2 years in our new house. Then, when our top of the line replacement started doing the same thing, I accidently found Lemonshine. I give it as a “welcome to the neighborhood” gift to all new neighbors.

  6. I LOVE my kitchen shears! They are so useful. They make cutting up raw chicken for stir fries or to boil for use in a casserole super easy.

    I have really been wanting a label maker! I have one that I get to use at work and I’m constantly thinking of uses I’d have for it at home. Maybe it will go on my Christmas wishlist! 🙂

  7. I love our little dessert dishes too. We use them all the time. I don’t know what I did before we got them!

  8. I agree so much about the LemiShine. It is amazing stuff. The washing issues started when all dishwasher detergents were required to quit using phosphates. I was so tired of the film on everything. Now the glass and plastic are so much cleaner. Bonus, the copper bottoms on my pots are getting shiny again.

  9. Margo, so do you just sprinkle (how much?) in the little detergent compartment WITH the detergent? I’m a little confused with how, how much, and how often you are to use it. Thanks for your help & your blog. God bless, Jenny C.

    1. I don’t use dish washing detergent at all, just hot water and the LemiShine, although I do give all my dishes a quick scrub in soapy water before I load them, because our water pressure doesn’t seem very strong. I use about one Tablespoon of the LemiShine with each load and just sprinkle it between the two cups. This is what works for me, but maybe experiment a little to see what works well with your dishwasher/water/water pressure. Hope this helps! 🙂

    2. I do, because I pretty much wash them (in my sink with dish liquid) before I even put them in the dishwasher. The directions on the bottle say to use detergent in one cup and LemiShine in the other, or if you just have one cup, use half detergent and half LemiShine. Whatever you do, I would experiment with a little at a time till you get the results you desire, just so you don’t use more than you need, since it’s kind of expensive. Hope that makes sense.

  10. LemiShine is the best! I have literally thrown out cloudy glassware before I found this stuff! Nothing else worked! Also works great on hard water stains on glass table tops.

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