You’ve followed all the top tips so far. Your countertops are pristine, your kitchen cabinets are attractive, and your flooring is durable, plus you have good quality cookware to round off the picture. Have you missed something? Check your kitchen for these useful and often-overlooked items.

1. A Sharpening Stone

Those chef’s knives you bought are superb – but no matter how good your kitchen cutlery is, it won’t stay sharp forever. Do you have a whetstone or set of sharpening stones to keep your knives in tip-top condition? They were standbys in the kitchens of yesteryear, but many modern householders forget to stock their kitchen with these handy items. If you haven’t been in the habit of sharpening your knives, watch a few videos to master the art. It’s surprisingly simple, and your sharpened knives will be a pleasure to work with.

2. Pestle and Mortar

There’s nothing to beat the rich flavor and fragrance of freshly ground whole spices. Of course, there are other ways of grinding them, but sometimes, the old ways are the best ways. A pestle and mortar puts you in control. Grind it up fine, or allow for a little more texture. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes to the flavors you achieve.

3. A Garlic Press

It’s all about freshness and flavor: freshly crushed garlic cloves are the way to go. While master chefs can work wonders with a knife, a garlic press does the job quickly, easily, and with less risk to your fingertips. If you don’t often use garlic, you can give this a miss, but most of us do love garlic, while being less keen on the smell that clings to our fingers after chopping it by hand.

4. Kitchen Shears

You may have a pair of scissors in your cutlery drawer, but there’s nothing to beat a hardy pair of stainless steel kitchen shears. It’s made to purpose, lasts for ages (you can sharpen them too), and saves you from struggling with a tool that was designed for something else. If you haven’t invested in a pair of these yet, you should definitely consider doing so!

5. A Potato Ricer / Masher

Mashed potatoes should be light and fluffy – but it’s all-too-easy to mash them too much, and the result is sticky, stodgy goo. Solve the problem at a stroke with a potato ricer. You can also use it to squeeze excess moisture from cooked spinach or to give your egg-salads an even texture. Yes, it’s something that most kitchens don’t have, so perhaps you’ll start a trend in your neighborhood!

6. A Funnel

How many times have you poured too much out of a bottle and struggled to get the excess back in? Or you bought in bulk and want to transfer the contents of a big bottle into several smaller, handier ones. Solve the problem once and for all. It’s as easy as having a funnel to pour through – and if plastic funnels look too tacky for your liking, you can find glass or stainless steel ones instead.

Go for Frequent Use

Cluttered kitchen cabinets packed with gadgets you never use are definitely out. So, unless you’re a huge fan of pineapple, a pineapple corer might just be a waste of space even though it’s a nifty gadget. Nevertheless, the items we’ve looked at so far, though absent from many kitchens, should see regular use and can make your life a whole lot easier.