Good luck with that. I've been working on it for more years than I care to remember, and it's one step forward and two steps back. Still, the struggle is worth pursuing.
Yes, standing in the kitchen moaning that there's nothing to eat is not very different from standing in front of the closet moaning that there's nothing to wear. And the things the experts tell you about your closet are also true of your kitchen.
When Julia Child first came on the scene I was a young housewife. I learned a lot of what I know about cooking from watching her show. I don't recall that she used a food processor; her tools of choice were a big sharp chef knife, a balloon whisk, an assortment of pots and pans and a few bowls. As time goes by, though, and one loses the snap in one's wrist, a food processor can be a very nice thing to have. Likewise the bread machine, the ice cream maker – Still, I know how to keep a minimalist French kitchen. If I wanted to do that. (You see how easy it is to stray from the ideal.)
Suitability. Your closet and your kitchen should both be in harmony with your lifestyle. Your ten items of clothing will be different if you stay home and raise children from what you would wear to go to business, different also according to your age and degree of physical fitness. Likewise the things in your kitchen. If you have only twenty minutes at a time to cook, you shouldn't be investing in stockpots. If you have children to feed, maybe not so many spices and strange sauces.
Cost per use. A pricey classic can be a bargain if it will be worn or used often. You want to pay big bucks for your winter coat, which you will wear every day for four or five months out of the year, depending on where you live. Ditto your saute pan, good for making chili, frying pork chops, stir-frying, almost anything you might want to cook. I could never understand the impulse that makes women pay thousands and thousands of dollars for a wedding dress that they will wear only once. I know you want to look presentable, but really.
So there you go. These are my thoughts for today on how to be elegant and lead an elegant life. I'm going down to the kitchen now and chase the meal moths out of the cupboards, maybe pare down the spices, throw out the cinnamon I bought at the Acme thirty years ago. Tomorrow, the closet.