I was spoiled in our old house. We had a huge, open kitchen and plenty of counter space. Now, not so much. I have a very small galley style kitchen with about 60 square feet. It is tiny, has very little in the way of storage and there is only one expanse of counter space to really do anything with. We have actually considered knocking out a wall and turning our dining room (which we don't use) into a part of our kitchen. Probably not going to happen but anyway, since I am dealing with a very small space, I have had to find ways to make it work.
Now remember, I can my harvest. I store all sorts of utensils, canned food, extra baking supplies and spices and other such things in my tiny kitchen. I don't feel like walking to the garage on a routine basis to get something I need so I try very hard to fit everything into our kitchen.
I have surprisingly made it work. While our small kitchen is one part of our very large home I don't care for and don't understand, I've gotten used to it and managed to find ways to make it work. Here are some tips for you to do the same.
- Paint your cabinets. If your cabinets are wood, especially a dark wood or painted a dark color. Paint them white, or at the very least a very light color. Does it add to the size of your kitchen? No, but you would be amazed at how much larger your kitchen feels when you have light colored cabinetry.
- Don't put a lot of things on your counter tops. I had a lot of trouble with this. I have a stand mixer that I use all the time and I always had it on our counters at my old house. I make coffee every morning. I have a blender, and tons of cast iron skillets. The skillets used to hang on our walls and on a rack in the center of the kitchen. That is no longer an option and I have had to use a cabinet and an oven to store them! I put my stand mixer, my blender, and other small appliances (except for the coffee maker) up in a cabinet in order to utilize all the counter space I have.
- Keep your dishes clean. Or at the very least, keep them out of sight (dishwasher anyone). I feel so much more together and like I have room to wash off my vegetables, drain pasta, et cetera when I don't have a sink overflowing with dishes.
- Throw out, donate, or sell anything you don't absolutely have to have. I had so many pieces of plastic tupperware, baking dishes I had never even used, a toaster I hadn't used since I purchased it, all kinds of things. I knew I had a smaller space to work in and needed all the storage I could get my hands on, so I put all of my unused, unloved, and unneeded items in a garage sale. Now, someone else can love them!
- Add shelving in your cabinets and move around the shelves you have. Even older cabinets shelves pull out and can be moved. It may take a little time and a power drill, but you can move your shelves around to make them what you want or need. It is so helpful to move my shelves to enable me to fit my jars and such into my cabinet.
- Buy less processed food. Seriously, it sounds ridiculous, but processed food is put into big bulk cardboard boxes and they take up a ton of space. If you do buy processed foods in bulk, I suggest putting them into different containers. I purchase almost all of my pasta boxed. I buy natural, organic crackers and such. I keep my pasta in mason jars and other glass containers in my cabinet. The jars take up a lot less space all together and I can make them fit better together than all the bulky, different sized boxes things come in.
- Use your drawers for your spices. You can put them all in same sized bottles and put a sticker label on the top of them. I currently have all of my spices in a cabinet above my stove. I am looking to put them in a drawer that has very little in it so that I don't have to get a step stool, and rummage around in order to locate a spice. I use spices almost every time I cook and I need a better, easier, quicker way to make them flow.
- Keep your walls empty. I don't really have many places to put anything on the walls in my kitchen, but I know some people do. I don't recommend putting much on them, decor or otherwise. It will make your kitchen feel smaller and more cluttered.
- Make your own drawer organizers to best utilize the space available. Instead of buying one size fits all drawer organizers consider taking some scrap lumber and making your own to fit your needs. It will make your drawers more useable and make it easier to find everything. You can find tons of ideas on pinterest to do this yourself in a matter of a few minutes for each drawer.
- Ditch all the chemical cleaning supplies. I am guilty of having a commercially produced chemical for everything I could possibly want to clean. Now, since we have started to ditch the extra chemicals in our lives, I have 6 bottles of stuff under my sink. Since we have a reverse osmosis tank down there it really helps not having a ton of chemicals. I can find what I need and use it instead of having to empty the cabinet to find it and put it back.
So, those are my suggestions for helping you embrace and love your kitchen. My kitchen and I have a love hate relationship and there are days I struggle with it. Most days though, I can go in my kitchen and realize that I have enough space, just not a ton and I am glad for that.
I love to hear from my readers! How about you? Do you have a small kitchen and struggle with its lack of space? How do you deal with it?
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