Whipping up culinary masterpieces in a tiny kitchen should be a medal-winning accomplishment. When your workspace is crowded and disorganized everything’s more of a challenge. If you love collecting kitchen gadgets the problem becomes even worse as every nook and cranny becomes crammed with next-to-useless one-use wonders. Since it doesn’t look like the Olympics is going to accept small-kitchen cooking as a sport anytime soon the next best thing is to make your size-challenged kitchen as efficient as possible.
1. Take Out the Trash
Almost everyone’s kitchen has a share of rarely or never used items, plastic containers with no lids or gelatin molds that haven’t seen the light of day since the 1980s. In a small kitchen you can’t afford to waste space on odds and ends you never use. Make a clean sweep of cupboards, drawers and pantry areas and toss everything you haven’t used in the last year; that’s long enough to give holiday platters an exemption. Paring down is part of the cleanup process. You don’t need two drawers stuffed full of pot holders and if you’re not a professional baker you probably don’t need a dozen pie plates. Thin the herd.
2. Create Zones
Reorganize your kitchen with work zones in mind. A kitchen requires a zone for food preparation, a zone for cooking, a zone for cleaning, a zone for storage and in some cases a zone for eating. For example, the food preparation zone requires a place to chop, mix, store spices and cutlery and one or two of your most frequently used cookbooks. Select the countertop area that’s most convenient for preparing meals and stock the cabinet nearest to that zone with the items you use in your daily cooking. In a small kitchen work zones may need to overlap a bit, but organization makes cooking in a compact kitchen less stressful.
3. Stock Smart
Cookware that goes from oven to freezer to microwave to table should be in every small kitchen – in every kitchen for that matter. Filling your cupboards with cookware and gadgets that only do one thing is a waste of space. Look for kitchen appliances that fill multiple functions, like a waffle maker that’s also a Panini press. And don’t crowd precious counter space with a four-slice toaster and a café-sized coffee maker. Buy items that are appropriately sized for the kitchen you live with, not the kitchen you wish for. Any items that have special space-saving features like collapsible cookware or stackable serving wear is a smart buy.
4. Go Vertical
Making the best use of vertical space is a design trick that’s often utilized in small rooms. Open your cupboard doors, could you install a narrow wire shelf on the door to hold utensils and other small items? What about a wall-mounted pot rack? The backsplash is a storage spot that most homeowners overlook when searching for extra space. Install a utensil strip directly above the back splash for hanging cups and small pans as well as cooking utensils. Alone these little steps may not seem like much, but finding a few inches of open space here and there can make all the difference in a cramped kitchen.
With these few tips you can start creating big flavors even in a small kitchen!
Lindsey is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area and she writes on behalf of Sears and other deserving brands. She specializes in writing guest posts on social media and education. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master’s degree.