Has that small kitchen which looked so cozy and cute when you first moved into your new place, become confining and cluttered?
Small kitchens can present a challenge. While they can be warm, cozy, and appealing, they can also soon become cluttered, crowded, and inconvenient.
So what are some ways that storage and workspaces can be increased, multi-purposed, and decluttered? How can you get the most out of a small kitchen to make it not only a more pleasant space but also more easily functional?
Here are some handy hacks for creating a small kitchen that’s more efficient.
On the Shelf
If that blank space on top of your row of cabinets gathers nothing bust dust, it’s the perfect place to store large, awkward items such as crockpots, instapots, breadmakers, punch bowls, cake dishes, etc. Items that aren’t used on a daily basis are perfect for storing up out of reach. There are also shelves that can be placed in the space above the cabinets to maximize the storage in this wall space so it isn’t being wasted.
If you find your cabinets have only one or two widely spaced shelves, things can get cluttered and disorganized really fast. Adding an extra shelf where space allows will keep items better organized and use space that’s otherwise wasted.
A big place that tends to waste space is the cabinet under the kitchen sink. These often have only one bottom shelf, leaving several feet of unused space over it. Try adding an extra shelf over the bottom one, or install rolling storage cabinets and hanging baskets to keep things organized under the sink.
Don’t Waste Wall Space
In a small kitchen you don’t want to waste wall space by using it to hang artwork and framed photos. Blank kitchen space is ideal for putting up shelves to maximize your storage. Even small areas of wall space can be hung with shelves. Look for shelves with helpful features such as hanging hooks for coffee mugs, and utensils. Some shelves come complete with sliding drawers for further storage.
Also available in many stores selling kitchen goods and furnishings are pull-out pantries. These come in a variety of sizes and shapes to easily slide into tight areas. They generally consist of a tall, narrow cabinet which opens to reveal rows of drawers perfect for storing dry goods and canned goods.
Pegboard and pegs can be used to hang anything from utensils and pot holders, to pots and pans, saving you space in your limited cabinets and drawers. Using an attractively painted pegboard as a backsplash behind your kitchen sink or stove can serve the double purpose of protecting your kitchen walls and giving you vertical space for hanging kitchen items.
Storage Bench Seating
Instead of tables and chairs, a kitchen nook with storage bench seating is a great storage space maker in a small kitchen space. These can be easily built-in and fit into tight corner spaces. Ready-made ones can be purchased at places like IKEA and Wayfair. Storing kitchen items neatly away beneath the seats is a big space saver. You can use it for pots and pans, or as a pantry for canned goods and dry goods.
Mini Appliance Appeal
If you are a gourmet cook, you may need full size appliances. But if you only cook the basics, consider filling your kitchen with mini versions of some appliances, like a small stove and compact dishwasher. Some of the best dishwasher companies offer compact and even portable versions as space savers.
You can purchase magnetic racks that adhere to the side of a refrigerator. This is a great way to utilize space that’s otherwise wasted. This is an ideal place to keep salt, pepper, spices, wooden spoons and spatulas so they are all easily within reach while cooking. It keeps them handy for use and frees up space in your cabinets for other things.
Simple dollar store wire dish racks are also handy helpers for organizing frying pans, cookie sheets, muffin pans and other flat bakeware. They fit nicely in that seldom used high cabinet everyone has over the refrigerator or stove.
You can find large cutting boards that are designed to fit over a sink. These are versatile and useful in a small kitchen, not only as a cutting surface, but simply to add extra counter space when you aren’t using your sink.
Get Carted Away
Rolling kitchen carts are amazing ways to add storage and counter space. Many of them come with a small countertop with a pullout extension. There are cabinets and shelves underneath for added storage. If you don’t have room for a full-sized one, there are narrow, rolling storage carts that can go right on the end of a counter or the side of the stove and add several shelves for storage.
Nothing declutters a kitchen counters faster and easier than a few cute, decorative woven baskets. Gather up the usual things that clutter your countertops and arrange them in baskets. For instance, keep cooking spray, balsamic vinegar, garlic powder, olive oil and frequently used condiments in a basket and it will transform counter clutter into a decorative statement. Real estate agents who stage photos for clients understand the importance of hiding clutter in decorative baskets. Another basket for mail and newspapers will also cut down on annoying paper clutter around the kitchen.
While designing, arranging, and organizing a very large and spacious kitchen has its own challenges, there are even greater challenges involved in organizing a small kitchen in a way to makes it both functional and attractive but it can be done. These and other kitchen hacks can help you to make the most out of the space you have so your kitchen is livable, functional, and fun!
Resources— TheKitchn.com, Forbes, The Spruce, Buzz Feed