When discussing kitchen size, the phrase “bigger is better” is the usual assumption. However, we are here to present another point of view: smaller=simpler. While a smaller kitchen takes more thoughtful organization, it can force you to limit the amount of STUFF you surround yourself with. In the end, this minimalistic simplicity can make your life much easier. In this week’s BH Blog, we will talk you through ways to survive and thrive in your small kitchen.
Restaurant Kitchen Mentality
Attempting to cook a meal in a small kitchen may seem daunting, but if you have ever seen a restaurant kitchen, you will be shocked at the size. They are typically quite small, and it works because restaurant kitchens are set up for efficiency. Everything a chef needs is within arm’s reach so that they can move quickly and systematically. When you organize your small kitchen, utilize this mindset. Think about what tasks you will perform in which parts of your kitchen, and structure that space so you don’t have to move far to get things done. How far are the dishes stored from where they are washed? Are your utensils reachable from the stove? Are your spices close to your meal prep space? Put things as close as possible to where they will be used.
Its crazy how quickly utensils and appliances accumulate in your kitchen, making it cluttered, hard to use and overwhelming. If you are bumping into something every time you turn around, odds are you need to push the reset button with your kitchen stuff. In last week’s blog, we discussed strategies for decluttering your house, so take a look back if you need some help strategizing. You really only need one type of pot, pan or utensil. Try to look for appliances that have multiple functions so you can free up counter space. If you don’t have a dishwasher, getting rid of excess dishes and utensils can also help you avoid a dish pile up. To maximize the efficiency of your small kitchen, embrace minimalism to make your space usable.
If you have a small kitchen, food storage can be one of the most difficult organizational challenges. Luckily, many foods can go in the fridge, but what about everything else? One suggestion: create your own food pantry that is both decorative and accommodating. Go find an old antique cabinet or check Ikea for a shelving or drawer system. Find a piece of furniture that fits aesthetically into your space and can store your canned good, baking supplies and other shelf-stable foods. We also suggest that you find organizers to sort your food into. Whether its bins, shelves or baskets, find containers that you can use to separate different items. Put all the grains into one basket, your canned goods into another, your baking items into a third. Whatever you do, just come with a system to keep your pantry organized. You may also need to change the way you grocery shop. Buy only the things you need for one week and you will have less to store.
Small Kitchen Hacks
There are hundreds of small kitchen hacks out there that can help you create more space in your kitchen. Most are cost efficient and easy to install. They can even add style to your space. Here are some of the best ideas to choose from:
Shelf Dividers – These little wire shelves sit inside your cupboards and help you maximize your cabinet’s vertical space.
Cooking Décor – Use any of those cute dishes, teapots, pans, utensils, etc. as décor in your house. You can use when needed and put them back in their decorative spots when you are done.
Cutting Boards – Get a cutting board that can fit over your sink. This is an easy way to create more counter space and it makes cleaning up easy: just dump the discarded clippings in the sink when you’re done.
Collapsing and Stacking – Look out for kitchen items and can collapse flat or can stack neatly together, allowing them to be stored easily.
Hanging – Use hooks and hangers where you can on the walls, the backsplash, or even the ceiling to hang kitchen utensils, towels, or even pots and pans.
Movable Kitchen Cart – You can either buy a rolling kitchen cart or make one by attaching wheels to the bottom of a butcher’s block. Its convenient to have a portable cart so you can add additional food prep space where you need it and move it out of the way when its not being used. Most even have storage underneath as an added bonus.
Decorative Storage Boxes – Find cute storage boxes that will add style and storage to your space. Stow them on top of your cabinets, fridge or shelves. With a range of styles on the market, you’re sure to find something that will compliment your design.
We hope we’ve helped you maximize the use of your small kitchen! With just a little research and a trip to the store, you can find solutions to most of your storage issues. Next time you are at a restaurant try to peek into the kitchen to see how small and highly organized their space is. Hopefully, the strategies we shared will inspire you to use your kitchen even more.