Most homeowners dream of having a large, modern kitchen with plenty of storage and the latest appliances. A spacious kitchen makes it easier to cook and also allows for multiple family members to be in the room at the same time.
So if you find yourself moving into a house with a small kitchen, you might start wondering exactly how you can make the space functional.
Now, there are some perks to a small kitchen. Your appliances are closer together (which can help make cooking easier) and there is also less space to clean. In fact, if you can find a way to free your small kitchen from clutter, you might find yourself enjoying it more than a large kitchen.
The key to making a small kitchen work is plenty of storage. The more organized your small kitchen is, the more functional you’ll find it.
Purge, purge, purge
The first step to making a small kitchen work is getting rid of all those items you don’t need. Go through your kitchen cabinets and get rid of any items you haven’t used in the past year or items that you have duplicates of.
Don’t make muffins regularly? Get rid of your muffin tins. Have five baking sheets? Toss the ones that are in rough shape into the rubbish.
Purging items can be hard. A good tip is to create three piles. Put must-keeps in one pile, maybe-keeps in another, and donations in the final pile. Put the maybe-keeps somewhere safe and revisit them in a month. If you didn’t miss them, donate them.
Keep the oven clean
Your oven is going to be one of the most used things in your kitchen, so it’s something that you will want to keep clean and sparkling. There are different ways to clean your oven, and it all really depends on the state of it. Some people like to clean their oven once a week or so, while others may only get round to cleaning it every few months.
If your oven is in a bit of a sorry state, you might want to consider calling in a professional to do the job for you, as sometimes, just using off the shelf cleaner may not be enough. There are lots of companies that offer oven cleaning in London and other cities across the UK. Just pop online and you’ll easily be able to find one close to you.
Put non-essentials up high
Once you have your must-keep items, determine whether they’re something you use on occasion or if you use them often. For example, you might use your cookie cutters occasionally but aren’t using them daily.
Put non-essentials (like cookie cutters) up higher in your cabinets and everyday items (like plates) where you can easily reach them. This allows you to have easy access to items you need the most.
Heavy pans and skillets should go under your stove, in a bottom cabinet, or on a pot rack. These are items you’ll use often, but not as often as your plates and cups. Having a place for everything will keep you more organized.
Incorporate vertical storage
If you find yourself exhausting existing cabinet space, don’t be afraid to add vertical storage systems to your kitchen. You can get really creative when it comes to incorporating vertical storage.
It is easy to add metal racks and hooks to your walls. This can provide additional storage for your pans and your cooking utensils. If you don’t like the metal rack look, another alternative is a kitchen pegboard that has hooks for your utensils.
Another vertical storage hack is to incorporate narrow racks into tiny spaces. Have a gap between your fridge and your counter? You can place a narrow rack that holds your spices or pantry items.
Look for cabinet organizers
If you’re just piling items into your cabinets, you’re wasting valuable space. If you take the time to organize your cabinets, you may be able to fit more items in them.
When it comes to your everyday dishes, look for tiered systems that fit within your cabinets or for stackable shelves. These systems fit within your existing cabinet to provide extra room. Instead of having to perilously stack your cups on top your plates, a tier system allows you to safely store all your dishes.
As for your pans, look for racks that allow each pan to have a compartment. This way, you can easily keep your pans and lids together.
Get inspiration from tiny homes
Tiny homes that range between 100 and 400 feet are growing in popularity. Folks that are moving into tiny homes are frequently choosing smaller kitchen and living room spaces on purpose because they want to live a more minimalist lifestyle.
Even if your small kitchen isn’t quite as small as the ones found in tiny houses, you can still draw inspiration from what tiny homeowners are doing. Their hacks organize even the smallest of spaces. Tiny homeowners utilize small appliances, vertical storage, and more. They make tiny kitchens work because that is the lifestyle they want.
Add a hollow island
If you have the floor space, consider adding a hollow island to your kitchen. An island will serve multiple purposes.
Not only does an island give you extra space for food prep, but a hollow island will also give you additional space to store items. Hollow islands come with cabinets or shelving. This gives you an extra place to keep pots and pans or larger kitchen appliances such as your toaster or blender.
Islands come in all different sizes and styles. Consider several different islands and how they’ll fit into your space before committing to one. And another nice thing about islands is they can also function as a breakfast nook!
Use every space
Don’t be afraid to find a way to make every space in your kitchen into a form of storage. While you should stay away from storing items on your counters to prevent them from looking cluttered, consider utilizing the sides of your counters or the inside of your cabinets.
Hooks on the sides of counters can hold pans. Hooks on the inside of cabinets can hold potholders and dry measuring cups. Or you can add corner shelving!
If you have a gap between the top of your cabinets and your ceiling, use that space to store large pots you don’t use all the time. The possibilities are endless, really.
Some final thoughts
Don’t let yourself get too discouraged by a small kitchen. Once you start purging items and finding spots for your remaining items, you’ll discover that there are plenty of ways to make a small kitchen work. If you put the time into making it work, you’ll soon have a nice, cozy kitchen to cook in!