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Organizing a Small Kitchen

Organizing a Small Kitchen, A small kitchen painted lime green.

Organizing your kitchen is tough even in a large kitchen. It is even more important to organize a small kitchen, where space is limited. This is a guide about organizing a small kitchen.

     

Solutions

Read and rate the best solutions below by giving them a "thumbs up".

Tip: Sink Cover to Maximize Counter Space

Kitchen sink with wooden cutting board cover

My husband constructed two wooden cutting boards to fit my double sink to increase my counter space. The stove is to the left of the double sink; there is no space to the left of the stove for cooking preparation. The wooden cutting boards were treated with a sealer that will allow food preparation. I keep the left sink with a sink cover over it for all food preparation (cutting, slicing, dredging, etc.), plus it is a convenient place to put a cake pan that comes out of the oven or bread pans to sit on after baking bread.

When our family comes for a holiday meal, birthday meals or other guests come for a meal, I use both of these sink covers to complete my buffet area that I make on my "L" shaped kitchen counter. The large entree items are arranged on the stovetop burner covers on the stove; the buffet continues to the right to the end of my "L" shaped counter with the beverages (the end of my kitchen counter is next to the refrigerator for convenience of filling the ice bucket with ice).

This idea originated from having a travel trailer and having sink cutting boards over the double sinks in the trailer. It saves time in food preparation and expands my kitchen buffet area.

By JOSE from Collierville, TN

Tip: Use Chest of Drawers for Extra Space

My kitchen has lots of floor space, but hardly any cabinet or counter top space. I use a chest of drawers to give me extra counter and storage. It has a hard easy to clean surface and holds can goods, aluminum foil, zip bags, etc. A tall, narrow one might work for an even smaller kitchen.

By tnphoenixrising from Clarksville, TN

Tip: Square Box Shelves for Small Kitchen

View of small kitchen with white box shelf with many small compartmentsMy passion is my kitchen and making it easier to work in, as it is small. I just try different things. Some work fine, but if not, I try something else.

I bought one of a set of square boxes from the hardware store, and put it on my upper counter to give me a space to slide things in. They are handy, exposed, and easy to use. I will enclose a picture so you can see just what I did.

Source: I saw this shelf or box in the store, so I just bought at Lowes.

By Bonnie from Brownsville, TX

Tip: Use Unused Kitchen Appliances for Storage

I recently moved from a 3 bedroom house to a single wide mobile home. I found I have much less storage space in my kitchen so this is what I did. I don't use my oven regularly, so I store my pots and pans and lids in the oven. In order to cut costs on my electric and water bills, I do not use the dishwasher. The top tray makes an excellent place to store the small items like measuring cups and spoons, long handled forks and spoons, tongs, and can opener. The bottom is large so the large dishes, baking pans and cookie sheets fit with no trouble. I also hang a small hand towel and a dish towel over the door.

This puts everything in a place, out of sight, and everything is quickly reachable. This worked so well that I bought a small roll of that rubber mesh used for shelves and cut it to fit the top tray so the measuring spoons and other small items wouldn't fall through. Works great.

By Clynnaltemus from Inglis, FL

Tip: Use Upright File Storage in Kitchen

I have very little storage space in my kitchen, so I'm always looking for creative ways to eek out just a little more space. Cutting boards and pan lids were always particularly difficult to store, until I found that the upright manila file storage racks sold for office organization work great for upright kitchen storage. Use Upright File Storage in Kitchen

The rack of lids is stored in the cabinet behind my frying pans. I can reach over the pans or easily remove them to get to the lids, and it is so easy to find the right one. The cutting boards go behind the mixing bowls, I just pop out the stack of bowls and slide out the cutting board I need. Use Upright File Storage in Kitchen

By Stephanie from Hillsboro, OR

Tip: Under Cabinet Spice Rack

Spice Rack in KitchenThere are lots of good ideas for organizing a small kitchen space at "Suzy' Simple and Perfectly Organized Kitchen." I took the vinyl molding spice rack instructions there and adapted it to fit my space. I used the space just between the counter top and the cabinets.

The spice rack was really simple to make, with just vinyl molding (wood could also be used) and brads. My version doesn't involve quite the drop that Suzy's would, should you ever miss and send a bottle flying, since mine is over a counter top. It works for me!

Source: This spice rack is adapted from Suzy's Simple and Perfectly Organized Kitchen.

By Kirsten from Logan, UT

Tip: Use Multi-Level Plate Hangers for Storage

To match my kitchen, I have a glass cutting board on a plate hanger right at my counter. Near my table is another with place mats, and two hot plates for the table in a multi-level plate hanger.

I love my Norman Rockwell tray that hangs above the refrigerator in another plate hanger, beside the baskets for serving guests beverages and snacks. Much of what I use on a daily basis is hanging decoratively in my kitchen and dining area.

My husband and children use them and put them back because they are so accessible. I love it this way and will never go back to hiding things in cupboards!

by Chrissy

Tip: Extra Counter Space With Baking Sheets

I live in a very small house and the kitchen is tiny. I do a lot of freezer cooking and holiday baking so I never have enough counter space for everything. What I have been doing is to pull out the top drawers and using them to rest my cookie sheets on. When the cookie sheets aren't used for baking they can still hold ingredients or utensils.

By K. Cooper

Tip: Using Plastic Shoe Organizer for Kitchen Items

I was reorganizing my limited kitchen drawer space (5 in the entire kitchen). I needed to have a place for my plastic storage bags, waxed paper, plastic wrap, and what have you. So I bought a plastic shoe bag that hang in a closet at the thrift store. I store kitchen items inside the slots for the shoes. Now that I have the empty drawer space, I can put my spices in them. That really helps, since I am having issues with arthritis in my shoulders. I hang the organizer in my front closet half pantry. It is easily accessible and so are my spices.

By Laura from Gig Harbor, WA

Tip: Utilize a Cutting Board for More Counter Space

If you run out of room on your kitchen counter, place your cutting board on top of your sink basin, or pull out a drawer and place the cutting board on top of it.

By Kim

Share Your Feedback: Once you try any of the above solutions, be sure to come back and give a "thumbs up" to the one that worked the best for you. Do you have a better solution? Click "Share a Solution" above!

Questions

Here are questions related to Organizing a Small Kitchen.

Question: Organizing a Small Kitchen

My kitchen in my apartment is very old and very small. More like tiny. I only have 1 drawer, 3 cabinets, and about 2 square feet of counter space. I don't know where to put anything.

By Ginn from Tuscaloosa, AL


Most Recent Answer

By Ginn05/19/2010

That is so true! I never really thought about that! Heck, maybe I should just rid myself of the awful stove too! Thanks Cathy S!

Question: Posting Recipes in a Small Kitchen

Cork Board

My house has a very small kitchen and there's nowhere to put my recipe while making something except on the stove or counter where it gets dirty. I have put up a 12x12 inch piece of cork on the front of one cabinet door so I have a place where I can tack my recipe.

By K. Cooper

Tape To Cabinet Or Use Fridge Magnet

I used to have the same problem when we lived in a tiny apartment. I'd tape the recipe to the cabinet door, or, since the refrigerator was right next to the counter, I'd stick it to the fridge with a magnet.

By Camilla

Large Chip Clip On Fridge

I have a large chip clip with a magnet, more like clipboard size that works well for putting the recipe up on the fridge.

By Susan from ThriftyFun

Use A Fork

Stand a fork in a drinking glass, with the handle down. Slide the recipe between the tines of the fork, and you have an easy recipe holder.

By zballoongirl

Magnet Clip On Cupboard Handles

I too have a small kitchen. Here's my idea and it works great for me. The handles and hinges on my cupboards are metal. This allows me to stick a magnetic clip holding my recipe to the handle. When finished baking, the clip gets placed in with my wooden spoons, spatulas, etc.

By Marian

Wooden Clothespin

What I did is I glued a wooden clothespin inside my cupboard door, just hang the recipe on there. Works for me!

By Greta


Most Recent Answer

By lisa (Guest Post)03/09/2007

Hello,
I have a large magnet I keep my recipes clipped to on top of my stove fan. Works great. I keep several there at a time.
I also keep a typed list of recipes I use often.. (also listing the c-book they can be found in.) taped inside my cupboard door.
One c-board door is painted with chaulk paint for my groc . list.

I just started a recipe cllection for my 10 yr old daughter. I write the recipe cards out and simply insert into the album. Easily kept clean by the wipe off sheet.
Lisa , Ia.

Archives

Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.

Archive: Organizing a Small Kitchen

I recently moved into a 1 bedroom apartment. I have very limited space in my kitchen for storage, and no counter space. I have two bakers racks for my microwave, small appliances and other kitchen items. It feels so cluttered to me. I have two small cupboards and no drawers. Any ideas how I can organize?

By mem53 from Gloversville, NY


RE: Organizing a Small Kitchen

Perhaps instead of the bakers racks where everything is out in the open, maybe a large bookshelf with a front cover or wardrobe type thing where you can store it hidden away. I have a very small galley kitchen but am fortunate that I have a ton of cabinets. I store stuff in them, under them and on top of them.

Also if you can find room, Walmart and K-Mart type stores have plastic drawers that you can buy individually and different sizes, maybe you can stack some of those somewhere to keep the little stuff? (05/18/2009)

By SusLuvsVintage

RE: Organizing a Small Kitchen

Do you have any spare space in a closet or laundry area, or even under your bed? If you do then you might consider them for storing some of the items you don't use often. For example, I really like having a bread maker but use it only a few times a year, so it didn't need to take up valuable kitchen space.

I also have a small galley kitchen and recently cleaned out my laundry room and added wire shelving to hold overflow small appliances, paper products, etc. Another idea would be to add vertical storage - shelving, a hanging rack for utensils, a pot rack - if your landlord will allow you to do so. If you would like to store things under your bed you can buy an inexpensive set of risers that will lift the bed up about 6" and give you ample room to slide large plastic containers underneath that store whatever you like. (05/18/2009)

By lah34a

RE: Organizing a Small Kitchen

Stick on hooks inside the cabinet doors can hold flat things like measuring spoons, pizza cutter, potholders. Pegboard is great if you are allowed to put screws into the walls - you can even put small shelves on it. I have plant hangers put in my ceilings and use inexpensive plastic chain from the hardware store to suspend wire racks; you can put large baskets on the racks and store things inside, and hang things from them also. Just be sure that you watch the weight and use the kind of hooks that have toggle bolts. Google "storage ideas for small places" for tons of ideas. (05/23/2009)

By cacshantih

RE: Organizing a Small Kitchen

For utensils, measuring spoons/cups, etc. (gadgets) get an inexpensive tool box. Hang 3/tier wire baskets for fruits and veggies. If you're single, you only need the basics; 1 8" and 1 10" skillet, 1 qt. sauce pan and a 3 qt. sauce pan. A can opener, a spatula/turner, perhaps 1 whisk, 1 set of measuring spoons/cups for dry measure and a 4 cup liquid measure. Weed out what you don't use. (05/23/2009)

By chef4u

RE: Organizing a Small Kitchen

I also have a small kitchen. I utilize my front closet and also a perfectly placed book shelf that I made a covering for. The book shelf holds plastic shoe boxes of my silverware. I also use the shelves for my canned and boxed foods. I use a shoe bag to hold my boxes of aluminum foil, plastic wrap, etc. I use a flower pot on my stove to hold my cooking utensils. I also bought one of those Rubbermaid three drawer organizer units. I actually have two. I stacked them in the closet and use it for breads, flours, grains, teas. (05/23/2009)

By bina2j

RE: Organizing a Small Kitchen

What about those sticky backed plastic hooks? Also, we have a tension rod between cabinets above the sink with s hooks holding light cooking utensils. Neither require drilling holes or any repairs. (10/05/2009)

By poepadoe

Archive: Organizing a Small Kitchen

I would also like storage ideas for the kitchen in my new flat, as it is very small. Many thanks.

By Helen from U.K


RE: Organizing a Small Kitchen

We have a small kitchen and have no storage space. What we did was buy a cupboard with doors and put it in our little hallway near the kitchen (or wherever you can fit it) and use it for food and baking goods, etc. (10/08/2009)

By karenkay

RE: Organizing a Small Kitchen

I have what can politely be called a one-butt kitchen. The best investment I ever did was a pot rack (see photo). (02/04/2010)

By fletchypoo

RE: Organizing a Small Kitchen

Archive: Organizing a Small Kitchen

I am learning to cook and have bought several spices and have a small kitchen. I need to know the best way to organize them without them looking cluttered.

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