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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.
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.
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 Clynn Altemus from Inglis, FL
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
I had this handy dollar store over-the-door hook. I wanted to hang it over the top of my cupboard next to the stove for hot pads and towels. But, I have the kind of cupboards that are not square on top.
The hooks fell forward too far and rattled each time I opened them.
I found it worked great on the oven door. I made a couple hot pads and crocheted a chain to keep the towel on the door so you could see the affect. I think it works great.
This tip might help you, too.
I adapted instructions for a vinyl molding spice rack to fit my space. I used the space just between the counter top and the cabinets.
My passion is my kitchen and making it easier to work in, as it is small. I just try different things. 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.
I was about to lose it before a dinner party when I ran out of counter space. I opened my utensil drawer and laid my cutting board on top and it was the perfect fit. I use this method in the kitchen every day, now, not just for when I cook for a party!
I helped a friend move into her first house since a divorce. To say she downsized would be an understatement. Counter space is of a premium to be sure. So, to consolidate two things, I suggested these two options.
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.
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 use an oval metal planter that has a plastic lining by my kitchen sink for my hand soap container, dishwashing soap container, stoppers, and scrubbers. They are all in one place and in a decorative container.
I have a very small computer desk that didn't have enough surface space. It has one drawer. I had a small metal cookie sheet that I wasn't using, so I covered it with a piece of an old plastic tablecloth.
In addition to making a magnetic knife holder, I also purchased little magnetic spice canisters to hold the spices I use most often. Like the ones that I have recently dried from the garden, or that are "over flow" spices that I bought extra of, like exotic peppers or salts.
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.
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.
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.
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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
You can get kitchen "utility carts" in many styles and sizes. They're on wheels, so you can move them where you need them. Some are open shelves, some are enclosed with drawers and doors. These can let you store small appliances, etc. and move them out of the way when you don't need them. Many come with a wood, cutting board top.
Keep stovetop utensils in a crock at the stove. Store large flat objects like cookie sheets in the stove drawer, if there is one. If you're allowed, install a hanging rack for pots/pans. Store cleaning products elsewhere, and use the under-sink space for kitchen storage. You may need to clean it thoroughly and line the bottom with shelf-liner. If you don't use items daily, or at least often, store them elsewhere in the apartment. Get some underbed boxes and keep stuff there easy access, but out of the way.
Scour the local thrift stores, you may find several utility carts. If they're not pretty, you can add a fabric "curtain" all around it.
I store my baking pans in the oven and my pots, kettles, and skillets in the drawer.
I feel your pain; if two of us are in the kitchen here, someone has to back up so the other can leave. We bought an inexpensive sideboard which lives in our entry way, and it's doubled the kitchen storage. And things I don't use much, like the cake mixer actually stay in a box in the bedroom.
Apartment Therapy has posted oodles of articles on this subject:
They've done a lot of articles on organizing for any room in virtually any size and most recently they had a contest for "Small Cool" apartments that range from under 400 sq ft to 1000 sq ft (link is at the top right now). Those entries may help you as well. Lots of great ideas to pull from their site even if the decor (seems to be mostly mid-century modern) isn't your style.
Hope that helps.
I would store what you don't need daily and find creative ways to maybe hang your pots on the wall. There are cute copper pot hanging accessories in stores. Also, use shelving and other creative storage devices in the drawers and cabinets to maximize your space. Places like the Container Store and Bed Bath and Beyond have space saving gadgets that may help you to extend your limited space. Good luck.
Thanks guys! Great ideas! I am definitely going to install some shelving, put pans in the oven drawer, and I am totally loving this apartment therapy website. Thanks to all!
You don't really need a lot of pots and pans. An electric skillet can be used to cook soup, rice, scrambled eggs, chicken, pancakes, fritters, a roast, steak...almost anything! All you need is a plastic spatula and a fork, spoon and knife. Use disposable aluminum pans from the dollar store for baking, too. Use a small bowl (for eating out of) stored inside a larger mixing bowl for baking. Most often used utensils can be hung by nails from the cabinet doors if they are wood. All the best!
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!
I have a very small kitchen and do not have any space for a dinette table and 4 chairs. I only have 2 adults in my family, and was wondering if there anything else I could use for a table. I thought about a small portable card table, but wanted to get your suggestions first.
You can find small sized drop leaf tables. I do have a wood card table that is about 36" square in my small kitchen, but there are times I wish I had one that is more rectangle shape.
If you can or know someone who can, cut a custom table out of some plywood. If you have good studs in a wall, make hinges and drop it when you need the room, then bring it up when you need the table. It works great in some of the tiny homes you see built, so this is an idea who's time has come.
Ikea sells a small rectangular table that comes with 2 chairs that tuck inside the ends of the table.
To expand on Sandi's answer. You can buy a hinged table from a RV or Trailer Equipment Sales Store/Supplier. They can be hinged either upward or downward. If using a model that hinges upward than a peg leg can be used for extra support without bending. Less bending down is especially nice when you have a bad back. The bottom/sides of the table can be painted to match your walls, so it's not noticeable.
By K. Cooper
By Patty Zion
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.
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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. I need help organizing my entire kitchen, too. Ways of making items easily accessible.
Currently I have them alphabetized in 2 rows one behind the other. I have to be careful not to knock other spices over when garbing spices from behind them.
By Nate from Louisville, KY
One trick is to have things readily available in the areas you will use them. For example: spices near the stove (many people put spices on top of the back part of the stove or hang a spice rack on the wall above/behind the stove), small bowls are used infrequently so put them in a cabinet further away from things, same with plates, canned goods (that need cooking) in a lower cabinet close to the stove, canned goods (ready to eat) in a cabinet further away. We have a small kitchen and acquired a Hoosier/pie chest that we put in the hall outside the kitchen; we keep the canned goods in it. (03/15/2010)
I have two methods that work for me. I put them in a shallow drawer that is handy in the kitchen. They are lined up with labels facing me as the drawer is opened. You can keep them in place by wedging something that you don't use very often behind them.
Another idea is to get a turntable carousel for spices at a kitchen accessory store. These are really handy on the counter top and don't take much space. Hope this helps. (Cook for Years) (03/16/2010)
Just remember that small appliances, seldom used items, extra supplies, etc. don't necessarily have to be stored in the kitchen. Any closet, like a coat closet can be used. Anything can be stored under you bed, also. (03/16/2010)
If you have cabinet space near your stove or food-prep area, you can install a spice unit that folds out and down (like miniature pull-down stairs), very handy. If you don't have cabinet space to spare, there's an under-cabinet unit for spices you can affix to one of your upper cabinets. Of course, these will hold only spices in containers that fit the unit, but it's neat, handy, and keeps your counter-space clear. (03/16/2010)
I put my spices/herbs in plastic baskets about 12" X 2" . They are like desk/drawer organizers that you can get at any drugstore for under fifty cents each. You can fit 4-5 jars to a basket. I usually put herbs that go together like cumin powder, chili powder, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper together in a basket. Then I label the front of the basket. When I am cooking something that needs a Mexican flavor I can simply pull out that basket. No muss, no fuss, and no knocked over jars. Hope this helps.
My house was built in the 60's; back then people didn't have all the appliances and kitchen equipment so I have had to improvise and organize. If you are fortunate enough to have a handy man around, he could make a rack for you. Mine is above the sink and faucet. I also have turntables in the cabinet near the stove. Baking supplies are on the other side of the room where the eating nook once was. I put our large fridge over there (the space designed for one is way too small for modern ones so that space now is another lower cabinet and shelves above) and added upper and lower cabinets. I still have to store stuff elsewhere sometimes.
I am trying to break a long-standing habit of buying a lot of everything. It was how I shopped when I had a large family at home, but I am trying to break the habit now. I also use the ends of cabinets to store utensils, colander, etc. I store cutting boards and plastic cutting sheets between the micro and oven. I also hang potatoes and onions in one of those hanging baskets. (03/16/2010)
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
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)
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)
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 Manitowah from Gloversville, NY
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)