Two years ago I moved from a tiny rental townhouse to a cute little mid-century modern home. There’s a lot more space in this “new” house, but from what I’ve seen on HGTV, my house is still considered really small, especially the kitchen. My “new” kitchen is actually very old, and is in desperate need of an update, but it’s about three times the size of what I was working in before, so I’m really happy with it. I had my tiny old kitchen for 10 years and people who knew me from potlucks were always shocked when they came over for the first time and saw how small it was. “You make all of that delicious food in here?” someone once asked. I’ve had health coaching clients tell me that their kitchens are too small to cook in, but that kind of sounds like “my dog ate my homework” to me, so I never accept it as an excuse. You can make just about any space work for you.
Here my tips for making a small kitchen work:
Stay organized! Organization is key. You can buy drawer and cabinet organizers pretty inexpensively at just about any store that sells home goods. Sometimes shelf organizers can even help to double space.
Use the backs of cabinets. Spice racks, pot lid holders and even dispensers for foil and wax paper can be found pretty easily in most home stores as well.
Look up! You may have more vertical space than you realize. Use the tops of cabinets or even hang a ceiling mounted pot hanger.
Use hooks and hangers. Mount them on walls, the backsplash or the sides of cabinets. My old kitchen had a bar with hooks on the side of a cabinet that I hung my large pots from. I bought it Ikea, and they also has some great accessories for hanging utensils and things like potholders and spices.
Keep designated countertop zones. Make sure you have a designated space for chopping and prepping food and don’t use it for anything else.
Minimize countertop clutter. Have a space for everything and put it all away they’re not in use. In the case of appliances “away” sometimes means it’s still on the counter, but make sure items all have a space where they belong.
Don’t overshop! There were many times where I came home from the grocery store and found that there was no place to put some of the food I just bought, so canned and jarred goods sometimes ended up in a bag on the floor. Learn from my mistakes! Keep staples on hand, but only buy what you need when at the store.
Get extra cabinets if necessary. This can be a cute vintage cabinet that hangs on the wall for your spices, or something larger that sits on the floor. We had to buy an extra cabinet to sit under the counter at our old house to keep cat food in. It worked and we weren’t attached to it so we left it when we moved out.
Keep the room clean! Don’t leave dirty dishes, groceries, or food out. Clutter and junk will make the room look smaller.
Don’t over decorate the room. Sometimes decorations can actually look like clutter. Keep things clean and minimal and use kitchen related items as decoration. I have a cute retro colander my friend Liz gave me and I have sitting on top of my microwave with fruit in it. It’s functional and decorative at the same time.