Organising a small kitchen can be daunting. Last month I shared more pantry organising tips because this is such a challenging area for many people. I know that the pantry isn’t the only problem area in the kitchen though. Small kitchens are especially tricky to keep organised but with less storage space it is even more important. So, this month, I’ll share some more tips for kitchen calm.
Know Your Prime Real Estate
Generally speaking, the area between eye-height and waist-height is prime real estate. Around the kitchen, waist-height is often the benchtop so where is the prime real estate in this situation? It is the top shelf or drawer under the bench or the first shelf above the bench. Put your most used items in these locations. Make the things you need to get to most often the most accessible.
Store Things Where You Use Them
In the same vein, think about where things are used most. For example, I recommend storing pots, pans and baking trays near the stove and oven. Plates, bowls, cups and cutlery in the drawers closest to the dishwasher makes unpacking the dishwasher quick and easy.
Think too about where you plug in and use appliances. Rather than hauling them across the kitchen, see if you can find space for them in the cupboard under the bench where they are used. Storing all the small appliances together in the cupboard near the powerpoint makes sense.
Store Related Items Together
Gather items that are used together into one basket or container. For example, put all your cookie-cutting or cake-decorating items in one basket. Put all the attachments for your food processor in another.
Use Vertical Space Efficiently
So often cupboards are half empty because there is space above the items on a shelf. Use shelf inserts or ‘shelf risers’ to create mini-shelves to maximise storage space. Stacking containers are another option that make excellent use of vertical space when organising a small kitchen.
There might be the option to add shelves to your cupboards with adjustable shelves by getting a piece of MDF cut to size and buying a few more shelf supports.
Use Horizontal Space Efficiently
Often there is lots of wasted space in drawers that could be better utilised (and better organised) with dividers or by inserting boxes or baskets into the available space. This is a winner to organise a small kitchen.
Storing baking trays vertically, supported by a file organiser or bookend can be a space saver too.
Eliminate the Unnecessary
When you don’t have a lot of kitchen storage space, there is no room for unnecessaries. Thinking about appliances, which ones duplicate the functions of others? Only keep the appliances that pull their weight. For example, you may not need a citrus juicer if your food processor has a juicing attachment. Appliances that have multiple functions can be a space saver. You could store less used items elsewhere if you don’t want to get rid of them altogether.
While we’re on the topic of appliances, are there any that you rarely use? Think about getting rid of them. If you need that item later, it is likely you could borrow it. You are also resourceful – you’ll find another way to do the job.
Minimise the Number of Items
Similarly, reduce the number of any one type of item. For example, how many coffee mugs do you really need? If you are a household of two maybe four is enough for you plus a couple of extras for guests. Plastic containers can also accumulate and the ‘plastics drawer’ is often a source of stress in the kitchen. Cull it down to only what you really need.
Plan for Flow
My final tip for organising a small kitchen is to plan, plan, plan. Think about how you use the space. Walk through your common tasks. Make sure your workflow, well, flows! Eliminating the frustration of things being hard to get to will make using your small kitchen so much more enjoyable.
Do you have more tips for organising a small kitchen? Please do share them in the WellSorted Facebook Group. Let’s help each other live a calmer and more organised life.