Does your house or apartment have a tiny kitchen? Do your appliances take up so much of the precious little counter space that you don’t have any space for meal prep?
If you’re struggling to maximize the space in your kitchen, we get it! Here are some kitchen planning tips that will help you make the most of your tiny kitchen.
1. Get Things Off the Counter
The biggest struggle with tiny kitchens is counter space. There are so many essential kitchen appliances – coffeemaker, microwave, blender, toaster oven – and they’re all taking up space on your counter! That doesn’t leave much space for anything else (like a knife block, a dish drying rack, or food storage).
How can you clear up some counter space? Look up!
You can replace a knife block with a magnetic knife strip that you can mount on the wall. A dish drying rack that fits over the sink will clear up an entire counter. For food storage, try tiered hanging baskets that can be hung from a hook on the ceiling or on the side of your cabinets.
If you want to get the appliances off the counter, try adding some shelves. If you’re handy you can build some shelves into the wall for appliances to sit on, or you can buy some counter top shelves. These shelves clear off the counter so you have room for meal prep without having to put the appliances in the cabinets.
2. Optimize Your Storage Spaces
Small kitchens also mean limited cabinet space. You’ll need to get creative with how to put things in the cabinet if you want to get as much as possible in there.
One option is to figure out what can come out of the cabinets. Try to get everyday dishes out of the cabinets by using counter top shelves for dish storage.
Pots and pans can come out of the cabinets if you get a hanging pot rack. If you have an entire cabinet dedicated to herbs and spices, a wall mounted spice rack is the perfect solution for making more space.
The other option is to get really good at cabinet Tetris. When you have a free afternoon, take everything out of the cabinets. Organize everything by size and shape. Then put it back in the cabinets in the way that takes up the least amount of space.
Food containers are a major offender when it comes to taking up space in your cabinets.
Each container gets tossed in separately, without the cover, etc. In no time at all you have a jumbled mess of different sized containers and you can’t find the matching lids. A great way to clean up this mess is to put away food containers with their covers on and stack them on top of each other, largest to smallest.
Another great way to organize your cabinets is to get cabinet shelving inserts. These come in many forms. They’re usually wire racks on small wheels that can be pulled out of the cabinet for easier access. These are great for storing those random cooking utensils that you’ve shoved into a single drawer or the food that just doesn’t fit well on the shelves.
3. Get Cabinets That Really Work for Your Kitchen
The cabinets that came with your tiny kitchen probably aren’t your favorite. Maybe you don’t like the way they look. Or maybe the shelves are spaced in such a way that you just can’t get things in there the way you’d like.
Having cabinets that don’t work for your kitchen is a major struggle when you’re trying to make the most of the little space you have. This is especially true if there aren’t enough cabinets or if they aren’t the right size to fit your kitchen accessories.
What’s the best solution? Custom cabinets that are built specifically for your kitchen! You can work with a professional to design cabinets that work with the space in your kitchen. You can even specify the dimensions so that they’re the right size for everything you need to put in them.
While investing in custom cabinets may seem like a costly way to solve your tiny kitchen struggles, it’s a worthy investment. Adding custom counters will make your life easier and increase the resale value of your home if you ever decide to sell.
4. Add a Prep Area
Many people solve the problem of lack of meal prep areas by adding an island in the middle of the kitchen. But chances are, your tiny kitchen doesn’t have space for an island.
There probably is space for a small table, though. You can purchase a kitchen cart or a kitchen utility table to add some prep space to your kitchen. Many of these carts or utility tables come with additional storage under the table, so you can keep utensils and essential ingredients an arm’s reach away.
Because the kitchen cart or utility table is on wheels, you can move it wherever it needs to be in the kitchen. You can even wheel it out of the kitchen when you don’t need it to give yourself some extra space.
5. Do A Deep Clean
So many of us have things in our kitchen that we haven’t used in ages. Like that dutch oven you swear you’re going to use for chili one day but haven’t touched. Or the toaster that you leave out even though you use your toaster oven for your morning bagel.
If you really want to maximize the space in your kitchen, it’s time to do a deep clean. Get picky about the things that get to stay in the kitchen. Move those items you only use every once in a while to the garage or another closet. If you haven’t used it in a few months, either get rid of it or find another place to store it.
Don’t try to rationalize keeping something you don’t use while doing your deep clean. In a tiny kitchen like yours, getting rid of that item makes more space for the things you really need.
Kitchen Planning for Your Tiny Kitchen
Having a tiny kitchen can be a struggle, but it doesn’t have to be! Use these kitchen planning tips to maximize the space you have.
For more kitchen organization and decor tips, check out the Kitchen section of our website.