Are you cursed with a small kitchen? Never fear, there is always room to make a great meal. Creative storage will help you keep the necessary food and tools easily on-hand. In every kitchen there are underutilized areas that are begging to be put to use. Here are ten tips for making the most of every nook and cranny.
- Pegboards and potracks
Pegboards can be attached to a wall or even the back of a door and come with movable hooks that allow you to hang any type of kitchen item easily. The hooks are available in various sizes and can be moved to accommodate your kitchen items from pots to graters. If you want the pegboard to fit into your decor, paint it and arrange your supplies in a creative way rather than just functional. Another great option is a pot rack which hangs from the ceiling. If you have the head room, it's the ideal spot for bulky pots.
- Shelving in your shelves
If you can't see your food, you probably won't use it. Using pantry risers (stepped shelves) or small wire shelves (they come in various sizes and heights) can allow you to make use of the vertical space in your cupboards. Install a lazy Susan in an awkward corner cupboard.
- Ovens aren't just for baking
The pans you need for baking can be quite large. The best storage solution for these items is to keep them where you use them, the oven. There is lots of space in an oven, so your baking sheets, cooling racks, and muffins tins will fit in there quite handily. Make sure you take them out before you heat up the oven.
- Make your kitchen hook happy
Put hooks anywhere that makes sense. If you have a rolling table, install a few on the side to hang anything from oven mitts to serving spoons. You can put hooks inside your cabinet doors to hang tea towels, or under your cabinets to hang mugs.
- DIY pantry
If your kitchen is small, you probably don't have a designated pantry cupboard; things just fit where there is room. A good solution is to buy a cupboard (either something new or get creative with a second-hand piece) and turn it into a storage area for dry goods, tins and equipment. If you don't have room for a stand-alone piece, find a cabinet you can mount on the wall.
- Store your knives on a magnet
One of the easiest kitchen storage tricks is to attach a magnet strip to the wall and then put your knives on it. Knife blocks take up a lot of space and you may not have enough drawer space for your knives, so a magnet is the perfect solution.
- Organization is always key
Although your space may be limited, be smart about where you store items. Generally, dishes go within easy reach of the sink or dishwasher for ease of unloading. Put foodstuffs with like, e.g. oil and vinegar are often used together, keep your spices in one spot (although not mixed in one container as the stronger smelling spices can impact the taste and odour of other spices), and keep your dry goods such as rice, beans, flour, crackers etc. together.
- Movable furniture
A rolling kitchen cart is a useful piece of furniture in a small kitchen. Whether it's big or small, a rolling cart has storage space and provides another work area when you need it. Roll it away when you are finished. It can also be used as an extra serving counter if you are entertaining.
- Look up
Is there room above your cabinets? This area could be the perfect place to store seldom used pots, bowls and platters. You could also use this space to store small items such as candles, bulbs, or screwdrivers in lidded boxes or baskets.
- Keep it clean as you go
In a small kitchen where counter space is at a premium, it is essential to clean as you go. Do a load of dishes while things are in the oven or simmering on the stove. This way you will have plenty of space when it comes time to serve the meal.