After graduating from college, most people either live with their parents for a short period, move in with roommates, or become one of the lucky few to move into their own place. I think it’s safe to say that most of us fall into the first two categories. When we finally get our own place, we usually have to compromise a bit when it comes to what we get for the price. For me, that meant going with an apartment that has large bedrooms, a large living room, a dining area, and an incredibly small kitchen.
As a baker and someone who spends a lot of time in the kitchen, I knew I had to make my awkwardly spaced and storage-less kitchen work for me. Here are a few ways you can get the most out of your tiny space, the storage that you do have, and some areas that have a lot of potential.
You’ve probably heard this one before, but any space on your walls can become storage space. You can use open assembled kitchen cabinets, shelving, metal bars with S hooks, pegboard, or command hooks. Hang pots and utensils from the wall or create shelves with nice baskets to hide the mess.
This one can be tricky if you’re renting, but if your landlord is okay with it, try hanging a pot rack from the ceiling in your kitchen. Or if your kitchen cabinets don’t go all the way to the ceiling, store items that you don’t use often on top of the cabinets.
How to handle the awkward:
My washer and dryer are in my kitchen, and they aren’t the stackable kind. I decided to go with front-loading washers and dryers (If you’re looking for something cheaper, check a scratch and dent outlet store), so that way, my roommate and I can still use the space on top of the units for the microwave and other small appliances. This also doubled our counter space. So basically, look at the awkward and unused spaces in your kitchen, especially if they have large surface areas on the sides or top. You can use these spaces, you just have to figure out where they are and what you have left to store.
Some other examples are using magnetic spice containers on the front of your fridge, adding a spice rack or similar shelving to a door in your kitchen, or hanging objects from hooks on the side of a cabinet or on the inside of the door.
The No-Pantry Problem:
One of the many things missing from small kitchens, besides counter and cabinet space, is a pantry. Sometimes you have to think outside of the kitchen. If you’ve got space for bookshelves or accent furniture in your dining or living room, you can use them to store items that you don’t use on a regular basis. Metal or industrial shelving is another great way to add a makeshift pantry, which my roommate and I did just outside of our kitchen. We can also hang a lot of things off of our metal shelves, which makes it totally worth the purchase.
Aside from that, keeping your kitchen as organized and clean as possible will help it feel bigger, even when it’s not. Clean up clutter, simplify, and clear out your cabinets and fridge often.