Recently, one of my lovely readers contacted me with the following question: I have a very small kitchen with almost no pantry or cupboard space … help … what do I do?
So, today I thought I would share some tips and ideas that may help if you find yourself in the same situation. This is more common than you may think, particularly if you live in a unit or apartment.
As I’ve said in a previous post, it’s not always possible to add more cupboards or an extra room so it’s more about making sure we utilise every millimetre of space that’s available so that we have room to store our possessions, while still living in a clean, uncluttered space, so here’s some ideas:
1. Declutter, declutter, declutter! No matter how big or small your home is we don’t want to store and organise things that we don’t need or use so be ruthless and get rid of the “stuff”.
2. Try to create some space in another room or area of the house. Your kitchen may be small but you might be able to place a crate on wheels at the bottom of the linen cupboard. Alternatively, you may be able to install a cupboard or shelving in the garage to store kitchen items that you need but don’t use often, things like large platters for family gatherings, a deep fryer that you may only use once every couple of weeks. Non-perishable items can also be stored in another room e.g. tinned and packaged food that doesn’t need to be refrigerated.
3. Make sure you are using the correct-sized plastic or Tupperware containers. If you only need to store 500g of flour or sugar, don’t use big containers that will store much larger quantities because they will only take up valuable space. Match the size of your storage containers to the quantity of the item you are actually storing.
4. Evaluate the quantities of all items that you keep e.g. Do you really need 12 coffee mugs or could you manage with 6 on a day-to-day basis. If you would like to keep 12, do they all need to be stored in the kitchen or could you keep 6 in the kitchen and 6 somewhere else. That may seem extreme but if space is a premium, small solutions like this can make a big difference.
5. Rely on disposable items when family and friends visit. If you only occasionally have to host a large party or gathering, instead of buying and storing large quantities of plates and bowls, you can now buy some fantastic plastic plates and bowls very cheaply. Besides, who wants to do all those dishes anyway!
6. Try to maximise vertical space. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know that I’m a big fan of using every ounce of space available. Stackable shelves are great for this because they allow you to use all the “dead space” at the tops of cupboards by creating more layers. I used this technique recently when organising my plastics/tupperware cupboard.
7. Use the tops of cupboards. Some kitchen cupboards aren’t installed all the way to the ceiling, so the addition of some pretty baskets or plastic crates can provide some wonderful storage, particularly for those items you don’t use all the time.
8. Consider installing an overhead cupboard if you have the space. Think about the design and layout of your kitchen because you could possibly have a “blank” wall where another set of cupboards could be built.
9. Use the space beside the fridge. Try moving your fridge to one side of the space where it sits to create a wider space on one side, then try to use that space to create some storage solutions. I did this very thing recently and the result was amazing.
10. Use the space on top of the microwave. This is the perfect flat surface to add a beautiful basket, bowl, tray or other container to help create more space.