I am one of those people you see on a home makeover show whose kitchen is so small, a mouse couldn’t feel comfortable! I have a kitchen that would be perfect for a studio apartment. I have one counter, of which, the sink takes up 1/3 of the space. I have 2 cabinets and no storage, regular sized appliances and no table as there is no room for it. I love to cook, so I had to get creative to make the most of my small space.
I found some great solutions to my small kitchen size that have worked great for me.
● Consolidate your kitchen tools: Many people don’t use everything in their kitchen, and if you are trying to work within a small space, you need to sort through your goodies! For myself, I received a lot of kitchen items as wedding gifts and also for Christmas gifts and I have never used them. I never used my electric veggie steamer or rice maker and I had duplicates and even triplicates of measuring cups, spoons and such. I was able to completely clear out one of my 3 drawers and one piece of prime real estate; a shelf in my cabinet!
● Buy a rolling chefs table: A rolling chefs table or butcher block table are more affordable than you think. I guessed they would cost upwards of $200-300, but you can find several for under $100. This is a great way to get instant workspace without paying high dollars for building additional counter or cabinet space. These tables typically have 2-3 shelved under the work surface, so you can store any number of things. If you choose this solution, you have essentially added not only a work space but storage space as well.
● Use your walls: The one good thing about not having any cabinet space is that you have extra wall space!! My mom has a great solution to her storage issues; a peg board! My mom has a peg board in just about every room of her condo. You can find peg boards and hooks at the craft or home improvement store. You can hang your measuring spoons and cups, mixing spoons, coffee cups, bottle lids and lots more. This is a great way to capitalize on the wall space you have and minimize the amount of stuff you have in your drawers. You can also hang a magnetic strip along your wall above your counters to hang your knives, providing more room in your drawers
● Use alternatives for cooking meals: We love to cook stir fry and we were cooking the protein in one pan, we were cooking the veggies in another. We finally clued in and bought a wok and it is a very versatile tool. We have also fried chicken in it, steamed veggies, cooked rice and even made a delicious breakfast casserole. Another great item is a slow cooker, a.k.a. crockpot. I use my crockpot several times a week and not only does it cut down on space, but it also save you on your electric bill and during the summer keeps your kitchen cool. Get creative with your crockpot because it is not just for cooking a whole chicken or pot roast in! We use it for chili, soup, BBQ, spare ribs and tons more.
● Use your cabinet space…under the cabinets: You can find reasonably priced toaster ovens, can openers, microwaves and several other small appliances that are mounted to the underside of your cabinet. I have found many of the under the counter mounted appliances are very affordable, with some costing the same as the counter top version. When you are deciding where to put these items, remember to put them close to a power outlet or you will go through a lot of work for naught!!
● Buy or make a shelving unit: Although we have no space to spare in our kitchen, we do have a small bit of space in the laundry room. Our washer and dryer take up almost the whole wall, but we also have out A/C unit in there, so there is a perpendicular area which is in front of the A/C unit we were able to place a wire shelving unit. It is very well made and has 4 shelves in addition to the top of the shelf, so we opened up a huge amount of storage space for the kitchen. We have put our crock pot, mixing bowls and cookware on the shelves. We actually had a leftover shelf that we have put the kid’s skates, helmets and pads on. The unit cost us a little over $60 and if you are handy, you could build one for less.