8 Tips To Maximize Your Small Kitchen Space

8 Tips To Maximize Your Small Kitchen Space

Many of us dream of a giant kitchen with endless storage space and a perfect design — after all, there’s a reason kitchens are featured so prominently in design magazines and television shows. But the truth is, if you use your kitchen, finding enough space for storage, prep, and cooking is almost always impossible. And for those of us working with limited space, it can feel all too easy for our kitchen space to become overwhelmed with clutter, turning the relaxing chore of cooking into a cramped nightmare.

However, even a small kitchen can be transformed into an organized oasis, allowing ample room for even the most dedicated home cook. Check out our tips and tricks to maximize your small kitchen space.

1. Streamline Your Tools And Gadgets

Chef Alton Brown loves to draw a distinction between “unitaskers” — kitchen gadgets that serve only a single function, and “multitaskers” — the gizmos that can be used to serve multiple functions in the prep and cooking process. While it can be tempting, especially for those of us who love to cook, to accumulate specialized tools, the truth is that most specialized gadgets tend to take up space while not getting much use. When equipping your small kitchen, it can be helpful to avoid cluttering counter space, drawers, and shelves with bulky items that simply don’t offer a lot of utility. Take an inventory of each tool in your kitchen and consider how frequently it gets used — if that juicer or breadmaker is just gathering dust and taking up counter space, it may be time to get it out of the way. 

And while you’re purging, it’s a great time to add drawer dividers to your equipment drawers to help organize the tools and gadgets you do use often, eliminating the need to go digging through your drawers every time you need a specialty item and allowing you to store more items in your drawers. Getting organized also has the benefit of keeping your items predictably stored, allowing you to avoid cuts or scrapes on sharp items like corkscrews or vegetable peelers as you search for the item you need.

2. Maximize Under-Cabinet And Backsplash Space

When you’re working with a small space, using every inch of available square footage becomes critical. Finding creative ways to use the space between the bottom of your cabinets and the top of your counters can help to move items off of counters and out of cabinets. A magnetic strip installed along your backsplash, for example, can allow you to get rid of a clunky knife block while providing hygienic storage for your chef’s knives, pizza cutters, and other metal implements.

Similarly, hooks installed underneath kitchen cabinets can provide a place to hang coffee mugs, which can take up a lot of space and be difficult to stack. If you don’t like the look of your mugs hanging over your countertops, adding hooks underneath shelves inside your cabinets can allow you to keep your mugs out of the way while still keeping them out of sight. 

3. Add Risers To Pantry And Cabinet Shelves To Double Your Storage

In most of our kitchens, regardless of size, we tend to waste a lot of vertical space inside our pantries and cabinets, putting everything on one shelf, leaving a lot of internal space unused, and making small items difficult to find. Adding cabinet risers can allow you to store more small or flat items in your cabinets while making access easier. 

4. Make Use Of Hanging And Wall-Mounted Storage

Hanging and wall-mounted storage can be a great way to maximize your space in a small kitchen. A wall-mounted dish rack can open up countertop space while not interfering with your ability to wash dishes, and wall or ceiling-mounted hanging pot racks, shelves, and glassware racks can help to add storage space while keeping your most frequently-used items close at hand.

5. Get Rid Of Packaging

Irregular product packaging for snack foods, cereal, and staples can take up a ton of space in your kitchen cabinets and pantry, making your space look disorganized and wasting a lot of room storing mostly air. Investing in a set of stackable glass or hard plastic storage containers can help to organize your staple items, getting rid of the cluttered look of boxes and bags, keeping foods fresher, and allowing you to assess when you need to replenish an item at just a glance. 

6. Invest In An Over-The-Sink Cutting Board

If counterspace is at a premium, a cutting board that fits over your kitchen sink can add a functional, easy-to-use prep space to your cramped quarters. Many cutting boards designed for over-the-sink use have built in colanders, allowing you to chop and wash produce in one easy step.

7. Install Sliding Shelves Or Drawers To Lower Cabinets

Many of us working with limited space tend to put as many items as possible into our lower cabinets, making it difficult to access items tucked into the back corners. Adding sliding racks or drawers to your lower cabinets can allow you to pull all of your items out at once and find what you need without breaking your back. Making this storage space more functional means you’ll actually use it — further maximizing even a small kitchen’s potential.

8. Add A Small Island Or Shelving Unit

It may seem counterintuitive to add an island or shelving unit to a small kitchen. After all, if space is already at a premium, why add another item that takes up space? However, an island can do double duty even in a cramped space, adding both easily accessible storage and food prep space. Storing frequently-used items on shelves underneath your island can make your kitchen more functional, making it easier and more fun to cook and eat at home more often.

When Home Means More, You Need a Team With More to Offer

Ready to make the move to a home with the kitchen of your dreams? Let us help! Home is about so much more than just four walls. Buying or selling a home is a big deal, and with everything we’ve experienced recently, our homes have never been more important. That’s why your local Baird & Warner agent is with you at every step of the way, from finding the perfect home to connecting you with local experts in mortgage and title. Whether it’s the beginning of a story or the end of a chapter, we’re here to help.

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