In some cases, the size of your kitchen will not quite measure up to your culinary ambitions, and while it is easy to lament the size of the cooker or the available surface space, storage of everything can be the biggest drawback of a small kitchen. There are expensive options – you could conceivably build an extension or move to a new house. However, either will take much longer than putting one or more of the below tips into practice, and you may well find that you do not require any additional space after all. Work smarter, not harder, as the old saying goes, and you’ll have the perfect opportunity to reach new peaks in the kitchen.
1. Get Rid of Anything You Don’t Use
If you are in the mood to make some changes in the kitchen, you should start off by freeing up as much space as possible. If there are utensils, cutlery and even appliances that have not made it out of a cupboard in months, be ruthless and decide whether you really need it. Space is valuable and the more you have to work with initially, the easier making the most of it will be.
2. Use the Walls
Shelves and hooks are your friends when you want to make the most of available space. If it is difficult to expand outwards, it is always worth an attempt to spread upwards. The best part is that fixtures and fittings in the kitchen rarely look out of place. Browse online photos for ideas and consider what can fit where, in the most obvious available space. Anything that can go on the wall does not need to go in a cupboard or drawer, leaving more space for anything else that comes to mind.
3. Prioritise Cupboard Space
Unless you have unusually rounded rooms, there will be corner cupboards in your kitchen that are so deep that they feel impractical. When space comes at a premium, however, you should make extensive use of everything that you possibly can. Factor the relative inconvenience of this space in when you decide what to put there. Anything perishable is a bad idea, but any of the appliances that made the cut when you declutter but only just will find a perfect home back there.
4. Add Pull Out Options to Cupboards
Some cupboards in your kitchen will be narrow and deep, much like those in corners. Unlike those corner cupboards, it is possible to make better use of the available space. A pull-out larder will fully utilise the cupboard all the way back to the wall, and the design means that you can access the space from either side. At the front, it will blend seamlessly with the kitchen as it retains the same door and finish, but hides away some fantastic usable space.
5. Grab Specialist Storage Items
An easy way to take up more space than you need is to store all foods in the packaging they arrive in. Pasta boxes are bigger than they need to be, and cereal boxes rarely fit together as well as it seems. Jars and airtight containers often benefit from their more uniform nature, so you can fit more food into less space and add a special dash of character to the kitchen in the process.
6. Move from the Counter to the Cupboard
A common issue for those with limited space in the kitchen is that they do not have enough of a work surface rather than insufficient space in the cupboards and drawers. While some items traditionally live on the countertop, there is no need to stick with tradition. If a knife block feels out of place out in the open, consider a drawer-based solution and so the same with anything else that does not earn a place on the worktop through daily usefulness.
7. Shelves Aren’t Just for the Walls
The chances are that there is at least a cupboard or too with available space if you apply the same principles as you do to the walls. If less than half the cupboard is full in any direction, then shelves might well be the solution. They are easy to install yourself without the need to change anything else in the kitchen, and you’ll find yourself doubling or even tripling the available storage space in a cupboard.
8. Keep Utensils Together
A common mistake, when pushed for space, is for every single kitchen utensil to have its own dedicated spot in the drawer. Assuming you use and clean everything regularly, it makes far more sense to keep them together in a pot or other suitable container. This can then either take up minimal space on the worktop or be placed in a cupboard depending on how often you use them.
9. Ditch the Cookbooks
There is something therapeutic about thumbing through a cookbook looking for recipes and adding your favourites. We are big fans of them, but only if you have space. If you don’t, then it can be difficult to justify the sheer amount of space these books take up – especially when there is such a superior option. A phone or tablet is basically all you need nowadays to store and access recipes, and the same device will double as a timer and alarm – and you’ll have no trouble immediately sharing your creations to your social network of choice.
10. Consider Other Space in the Home
The chances are that everything you store in the kitchen lives there because that’s where it is used the most. If you’re really pressed for space, however, you can store items that see little use elsewhere in the home. You might have a cupboard under the stairs or relatively bare units in the dining room. If there is free space, consider moving some of your lesser-used utensils and equipment to them and bring them through to the kitchen as and when required.