When we downsized our house, I lost a lot of kitchen space. Like a lot, a lot. Having a small kitchen has been amazing and has really forced me to simplify more than anything. I have had to get intentional about what I use and be honest about what I don’t use. So if you find yourself with less storage space in your kitchen, I have compiled some of my best tips to help you make the most out of your kitchen!
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First thing’s first. Declutter.
When you have a small kitchen, you have got to be intentional about what you keep. Having less clutter to deal with will make storage solutions so much simpler.
Just like most things in our life, there is a chance you already know what kitchen products you are using over and over again.
You know what pan is your favorite, what spatula is the best and even your favorite coffee mug.
But I know decluttering can feel overwhelming, so here are my best recommendations on where to start:
- Separated pairs
- Unused items
- Expired products
- Tops of the counters and cabinets
- The lest favorite things
Doubles are everywhere in kitchens. Chances are you have multiple frying pans that are the same size, double spoons, double soup ladles and maybe even doubled up spices.
When it comes to things like spices, take the time to condense them and then recycle the container. For things like spatulas and other hardware, choose the ones that are your favorites and donate the rest.
Bonus: you’ll end up with less dirty dishes!
You know those lonely plastic containers shoved in the bottom of your cupboard never to be heard from again? Well, it’s time to take them out. Match them up with their partner (container and top) and discard any that don’t have a match.
Now it’s time to get practical. What are you actually not using? That cake decorating set you swore you would get to someday? Your great grandmother’s punch bowl? Be honest about the items that aren’t serving a purpose and be willing to part ways.
Tops of the cabinets
Decorating the very tops of your cabinets can add a little style to your kitchen. But, too much can just make the entire kitchen seem closed in and cluttered. Trying going for a more minimalist look. Less is more.
Tops of the counters
Do you know those bulky items like the blender, toaster and Instant Pot? Taking the time to create and store these items somewhere else instead of on top of your counters can instantly create a clutter-free kitchen and give you more working space on your counters.
Your least favorite things
Remember when I said you probably know what your favorite coffee mug is? Well, how many do you actually have? How many do you actually use? Unless you frequently give coffee to an entire Army of people, there’s a good chance that you have a few coffee mugs you could donate to clear some cupboard space.
Of course there is more than coffee mugs in this category. Favorite bowls, plates, wine glasses. Narrow it down so that the items you own are the items that truly bring you the most joy.
Maximize your space
After you’ve gone through and decluttered your kitchen, it’s time to find ways to optimize your space for better storage of the things you did decide to keep.
I’ve got some great storage ideas that we have taken advantage of ourself to maximize space in our small kitchen.
- Double shelving
- KonMari drawers
- Store pans sideways
- Hanging storage
More on the KonMari Method
- How to KonMari Your Suitcase for a 2 Week Road Trip
- His and Hers KonMari Closet Makeover
- Creating a Functional Office/Bedroom the KonMari Way
Cupboard space is precious when you have a small kitchen. Make the absolute most of it by creating extra shelving. There are a ton of options to match your style and storage needs.
One of the basic organizational tips behind the KonMari method is making sure you can see everything you own. This makes finding items easier and helps you be aware of everything you own. You can see our KonMari kitchen declutter and organization in real-time.
Store pans sideways
Instead of stacking pans on top of one another like those little nesting dolls try storing them sideways so they take up less space and you can get to them much easier.
You might not have counter space or inside cupboard space, but you can take advantage of hanging space by hanging things on the outsides of your cupboards or on your walls.
My favorite way to do this is with fresh fruits and veggies. Not only does this free up food storage space but it reminds you that you have fresh fruits and veggies to be eaten!
Store food smarter
We are a family of 5 and we eat a ton, which means we’ve had to be pretty savvy about our food storage. Thankfully, we do have a pantry, but we lost a lot of cupboard space and refrigerator/freezer storage as well.
A lot of times we shop in bulk at places like Costco, so managing our food organization is super important. Here are some of the best tips that I have found work for us.
- Keep small items together
- Cycle your food
- Shop your pantry
- Process bulk items right away
Keep small items together
I am a big fan of tea, especially during our cold Minnesota winters. We’ll also buy small snack packs in bulks to use in quick lunches on the go or when we travel.
Instead of leaving these all in the boxes, I try to gather them together and organize them. That way we can see them, know when we’re running low and I don’t have small packages floating all around my house.
Cycle your food
To make sure you are keeping your small kitchen organized and that you aren’t letting food go bad, work to cycle your food.
That means when you come home from the store, put your new purchases behind and old “leftovers” you might have. For example, if you have a few cups of Cheerios leftover, make sure they are in the front of your cupboard or pantry. Store the new box behind so that you are ready to refill when necessary.
Shop your pantry
Avoid double purchases by shopping your pantry first before you go grocery shopping. That just means taking a quick inventory of all the things you have and gathering some potential meal ideas based on what you currently have in stock.
Process bulk items right away
Like I said, we buy a lot of things in bulk. This can quickly take up a lot of space in our pantry if we let it. That’s why I make sure to process all of our bulk items right away.
Things like rice, oatmeal, cereals, and other dry goods get instantly put into large glass jars. Then I break down all of the boxes and put them immediately into the recycling. This saves a ton of space and helps me see what food items I’m running low on.
Combat clutter right away
Just like decluttering, there is another genius way to keep your small kitchen storage nice and tidy and that’s by avoiding bringing in additional clutter.
This can be as easy as not buying more stuff to add to your kitchen supplies. However, our everyday lifestyles tend to clutter up our kitchens rather quickly.
Another great idea is to just keep re-evaluating what you have.
A funny thing happens when you start being more minimalist and intentional about what you own; it gets easier to let go of more.
So just because you went through and decluttered once doesn’t mean you might not get the itch to do it again! Doing this can help clear space in your kitchen and in your mind!