As a city dweller, living with a tiny kitchen is a rite of passage. Sure, we all would have loved to graduate from college and stumble straight into a dream home with a marble island and a fully organized kitchen, but in my heart of hearts, I know that having to use your stovetop as extra counter space is character building and that nothing feels more rewarding than your first kitchen with an actual dishwasher.
My grandmother always told me to “bloom where you’re planted” (sound advice, no?), so if you’re like me and have seemingly found yourself planted in a tiny kitchen with minimal countertop and cabinet space, fear not. I’ve scoured the internet for five tiny kitchens that lend some killer organizational tips to transform your quaint and cozy cook space.
1. Utilize every nook and cranny.
If your refrigerator is within close proximity of your stovetop, make the most of the tight footprint by utilizing magnetic strips to hang chopping knives and oven mitts. This simple and inexpensive hack frees up extra space on your countertop or inside kitchen drawers for food prep and day-to-day storage.
2. Consolidate your spices.
I recently realized that my chaotic spice drawer contained about three jars of Paprika, a disappointing taco seasoning that I’ve only used once, and an absurd amount of nutmeg that I bought for a holiday recipe I made two years ago. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Start by taking stock of which spices, vinegars, and oils you actually use, and donate duplicates to a local food bank. Displaying 5-10 spices in uniform containers now feels more like art than clutter.
3. Focus on vertical space.
Finding a suitable home for cleaning supplies and refillable goods when you don’t have a pantry can feel like an impossible task, but this tiny kitchen turns open storage into a functional feature, thanks to charming wall hooks and vertical storage solutions. My favorite trick? Hanging up onions and potatoes in neutral produce bags rather than corralling in baskets or bowls on the countertop.
4. Keep dishware consistent.
A key to optimal kitchen organization is having dishware sets and serveware pieces that nest well together. When it comes to stacking plates, dishes, and glasses on your open kitchen shelves, opt to keep the style, shape, and size consistent so that they can be stored together in a streamlined fashion, taking up the least amount of real estate possible.
5. Utilize an island.
This charming kitchen isn’t lacking in style, but the sloped roof creates some definite spatial challenges for creating a functional or spacious layout. Bringing in an island as the main source of storage and countertop space transforms a basic, one-wall kitchen into a chef-approved cook space.