How to maximize a small kitchen space

If your kitchen is small on square footage, lacking in counter space, or missing sufficient storage, it can feel too cramped to cook. No matter how small it is, there are a number of ways to squeeze the most space out of a tiny kitchen. The following six tips can help you be creative and resourceful when maximizing a small kitchen space!

  1. Downsize what you don’t use

Most of us have dishes, cookware, and small appliances that are rarely – if ever – used. If storage space is at a premium, consider downsizing kitchen tools that take up too much space or hardly see the light of day. A large stand mixer, for example, can be replaced by a much smaller – and easier to store – hand mixer, while a multipurpose saucepan can be kept instead of a fondue pot. Likewise, eliminate extras or duplicates whenever possible to keep cabinets and drawers from overflowing.

  1. Use space above – and below – cabinets

If your cabinets don’t go all the way to the ceiling, use the space above them for storage. Large appliances that aren’t used every day, such as crockpots or large roasting pans, can be stored on top of cabinets. Likewise, installing an open shelf in the space above cabinets can allow dishes, serving platters, and other dishes to shine as kitchen décor.

Toe kick drawers are also an innovative way to maximize kitchen storage space. Most standard cabinets can be retrofitted with toe kick drawers, taking advantage of space that is otherwise rarely used. These drawers are ideal for storing flat items such as cookie sheets or aluminum foil and plastic wrap boxes.

  1. Install backsplash that does double duty

Julia Child famously used pegboard in her kitchen to store pots, pans, and other kitchen tools. Pegboard made of metal such as stainless steel or painted to a high gloss finish protects the walls, creates flexible storage that can be easily changed and rearranged, and keeps kitchen tools close at hand. Magnetic knife strips can also be used to free up counter and drawer space by utilizing wall space instead.

  1. Purchase pan dividers and risers

Prevent a clattering lid avalanche when opening cabinets by using pan dividers to keep pots, pans, and baking dishes neatly stacked and organized. Cabinet risers or shelves can also help maximize vertical space in cabinets – and keep you from trying to pull a dish from the middle of a huge stack.

  1. Store dry items in bulk containers

Instead of cluttering cabinets with random boxes or bags, invest in uniform bulk containers for dry items such as pasta, cereal, or flour. This can help keep groceries organized, neat, and visible. Need additional storage space? Consider expanding kitchen storage into another room. A nearby closet can do double duty by storing both coats and pantry items.

  1. Don’t be afraid to store items in the oven

How often do you actually use your oven? If you’re only cooking in it a few times a month, it may be worth it to use the space for storage. Large baking sheets, muffin tins, or roasting pans are amongst the most common items to store in the oven; just make sure to take them out before you preheat.

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