Post by Stacey Walker. Stacey mostly works behind the scenes for Walker Woodworking, managing day to day operations, and marketing. Stacey has helped many clients create their dream space.
4 Organizational Tips for Small Kitchens
Kitchens are the headquarters of the home, everyone in the family will be there at one point or another. From morning to evening, the kitchen stays busy as we grab that quick breakfast, jot down that list of errands, or start cooking dinner. With so much going on it would seem that it needs to be the largest space in the home but sometimes that is not possible. When space is limited it needs to be maximized, often there is more space available than we realize and with good planning and some simple organization tips you can make your small kitchen seem big. Here are four organization tips that can help you gain more usable space in your kitchen.
While this is not the same thing as minimalism, there is a common thread between the two ideas, get rid of what you don’t need. When looking to maximize space it is a good practice to periodically go through your kitchen cabinets, countertops, and even the nearby closet and decide what really is needed and what can be eliminated. Some helpful questions to ask yourself when purging your stuff are:
Have I used this in the last 6 months?
Is this item similar to another I have that does the same job?
Would I buy this again?
Is this a duplicate?
Does it still work?
Would I pack it up and move it with me?
The answer to these questions can help you eliminate certain items faster. As you make your way through your kitchen ask yourself what you really use on a daily basis and put that in one area. Items that you rarely use should be placed in a separate pile and gone through a second time. As you do, think about what you really want to keep, like those special dishes, but it might be best to box them up and place them in a storage area. This means that you can keep it but not in a limited area like your kitchen. If you have a garage consider storing items such as air fryers and toaster ovens there where you have easy access when needed but they don’t take up valuable space in your small kitchen. Read a few more helpful ideas in this blog by Real Simple. A purged kitchen will be a well-functioning kitchen which eliminates stress.
Clear the Counter
Countertops are a key part of the kitchen. This is where we prepare food and can spread out. Countertops also tend to be one of the biggest traps for clutter in the kitchen. A cluttered countertop can make us feel stressed, lead to disorganization, and hinder our ability to cook. Again, the kitchen often becomes the center of the home making it easy to fill with clutter but there are things you can do to eliminate the mess and prevent it. Some of these suggestions include:
Keeping appliances off the counter
Dirty dishes belong in the dishwasher
Have a designated spot for mail
Limit decor items
Clutter can creep up on us easily but if you keep these traps in mind you can win the war every time. Your countertops are meant to be a usable workspace for you which means the things that help you should be there such as a knife block or certain spices. Appliances such as the microwave are best stored off of the counter and instead placed in the cabinet design. Dirty dishes immediately make a kitchen look smaller and should be dealt with as soon as possible. Make it a point to leave your kitchen clean every night as it eliminates stress the following morning and allows you to wake up feeling energized. When you have a small kitchen, it’s important to limit the amount of decor items you have since they can quickly take away valuable space. Consider using your backsplash or even the countertop itself as decor. Choosing a stunning granite slab with an elegant vein or a colorful backsplash can make just as much a statement as a wall art or decor item. Keep your countertops clear of clutter and your peace of mind will thank you.
Use wallspace effectively
Your walls hold a lot of potential and often it goes unused. When it comes to the kitchen you need to think outside the box. Gain extra space in your kitchen by:
Adding a pot rack over the stove
Wall mounted dish rack
Walls can add tremendous amounts of storage when used correctly. Have an open wall between your galley kitchen or a space that is not functional for a cabinet? Shelving is the answer. It can go in a large open wall space to give you more storage without cluttering the traffic flow or fit into those tight spaces and provide a place to put things like spices or glasses. Floating shelves also add beauty and elegance to any room but especially the kitchen. Pots and pans can take up some valuable cabinet space while the area above the stove is vacant. Adding a pot rack can transform it into a function, usable space plus keep them in a convenient reach. Hooks are another great asset because they enable you to hang towels or other small items like ladles. Open walls mean you have a canvas that can be turned into a functional area in the kitchen so be sure to look around and see what is available to you, being sure to take inventory of items that can be placed there instead of inside the cabinets. In small spaces there is often the potential to go up so don’t be afraid to get creative.
Add an Island
We know that your kitchen is small but that does not mean it cannot have an island. Remember that there is no specific length or width that an island has to be, it just needs to be beneficial. Some of things you will gain from adding an island would be:
More counter space
Defined traffic flow
Having an island in your kitchen helps you have space to store additional items such as dishes or even awkward sized things like serving platters. Cooking can be made easier too since you can spread out your supplies. Kitchen islands also create defined traffic flow patterns which mean less run ins and easier buffet lines for gatherings. If designed correctly, an island can help you gain an extra seat or two allowing family to sit and talk while dinner is cooking. Even a narrow kitchen island brings function to the home’s headquarters so put this on the list of things to talk about with your designer.
Small but mighty
Your kitchen space may not be as large as you wanted initially but with some creativity and good design you can gain more out of your current square footage than you first realized. Our design team has been assisting clients for over twenty years so we know a few things about maximizing the space you have. Located in the charming city of Shelby, NC, we are only an hour drive from Charlotte and Asheville so come tour our showroom, experience the possibilities that await you and your home.
The Walker Woodworking Showroom is located at Greenbrook Design.