Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Living Small: Kitchen

My teeny tiny kitchen is currently one of my top frustrations in life.  Our back door (the one we use) opens straight into the kitchen.  Storage is limited, space is tight, and man oh man I cannot wait to have a "real sized" kitchen some day!

For now, we've had to get creative with use of our space, and I just have to deal with the fact that I have to store stuff on the floor while I cook, and that the oven door won't shut all the way with a cookie sheet inside because it's so tiny, and that my landlord's penchant for chopping up leaves in the fall with his mower means that I am forever sweeping up the bits of leaf that we track inside on our shoes (we have to park a ways from the house). 

Here are a couple of things I've done to help with our (plentiful) space issues:
*that's plentiful issues, not plentiful space :)

 My husband and I take a lot of vitamins and supplements (me more than him with all of my health issues).  If we don't see them, we don't remember to take them.  But, as I said, our counter space is really limited.  So, I got one of those hangers that are made to go in the shower, and had my husband hang one on the cabinet by our sink.  Voila!  Instant, accessible, and visible vitamin storage!

As I said, if I cook something really intensive, I run out of room and have to start putting things in the floor to free up counter space.  I put this plastic tray I had under our toaster and coffee maker.  It makes it easy when I need to free up space because I just unplug the appliances and move the whole tray.  It also helps catch toaster crumbs and stray coffee grounds, so it makes cleaning up easier.

I'm a big fan of using cloth napkins.  They save money and help the environment.  I store all of mine in this little pink enamel bucket I had.  I've seen people store them in cute little baskets, but I like this because they are stored vertically so it takes up less space.

 We bought a cheap shoe rack to put against the built in china cabinet/pantry as you first walk in.  The big pink tub houses my flip flops in summer, but in chillier months it's home to my old (fake) uggs that I put on to take out the trash, etc.  Note the baseball bat in the corner with the broom. It's always a good idea to have some sort of weapon by the front door I think. :)

 This is our food storage.  Yes, this is it.  Ok, there is one more shelf that got cut off in the picture, and we took one of our other (3) cabinets and use it for food storage.  But still, it's not a lot of space!  It doesn't contain it all (especially since I stock up on things when they are on sale), so we also store some food in our dining area (it's not a room, just an area).  The dining area drives me nuts because we have to store so much stuff there.  And so often, it looks like this:

Major cringe!!  Oh well.  It's a good lesson for me because I am so Type-A and hyper organized and often I just have to look at the mess, shrug my shoulders, and move on with life.  We don't keep excess stuff so there isn't anything to get rid of, and we have no where else to put it all.  So, what can you do?  Not a single thing except smile and not let it bug you. 

(Easier said than done, but I'm learning!)

Linking up at:

Works for me Wednesdays
Grace at Home


  1. Wow, nice article! I really like your use of the shower caddy and the tray under the toaster and coffeemaker. Here are my tiny kitchen tips--maybe you'll find something helpful. I'm thinking a tray under our coffeemaker might solve some problems for us, too....

    1. Thanks! Tight spaces are definitely the mother of creative space ideas :) The tray has definitely been a help in containing crumbs, and you can get cheap ones at Target or Home Goods.

  2. Pretty creative use of a small space.


    1. Thanks! Desperation really gets my creative wheels flowing! :)

  3. I'm always looking for good kitchen organizing ideas. Love the coffee/toaster organization! I never have enough counter space!

    1. Lack of counter space is the real kicker for me in this kitchen...rolling out pizza dough is a nightmare!

  4. Wow! These look great! I am so impressed!