Welcome to my small English kitchen! Okay, so I may have exaggerated slightly when I called it an “apartment” sized kitchen. But notice the refrigerator is not full size and one of the “cabinets” is actually a dishwasher. So I have a total of ~4′ of linear counter space, 3 drawers and 5 usable cabinets, with one of them being a horrid lazy susan. I hate those things! Is it just me who thinks its a complete waste of space?
So our state side kitchen is at least twice the size and believe it or not all of my “stuff” and food filled up those cabinets without trying. So, to say the least I got a little “creative” to make this kitchen an organized and functional space.
Both my husband and I enjoy cooking and baking and with our frugal food budget we cook A LOT at home. So, the key focus was to keep as much counter space intact as possible. When FMO delivered a 3-foot microwave that weighed 75lbs. (no joke), I couldn’t stop my jaw from hitting the floor. Where was I suppose to put this gigantic thing that is as big as my oven???
So, we made our laundry room part of our “kitchen”. It is right off the kitchen and it even had counter space with a shelf. So we set up our microwave and our two appliances (coffee maker & KitchenAid) that we use most next to a transformer. Check out that microwave! It’s almost as big as the washer! LOL! Come to find out the microwave is actually a microwave oven, as in you can use it like an oven.
We also used the above shelf to house our coffee supplies and pitchers, as well as our food wrap & sandwich bag type of things. It is also the house of my husband’s lunch box (the empty space). I was tired of seeing his lunch box on the counter, so we gave it a “home”. LOL.
10 DIYs Organizers for a Small Kitchen!
- Use a Magazine Holder to organize your plastic wrap, wax paper, aluminum foil, and gallon size bags.
- Use a Hanging Shelf to utilize “dead space” in your cabinets. I bought the wire hanging shelves at ASDA for a couple of squid. But I am sure you can find them at places like Walmart or Bed, Bath, and Beyond. In this cabinet, I have all our small plates stored on the hanging shelf. In our drinking glasses cabinet, I have our coffee mugs stored on a hanging shelf and in the storage container cupboard I have the small containers and lids stored on the hanging shelf.
- Use Hooks (bought at IKEA) to hang up measuring cups and spoons off of the hanging shelf. It makes them conveniently located and not using up valuable drawer space.
- Hang your Pans from the ceiling. Fortunately the previous tenants already had this installed, so we didn’t have to get permission from our landlord.
- Use all that cardboard from your move to create a 3-sided “box” to help Store your Baking Sheets Vertically. This makes it a lot easier to get them in out of the cupboard, rather than stacking them all on top of each other. I covered the cardboard with wall paper (bottom picture) to give it more of a finished look.
- Store your Oven Mitts on a Hook. No need to waste cupboard space.
- Organized Baking Drawer. The blue storage tubs are flour and sugar. It also includes frequently used items while cooking: salt and pepper and cooking spray. This is the only food that is actually in our kitchen (excluding the fridge).
- Spice Box. I originally had all our spices in the baking drawer, but it just made it too easy to get messy and difficult to locate things. So I DIY’d this cardboard box to store all our spices. I wrote on the lids the name of the spices so it would be easy to locate the spice I need. It is stored in the pantry, but when I am cooking and need several spices, I just place the whole box on the counter until I’m done cooking.
- Store less frequently used Appliances in the Pantry. We only use these appliances once or twice a month so no need for them to be on the counter or using up prime real estate in our cupboards.
- Use Storage Outside of the Kitchen. I store our kitchen towels and washcloths in a storage unit in the living room. Although, semi-inconvenient. It has came in really handy with the occasional water spill in the living room. Yes, we are child-free and we still have spills. LOL. I also store a few kitchen things that I use once or twice a year in the storage unit in the living room. For example: my cheesecake pans and a couple of serving dishes. My original thought was to have a nice buffet table (or something similar) in the dining room, but that idea was shot down when we had to put our clothes dryer in the dining room. Oh the joys of making our American necessities fit into our English home. 🙂
Thank you for not judging me too harshly based on my kitchen. Yes, we have mismatched dishes and my home is far, FAR from making its way to Better Homes & Gardens Magazine. But it’s small and functional and it works for us. So I suppose that is all that matters. I do dream of the day when there will be no more military moves in our future and we will own “nice” furniture and dishes. 🙂
Do you have a small kitchen? How have you made it functional for your family?
This post was linked on Living Well Spending Less and Lamberts Lately link parties.