Due to rising costs, many of us have been forced to scale down over the last year. In my case, my new apartment has a kitchen that is half the size of my old one. I took all that space for granted when I had it, but I found out that just a few less feet of counter space can really impact meal preparation and entertaining. Getting ready for the holiday brought about some space challenges I had never considered, which inspired me to offer up some tips on kitchen storage after a hard lesson learned.
Find a Place for Everything
Sounds simple, and it is, but the tough part is making sure you put everything back in its space. My best advice for this is to put everything where it will be used so you are not pulling items out moving them around, and having to move them back. In a smaller area, even one or two items out of place create a cluttered look.
This was the best thing that I did in my smaller kitchen. I purchased more vertical storage racks, including my dishrack. I also purchased some hooks for the walls that enabled me to hang up some of the utensils that I use the most to avoid digging through drawers and pulling out 20 other utensils to get to the ones I needed.
In my old apartment, I had decorations on my counter. In the new apartment, I have started to use my kitchen equipment as part of the display. For instance, on my center island, I now have a cutting board stack with my fruit basket on top of it. That is now five items that were located in different places that are all located in one. It also gave some added height to the counter display, to take eyes away from some of the other items by the sink.
Another great addition that I have made is using clear, stackable containers for items that are out on the counter. If you are like me, the items you use every day always remain out, such as coffee and sugar. However, the old display was horizontal, so I bought a new one that went vertical to save me a few extra inches on the counter. I was able to fit a blender in that spot to save space.
The real space saver for me was purchasing some removable shelving (the kind that sticks to the wall with Command Strips). While you cannot place anything heavy on these shelves, it did open up some cabinet and countertop space for me. For instance, on one of my shelves, I moved my salt and pepper grinders. Right next to it, I have my olive oil on a small shelf. These are things I use almost every day while cooking but that used to be on the counter. Now, in the space where they used to be, I stored a flat appliance, my food saver, and have them directly over top of it. This saved me about two feet of counter space.
You know what they say… necessity is the mother of invention, so don’t be afraid to experiment with placement until you have a setup that works for you.