For those who live in a tiny apartment, condo, or small home, there’s a good chance there will be a small kitchen. Some larger apartments and houses also present this particular organizational challenge. The first step with a small kitchen is to pare down your belongings to the essentials.
Test and Evaluate Your Appliances
Kitchen gadgets are tempting and can make some tasks easier, but for those who have limited space in a small kitchen, they can be more trouble than they’re worth.
When deciding which appliances and gadgets to keep (or to buy), remember that the work of all those specialized fruit slicers can be done with a knife. To everyone who wants a standing mixer, mixing cake batter with a spoon is a viable option too.
What appliances and gadgets in your kitchen no longer work? Test them, and see if they still work. If not, get them repaired. But if they don't work and probably won't be used, repair them, and then donate.
Only keep as many plates, bowls, cups, glasses, and utensils as can be used at one time. Though tableware may be fun to buy and pieces are often given as gifts and souvenirs, they can end up crowding the cupboards. Unless they are being used for large parties often, keeping 30 wine glasses isn't necessary. For those who keep them around for gatherings once every 10 years, it might be easier to ask a friend to bring extra glasses instead. For those who host one or two times a year, move extra plates into storage. Stack them into a cardboard or plastic box, label it, and store them in a closet or another storage space.
Multitask With Pots and Pans
The number of pots and pans owned will vary depending on how elaborate one's cooking style is and how many people there are to cook for. Know that it is probably smaller than you think. Small pots, for example, look cute but do nothing that medium-sized pots can’t do. The same is true of frying pans. This principle applies beyond the stove top: A fruit bowl works as a salad bowl and a mixing bowl too.
When in doubt, buy a bigger pot or pan. They are more versatile.
Limit Bulky Items
Many goods sold for kitchens are primarily decorative, but a small kitchen demands more practical items. Though a huge, whimsical cookie jar can be a nice touch in a large kitchen, it eats up precious counter space in a small one. This doesn’t mean forgoing anything fun in a small kitchen. Cool magnets on the fridge, attractive pot-holders and pans, and art on the wall will decorate without poaching space.
Check for Duplicates
Make sure that kitchenware is not cloning itself. Was that cheese grater lost during the last move or is it forgotten in the kitchen? Receive a nice blender from mom, but are holding on to the old one just because? Get rid of those double items to free up more room.
Know Your Culinary Strengths
For those who never bake, don’t let those cupcake tins clutter your cupboards. Most people don’t need a special cheese plate. For those who really love baking, cupcake tins might be worth making room for. And if wine and cheese parties are a regular Saturday night, then a dedicated cheese plate or two counts as a kitchen staple rather than a space-waster. Evaluate what's really put to use in the kitchen, and what was purchased for those passive dreams of becoming a cook…someday.
Choose Products With Multiple Uses
Kitchen stores full of specialty products are lovely places to browse and fantasize about cookie presses, but with a small kitchen, there isn't the luxury of buying every desired item. Many common tools will, in fact, perform many functions. Those who have a hand-mixer probably don’t need a whisk too; one of the mixer attachments will work just fine. And if cooking dishes are both oven- and fridge-safe, don’t keep as many plastic containers.
Stay Current With Your Kitchen
Those who have a small kitchen probably don’t have a ton of cabinets or a separate pantry. So they are more likely to be storing food such as rice and pasta in their cupboards next to their plates. This food needs to be checked periodically to see if it is too ancient to eat or if it's just no longer desirable. While doing this, check the kitchen drawers too. You never know when an extra spatula may have snuck in there!