Organize This: Small Kitchen Spaces!

November 22, 2013

Trend:  Neutral Kitchens with Pops of Color

It seems that neutral kitchens are in it to win it. Using simple whites, grays and natural elements for all of the primary finishes in the kitchen of your new Chicago home will ensure that the space remains classic over the years as the pop-up trends come and go. Updating a kitchen is typically a major investment and selecting classic finishes will prevent the kitchen from becoming dated too soon. However, it also has the perk of being a simple backdrop to bold and colorful accents and accessories which can be swapped out frequently over time.

Staying neutral in a smaller kitchen space is especially helpful in allowing for it to appear larger. Adding in a few open shelves will not only provide instant access to everyday supplies, they also offer an open and airy effect.  But how do you organize kitchens that don’t sport endless rows of cabinets and work surfaces? Here are some of my favorite small kitchen organizing tips!


1. Use Clear Storage Whenever Possible



I have always been the biggest fan of using clear storage throughout our home, but I appreciate it the most in the kitchen.  Not only does transferring your cereals and snacks to clear containers extend the freshness factor, it also gives you a quick visual inventory of your stock without having to touch and shake every package in your cupboards.  This will ultimately reduce over purchasing and the bulky packaging can quickly be recycled.  Clear storage also takes the guesswork out of mystery leftovers in the fridge.


2.  Take Advantage of Smart Storage Solutions!

This one may seem obvious, however, it is amazing how many smart, space saving options are available these days.  The best part is that many of the products can be found or DIY’d on a limited budget.  Some of my favorite kitchen organizers are:

  • Lazy Susan:  They spin which eliminates the chances of losing items towards the back of the cabinet.  Stacking turntables double storage and when placed in corner cabinets, allow you to easily access items that typically would be far out of reach.
  • Tiered Shelves:  Placing spices and cans on tiered shelving provides height to the items in the back to ensure that nothing is lost or forgotten.
  • Slide Out Drawers:  Installing pull out drawers inside of cupboards and pantries takes advantage of the depth of the cabinet.
  • Knife Blocks:  Knife blocks can now be stored inside of drawers to free up valuable counter space.
  • Drawer Dividers:  Once a drawer is paired down and drawer dividers are inserted, they prevent the drawer from becoming a jumbled mess down the line and really force you to question what you are putting back inside.
  • Magnetic Spice Containers:  Because they are magnetic, they can be hung on the side of the fridge or on a magnetic strip inside of a cabinet door, freeing up valuable surface space.


3.  Don’t Forget About Wall and Cabinet Surfaces


There is so much potential to double or even triple kitchen storage, by smartly utilizing vertical space.  Installing rails with hooks is a great solution for everything from bulky pots and pans down to simple serving utensils and linens.  Small shelving works great to hold spices and cooking oils while larger shelves can hold dishes and cookbooks.  One area I consistently see forgotten is the back of doors and cabinets.  Simple adhesive hooks allow items such as baby bibs, oven mitts and measuring spoons to hang inside of a cabinet door, while over the door organizers can accommodate larger, heavier items.


4. Stand In Organizers to the Rescue!

If you are short on cupboard space, consider adding in solutions that don’t require you renovate or build.  Rolling islands add surface and storage space, and can be moved around to make extra room when it matters most.  Open shelving carts provide a similar bonus, while also taking advantage of that precious vertical space I just mentioned above.  These solutions provide instant storage which does not have to be permanent, making it a great option for renters.


5.  Carve Out A Spot for Planning

I am a huge believer that proper planning, ultimately saves you time, money and space!  By taking the time to plan out weekly menus, you reduce the risk of over-purchasing groceries at the market.  By planning out your shopping trips, you eliminate impulse purchases at the department store.  Even taking time to plan out schedules and creating a small landing zone, can ultimately reduce counter clutter and chaos.  Creating a system can be as simple as installing a chalkboard on the side of your fridge to using a small notebook or binder tucked away on a shelf.


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