Yesterday I was cleaning the shelves and the kitchen cart below. As I cleaned, I was reminded of all the alternative ways I’ve found to use every inch of space in organizing a small kitchen.
Store things where they are handy:
Just outside my kitchen in the dining room I have the blue hutch with my everyday dishes. Since it’s right across from my dining table, it is very handy.
It’s just outside of my kitchen, but the dishes I use everyday are in a more convenient spot .
You want to store things where you can readily find them and where they’re handy to get to.
I store all the pet meds and such in a big basket that sits on top of my washer. This way I know where things are and can get to them easily.
Use containers/baskets to corral small stuff:
When I’m using the washer, I use this basket with the pet meds on the adjacent counter to hold the hose in place that squeezes water out into the sink. It holds it there nicely so the hose doesn’t flop around and end up making a mess on the floor.
Use wall space judiciously:
My spices are all organized on this wall spice rack. I found it on eBay. I think it was about $15. It puts the spices where I can readily find what I want and even better it’s off the limited counter space.
From where I’m standing by the sink, I’m looking down on the kitchen cart I cleaned yesterday. I use every spare inch of that thing. I found it at World Market years ago and ordered it.
On the top shelf are things I use for cooking in my Breville. Glass bakeware with lids and flatter pans that came with it are left to right.
Then there’s the little appliance that I use to cook eggs for Charlie, with the pizza pans (also came with the Breville) underneath it.
Organizing pet food:
At the right end of the top shelf is canned dog and cat food all lined up and ready for when I feed them.
On the bottom shelf, left to right, is a container of Charlie’s dry dog food.
I use the old vintage box to store the lids for glass storage I found on Amazon a few years ago. I just love this set because it’s just right for one person. You can check it out here.
Then there’s the basket of paper towels. After that is the container of Ivy’s dry cat food.
Now let me show you where I store the glass storage that match the lids I just mentioned.
Use your refrigerator for storage:
I use the bottom bins in my fridge that I really never used for anything else (because I’d forget about it and it would spoil) for the aforementioned glass storage set.
Why not use the refrigerator for storing more than food? There’s no law saying you can’t.
If you don’t use your dishwasher, use it for storage:
Next to my refrigerator is the dishwasher. I store cookie sheets, muffin pans and cookware in there.
As you know I don’t use the cabinets and drawers in my kitchen. After I had mice problem a few years ago, I decided I’d rather have things out where I can see them. It’s easier for me to locate and I don’t have to worry about mice, though they’ve been gone for some time.
Besides that, the drawers are in awful shape. They are not on sliders therefore they never stay lined in place. They’re ridiculous to try to open and close. I finally had Nathan nail them shut to keep them looking halfway right.
My silverware are in the ceramic containers (man and woman) above. Next to that is my knife set and on the other side are the cutting boards I use most often.
Here are where the rest of them are.
Store cutting boards on the wall:
I am using every bit of vertical wall space for storage than I can in this apartment kitchen.
Store utensils on the wall in a hanging container:
Here is where I now store the kitchen utensils. I had them in a pretty red container, but I accidentally knocked it off the counter and broke it.
So when I was looking around for what I wanted to put utensils in, I thought: why not put that on the wall too? So I did.
I’ve had this hanging galvanized container I’ve for years. So I used it.
You need to go through your kitchen utensils occasionally to weed out what you don’t use. I did that and found I didn’t use most of the utensils I was storing.
Now what I do use are a few spoons and such, scissors, a manual can opener and an ice cream scoop.
Store small appliances on top of your fridge:
Since I traded out my stove for my washing machine when I moved in, I use an electric skillet for much of my cooking. Everything else I cook in either the Breville or the microwave.
As you can see I store the electric skillet on top of the refrigerator.
Hang oven mitts on the wall:
My oven mitts are adjacent to the Breville. They’re very handy to have hanging here when I need them. I don’t need to move an inch to grab one when taking something out of the Breville.
Display often used measuring cups, etc:
These little red and white polka dotted bowls are actually measuring bowls. I keep them on the wall shelves.
All of my glasses are in this vintage box. I gave the rest to my daughter.
I don’t need five different sets of glasses for one person. Now I have four taller glasses and four small ones.
Corral dish washing liquid and soap in a box or basket:
I got a good buy on this large Dawn dish washing detergent. But it hurts my hand to lift it, so I just store it here along with hand soap.
A smaller bottle of Dawn is on the other side of the sink. I can’t seem to find a cork to go in the top of it. And I’m on a no buying freeze.
By putting these items together in a box, it doesn’t looked as cluttered. I’ve learned that having individual items on your counters looks better when corralled in some sort of container.
Use homemade cleaners instead of buying commercial ones:
And there’s the baking soda I now use (thanks for the tip) to clean pans, etc. As I type this I have an empty plastic Parmesan cheese container soaking in the sink. I’m soaking the label off before I put the baking soda in it.
I will never use commercial solutions for this type of cleaning again. I don’t like the chemicals.
And really, baking soda cleans tough bits of cooking and food off better than anything I’ve used before. Also baking soda is cheaper. Much cheaper!
I’m so glad we’re trading tips, because they’re really helping me. And I hope they help you too.