Monday, April 14, 2014

Small Kitchen? 5 Tips to Keep it Organized

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A small kitchen can be a hindrance if you let it. But if you organize it correctly, you can get just as much use out of your kitchen as someone with more space. Use these tips to organize your small kitchen and make mealtime a snap.

Use Bins
Using clear bins (no lids) to store food can make it easy to put similar items together and see what you have with just one look. Consider getting one bin to store noodles and macaroni cheese, one to hold your kids' snacks, and one for canned vegetables, for example. Instead of having to move a dozen cans or boxes whenever you need something, you can just pull out the appropriate bin, take out what you need, and put the bin back.

Repackage Anything You Can
Grocery store packaging is notoriously inefficient. A bag of chips might be 40% chips and 60% air, and who can afford that kind of space when shelf room is limited? Repackage anything you can to make the most out of your space. When you buy a bag of chips, divvy it up into serving size portions and store them in Ziploc bags in a bin. Keep pasta in a tall, skinny glass container instead of having six half-full boxes in your cabinet. Cereal can be taken out of its room-stealing box and kept in its bag with a clip. Spending a little bit of time repackaging food after grocery shopping can help you store more food more easily.

Choose Your Appliances Wisely
Check out a kitchen supply store, and you'll see that there's an appliance for everything. But when you have a small kitchen, extraneous kitchen tools can take up far more space than they should. Instead of getting a food processor and a blender, choose a machine that can do both. Instead of buying a garlic press, learn how to mince garlic. Unless you know that you'll use an appliance at least once per week, you may want to reconsider buying it.

Label Everything
A label maker can be your best friend in a small kitchen. By putting a label on each shelf, it's easy for you and your family to put groceries away. It can also keep you from buying more than your kitchen can accommodate. Furthermore, knowing where everything goes can save you from buying three cans of cream of mushroom soup, only to find 10 of them hidden in a random corner of your pantry!  You can grab a label maker on Amazon here.

Buy a set of Rolling Shelves or if you're willing to put in a little bit of work, rolling pantry shelves can make it much easier to keep your kitchen organized (click here for a tutorial). Instead of reaching around blindly to try to find what you need, you can just pull your shelf out and grab what you need. It's a fairly straightforward project—if you have everything you need, you can finish it in about one weekend.

What other great ideas can you share with us about Organizing a Small Kitchen?

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