Kitchen Tip Tuesday: Using Space Wisely!

Once again, linking to Tammy’s Recipes.

As I was taking some pictures to go with this week’s Kitchen Tip Tuesdays post, I realized that my kitchen (or entire apartment, maybe?) is not very photogenic.  I try to keep it cleaned and organized, but it’s still about a million years old and apparently never renovated.  I can’t hide my kitchen forever, though, so here goes.

This week I want to share about using space wisely in the (small) kitchen!  I have mentioned this a little before in a post about how I organize my spices.

1. One of my biggest kitchen space-saver ideas (that also looks nice!) is putting away the dish dripper after the dishes are done.

Since my kitchen is so small, I have use a “mini” dripper.  It doesn’t hold a lot, so I have to do dishes really often anyway.  I keep a small bottle of dish soap that I refill on the sink, as well as hand soap.  I probably wouldn’t keep any dish soap out (the rest is under the sink), but it’s really handy for washing greasy hands while cooking.  And yes, that big chip was out of my counter before we moved here.

Just a little view of our kitchen – including the epic green stove in all its glory.  I do keep some utensils out on my counter because I really just don’t have space for them in a drawer or somewhere else convenient.

2. Find a place to hang a dish towel.  This was tricky for me!  As you can see in this picture, my towels are hanging on the front of my stove.  However, my stove doesn’t really have a place to hang a dish towel.  Part of one of my shower gifts before my wedding was a set of two suction-cup soap holders meant for use in the shower.  I don’t keep bar soap in my shower, but they work perfectly on the stove!  This allows me to keep a towel handy (saving money by not using paper towels very often!) but out of the way.

Part of the “other side” of our kitchen.  This cupboard/counter top was given to us by my brother and sister-in-law.  As you can see, a lot of space is currently taken up by fresh tomatoes that are ripening.  They were a great gift from another brother of mine.  Also, you can see that our toaster is dented.  That is a story in itself. 😉

3. Hang aprons, oven mitts, pot holders, and/or cutting boards on the wall!  This will save room in your cupboards and drawers and also can look cute if done well.  I would like to do more of this; I think it makes a kitchen look really “homey.”

4. Find a spot for your trashcan that is as out-of-the-way as possible.  This may mean inside a cupboard under your sink (if you have room!) or slid under a pull-out counter top like I have. (In the above picture, I keep my trashcan under the counter that has tomatoes on it.) You don’t want your trashcan in the way, in danger of being knocked over, or as a focal point in your kitchen.

5. Limit the number of appliances you have on your counter at one time.  As you can see, we do keep our microwave and toaster out, but we use them almost every day. (We also have an espresso maker on our fridge.) Other appliances, like the blender or panini grill, we do use frequently but keep put away.

I would love to hear your space-saving ideas.  I’m still learning!

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About recipeshappen

I'm Bonnie. I'm a pharmacy technician and new wife to Bogdan. I love cooking, usually without recipes. I love good sales and coupons, but haven't quite figured out the best way to find them. I make the typical new-wife mistakes and have burned my share of cookies. I like a cold house and a hot shower all year long.
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34 Responses to Kitchen Tip Tuesday: Using Space Wisely!

  1. Great tips Bonnie! I also hang oven mitts on the wall to make my kitchen look a little more “homey” and to save space!

  2. Anna says:

    Thanks for sharing your ideas! Right now I have a fairly large kitchen and have been downsizing on all of my appliances, dishes, pots and pans, etc. as we will be moving into a much smaller apartment come next year. I have been a little anxious about this part of the move – I spend A LOT of time in the kitchen. Again, great post and thanks for the tips!

    • I wish you the best of luck! I imagine that would be tough.
      I moved from my parents house when I got married and I think their kitchen is bigger than my kitchen, living room, and maybe bathroom?? LOL 🙂
      That can be hard. 🙂
      I hope you’ll share some tips you learn as you move!

  3. Cheap Luxury says:

    Hi Bonnie

    We think your blog is fabulous, and we would like to nominate you for a One Lovely Blog Award!

    X Natalie & Elaine

  4. Bonnie says:

    Great tips, Bonnie. Those tomatoes on your counter look delish.

  5. Looks good, Bonnie!

    I love hanging things on the wall to save space in the kitchen! I hang my cast iron skillet, too. (I used an anchor to make sure the screw was really secure in the wall because that thing is HEAVY!) Someday Joshua wants to build a pot rack for my cookware… but right now I have plenty of cupboards to store it in. 🙂

    When we were first married, one of my (very few) kitchen cupboards was just open inside, and I hung nails on both sides inside and hung my pans in the cupboard, plus had a stack of cookie sheets, etc. on the bottom of the cupboard.

    One more space-saving tip: Your kitchen trash can doesn’t need to be HUGE. Ours is fairly small (I think about 5-6 gallons?) and we just take the trash out whenever it’s full (every 2-3 days). Of course, we also have a recycle trash can (which is a little bigger), so that helps — but still. We used to have a GIANT kitchen trash can (that blue one… probably 13 gallons?) and it’s a little out of place in a small kitchen! 🙂 (Oh, and I should mention — we do use our kitchen trash can for everything — except the bathrooms, which have their own small trash cans.)

    • tammysrecipes says:

      P.S. From how I worded it, it sounds like I’m preaching to YOU about your kitchen trash can. I don’t know if you have a big or little one, I was just saying that in general. 🙂

      • Haha, Tammy!
        I got your meaning. 🙂 Our trash can is “average sized.” I mean, I guess? I don’t really know the actual size. 🙂
        I love the idea of an iron skillet on the wall! Unfortunately, I have no idea how to hang it up in a way that will STAY up… the walls in my apartment have had holes patched over holes, and I wouldn’t want that thing falling on my feet! 🙂

  6. I’ve had both large and small kitchens; but regardless, an organized kitchen makes me the happiest. Thanks for those tips 🙂

  7. megan says:

    My kitchen is incredibly small. I keep a wok and my PURPLE toaster on my refridgerator, and luckily, my stove has a drawer underneath it that I keep my baking pans and skillets in. My fryer, food processor and a couple of other things are in my pantry at the top where I can’t reach any food I might put up there, and I have pots, my blender and a mixer in a door right beside my stove. One of my most awesome ideas was to get a shelf thing from Target and put my coffee/tea mugs on it over the sink–saves me space and displays some of my more awesome mugs.

  8. The tomatoes look amazing! I too made a shelf above the sink. I have a large vase on my shelf where I keep all of the cooking spoons. My kitchen is very small and I have absolutely no space so I left the kitchen drawers for other silly things I NEED (not really) in the kitchen.

  9. thecleverspender says:

    Way to be organized! I feel the same way about keeping the small appliances off the counter. I keep most of them stashed in a cabinet. I keep the coffee pot and the blender out since I use them everyday. Don’t feel bad about your kitchen. Did you see the flower wallpaper and horrific blue countertops in the background of my pot roast post? It is on the list of renovations that we need to complete. Until then, I will be thankful that I have a kitchen that functions. I prefer to think of my kitchen as “retro” or “vintage” LOL!

  10. andtheycookedhappilyeverafter says:

    I feel your pain Bonnie! http://andtheycookedhappilyeverafter.wordpress.com/2012/05/23/kitchen-impossible/ – and will definitely use these tips 🙂 Glad to know I’m not the only one trying to make cooking magic happen in a less than desirable kitchen space!

  11. Healthy Glow Nutrition says:

    Great post! I also have a small kitchen which I have to get creative in when preparing meals. I found that using my cupboards to put everything away saves me so much space. It forced me to re-evalaute what I need and what I can give away. I also use my oven when not in use to store pots and pans. 🙂

  12. Margaret says:

    I have a kind of small kitchen, too, and one thing I’ve done to use the side of the refrigerator, which is near my range. I put up some hook magnets for oven mitts, and then some magnetic clips that hold recipes I use a lot. I love how you have your spices over the range.

  13. Betty says:

    I have had small and medium sized kitchens and always seem to have a little more than the kitchen will hold. One thing I have been doing in my current kitchen is hanging flat-ish stuff from hooks (the self adhesive ones) on the inside of cabinet doors. My cutting mats have holes to hang them by and my spices are on a rack that hangs on the inside of a cabinet door.

  14. Debbie Jackson says:

    Hi Bonnie…
    I was looking at the space above your microwave…..and if it were mine….I would make a set of open backed shelves that fit over the whole counter and could be pushed up against the wall. You could put lots of other things on it….and you could hang some cup hooks on the underside of the bottome shelf….to hand your cast iron stuff. Or put nails on the outside of the side boards. You could get some bright color in your kitchen this way too! It wouldn’t have to cost very much….but it would give you a bunch of useful space and some places to decorate with your treasures and finds!

    Another idea for you might be to hang a piece of lattice wood or an old picture frame with a solid wood surface on the wall besides your stove top…..you could hang your favorite small tools or small pans on it. I have done that before too.

    Debbie

  15. Just wrote a little blog myself on kitchen organization! I love my pot rack to death! If you have the wall (or ceiling!) space I highly recommend them! I also have a wall spice rack which helps free up cupboard and counter space.
    You do have a cute kitchen 🙂

  16. I also don’t have much cupboard space to store things like a dish drainer, so I bought a silicone drying mat. I hang it up when it’s not being used on a magnetic hook affixed to the side of the fridge.

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