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CLEVER USE OF SPACE IN THE KITCHEN
Having limited space in the kitchen doesn’t have to diminish functionality, but it does mean clever use of space in the kitchen is important.
The kitchen is the heart of your home. It’s where you nourish yourself and your loved ones. Everything from a quiet coffee in the early hours to a raucous evening meal happens here. Even if you live on instant meals and packet snacks, the kitchen is everything.
Start with your pantry
Empty out your pantry and organise what you are keeping into categories, then return it to your storage. Then group like with like (breakfast foods together, cans together, etc) and put frequent-use items in the prime real estate between hip and head.
Discard any food if it is past use-by date or unlikely to be consumed.
Putting your food categories into tubs means you can pull them out and utilise the rear of shelves. The Howards Wide Pull-Out Organisers act as versatile drawers. If you are refurbishing your pantry altogether, the Tansel pull-out storage range is also great for clever use of space in the kitchen.
And if you don’t have a designated space for a pantry, an easy-build pantry unit with wheels can be moved around for ultimate versatility.
If there is wasted vertical space inside your pantry, see if you can adjust the shelves. Look at the tallest item on each shelf and reduce shelf heights accordingly.
For further clever use of space in the kitchen, use the depth and height of the shelves wisely. That might mean putting cereal boxes on their side rather than upright, so that the long edge goes in horizontally.
Mini shelves or pantry helpers allow you to fit more in, and space items more effectively. A turntable / lazy susan provides access to a range of condiments and spices. They are great for children who might be ready to get their own breakfast and need a range of spreads in easy reach. And let’s face it, they are also nice for adults. Why should kids have all the fun?
Don’t look past your pantry doors for potential storage. You can mount items like spices, paper towels and wall planners in this easy-access zone.
Declutter the rest of the kitchen ruthlessly
Empty everything out and look at your belongings with a critical eye. Do you really need two blenders and four kinds of coffee machine? Are you still eating all those soups you stocked up on when they were on sale?
Simplify things as much as possible. There is no place for unitaskers in a small kitchen. In other words, niche items like olive pitters and pie makers might not deserve the precious space they occupy.
Ditch the junk drawer. It’s a dumping ground and a waste of space. A drawer that houses more than one category is fine, but be intentional and use drawer dividers or caddies/organisers to categorise and separate.
Keep on top of mess. Take your recycling and rubbish out rather than let it pile up in the corner. Dirty dishes all over the benches look cluttered. Therefore train yourself and others to put them straight in the dishwasher.
Not all food has to be in the pantry. Tea drinkers might store beverages in a drawer or an overhead shelf near the kettle. Spices could live near the cooktop – either on the bench, in a drawer or wall-mounted. Keeping items near point of performance is an important factor in smart organising.
Therefore, get some hooks and hang frequent-use implements where you use them. This frees up valuable cupboard and drawer space and is great for quick access. Likewise, a magnetic knife strip always beats a chunky block on the counter.
Do you buy in bulk? If you are tripping over six months’ worth of pasta for the sake of saving a few dollars, it may not be worth the discounts. Re-think your shopping habits and be mindful of what you buy and store.
Stow away seasonal or occasional items. I don’t bake often, so all my baking gear is in an awkward cupboard above the fridge.
Moveable items exercise clever use of space in the kitchen. Consider a kitchen island/trolley which can be shifted around to suit its purpose. Drinks trollies are fun and popular for entertaining. Martini anyone?
Check out tiny homes for more inspiration. With the cost of real estate at a premium, there are loads of fabulous ideas out there.