It isn’t easy to keep a kitchen organized. When you don’t have much space, anything that seems out of place contributes to feelings of clutter and messiness.
Since a kitchen is designed to hold the tools that we use to feed ourselves, it doesn’t take long for used items to pile up. When there isn’t space to cook, the result can be fewer healthy meals, more money spent on takeout, and general feelings of frustration.
If you have a small kitchen at home, here are some ways to help keep it clean and organized.
How to Organize a Small Kitchen Effectively
Before doing anything, it is crucial to start with a clean slate when organizing a kitchen. That process begins by emptying everything from each storage area, cabinet, and drawer. You’ll be removing anything you don’t need to keep so that you’ll have more room for the items that stay.
Eliminating the clutter often gives you the energy to complete these additional steps.
1. Use All Your Space
Even small kitchens have under-utilized storage areas. Every nook and cranny in that space matters when you have limited real estate.
The two most neglected spaces are the cabinets above the refrigerator and the corner shelving system.
If you don’t have these spaces, consider investing in a pull-out or rotating shelf system to help store more items.
2. Create Kitchen Zones
Even tiny kitchens have different task areas. Think about where you wash dishes, prep food, or store utensils. Each space creates familiarity and establishes a routine.
If you store items based on where you work, you’ll spend less time trying to find what you need. Here are some examples.
- Store your cleaning supplies, garbage containers, and dishwasher products in and around your sink to keep these items away from food prep areas.
- Cutlery and plates work better together if you have cabinets and drawers close to each other.
- Food storage involves the refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. You can use other cabinets or shelves as needed if you’re stocking up on supplies.
3. Remove the Duplication
Do you need four different frying pans? Will you use all 36 coffee mugs that are crammed into the same cabinet?
A good rule to follow is to have two of each item for every person in your home. If you have a six-person family, it helps to have a dozen plates, mugs, bowls, and similar items. Do you need enough things to serve the football team if they come over to visit?
Some people don’t like removing duplicated items because someone gifted them or there is some sentimental attachment. If you can’t donate or sell it, consider boxing it up to place it in storage.
4. Balance Your Vision
When you have an open concept small kitchen, the shelves along the walls can feel cluttered and disorganized. The space can feel cramped and unusable if you have too many cabinets.
Strike a balance between open shelves and cabinets. One of the best places to start is by the oven or stove. If you keep that area clear, you’ll have room to grab spices and herbs without worrying about smacking your head against something.
5. Add More Color
You can give a small kitchen plenty of character by creating an accent wall. It doesn’t need to be tile or a new countertop that offers a vibrant pop. A little paint can deliver the help you need without a significant investment.
If you don’t want to make structural changes, consider adding some bright accessories to liven up the atmosphere. You can arrange the items in ways that feel aesthetically pleasing while adding the benefits of organization to the space.
6. Updating the Lighting
When a kitchen isn’t properly lighted, it can feel smaller than it is when working in that space. Most designs use a single fixture since the room is small. You can update it with a brighter bulb or LED lights to enhance the area’s appearance.
Try layering some task lighting under the cabinets or shelves. If your kitchen needs some color, glass pendants or small chandeliers can deliver impressive results.
Is It Time to Update Your Small Kitchen?
Once everything is updated and organized, the final element to consider is natural light. How much sunshine is available in your kitchen? Although installing a new window might not be an option, you might try installing lighter shades or removing the blinds to encourage more brightness.
These steps will help a small kitchen feel more open and organized. It won’t stop the work that needs to happen to keep everything clean, but that is part of the fun of making meals for friends and family. The entire experience is a time of togetherness.