By Jennifer Brunton
Small city kitchens can feel chaotic after even the most basic cooking project, so great organization is key.
Here are some useful hacks for the everyday little-kitchen challenges most big-city residents face.
Make Storage Your Friend
If you want to find storage solutions that will best suit your limited space, you’ll want to really think about how your kitchen is shaped before you buy. The right storage solutions, from a wall-hugging cubby to nested baskets, can make all the difference.
Do you have a tall, narrow cabinet? Look for stackable containers that maximize that height. Some products will allow you to create smaller custom shelving units within existing cabinets or adjust storage bins to your needs.
Do you have deep drawers but have a hard time making the most of the space toward the back? Seek out drawer-organizing options, such as open-topped boxes, that let you tuck less-used items farther back. And use the front area to stow stuff that’s in frequent rotation.
Some kitchens have super-limited storage. If that’s your situation, you’ll want to invest in a system that fits perfectly into your available storage area. These often feature interlocking components, to help you exploit every inch of space.
Use Tech Solutions Where You Can
Is your kitchen counter a resting ground for every piece of paper in your home?
To escape the paper-pile cycle, switch to paperless banking and bill-paying, and request email versions of mailings, such as college bulletins or flyers from nonprofits. Several organizations, including the nonprofit Catalog Choice, might help you reduce or eliminate junk mail.
Yes, it’ll take a little time at the outset. But following these steps to eliminate paper waste could result in much less clutter after just a few weeks.
You can also institute a strict recycling policy for any paper items that do make their way into your increasingly neat kitchen.
Keep notes, lists and calendars in your smartphone or tablet, rather than in hard copy. And look around your space with an eye to other possible tech switch-ins. For instance, keep only the cookbooks you really love, and use your device to look up practical tips and recipes.
Go DIY On Your Kitchen
With a little ingenuity, the right materials and some simple tools, you can make the most out of small spaces.
For example, you can use easily found materials — hinges, lengths of chain and wood — to make a fold-down table. Or mount a pegboard on your wall to open up a whole range of brilliant hanging storage options.
If you’re not particularly handy, many home improvement centers sell easy-to-install cabinetry and space-saving fixtures tailored to smaller kitchens and awkward spaces.
Take Care Of The Small Stuff Right Away
If you think about all the minor kitchen tasks you put off — the dirty plate left on the counter, the random chip clip in the fruit bowl — you’ll see that things can really add up.
But don’t stress — just make sure you eliminate the smallest messes as soon as you can. Doing that shouldn’t take you more than a couple of minutes, tops, and it will pay off in less clutter and more peace of mind.
Taking care of minor sources of disorder makes even more sense in a tiny kitchen, where one out-of-place item can have a mess-making influence it wouldn’t in a bigger space.
Clear A Single Pristine Surface
Here’s another quick one, something you can do in just a few minutes. But it makes a real difference.
Take a look around your kitchen and identify one or two larger flat surfaces. Then clear everything off the area you’ve identified, stowing useful things where they belong and recycling or tossing out whatever you don’t need.
Now, give your newly cleared space a wipe with a sponge or washcloth.
That’s it. You’re done!
Open spaces attract our eyes, so that one sparkling-clean, empty surface can make your whole kitchen feel more spacious and serene — no matter how tiny it is.
And Now, Enjoy
A serene kitchen — however small — will bring genuine pleasure into your life. And managing the challenges of your limited space won’t take much effort if you do things right. A few clever strategies and a bit of daily attention can turn the heart of your home into a calm and tidy place.
A former academic turned freelance writer and editor, Jennifer Brunton lives and works in Vermont.
This article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to provide medical or legal advice, or to indicate the availability or suitability of any product or service for your unique circumstances.
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