Before we completely blow this
popsicle stand apartment, I thought I’d share some solutions to a problem I’m not going to miss one little bit. Some people refer to it as TKS, or Tiny Kitchen Syndrome. I refer to it as a pain in the arse.
I’ve lived in a few different apartments over the past five years and have seen my share of small kitchens, but this latest one is definitely the tiniest. (Funny this is also the largest apartment overall we’ve ever lived in — isn’t it ironic? Or is it? Hmm.)
Here’s a photo of it from when we first moved in last summer. Itty bitty, right? See, I was not lying. But strangely enough, I couldn’t find a full view pic of the kitchen later when it was actually in use and looked somewhat orderly (probably because it rarely ever was).
It’s the dreaded galley style kitchen, which measures about 7.5 feet from backsplash to backsplash and roughly 8.5 feet from entryway to pantry door. Riiidiculous. But the good news is I’ve adapted to working with tiny kitchen spaces and managed to fit nearly all of my kitchen supplies here. And man do I have a ton of kitchen supplies. Like probably way more than the average person really needs. So if I can do this, so can you.
For anyone out there suffering from a similar dysfunction of the tiny kitchen variety, here are a few things I’ve learned to keep myself sane.
1.) Organizers are the shizz. Really, they have made my world a better place. Head on over to The Container Store and pick up a few or twenty, will you?
I love the wire mesh kind to keep my drawers all orderly.
For tall cabinets, these plate stands are a lifesaver and allow you to fit double the stuff in the same space.
Below the counter, an inexpensive pot/pan/lid organizer set will make you want to open your cabinet again and again just to see how cool everything looks under there. For real y’all, using organizers in your kitchen will literally help you find a place for everything.
2.) Prioritize your shelving. Make it easier on yourself by storing frequently used items in the lower cabinets and rarely used items towards the top.
In that pesky over-the-fridge cabinet, stow seasonal and party items that only come out once a year.
I also categorize my cabinets; I assign a fancy/special occasion cabinet and an everyday use cabinet. The everyday use cabinet (containing plates, cereal bowls, glasses, mugs, etc.) is in a more accessible location while the fancy cabinet (with china, wine glasses, serving dishes, etc.) is in a less desirable area of the kitchen since it’s used less often.
3.) Make use of any and all space.
Jamie’s parents gifted us these three pretty baskets, which we filled with the kitchen tools and accessories we use infrequently and placed neatly atop the upper cabinets. (I kept a folding step stool tucked between the wall and side of the fridge so I could pop it out at any time for quick access.)
Above the over-the-fridge cabinet, we set out a few larger pieces that double as display pieces. On top of the fridge, I keep a casserole carrier, our lunchboxes, and a large bowl to hold onions, potatoes, etc.
Oh, and don’t forget your wall space — I hung a removable hook to keep my oven mits up and out of the way. You could also install shelving to display/store your wares.
4.) If need be, create a second kitchen storage location. After the wedding, we received many lovely entertaining and serving pieces that could potentially take up a lot of kitchen real estate — not exactly practical if you aren’t using them on a regular basis. So in a spare closet where we store our board games, tools, and things, I allocated some space for these items, which remain in their original boxes/packaging to prevent damage. When it’s time for your fancy dinner party, it’ll be fun to go to the closet to “shop” for which pieces you’ll need. Really, it will be.
So to tiny kitchens everywhere I say, how do you like them apples? Show your miniaturized version of a kitchen who’s boss. (I say this as I’m about to relocate to a new and larger kitchen. Ha. Ha. Sorry.) Hope my years of tiny kitchen torture help you in some way.
P.S. While we are on the subject, just thought I’d share my current kitchen fascination: an island, specifically this one from Ikea. We’ve already measured out the space for it on our new kitchen floor, and I’m dying to go out and get it already. Must…buy…soon.