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Thread: tiny kitchen.

  1. #1
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    tiny kitchen.

    i absolutely love cooking, and am sincerily considering cooking schools(PS if you know of any good culinary schools in the DFW(TX) area, lemme know), but i have a little problem. a VERY little problem. i'm in my first apartment, and the kitchen is teeny tiny, as in, i cannot open the pantry and fridge at the same time. i'm used to a kitchen(my folks') the size of a master bedroom, and this one isn't even the size of a master bathroom. any hints on organization/ cleaning/ having SOME way to decorate? i'm sure i can't be the only person with this issue.

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  3. #2
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  4. #3
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    Oh man, I feel your pain!
    I one lived in an apt. w/a kitchen that was approximately just 2x the size of my present home's small bathroom. I only had one small countertop to work on, and it wasn't even next to the stove.
    Could you make a sketch of your kitchen w/ the dimensions and placement of cabinets and appliances, and post it here or in your pictures section?
    That might help give us an idea of exactly what you have to work with.
    My present kitchen, probably considered a moderate size, has the most inefficient layout ever, and lacks sufficient counter space where I need it most...next to the stove! I've become a master at organizing stuff in this house in general, since it's so old that there's no storage space to speak of built in anywhere!

  5. #4
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    I had a tiny kitchen in Boston (the same size as the bathroom actually) and some things we did were:
    -keep some things outside the kitchen, like display your glasses and plates in a hutch/shelf in the living room.
    -really plan out your cabinets and/or get some storage accessories that let you layer storage - for example, if you don't bake a lot keep your baking supplies behind things that are used more often.
    -utilize open storage, like putting storage hooks up for pots, pans, coffee mugs, etc.
    -keep a stool handy so that you can store things up high even if you use them a lot.

  6. #5
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    I'd say decorate minimally, but with bold colors that make you happy.

    You don't need any accessories or decorations taking up valuable counter space.

    All of those drawer organizing, extra shelf making, space maximizing cabinet insert thingies are worth their weight in gold if they are sturdy enough for the amount of use they get. I can set my spices up on cheapo plastic stairs because the ones in the back aren't used all that often, but I can't put my coffee mugs that I need everyday on something that is going to collapse on me or is too finicky to put the dishes away after I wash them. I could spend a million dollars in one of those closet organizer stores - but have learned the hard way that if it won't work for you it is wasted money.

    Look for things that can serve multiple purposes. Cabinet space is valuable - can you find a colorful set of quality mixing bowls that you aren't embarassed to use as serving dishes? Can you pack seldom used pieces away in another room? (You only need a few plates and things for you - could you haul a box out of the bedroom closet when you are expecting a crowd?)

    What can you get up off the counter? The microwave? The paper towels? Hooks for mugs?

    Can you hang cookware or utensils on the wall or from the ceiling instead of art?

    I have a pretty small kitchen - you learn to do the dishes and clean up as you go. Otherwise almost anything is workable.

  7. #6
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    i have a tiny kitchen too; i can't open the fridge and dish-washer at the same time, and if i open the oven door all of the way, there is no room to stand in front of the oven. i love cooking, but i don't have a lot of specialty utensils, so my main problem is food storage space. i keep most of my grains and beans in mason jars on the counter (out of direct light) and keep other stuff in the cabinet with my dishes.

    one way to clear up space is to store infrequently-used stuff, like giant party salad bowls, springform pans, etc. in a sideboard or cabinet in another room. you could even put a nice sideboard in your living room and put plants on top.

  8. #7
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    Reading this make me think maybe my kitchen is huge.
    It is about 8'x6' wall to wall, though what I like best about mine is that though it is a gally kitchen it is open on each end.
    I think a lot of how to organize depends on the shape of your kitchen and if you have adjoining space.

    I used to live in a place with a smaller kitchen that had a dishwasher and I just used the dishwasher to store my dishes in rather than doing dishes in. That freed up cupboard space.

    You can also just buy what you need. I have a small fridge but it does not bother me because I do not keep much in there unless I am going to cook something in the next day or two.

    Ditch the microwave, if it is built in use it to keep your cook books in.

  9. #8
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    You must get a chopping board that fits on the sink (with a little drainer built-in). Beacuase counter space is golden.

  10. #9
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    I have a small kitchen too. Instead of having full size dinner plates we use the side dish plates as main plates. We also have the minimum amount of dinnerware and cookware as possible. I drink wine out of a coffee cup or normal glass.

    Doing dishes two times a day helps keep down on the clutter. Hanging anything you can on the wall helps a lot. Sometimes putting food into your own packaging helps you stuff more things on the shelves, like ziplocks or rubbermaids.

  11. #10
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    We have a kitchen the size of a small walk in closet, literally, with a 2x2 tiny counter. The key is to get everything on the wall or hung from the ceiling. I have a stainless steel utenstil rack mounted on the wall above the tile backsplash near the stove. Gets it off the counter, and everything is handy during cooking. I have a 3-tier hanging basket hung from the ceiling where I store garlic, onions and potatoes. Fortunately, I do have 3 drawers and four cabinets in my kitchen so all of my dishes and cookware/bakeware has a home. I have a tiny pantry for food, and the refrigerator and that's it. Cleaning items and big bulky stuff goes under the sink.

    At Ikea, you can find some great wall mounted storage units-- they have a basic plastic set, or a spiffier cast iron one. You can get a wall mounted dish drainer, cutlery holders, paper towel rack, cutting board, etc. in these systems. You can also get a wall-mounted magnetic strip for your knives. You can also find small pot racks that you can install from the ceiling.

    When I'm having dinner or brunch guests, I have a tiny table just outside the kitchen in a little nook area, so everything must be served buffet style (so everyone can be seated at the table). To extend counter space for buffett items in the kitchen, I lay my cutting boards over the sink and swing the faucet out of the way-- instant counter space (and it hides the stray pot or pan I haven't washed yet).

    The only appliance I have in the kitchen that is constantly in use and on the counter is a compact toaster oven (it can be under-cabinet mounted, but I've been too lazy thus far so go out and purchase the hardware that didn't come with it). Our other necessary appliance (microwave, 4 slot toaster and compact coffee maker) are all on top of a bookcase in the table nook area. The bookcase itself houses my ever-increasing cookbook and milk glass collections, with the crockpot tucked away on the bottom shelf, handy for use. If an appliance is in the cupboard for more than six months without you using it once, get rid of it. You won't miss it, and you'll have more space for things you really care about. (Come to think of it, that's a good policy for most items :-) ).


 
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