The kitchen should be the heart of the home. A small kitchen often feels cluttered, messy, and hard to work in, which can make preparing meals a chore. The following seven tricks are easy to personalize and implement on any budget. Search brands and styles, and research sellers to find the items that will turn even the smallest kitchen into a functional, well-designed space that will be a joy to cook in.
- Clean Out the Clutter to Add Space to Small Kitchens
The first step to adding space in a small kitchen is to clear away the clutter. Most people have a junk drawer in the kitchen that is full of items that are better suited to other parts of the house. Clearing out the junk drawer will open more storage space while creating a more organized feel.
Hang a bulletin board on the wall to accommodate all the slips of paper and menus that end up in the kitchen. If the display pinned to the board is unsightly, it is a good indication that it is time to throw the items away.
- Remove Extra Items to Add Space to Small Kitchens
Cleaning supplies can be moved from the kitchen to other areas of the house. Hang brooms, mops, and other cleaning utensils on the wall of the garage or a closet. Sponges, chemicals, and other cleaning agents can be kept in a closet or in a bathroom cabinet.
Dishes take up a lot of space in kitchen cabinets. Removing the dishes to another space will open that storage up for other uses in the kitchen. Dishes can be hung on racks to create an easily accessible display in the dining area. A decorative sideboard or buffet makes a wonderful showpiece in the living room or dining room and stores dishes and serving pieces safely out of sight.
Increase pantry space by installing shelves in a closet, laundry room, or garage near the kitchen. Use the extra space to store cans of food, bottled drinks, and any large or bulk food items. Beware of storing boxed or perishable food items in a garage, however, as they will take on a musty flavor.
Add space to the kitchen and increase the life span of certain vegetables by choosing a dry, cool corner of the basement to be a root cellar. Build or buy bins for potatoes, onions, and other root vegetables.
- Maximize the Space in Cabinets
Deep cabinets often have blind corners or areas that are hard to access. To get the best use out of these cabinets, consider installing a lazy Susan. These round, rotating racks have multiple tiers and make it easy to maximize the storage in the corner of a cabinet while also creating easy access.
Rolling racks create extra shelf space in deep cabinets and make it easier to find and grab objects that might normally get lost in the back of the cabinet. Rolling racks are installed using a track system inside the cabinet. This system makes it possible for shelves to be closer together, creating more storage in each cabinet.
Add extra space to each cabinet by installing hooks, narrow shelves, or racks inside cabinet doors. Racks are often inexpensive and can store everything from towels to cooking utensils.
- Use Organizers in Drawers
Items that are thrown haphazardly into drawers take up a lot of space. To make the best use of any drawer, items should be separated into utensil trays, baskets and other storage containers. Keep in mind that containers with square corners fit together better and have less wasted space in-between.
- Use Vertical Storage Solutions
Most people are geared toward organizing things horizontally, but to create more space in a small kitchen, it is better to think vertically. Hang pots, stone fry pans, and large Ceramic Cookware utensils from racks on the ceiling or walls to create an eye-catching display and open up room in the cabinets.
Purchase hanging baskets, tiered baskets, or accessory trees that are tall with a narrow circumference. Fill the baskets with brightly colored fruits, vegetables, and other small items. These accessories take up very little counter space and add a grand feeling of height to the room.
Instead of putting up pictures to fill the walls, use the space for more storage. Arrange narrow shelves along the walls and fill them with colorful spices, bottles, and jars. The resulting display is fun as well as functional.
Look carefully at the spaces close to the ceiling. There is often empty space on top of cabinets that is covered by a decorative panel. This panelling can be removed or cut into to create extra cabinets or drawers. Additionally, the top of the refrigerator is a great place to add shelves or drawers that can be used to store items that are seldom used. Use a small, lightweight bookshelf with a custom paint job or stack produce crates for a fun display.
- Buy Appliances Made for Small Kitchens
Manufacturers know that home cooks may not have all the storage they need in the kitchen. There are many appliances available that are specially made to increase space and still perform well.
Combo appliances are designed to do multiple jobs in the least amount of space. Some of the most popular combinations include a sink with an attached dishwasher, toaster oven with an attached griddle, and a coffee maker with a toaster on the side. There are even models that perform three to four functions simultaneously, all in the same square foot of space.
To clear the counters and keep the appliances handy, look for models that attach to the bottom of the cabinets. It is possible to have a coffee maker, can opener, and microwave in reach without losing an inch of counter space. To blend the appliances completely into the kitchen design, choose models that are built into the drawers. Warming drawers, cooling drawers, and microwave oven drawers can be installed easily and offer added space with a sleek look.
Replace large trash cans with a small trash compactor. Compact models are generally only about a foot wide and are easy incorporate into any space. Trash compactors can be quickly installed under the counter or purchased as a portable appliance. Portable trash compactors are topped with additional counter space.
- Add Usable Space Wherever Possible
A small kitchen may not have room to accommodate an island, but there is often space for a kitchen cart. Kitchen carts come in many different shapes, colors, and designs. Most models offer attractive counter tops with pull-out extensions and plenty of storage space underneath. The wheels of the kitchen cart make the cart versatile and convenient. The cart can be pushed into a corner when not in use. It can also be used as a serving tray for other rooms in the house.
Use burner covers to add more surface space on the range top. Alternatively, the entire range top can be converted into a large counter top or chopping block when not in use by purchasing or building a custom range cover.
- Use Lighting and Color to Make a Small Kitchen Look Bigger
Any room will look more spacious with good lighting and a bright coat of paint. Consider painting the kitchen a sunny yellow, creamy gold, or light blue color. Keep the curtains and blinds open to bring in the natural light and make good use of all the light fixtures in the room. If lighting is dim, or there are no windows in the kitchen, consider installing lighting under the cabinets.
To add to the illusion of space, replace dark wood panels on cabinet doors with frosted glass. The glass will reflect the light while creating an open feel. Cover the floor with light colored tile or tile covering. Place a small, brightly colored area rug in the center of the floor. It will draw the eye and make the space look bigger.
Find Small Kitchen Space Savers
To purchase the items needed to make a small kitchen feel larger and more functional, begin at the eBay homepage. Choose Home & Garden from the All Categories tab. Use the shopping guide below to decide which categories to choose from the navigation menu. Take the time to research sellers and look at all the items available to find the best prices and quality.
Select the link for Kitchen, Dining & Bar to shop through Tools & Gadgets, Small Kitchen Appliances, Kitchen Storage & Organization and Kitchen Islands & Carts.
Find accessories such as bottles, baskets, racks, hooks, jars, and tins by clicking Home Decor & Accents.
Click the Furniture category to find buffets, sideboards, cabinets, and cupboards.
Get ideas, materials, and additional organizational help by clicking the Housekeeping & Organization or Home Improvement links.
To search for specific items in any category, use the search bar available at the top of every eBay page. For example, to search for a lazy Susan for a kitchen cabinet, type “kitchen cabinet lazy Susan” and hit the search button.
There are so many easy, inexpensive, and beautiful ways to save space in a small kitchen that it is possible to increase the space while keeping a great design and personal style. Use the search tools and category options available on eBay to research the sellers, products, and ideas that will make a small kitchen a joy to use for years to come.