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How the heck do you store everything in a small kitchen?

(24 Posts)
Jemster Mon 12-May-14 19:40:51

My kitchen is driving me nuts! It's fairly small and permanently cluttered even though we seem to tidy it about 3 times a day, after each main meal.
I did a large food shop yesterday but I just haven't got it organised in a way I need to store all the food so it's all out on the sides! Many of the cupboards we do have are full of crockery, mugs, and pyrex & tupperware we hardly use but I think I should keep just in case. One of the cupboards is large and is wasted space as it could have a shelf added in to create two shelves. I've left messages and emails for umpteen carpenters to get a price to do this but not one has responded!
I just don't know where to start to get it organised.
Can anyone else who has a smallish kitchen but hungry family of four please help me?

deepinthewoods Mon 12-May-14 19:54:50

Could you store some of the stuff yo don't use very often elsewhere? I have fancy serving plates and bowls that I use only a few times a year but keep them in a large cupboard in the bedroom. Or store some stuff outside? I keep spare wash up liquid, tins etc in the garden shed. I also have large plastic lidded boxes in the garden for tins, oil, squash, juice, cat food etc.
Thankfully we will be moving soon.

Frontdoorstep Mon 12-May-14 20:02:41

It sounds like you have far too much stuff to me. Why don't you ditch the stuff you don't use. My kitchen isn't huge but I have empty cupboards and shelves because I don't have anything in there that I don't use. Honestly if your struggling for space why are you keeping stuff you don't use.

Putting an extra shelf in the wasted space is a great idea. Just keep phoning up joiners until you get one to come and do the job.

spinnergeologist Mon 12-May-14 20:04:46


We have a teeny kitchen. We recently had a refit and I was truly ruthless with getting rid of things. If we only see something once or twice a year we got rid. We are now down to 6 mugs, plates etc, if we have more guests we ask them to bring spares which people just find amusing. We also got rid of lots of utensils and got own to one draw. If it doesn't fit it can go. You will be surprised at what you can do without. Food wise we have a really good system of boxes to allow stacking of stuff. Some things that are bulk bought are in the attic (tins etc). Tins are also stacked and rotated. We keep some stuff in the fridge that doesn't need to be there too if the cold won't damage it.

Try handymen, they are usually up for the small jobs.

Pinkandpurplehairedlady Mon 12-May-14 20:04:51

I have a rack hanging from the ceiling where I keep my saucepans which freed up a cupboard (does mean I have make sure they are super sparkly clean though!)

Coffeeinthepark Mon 12-May-14 20:11:17

I agree, you don't need a carpenter, just a handyman. B&q etc will actually sometimes cut Mdf to size I think so you may not even need a handyman

wowfudge Mon 12-May-14 20:15:06

Hi there - I don't have a family of four, but do have a tiny kitchen, so will try to help.

1. Get some storage elsewhere, e.g. in dining room for things you don't use very often such as sideboard/storage unit with glass doors, that kind of thing;
2. Get rid of anything you haven't used for a year - you're unlikely to use it or miss it;
3. Move off the worktop anything you can as that immediately de-clutters and gives you more work space - e.g. put microwave on wall brackets (from B&Q); knives out of knife block onto magnetic strip on wall and ditch knife block (Ikea), hanging rails under wall units for utensils that were in a big pot on the worktop (Ikea), add small shelves under some wall units for tea and coffee canisters, sugar bowl, salt & pepper for cooking, etc (Ikea - stainless steel shelves, they come in two sizes can't remember the name);
4. Have extra cupboards and/or shelving put up in kitchen. For example, in our kitchen there were cupboards on one side, base and wall, base units under window and nothing else. We added wall cupboards to wall opposite the fully fitted one, some shelving above microwave now on brackets. You can also add bridging units above the wall cupboards right up to ceiling if you have space for storing things you don't need very often;
5. Make better use of the cupboard space use a corner plate stacker and some metal racks from Lakeland/Wilko/Dunelm to better organise what you have in the space. A plate stacker also makes it easier to get at what you need without lifting up the smaller stuff as it's kept separate. I have three tiers of mugs on a wire rack which aren't stacked on top of each other and in danger of getting damaged. Cheaper than adding a shelf - in fact I took out a shelf and the racking means I get more in the space on just one shelf.
6. Even in a small kitchen, if you fit a dishwasher in, it provides somewhere to store the dirty pots and pans instead of them piling up to to be washed.

Hope that helps.

starfishmummy Mon 12-May-14 20:27:04

We not only have a tiny kitchen but there are three doors and a big window so there is no way we can get more things onto the walls :-(
We do have sideboard space in the dining room but still need to de-clutter.

Eyelet Mon 12-May-14 20:35:27

We have a decent sized kitchen but shocking storage and design means no more can be added. I keep just enough cutlery and crockery for what we need on a daily basis, and put things used yearly under the stairs and we have a large sideboard in our dining room which I am ruthless about keeping tidy.

We also have room in the garage for a second freezer and I keep extra tins in a raised cupboard next to the freezer to prevent any vermin.

TheSydenhamSet Mon 12-May-14 20:37:46

We have a small kitchen.
I store some items on top of the cupboards that I use but not regularly - slow cooker, v large mixing bowl for Christmas cake.
We have a rack fixed to the wall for pots and pans. In our previous home we had one hanging from the ceiling. Pot racks are a big space saver!
We recently bought a small sideboard which we have in the dining room. In there i intend to put trays, nice crockery that doesn't get used daily, Tupperware etc (it's on my to-do list to fill it!)
We had tall cupboards in our previous kitchen that could easily take another shelf. I ordered add-shelves from Lakeland (that's not the name, I'll link in a bit) that were excellent. Hopefully you can order something similar without having to contract a tradesman, which will be potentially expensive.
I found narrow shelf racks on wheels, again from Lakeland, very useful for storing tins and jars. I've seen people use them to store fruit and veg.

TheSydenhamSet Mon 12-May-14 20:40:11

[[ ]] these are brilliant!

TheSydenhamSet Mon 12-May-14 20:51:00

I read you have three doors in kitch. Lakeland sell a door shelving unit that you attach to a door!

TheSydenhamSet Mon 12-May-14 20:52:36

bluegardens Mon 12-May-14 20:56:06

My kitchen is tiny but I still manage to store most things. As others have said magnetic strips, hooks on walls/ceilings/under cupboards are useful. My pots/pans stack into each other and can multitask e.g. all are oven proof so frying pans can go in oven. Ruthlessly get rid of 'just in case' odd sized baking trays, piles of plastic boxes, etc. Just incase of what? Humans are problem-solving creatures. Improvise or borrow from the neighbours!

HarrietSchulenberg Mon 12-May-14 23:07:25

I have a set of shelves on one of my worktops that takes mucho stuff. Hang on, I'll see if I can post a pic...

HarrietSchulenberg Mon 12-May-14 23:13:06

Not exactly Ideal Homes but you get the drift.

charlieandlola Mon 12-May-14 23:14:06

Under shelf baskets are brilliant for spices Tubes of purée , vitamins, medicines, packets of baking items, anything small and diddly .

Back of the door storage also brilliant - have lots of those
Hooks underneath cabinets for mugs
Shelves underneath cabinets also
Loads of ideas in Ikea catalogue !

Sunnymeg Tue 13-May-14 10:45:41

We have shelves under our cabinets and then mug hooks under the shelves. I also have two bread bins which sit one on top of the other. One holds the bread and the other biscuits etc. All my nice crockery is in a cupboard in the dining room. Our freezer is in the garage. The storage of food is the main issue for me. One of my neighbours, with the same size kitchen shops every other day for her family of three.

LightastheBreeze Tue 13-May-14 13:38:39

We have a small kitchen and keep all our tins, jars, bottles, rice and pasta in the large cupboard under the stairs which is next to the kitchen. It has loads of shelves built into it, we also keep spare saucepans and things like very little used electricals in there like George Foreman grill.

LoadsaBlusher Thu 15-May-14 16:20:31

My last kitchen was tiny - I ordered an over door storage thing from eBay
It hung in hooks over the actual kitchen door and was made of PVC/ plastic with lots of clear pockets
I used this to store all small items plus packaged food items - like porridge etc , the cardboard boxes were too bulky in my cupboard
All pots/ pans/ enamel inside the oven
Minimal crockery in my one cupboard - 4 plates 4 cups etc
All additional crockery was kept in a cupboard in the hall

wowfudge Fri 16-May-14 11:42:34

Lightas - sounds like a pantry to me! I loved having a pantry for all that stuff when I lived with my DPs - wish we had one now, but we have a cellar instead. Having to go downstairs for stuff is nowhere near as convenient.

jollatine68 Wed 02-Sep-15 16:22:18

I don't know if people are still reading this, but...
I waited for ten years to redo my kitchen. It is small. I made notes over time and redesigned it based on those notes. I included a pantry which is ventilated and insulated, it acts as a great cold storage area for 9 months of the year. This kind of kitchen doesn't have to be mega expensive, but it is bespoke so handmade is more than off the shelf. But say hi if you need help or want one too as I will be in touch. I am in North London

SurlyCue Wed 02-Sep-15 16:30:31

I had to have a massive cull when i moved in here.

We have 4 of dinner plates, side plates, bowls, mugs and cutlery. I got rid of large appliances i never used, deep fat fryer, george foreman grill, veg steamer, slow cooker, spare kettle (???) blender, baking trays and tins. The food cupboard is small but it just means not over stocking and thinking about what i'll use each week.

It is actually so much easier to functions with less stuff cluttering up the place.

SurlyCue Wed 02-Sep-15 16:31:30

Oops. Zombie thread.

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