Many of us are not fortunate to have large and luxurious kitchens. When asked about home-related hang ups, kitchens are one of the top scorers. Most people feel they would like a bigger kitchen or one with more state-of-the-art appliances and equipment. When cooking for a family, it can become particularly difficult to negotiate small spaces. What with children and partners wanting to join us, the kitchen can quickly become cluttered with books and toys. Pets can also wander in and out. Snacking teenagers might contribute to the mess and sense that there simply isn’t enough space. But with a few easy tips and changes, you can make the most of a small kitchen space.
Change Your Attitude
The first thing about making a small kitchen space work is our attitude. Feeling positive and motivated is always the best way to get things done. If we look at our kitchen and feel down and resentful, it’s going to feel even smaller. Stop focusing on all the ways a small kitchen makes our life difficult and start considering some of its advantages. A small kitchen means less cleaning, for example. We’re far less likely to misplace items within a small kitchen space, and everything should be within easy reach. Cooking in a small space can feel homely, cosy and convenient. If we have organised well and keep on top of tidying, it can be a real pleasure.
Enlist the Family
If you share a home with family, friends, or a partner, get them on board. It can be incredibly frustrating when people knowingly or unknowingly undo all the hard work you’ve put in. If you have a set day when you clean the kitchen, for example, make it known. Do not allow people to start cooking during that time, play with the dog, or walk through with muddy boots. If you have a tidying system or rota that you want to start using, getting everyone involved. Making everyone responsible for their own mess is a good start. Insist that people leave the kitchen as tidy as they found it. What starts off as a major chore soon becomes a good habit.
Tidy as You Go
Tidying and cleaning while we’re cooking can be a hassle at first. Sometimes it is hard enough to focus on the meal without adding extra tasks into the mix. Don’t interrupt important stages but if you are simply waiting for water to boil put used utensils in the dishwasher or sink ready for later. You will soon be in the habit of clearing space while you move and it will make working with the space much easier.
Invest in Equipment
In a small space, it is particularly important to have utensils and tools that we can rely on. Investing in good, large pans instead of several small ones can make mealtimes easier, for example. Or cutlery that is in good condition and so is easy to clean. If you cook on a daily basis for your family, it’s advisable to look for the best hard anodized cookware you can find. It is famous for being durable and easy to clean. Equipment and tools that work with you and not against you are important. They help you to feel that you are working smoothly and efficiently. That can be a lifesaver in a small space, where all stress seems to be magnified!
Are you making the most of all your storage space? Often, cabinets and cupboards were there when we moved in and we tend not to give them a second thought. Creative use of storage space can make a cramped, small kitchen feel twice the size. Have utensils hanging in easy to reach places, for example. Present cups and mugs on hooks in cupboards to free up shelf space. Extend cupboards right up to the ceiling or down to the ground to make full use of space. Be sure to store your items intelligently. Don’t put something that you use daily on the very top shelf, for example. Reserve these spaces for specialised equipment or crockery, as an idea.
Adding light to an area can instantly make it seem bigger and more pleasant. Dark spaces make it difficult to move quickly or see well, meaning they feel even more cramped and inconvenient. Invest in some great overhead lighting or have candles dotted around in safe places. Bringing light to a space not only makes it more inviting and adds to a cosy atmosphere, you can work better too. You might not even realise how dark a space is until you add some light! There are many options to suit your taste and budget and it can be a great investment.