Small Kitchen Makeover

Introduction: Small Kitchen Makeover

About: I love crafting and creating ... especially when it's simple, affordable, and useful.

I love my charming little apartment. But honestly, the tight spaces and lack of storage can really get on my nerves sometimes (and I'm on a girl on a budget without a lot of possessions).
My kitchen is so small a friend once coined it a "kitchen closet" (apparently she has a closet about that size).
Not wanting to dread my time in the kitchen cooking and cleaning, I decided to make the most out of the space and get organized (without breaking the bank, of course!).

Step 1: If You Don't Have Counter Space, Create It!

The weird empty space next to my kitchen and adjacent to the fridge needed to occupied. And I needed some real counter space to chop my veggies and dry my hand-washed plates.
Not wanting to spend much/any money, I created my own counter and storage space by stacking two black ikea lack side tables (I got 4 for free on Craig's List).
I keep one tabletop clear so I can move my cutting boards, foods, and drying racks around as needed.
Big and bulky cooking appliances--like my food processor, crockpots, and toaster--are stored on the lower shelves.

Step 2: Maximize Flat Surfaces by Creating Meta-storage

All of the shelving units and flat surfaces built in to the kitchen had to be used strategically and wisely.
All my knives, stirring spoons, and other small kitchen tools went into bins before being placed on the shelves.
Silverware was placed in cups for a more vertical storing scheme. See how much more silverware you can store in a space that would have been wasted with a flat utensil organizer.
Anything else that could be placed in bins or containers were!

Step 3: Use the Wall If Need Be

Those stick-on hooks from 3M (available at drugstores) sure can in handy for all those pots and pans that didn't fit in my cabinets. (My apartment was built when EVERYTHING was smaller.)

Step 4: Use Stackable Storage Containers for Recycling

I wasn't about to stop recycling because there was no room under the sink. These little buckets stack on top of one another, if I were to run out of space, and they fit nicely on that strange little "foot-sill" near the window.

Step 5: If Another Small Shelving Unit Can Fit, Put It In!

There's no such thing as too many shelving units in my opinion.
I found this white little number abandoned on the street and decided it was perfect for Snapware. It fit nicely between my makeshift "counters."

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    3 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    I love this kind of stuff. Thanks for sharing! Meta-storage, hahah, that's great! You could probably install a shelf above your "foot sill" without too much trouble.


    5 years ago

    Wow. Fantastic suggestions! Thank you so much.


    5 years ago on Step 5

    If it fits I would turn that white shelf sideways and run it UNDER the two LACK tables; push them together; and place something else in the now free space! Would give you even more storage and still be useable for the glass storage containers. Maybe one of the small drawer units avail at Walmart etc---I use one in my bedroom to organize small stuff like scissors etc and then have a small basket on top for really random crap er GREAT STUFF.

    I had a wooden table as part of my "counter" system for 25 years as our counter does not go all the way under where our upper cabinets are---don't ask!---and then had a small white "wood" two drawer cabinet under the table and stored baking stuff and odd utensils in there; had the baking sheets and cup cake pans leaning up on their sides between that and the end of the counter top. Now we have a kitchen island in that space. The biggest "hack" for my small kitchen was to build (much easier than IKEA kits!) a HARBOR FREIGHT WOODEN WORKBENCH---this is a narrow bench with a butcher block type top; we used dowels to plug the holes that come pre-drilled in there for a vice (also included but you don't have to attach it--unless you WANT a vice in your living space!) If I was going to build another one I would stain the ends of the dowels a contrasting color but as is they look fine. We sanded and poly'd a few coats. This comes with four felt lined drawers with slides--we have NO DRAWERS in our kitchen--we have three oddly sized drawer FRONTS but no drawer boxes In them! Sigh. So drawers were a BIG deal for me. This also has a nice re-inforced shelf underneath that sits high enough to slide a shallow plastic storage tote under there for odd sized or not often used items. And the narrow ends perfectly fit the wooden spice racks from IKEA. We also placed a small piece of thin molding on the back side of the top to prevent stuff being pushed off. Holds a TON of stuff and with spme baskets or nice boxes etc looks nice too.

    Now my old wooden table has moved to our workshop as a work top that is not as high as the actual workbenches--good for short lil me! And no more scrap of plywood balanced on rickety saw horses---win win!

    The HF bench goes on sale all the time and with their coupon---found in almost all magazines having to do with cars or motorcycles and even home projects---it costs less than $140. Might be worth looking into--oh and you can place a rod on the back for towels or the IKEA hanging baskets etc.