How to make the most of a tiny kitchen

25 Aug

Happy (almost)Friday! Any fun plans for the weekend? We heading home Saturday to celebrate my youngest sister’s birthday! 🙂

I have been living in an apartment ever since I moved out of the dorms before junior year. My first apartment was a two bedroom that I shared with my friend Shea. The kitchen was tiny. My second apartment was a one bedroom, my first place on my own. This kitchen was itty bitty. During my student teaching, I lived in a newly renovated one bedroom, with a really nice kitchen. New appliances, beautiful countertops, track lighting. But it was small. Apartment kitchens are generally small, since they are trying to maximize living space. But goodness, something a bit more spacious than a walk in closet.

John and I currently live in a two bedroom apartment. It’s the perfect size for us, but guess what? The kitchen is terribly small. My counter space is about 4 square feet. Once the fridge door is open, you can’t get into the cabinet across of it. I store my pots and pans in the hallway closet. It’s bad, but I’ve made it work for the past few years. I’d figure I’d share some tips on staying sane in a tiny cooking space.

  • Maximize your space. We have limited drawer and cabinet space, so I bought a giant white crock for all my cooking utensils, which I keep on the stove top. I bought a cheapie metal shelf from target, which I spray painted to match our place, and use it to store cookbooks and my huge ball jars of oats, quinoa, rice, chickpeas, and lentils. I store my spices in the tiny drawer next to my stove, since they wouldn’t all stay organized in the cabinet. I used to get so frustrated with my oven mitts laying on top of jars that I stuck tiny little hooks inside my doors, and now they have a place! I also decided to buy an over-the-door basket for saran wrap, parchment paper, etc. It’s been the perfect solution for me.

Shout out to Mama Pea! Congrats on becoming a NYT Bestselling Author! 🙂

  • Organize your food. I use Ball Jars to store almost everything. Beans, nuts, grains, spices. I decided to use cheap plastic tupperware for my flours, since they are wide enough for me to fit my measuring cup into, but I prefer Ball Jars. Not only are the adorable, but affordable! I found the perfect 3 section plastic container for all my small food items- xantham gum, extracts, stevia. 
  • Clear your counters. I store my blender under the counter in a cabinet, which makes a huge difference. I use a 3 tiered fruit and veggie basket, which allows for more work space. We keep our toaster and coffee maker on the tiny counter between the oven and fridge, they fit perfectly. I also keep out cooking oils and balsamic vinegar, and our small 3 bottle wine rack.
  • Clean as you go. We have a two sided sink, thank goodness- but one side is dedicated to our drying rack. Whenever I’m cooking a more involved meal, or baking anything, I make sure to clean bowls, measuring cups, whatever it is, as I go along. If I don’t, my countertop is covered in dirty dishes by the end of it, and I get frustrated! Cleaning as I go also gives me more room to cook!
Fortunately for us, our lease is up October 1st, and we are going to rent a beautifully renovated house, with a (relatively) HUGE kitchen! I can’t wait!  I’m sure I will dedicate a post to our new digs when we get settled.

What are your tiny kitchen tips?

3 Responses to “How to make the most of a tiny kitchen”

  1. jenny 08/26/2011 at 9:50 am #

    i am happy you are blogging more, i love reading your posts! our apartment has hardly any counter space too, it’s annoying! thanks for the tips (: i can’t wait to see pictures of the house you are renting, how exciting!

    • ashleyatcookingforjohn 08/26/2011 at 11:40 am #

      thanks for commenting jenny! i’m glad you like to read the blog! 🙂

      we are super excited about the house, i hope we get to see you guys on labor day weekend! 🙂

      you guys should come home for a football game this fall and you can see our house!

      • jenny 08/26/2011 at 4:25 pm #

        that would be so much fun, we should pick a weekend soon so we can start planning! have a good weekend, see you soon hopefully! (:

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