small kitchen,large family

I am wondering if anyone has some ideas for storage in a tiny kitchen when everything you have is BIG. Since I have 5 kids I tend to have big bowls and such for cooking and all that stuff. My husband actually turned a closet that is under our stairs into a pantry since my kitchen was short on places to put dry goods. This has worked out as I have a good amount of things stocked up in there.

I do have a pot rack hanging from the ceiling but would love to hear what other things people do in thier kitchens when short on space. Like where do you store flours, grains , pastas and sugars? Where do you put any appliances you ahve that don't fit neatly into cabinets? And any other tip you might have

jessica's picture

do you have space between your cabinets and the ceiling? this is where i put many of my appliances -- the rice cooker, tortilla press, fry vat, crock pot, etc. we have an insane amount of flours since we don't use gluten so i keep about 5 on the counter that i use daily and the rest i store in the fridge or in the deep freeze.

we have an extra fridge and deep freeze in the garage as well as a spot for dry goods. i store most of my pasta's there, leaving just a package of each kind in the kitchen and send a child out to get another when i cook w/ it.

it is quite challenging and i'd say my kitchen is medium sized, but long and narrow which is a pita when i am cooking with the children.

mom to Amber (9/12/93), Austin (born still 7/31/97), Ian (10/16/98), Rachael (3/7/01), and ??? 1/1

kittycat45's picture

I use shelves in my basement and in the garage. I wrap things to go in the garage in plastic bags[keep out dirt]

do your things "nestle" together ?? so they stack easy

how about a kids closet thats not all full?

Susannah's picture

One idea I had heard was underbed storage for stock-ups, like canned goods. It might clear some space in the pantry.

JoannaC's picture

I just moved from a house with a small kitchen (10x10), and here were some things we did:

Got rid of a lot of seldom used appliances and utensils (e.g., popcorn popper, extra coffee maker, etc.) Also parted with some useful items, like a griddle and electric frying pan, and just used regular cookware instead.

Bought an unfinished, tall, skinny jelly cabinet. I also didn't have wall space, but this fit in a corner beside a window. I painted it a color I liked, and it stored dry goods and baking supplies.

Bought a wire shelving "island" with 2 shelves and a wood top. I stored pots and pans and linens on the shelves. I made a skirt (attached with velcro) to hide the stuff.

Stored extra staple items on a metal shelving unit in our basement. This helped A LOT.

Good luck!!!

jennye's picture

Can you declutter anything? Take a good hard look at your little appliances. Do you actually use some of them? I have a rice cooker/veggee steamer that I have used a couple times in the past 9 years. It's packed away in the garage and I'll probably just give it away one of these days. Saving boxes from any dishes or cook wear? Those can be tossed.

Cuphooks in the cupboards for coffee mugs. spice racks and other handy storage things (like dealies for aluminum foil) that can go on the cupboard DOORS rather than take up shelf space.

Like Jessica, my kitchen isn't really small, but long and narrow (Galley, I think it's called). Really out-dated too, I hate it. And if the dishwasher is open, it's really hard to walk around. The tops of the cabinets have paneling rather than drywall, but I'm going to rip it all out someday to I will have the tops there. Someday....

Kerri's picture

Our kitchen's got the weirdest cupboards... mostly far too deep with no dividers so they are impossible to use for anything. I shifted all my cans, and more recently my spices and stuff to a shallower cupboard just outside the kitchen - right by the front door! There are 3 shelves in it and I can get cans about 4 deep, which is just right for me. One of the deep cupboards just got cleaned out today (by my slave daughter - she's my slave till Christmas if she wants to take part!) and since it often gets cockroaches I've put closed packs of toilet rolls, kitchen rolls and hamster stuff! That will mean rearranging my walk-in store cupboard, which sounds so much better than it is... I don't have attic or basement in my apartment of course, so EVERYTHING gets stored there.

I have very little counter space too, so appliances are a bit scattered... slow cooker on top of the fridge, rice cooker and food processor in different cupboards in the kitchen. We stopped drinking coffee so that was one machine less!

The only thing I can say really works is to just keep shifting stuff around until it suits you. Think outside the box, as they say, so you can use odd spaces for things you don't use often. If there are certain things you only find yourself digging out at this time of year those things can get boxed up in January until you can find a better home for them out of the kitchen. I've been living here for 5yrs and I am still moving things backwards and forwards all over the place to accommodate better ways of doing things and to squeeze in new stuff or get things away from nasty bugs.


kittycat45's picture

I understand your problem with the ole bugs. I lived in an apartment and at first we did not have any bugs,then these guys moved in next to us and boom we got them. Its not you its your neighbors.

I did help the problem with BORAX. I took it and shaked it [cotton ball too] around the edges of the walls and in the cupboards. They walk in it then clean themselves and die!!

mamakali's picture

We had a weird cabinet like that. It was under the sink and it ran all whe way back to a wall and was the corner cabinet. No way to really use the space well . My husband (ex-general contractor) built me some shelves out of some scrapwood he had and I store some of the things I don't use as often back there now. But that got full. The last two women who live in this house I heard went nuts. Which bugged me after we bought the house but I am starting to think it is the kitchen that drove them mad. *L*

Well my family decided since I got the kitchen all cleaned and organized and had space after putting things away and saying good-bye to things not used to buy me some new "toys" for the kitchen. *L* But good ones. A waffle iron that is built to save space and stand on it's side. (phew) and one of those stand mixers. That was a tight squeeze but it has been a big want on my list so I made room. I got some tea cup hooks to hang the extras for it.

A neighbor gave me some old canning jars ( the real old ones with glass lids) so I took all my pastas and beans and filled the jars and put them on my hutch and it looks cute and gave me more room in my cupboards.

Thank you all for your ideas. I was able to take something and apply it here.


mamakali's picture

That is a great idea Kerri to use the Borax.

My problem bug right now is nats. I bought a sack of onions and I guess some where in there. My daughter is letting me borrow her venus flytrap plant but we still have a few lingering ones after I cleaned the basket and bleached the lining. They drive me nuts. I will never buy bulk onions again.


mamakali's picture

I so can't wait till we put this house up for sale. I hate saying that too as it is our first home we bought. But we had to move fast and my husband wanted to live near the water and well that means tiny lots and tiny homes. I am still trying to figure out how three boys are going to fit into a tiny room once my 4 year old gets a real bed next year. He is almost out grown his toddler bed. *L*

Sadly I don't have the space between the counter and the ceiling. Dh said he could take the drywall out for me this spring which I like that idea a lot as in my old house this was where I put the appliances. I have a larger roaster oven and a dehydrator on the fridge right now. I am short on counter space big time. I did find a great old hutch at Goodwill for $15 (surprised me too) and have a few things shoved in there.

I have a deep freezer in the garage. Wish I could get a second fridge for milk and things. Dh is not keen on that idea though.

It is a hard space to work with. I really only have one full wall and that has a window and door on it. The kitchen is small but opens to the dinning room and living room.

I love the ideas of putting things in the garage though wrapped up. I think I could do that with my pantry. I have a small spot in the back that actually is under the stairs I bet I could put a few things in that I don't use as often.

Thanks again for the ideas.


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