Living in a small space always necessitates creative organizing solutions. And the need for organization becomes magnified when it’s a space used multiple times a day like in a kitchen.
This is the case for Daniella. Recently, we took a closer look at possible solutions for her small pantry problem, specifically 5 Tips for a Small Pantry Problem.
We were able to tackle a few organizing tips in the previous post, so let’s get to our specific plan for a workable kitchen.
In her small kitchen, Daniella re-purposed a rolling cart as a pantry to store bulky dry goods.
This might be a familiar sight for many of us, no matter what size our pantry is! In just a few quick steps, we’ll get this little rolling cart in shape. Let’s dive in!
1. 6-10 Ikea food storage containers $21- $33
2. 2 open storage baskets $7
3. Cabinet shelf divider $9
Step 1: Purge
First, as always, sort through the Tupperware lids and other pantry items to make sure you use and need each one. Cull them down to a reasonable number that you use and that fits into the space you’ve assigned for them.
Once that is done, if possible store Tupperware lids in a smaller container stored upright, like hanging files. Any basket or bin like #1 in the picture plan above will work.
With lids organized vertically, grabbing the one you need is easier without digging through and toppling all of the lids. Also a smaller container will provide much needed space in the space challenged cabinet.
Step 2: Invest in Food Storage Containers
There is something so visually pleasing about having multiples of one specific type of container. It can help any space feel pulled together. However, it can become a little pricey if you are buying them all at once, especially depending on what type you choose.
Since I’m helping Daniella through some virtual organizing I am not able measure spaces and sort through items with her. But, judging by the pictures she shared with me, I am able to estimate the number of containers and sizes she will likely need. Here are my shopping tips, no matter how many containers you need.
What to look for when you are investing in food storage containers:
- rectangle or square containers- because they take up less surface area then round ones. You can easily stack them or fit them together side by side.
- easy lids to take on and off- You are going to be using them A LOT, so you want to make sure your food will be accessible and easy to get to.
- clear containers- You’ve got to see what you have. No need to add an extra step of labeling or finding another way to remember what is inside– just go with the clear.
- various size options- You’ll need various sizes to meet all of your food storage needs.
Here are few of my favorite:
If you are not able to invest in food containers all at once, you could slowly buy one at a time or re-purpose old food containers. The main organizing goal is to get the dried goods out of plastic bags and boxes which can make it so hard to store and find what you need.
But let’s be realistic here. You are not always going to have a specific container for everything you are buying. Your containers might already be full or you are buying something special for a certain meal; we need a place for those bags or boxes.
That is where the 2nd open storage bin comes in from the plan above. After using the first open storage basket for Tupperware lids, use a second bin to throw any temporary bags into this basket without worrying about needing a specific container for it. If it becomes a regular staple in your kitchen, you can always find a more permanent container for it at that time.
Step 3: Create more Shelf Space
Use a cabinet shelf divider to make extra space for food storage. You can find this type shelf divider at almost any big box store. Depending on what containers are needed, you can slip some smaller food storage containers underneath.
If there is still not much space to spare, another open storage basket could slide underneath to hold more dry goods.
One of our goals is to use our organizing strategies to create enough room for the cereal hanging out on the outside to find a new home inside the rolling cart.
Step 4: Maximize Vertical Hanging Space
Last but not least, Daniella mentioned needing a space for her collection of coffee cups. Taking up valuable cabinet shelf space is a no-go, so the next best solution is to use vertical space.
You can utilize vertical space even if you don’t have the luxury or desire to drill holes all over your walls. The towel rack type bar shown below creates a plethora of hanging space with only 2-4 holes needed to hang up the bar.
Not only can you hang utensils, pot holders, and mugs with “S” hooks but Ikea also has plenty of accessories to choose from.
This basket could hold daily spices or condiments to free up some more much needed cabinet space. Plus Ikea is budget-friendly (as long as you stay focused while weaving through that warehouse).
Ikea is not your only option. A shelf like this one can be found at many discount home décor stores. Spend a little time looking around at different sites such as amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond, HomeGoods, etc. You never know, you might find a store offering amazing sale or discounted pricing.
Not keen on hanging everything from your walls? The next option is to keep only a few choice items on display.
- Can you box up ones for a time and store them in another storage area in your home ? Every 4-6 months or so you can swap out your favorites for a new display.
- Can you display your favorites, not suitable for use, elsewhere? Who’s to say your favorite mug can’t be displayed as décor throughout your home.
Do you have a small kitchen? What are your favorite tips for keeping it organized?
As always, if you have a an organizing question you would like to share please contact us and we may address it right here on the blog! Thanks Daniella for sharing your organizing question! It’s been so much fun virtually organizing your space here on the blog!