In many older homes and vintage apartments, the resident may find themselves frustrated by the lack of space in the kitchen. If you are a person who enjoys cooking, this can be a real problem. Thankfully, with a bit of ingenuity and an ability to see things in a new way, you can add usable space to even the smallest of galley kitchens.  While your kitchen may never be fit for fixing 7 course meals, you can at least transform it into a room you don’t dread trying to get things done in.
Here are 9 suggestions that may turn your cluttered, tiny kitchen into a truly usable space.

  • Use the inside of cabinet doors.

While hanging items from the outside of your cabinet doors will lead to cluttered, messy feel, using removable hooks or cork board on the inside allows you to keep things in easy reach but out of sight.

  • Use a peg board.

These can be hung without doing any more damage to the wall than hanging a large picture would.  Once hung, all you need is S hooks and you can hang a wide variety of items including pots and pans, utensils and other kitchen necessities.

  • Use magnetic knife strips.

Forget the butchers block taking up space on your counter. Using removable hooks or nails, a magnetic strip can be hung on the backsplash of your kitchen wall. The knives are organized and easy to get to without wasting a single inch of valuable counter space.

  • Add shelving.

Shelving is easy to put up and can make up for whatever cabinet space you may be lacking.  To really maximize space, put a shelf up very close to the ceiling to store things you don’t use very often.  Even if you don’t have the desire to hang visible shelves, you can easily add shelf on top of your cabinets.

  • Make use of your fridge.

Your refrigerator takes up a lot of space in your kitchen so get the most you can out of it by using magnets to store things on it.  With some glue, magnets and empty baby food jars, you can easily turn your refrigerator into a spice rack.  Or with baskets and larger magnets you can create storage places for dry goods or kitchen tools. Test the strength of the magnets before overloading a basket supported by the magnets.

  • Use your cutting board to create counter space.

Many small kitchens also have small sinks. This makes it easy for you to place your cutting board over the sink when it is not in use and create usable counter space.

  • Invest in a bar cart.

These handy storage carts usually have tops that can double as counter space with plenty of storage space underneath. Perhaps the best thing about these carts is they come with wheels so they can easily be moved when necessary.

  • Make the inaccessible accessible.

By hanging pots and pans or wire baskets from your ceiling, you make use of the unused open space above your head.  Just be sure that the hanging items are high enough or out of the way enough that your taller guests will not walk into them. If your kitchen ceiling is not tall enough, do not try this one. You could always vault your ceiling, but that isn’t cheap.

  • Sort and reduce.

If you have tried to improve the space in your kitchen and still find that you have more stuff than you have storage space, it may be time to sort through glassware, dishes, utensils and other kitchenware. Good dishes suitable for company or holiday themed articles can easily be stored in another location as can the blender, mixer and other appliances that you do not use regularly.
If you’ve slowly and accidentally collected random and mismatched items, sort out those extra dishes, glassware, utensils and appliances and store them elsewhere, or better yet, get rid of them completely by donating them to your local thrift store.
Take a new look at your small kitchen and see if these inexpensive and minimally damaging suggestions can make a difference for you. Or maybe, with a fresh perspective you can come up with great ideas of your own. Either way, make the effort and you may just find that your kitchen is big enough after all.
Jim Dunnings is a freelance writer focusing on home living solutions.