Bienvenue Dans Ma Cuisine Minuscule! - LifeBites Blog at Allrecipes.com - 268193

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Bienvenue Dans Ma Cuisine Minuscule! 
 
Feb. 22, 2012 7:32 am 
Updated: Mar. 3, 2012 3:33 pm

I'm sure I'm not the only one who suffers from "Teeny Tiny Kitchen" syndrome - you know, the one where you can't turn around without running into yourself? Dear zeebee asked recently about using canning jars to store non-canned items and it brought to mind how I wanted to use pint size mason jars to store all of my cake sprinkles in and put them on display. The problem there being that I have absolutely no room in my kitchen.

Photobucket

This little bit of Heaven is my kitchen. Please, please, please keep in mind that this is near Thanksgiving time and after a full morning of grocery shopping and a day full of baking and prepping. :D  But there she is, in all her glory.

Since I figure I can't be the only one who is suffering with this particular malady, I thought it would be fun for everyone to post their favorite space-saving tip for "Cuisine Miniscule!" Please share your ideas, post links to blogs or sites that have space-saving and space-maximizing ideas for those of us who are square-footage challenged. :D

 
Comments
Feb. 22, 2012 7:46 am
Great blog idea Caroline! I am looking forward to hearing everyone's comments! I have a very small kitchen and limited cupboards and drawers. Recently I moved all my spices to a drawer from a cupboard. It's awesome because I can see everything that I have. AND I don't have to GET ON the counter to see what's in the back. Also, I got them away from the stove, which they say is a bad storage place for spices. Towels and oven mitts used to be in that drawer and now they are stacked in the cupboard. I hung some 3M hooks inside the cupboard doors and I put my most frequently used mitts and hot pads on them. I don't bake all that regularly so I keep all my baking supplies in plastic bins on shelves going down the stairs to the basement. It makes more sense to have that stuff away from my "everyday" food plus it's super easy to get out and put away when I'm done.
 
Amanda 
Feb. 22, 2012 7:51 am
I used to have a kitchen about that size. I found that my oven was a great place to store cookie sheets and the like (because at the time I was only using either of them once a month or so). Also, it looks like you have room to hang a sturdy shelf on that back wall above the top of your fridge. You can put pretties that you don't need on a daily basis up there (like mason jars full of sprinkles and the Pop N' Fresh cookie jar). ;) Love the spice shelf next to your stove!
 
Feb. 22, 2012 8:24 am
Thanks for sharing those great tips eecaule! Amanda - you are right - a shelf there is a fab idea for that stuff - AND its out of reach for the kids, lol. :D
 
Feb. 22, 2012 10:26 am
I think you have about the same amount of counter space as me. I have a bit more walking space however.
 
Feb. 22, 2012 11:05 am
Our kitchen is larger but when cleaning time comes around I am convinced I have way too much space.
 
Feb. 22, 2012 11:12 am
That back wall is begging for some sort of shelf! Also, if you have a door somewhere near the kitchen, I have hung a plastic over-the-door shoe storage unit (w/ clear plastic pouches for the "shoes" to go in) on the inside of a door and I use it for pantry items. Since it is clear I can see what is there, and, for instance, one pouch will hold several small boxes of pudding, or a couple of spice containers that you don't use often. So helpful! Use the tiered plastic coated shelves that you can buy almost anywhere to really help on counters, too, because you can see what is in the back. You could prob use one on top of the fridge for less used oils or vinegars, etc. Also, if you use a clear plastic bin for storing spices or sprinkles, you can label on the TOP of each separate container what is in it and it is so easy to pull that container out and just look at the tops!
 
Feb. 22, 2012 11:45 am
My kitchen is about the size of urs.. Just more of a square.. I'm looking for ways to organise too. There doesn't seem to be enough space at all.. I like the idea of the shoe holder to hold stuff behind the door but I don't have a door.. And btw, how do u manage to keep ur stove so sparkly? I scrub it every night but can't get it to look like yours.. Love it..
 
Feb. 22, 2012 12:38 pm
Would it be possible to mount the lighting, that is currently on the wall next to the sink, under the cabinet? That would open up the space for 2 open shelves on the side of the cabinet. You could use clear containers to store items or use the space to store your decorative items.
 
Feb. 22, 2012 1:00 pm
Marie --- that thing on the wall is the door bell and I think its hard-wired? Not sure that I can move it. We rent so no permanent changes.
 
Feb. 22, 2012 1:01 pm
Cuppy --- The stove is actually about 5-6 years old and I was bound and determined to not let it get dirty, lol. I'm constantly scrubbing it and yelling at the kids to "Wipe that up!!!" :D
 
Feb. 22, 2012 1:09 pm
No, not on the back wall but the florissant light that is hung vertically net to the sink. When I click on the photo above it expands and shows a better view.
 
Feb. 22, 2012 1:10 pm
If you are renting you would not be allowed to but up the shelving as it would require brackets.
 
Amanda 
Feb. 22, 2012 1:34 pm
Marie C- that depends on her lease. Some allow it as long as you patch the holes when you move out.
 
Feb. 22, 2012 2:20 pm
You Put at least 2 shelves up on that back wall 2' or 2.5' would still allow the cabinet to open and that would give you 4' - 5' more flat space. I agree with Marie if that light was mounted under the cabinet instead of where it is you could hang small shelves there too. 3M makes these wonderful hooks that hold an amazing amount of weight and they are removable so no damage to the wall. I feel your pain, my kitchen is just about the same size.
 
Feb. 22, 2012 2:21 pm
That should say IF you put....
 
Feb. 22, 2012 5:32 pm
I've heard the term... A one butt kitchen... that will only fit half of mine! lol! Love it though!
 
Feb. 22, 2012 5:45 pm
Oh - gotcha Marie C. We can put up shelving, pictures, all sorts of that stuff - it just can't be a permanant change and mess up the drywall beyond patching.That light that you see is now gone and that space is open, so a thinner shelving unit there may work. Great idea - thank you! :D Terry - I think I used this phrase the other day - "Not enough room in there for a toad to fart sideways." And its soooo true, lol! :D
 
Feb. 22, 2012 7:48 pm
BigShotsMom - I hadn't realized that adding two shelves would add that much space. Really put it in perspective - thanks!
 
Feb. 22, 2012 8:12 pm
I'd cover that back wall with heavy duty pegboard, paint it to blend in then add some pegboard shelves, hooks, etc. to hang up/store anything & everything you possible can.
 
Feb. 22, 2012 8:25 pm
Do not feel like the lone ranger here Caroline. Mine is just about the same size. Only it's more of a square. I hate it. I used to have the great big kitchen in the great big house and honestly, I can do without the big house, but I really miss the kitchen. My extra fridge is in my garage along with quite a bit of shelving. I have that area blocked off and affectionately call that my walk-in pantry. I would however like more inside space so I'm going to pay close attention to what others have to say and pick up a tip or two myself.
 
Feb. 22, 2012 8:42 pm
That's what I'm hoping for also, Avon - those tips for storage, ways to organize, items that stack and store well, websites that show visuals, all that kind of jazz. It will be nice if everyone shares their "one big tip" that has worked wonders for them. I'm excited to see what pops up! :D
 
sueb 
Feb. 23, 2012 3:45 am
I have little shelf racks that I store my spices in that I hang on the outside of my cabinet. They are the metal covered with plastic kind. They are wide enough for two jars so they don't get lost.
 
Lela 
Feb. 23, 2012 9:39 am
For years, I had a small kitchen-we would joke and call it the 2 butt kitchen. We would always be bumping into each other. I had to store a lot of my kitchen stuff in the basement. Now, I am in kitchen heaven I have a bigger kitchen in my new house.
 
Feb. 23, 2012 12:26 pm
It looks like you could lay a board on top of your upper cabinets from one side to the other across the back wall. Would it fit under the doorbell? If so-you could screw metal jar lids to the bottom of the makeshift shelf and put your pretty sprinkles in the jars. The jar lids and board could be painted or cloth covered to look pretty. Also Home stores have small storage bins that can be retrofitted behind the false drawerfronts in front of the sink. The landlord will never know they are there. And office supply places have cool magnetic storage bins and cups that you can attach to the fridge. I cleaned out my knife drawer and got rid of my knife block by attaching a magnetic tool holder from Sears to the wall. You could hang your cutting boards, cooling racks, trivets and any cool utensils you have on that back wall as well.
 
Feb. 23, 2012 12:40 pm
Hazelnut - those are fantastic ideas! The one with the board going across really has me stoked :) They will be replacing the cupboards at some point during this year (unless they cancel it for the fifth year in a row) but they will be replaced with the same exact thing, so it would still work. I'm really excited about this one! :) Thanks!
 
Feb. 23, 2012 12:59 pm
Caroline I fell your pain my kitchen is just about the same size but its not the size of the kitchen that maters but the quality of love that goes into your cooking. Sorry I have no worthy suggestions except I find keeping as much clutter of my counter as possible.
 
Feb. 23, 2012 1:01 pm
(I hit the wrong button) helps me fell like I have a little more room.
 
Feb. 24, 2012 7:57 am
You are absolutely correct BA - plenty of that here, too :D
 
Feb. 24, 2012 11:21 am
Caroline, magnetic spice jars might be an option for storing/showing your sprinkles. I know they're available all over the internet, but I found this on Amazon, and although not cheap, it looks like it just might work on the side of your fridge (holds 12 jars): http://www.pfaltzgraff.com/kamenstein-magnetic-spice-rack-easel/31112%2Cdefault%2Cpd.html?utm_source=amazonshopping&utm_content=pfaltzgraffshopping&utm_campaign=amazonshopping
 
Feb. 24, 2012 1:31 pm
lutzflcat - that's a great idea - They are so nice looking, though, that I may just have to get multiples to store sprinkles AND spices. Very nice indeed - Thanks! :D
 
AREENA 
Feb. 28, 2012 5:09 pm
My DH and I refer to ours as a "one butt kitchen". The reason, I think, is obvious. We have found helpful ideas at IKEA. The best thing was to get as much off the counters as possible--our knives and spices are all on the walls (magnets, baskets). Also, no one-trick pony gadgets; if it gets kitchen real estate, it must be good for multiple purposes. Not sure how big the rest of your home is, but we were able to find a good size kitchen cart with stainless top that is in our dining room and is a life saver--basically extends our kitchen counter into the dining area and stores a lot of stuff.
 
Feb. 28, 2012 5:40 pm
Hi Caroline. My kitchen isn't small but it's not large either. I have 5 doorways and 2 nearly floor to ceiling windows so there is hardly any wall space for cabinets and i have only about 5 feet total of counter space.I have a pantry thankfully but it has 2 doorways and a window. I do not have a closet on my ground floor and I joke that my vacuum cleaner has no place to live. ;)
 
Feb. 28, 2012 6:19 pm
Areena - I'm always looking for an excuse to get to IKEA. ;) I do have to invest in the magnetic knife holder and such. We already have a portable dishwasher that extends the counter space pretty well - I don't really have any more room for a cart so I think that one's out unfortunately.
 
Feb. 28, 2012 6:20 pm
Hey Allie Girl! I have a hall closet close to the kitchen that I use as my "pantry" but alas, my vacuum, too, sits outside it like a lost wet puppy whining at the door to get in, lol.
 
Feb. 28, 2012 6:48 pm
Believe it or not...I think I have you beat in the tiny kitchen department. I have stuff stored in the garage and my "office" and I still have overflow. Oh well, the food that comes out of it taste just fine;0
 
Feb. 28, 2012 7:24 pm
That's the ticket mauigirl - made with love and tastes like heaven no matter what size the kitchen :D
 
Feb. 29, 2012 5:00 am
Great post, Caroline...I think I may take the prize for the smallest kitchen...if you want to call it a kitchen. I live in a 21-foot fifth wheel and my galley is soooo small. My oven is an easy-bake oven on steroids and now my counter space is more non-existent with the addition of my KitchenAid and my set of Henckel knives that I got for Christmas :P I'm not gonna complain though, because there is a light at the end of the tunnel and the days of RV living may be a thing of the past very soon!
 
Feb. 29, 2012 9:44 am
Hey there witchy! Glad to see you :) I feel for you - I don't think I could handle working in so tiny of a space - there are six people to cook for here and I get overwhelmed sometimes. Sending "big kitchen" thoughts your way, lol! Yes, I do believe you take the prize! :D
 
Alex 
Feb. 29, 2012 10:52 am
Gosh Caroline that's about the size of the kitchen in one of the apartments I looked at! I don't like that long narrow style, I couldn't cope! When I was viewing that apartment, I stood at the stove pretending to cook and my butt was almost touching the counter behind me! Yours looks at least a bit wider than that :) You do have more counter space than I do in the kitchen I ended up with but I have more moving around room, which is nice. But I still miss the nice big kitchen at my parents' house!
 
Feb. 29, 2012 11:05 am
Hey there Alex :) Yes, it is BARELY a "two butt" kitchen. The kitchen is one of the first things I consider when looking at places to live - I didn't have too much of a choice in this one - it was kind of a quick move, but the kitchen and where to put the Christmas tree are the first things to be considered - I'm such a weirdo. =D
 
me,myself&i 
Feb. 29, 2012 2:08 pm
I've got a kitchen that is possibly even smaller than yours, 10'x12' with a large doorway and a double glass door for kitchen, dining and laundry. Try a magnetic knife rack. Mine is over the sink (the only place there is enough space for a big knife to sit vertically between upper and lower cabinets. World Market also sells little magnetic spice tins with clear lids that go in the fridge, which would be great for commonly used spices or for a collection of sprinkles. I ran two 12" deep shelves up high on the wall that forms the back of the kitchen/laundry/dining area and put all my cookbooks, cleaning supplies (only place out of baby's reach),laundry supplies and all the good looking dishes and table linens up there. That makes a huge difference. I also used an Ikea sideboard/console in the dining area as a hot drink serving station. With the coffeemaker, toaster and toaster oven on top, coffee, tea, silverware, napkins,etc. in the drawers and pots and pans on the shelves underneath, it does a tremendous amount to make the kitchen work. Of course, that means we have to use a sewing machine table as a dining table, but I'm ok with that. :) I don't know where you are living, but if your landlord is going to replace your cabinets anyway, maybe you could get permission to paint them. A pretty robin's egg blue or soft green or golden color would do wonders in there.
 
Feb. 29, 2012 5:26 pm
HI ~ I think I would have to look at some sort of storage on that back wall, there seems to be a blank wall that could be used as some type of storage. Maybe shelves, hooks maybe even a mixture of the two. But I would certainly be trying to make the most of that free space.
 
Feb. 29, 2012 5:29 pm
Take a trip to Ikea for some low budget storage ideas.
 
Feb. 29, 2012 8:31 pm
me,myself&i - (love your screen name by the way!) good tips indeed. Unfortunately painting is not an option - they are stinkers about that. :( But all other ideas are very doable.
 
Feb. 29, 2012 8:32 pm
apple.strudel - IKEA is definitely in my future! :D
 
 
 
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Caroline

Home Town
Brule, Wisconsin, USA
Living In
Red Wing, Minnesota, USA

Member Since
Aug. 2007

Cooking Level
Intermediate

Cooking Interests
Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Indian, Italian, Southern, Healthy, Dessert, Kids, Quick & Easy, Gourmet

Hobbies
Needlepoint, Gardening, Hiking/Camping, Camping, Boating, Walking, Fishing, Reading Books, Music

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About Me
I'm currently a SAHM and loving it. I have four children from college age to preschool, and have been a professional cake decorator for years and when it all comes right down to it, cake is my life. :) I love to cook and bake for my family and especially love doing large meals for holidays. I also blog outside of AR - lifebites-savageone.blogspot.com if you'd like to stop in and visit!
My favorite things to cook
I love finding the unusual recipes and trying them out. My grandmother's recipes are often my favorites - watermelon pickles, three (really four) bean salad, etc. I like to find very old recipes (and recipe books) and bring the forgotten recipes to life again.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My family is actually quite large but VERY spread out so our cooking traditions usually center around holiday fare. Good, hearty, home cooked dishes and stick-to-your-ribs casseroles and such. And butter. Lots and lots of butter.
My cooking triumphs
Finally being able to work with yeast! I had never had the knack for it until recently when I was determined to get over this love/hate relationship with yeast - I loved to use it and it hated me for it! But now I feel I have maybe developed the patience for it? I always seemed to be in a hurry before, but now things are working quite nicely.
My cooking tragedies
A beautiful dish made up solely by me at around age 10 - an astonishing grape jell-o and rice dish that was, oh, how shall I say it? "Different." :)
 
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