Making a Tiny Kitchen Work

My husband and I live in a small, one bedroom condo–meant for one person who doesn’t cook much. And we are two people who like to cook. (And eat.) So… how do we make it work?


This is what we have to work with: one drawer, (affectionally called “The Drawer”) one small counter space and one tiny one, five cupboards (if you include the one over the fridge, which… hardly counts.), a small pantry (thankfully!!), a dishwasher, the fridge, and a stove. P.S. I made the wreath! It’s not fancy, but I like it. 🙂

When my husband was not my husband and was moving in, he sent me this picture:


And I thought, that microwave has got to move.

So that was my first step, even before we were married. I ended up with a rather unconventional (thankfully I am an unconventional thinker; it comes in handy in a small house.) solution:  I put it on top of the fridge.


That made it so there at least WAS a counter. But not enough for serious food prep… so, enter one of my next tricks:


Pete’s sister, Elizabeth, was getting rid of some stuff… this was one of the treasures we ended up with. 🙂 It’s big enough to cover one sink entirely, and it’s pretty stable. (Though it worries my husband sometimes…) This creates a LOT more “counter” space. I do a lot of food prep either directly on this cutting board or put our plastic one on it.

Next, storage tricks. Since there is so little actual cupboard space, everything is a cupboard. Well, almost.

The stove is used for storing our pots and pans and their lids. I usually remember to take them out before preheating the over… 😛 Thankfully they are heat safe so it’s okay when I do forget. The stove drawer is used for storing random odds and ends that don’t get used much, but things I still want handy in case I decide to use them. Like trays, and a potato masher, and a wooden salad bowl set, and a hard boiled egg tray thingie. The dishwasher stores our big plates, extra silverware, extra mugs, extra cups, containers, etc. (This was before it got organized last night… So it really looks better right now. It does normally end up looking like the picture, though.)


The dish drainer goes on the little bar above the sink… water runs down into the sink from there. It’s a waterfall! Sorta. We use the dish drainer for storage as well… our dailyish stuff like mugs, water bottle, lunch container, plates, etc. The silverware goes in the cool metal caddy thing over on the right. It even spins! (That’s an ecosphere on the far right, if you were wondering… we only have one little shrimp left. 😦 Apparently sometimes when you get them they are already old.)

Since there is so little counter space, we only store the coffee pot and blender on the counter. Other small appliances go under the sink.


Toaster, George Foreman grill, nut chopper, waffle maker, and (not pictured, put it in later) the hand mixer. Also trash bags.

The other side is packed full of Everything Else:


Yes, we got the sponges from Sam’s. I know, it’s a little crazy to buy in bulk with this small of a kitchen… but we make it work.


Since there’s only one drawer, every utensil is stored on the counter in a crock. I just put the small things in that container last night… They were getting lost easily in the big one. This counter is very tiny, but we make good use of it. The stove also ends up being a work space… just have to be careful not to put things on the wrong burner.

I didn’t take a picture of the drawer, but it’s basically a junk drawer, plus where we store the oven mitts and hot pads. And scissors and permanent markers and twist ties and batteries and…


Since I knew we wouldn’t have drawer space for regular ones, I registered for magnetic measuring spoons. It works quite well, except the Tablespoon likes to try to slip down… hence the strategically placed bowl magnet. I store the measuring cups and another set of measuring spoons up on top of the fridge. (it’s a short fridge, so I can reach it easily enough.)

And while we’re here… the wooden magnet is from our honeymoon. 🙂 The  picture strip is from when I took five of my younger siblings to the zoo (it was actually really fun, even if somewhat daunting. No one even got eaten!) The Polar Bear drawing is from my little brother Matthew, made for Pete. The crazy haired little… creature… used to be a potted succulent from my sister Hannah. My sisters and sister in law pranked Peter before I lived here, by putting google eyes on everything in the kitchen. We thought it was pretty cute, so those are still there. After the succulent died, I just put a bunch of moss in until we get another one. 🙂 The picture up on top of the fridge is our little Compassion girl, named Estefania Ruth.  She’s from Ecuador… turning 8 in February, which is crazy because she was 4 when I got her!! The soda bottle is from our honeymoon as well… it was orange cream soda from the store near Crater Lake. 🙂

The final stop is the pantry! I just reorganized it yesterday so it’s all beautiful. Well, at least a lot better than it was. Maybe someday I’ll get cool containers for everything…

My husband installed a door rack thingie for me!! That helps a ton. 🙂


So, basically… the top shelf in the pantry is bulk spices, extra gf flour and cornmeal, dried peanut butter (good for smoothies and soups) and a tray, bowl and colander that don’t fit elsewhere.

The next shelf is the canned/jarred cooking shelf. (Also potatoes because you use them in cooking and apparently onions make them sprout more/faster.)

After that is the coffee/baking shelf. (I have promised my husband that when we have a bigger pantry coffee stuff can get it’s own shelf. hehe. :))

Then it’s the onions and garlic basket, dried beans, and pasta.

The last shelf is the snacks!

The floor of the pantry has basically everything… paper towels, bags, rice, vinegar, olive oil, etc.

And the door is spices, snacks, napkins, bags, etc.

That about sums it up! 🙂 Any questions or suggestions?

P.S. We can still make some pretty amazing stuff in this tiny kitchen! Like:




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s