January 23rd, 2012


I said enough in a comment about scaling down kitchens that I figured it deserved to be a post

My salad spinner is great, but it could also be replaced with a clean cotton pillowcase or a cleverly-folded larger towel. However! The inner part also doubles as a strainer, so if you want a salad spinner you can use the space where your strainer once went, and it's hardly possible to go through life without a strainer at all.

Look for duplicates. You probably have several each of spatulas, wisks, and large spoons. Keep the best one of each.

I'm pretty sure everyone everywhere owns too many coffee cups. Usually because they get them as presents or pick them up as souvenirs. Keep enough for everyone to use one each day if you can commit to dishes every night. If there are more that you can't bear to get rid of, repurpose them in other areas of the house like the bathroom or the office.

Get cool-looking kitchen stuff and hang it instead of stowing it. There are very stylish cutting boards and tools out there. You have to use it a lot if you're worried about dust.

Pull everything out and organize it and put it back away. I usually end up getting back 1/3 of the space in cabinets when I do this. You also have to commit to patiently putting it all back to maintain this.

Do you have a desk anywhere close to the kitchen? Paper files are mostly unnecessary these days, you might be able to grab a drawer or two there.

Is there room for a cutting board in your silverware drawer under the cutlery tray?

Wisks are great but you can often use a fork for the same thing.

Almost every kitchen has a junk drawer. That stuff can go in a plastic bin.

Be inventive. I use plastic storage containers and martini glasses for mise en place.

Nest as much stuff as possible, even if it's a pain to get it out and put it away. I have to be very careful grabbing plates and bowls, but I've got tons of them stored in a very small space.

Consider putting a sheet on your kitchen floor and spreading everything you've got out for a photo, I'd love to have a look at it.