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Over the next few weeks, we’re transferring all of the articles on the website and my personal blog articles on food and health over to the CTF blog. I hope you enjoy this week’s article. This particular article was written before we moved to our current house. When we moved, our first priority was finding a BIG kitchen!
I’ve been asked a lot recently about how to do traditional foods in limited space. Most people are surprised to find out that my house has a very small kitchen. My kitchen is actually the smallest room in the house, smaller than even the bathrooms. Our house was built in 1935 without indoor plumbing. The kitchen was located in the largest room on the bottom floor. When the house was remodeled 25 years ago, the family who remodeled it ate out 2 or more meals a day so the kitchen was a very low priority. I have very little counter and cabinet space. Instead of having bottom cabinets, I have a dishwasher and a trash compactor by the sink. That only leaves three bottom cabinets, two of which are too deep to store many things in easily.
There are several keys to helping maximize your space. First, organization is essential. Because you do not have a lot of counter space, keep as little on the counter as you can to avoid a cluttered appearance. Since the above picture was taken, I have removed the canisters from the counter. I have also put the knife blocks in an upper cabinet to help keep curious children from hurting themselves. The only appliances I keep out are the toaster oven, blender and Kitchenaid mixer. I use the blender and toaster oven at least daily, and the Kitchenaid mixer gets used several times a week, and it is too heavy to lift and move around with ease. The dish drainer fits under the sink when I am not using it. Additionally, I do keep a one-
Next, consider what types of traditional foods you do most often, and plan your remaining counter space accordingly. I do all of our baking from scratch due to having celiac disease, so I have a particular spot on my counter that I have dedicated to storing soaking grains. I also do a lot of lacto-
Next, have an assigned place for every piece of hardware. Try to keep the hardware items in the bottom cabinets and the lower shelves in your upper cabinets. If you don’t use it often, do you really need to keep it? Don’t be afraid to get creative and put cup hooks on the inside of doors to hang your measuring spoons and measuring cups, mini graters or other small items that you use frequently. If you do not have many drawers, consider placing a utensil caddy inside one of your lower cabinets for easy access to your frequently used utensils, or hang matching sets of your most used-
Now, assign spots to perishables, and only buy as much as you have room for. Keeping a very detailed master grocery list and knowing how often you generally go through items will help you plan your space accordingly. Be sure to store perishables like olive oil away from the heat of the stove, or stash them in the fridge. Consider investing in an organizational system like Tupperware’s Modular Mates to help store items that normally come in bags, so they are better organized and take up less space. I also use the modular mates to organize flours and flour mixes in the refrigerator for quick and easy access.
Next, find a lower cabinet to store your root veggies that need to be in darkness, and a spot on the counter to store your fruits and veggies that shouldn’t be in the fridge. Then fit in any canned goods that you have room for with the items you use most frequently. Try to stock your remaining space based off of how often you use a particular item.
Finally, look around your house to find additional storage space for non-
I store my mason jars and tupperware above the washer and dryer, cases of semi-