Ready to get your small space kitchen clean and organized? Even better-put systems in place so it stays that way?
I’ve learned so much about the value of kitchen organization from living in a 1,000 square foot rental home. Please, pretty please, allow me to shorten your learning curve by sharing some of these tips with you!
Small Space Food Zones
Start by thinking of your kitchen as a container for food storage! Next, divide it into zones, each with a special purpose. Refrigerated food is meant to be consumed more quickly than boxed mixes, for example. These zones will determine how you organize your precious space for convenience and access to your most-used food items.
Zone one: Refrigerated food is likely the area of your kitchen you use most. Keep your refrigerator clean and organized by wiping down shelves, one at a time, as needed.
Eliminate the mindset that you need to clean the entire refrigerator with one large chunk of time. Removing food items, wiping down the shelf and replacing food takes about 5-10 minutes per shelf. Keep up with frig cleaning and organizing in little time slots and you’ll never again have to tackle a giant refrigerator overhaul!
Zone two: Frozen food can quickly become a frosty wasteland of forgotten items-and wasted money.
Keep it simple by taking a moment to list frozen foods your family TRULY eats on a regular basis. Eliminate waste by allocating a shelf or door pocket for separate categories. Here are mine: frozen treats, red meat, poultry and fish, smoothie ingredients, and frozen vegetables.
Overstock Food Extras
Zone three: Overstock
How many times have you run out of catsup or another common food item and had to make a special trip to the market for that one, essential item? Even if you have a small space kitchen, you can create an area for overstock items.
The beauty of this space is that it doesn’t have to be easily accessible. This is the perfect use for the awkward or hard-to-reach areas of your cabinets, because you’ll need to reach these overstock items less frequently.
Zone four: Meal Preparation
Make sure the ingredients you use for regular meal prep are easiest to access and view. For me, these are items like: tomato sauce, canned beans, and beef stock. They are probably different for you.
The point is to eliminate searching for the ingredients you use on a very regular basis by giving them the prime real estate in your cabinet or pantry. Make sure these items are stored at eye-level with their labels facing forward.
Make It Tasty
Zone five: Baking and Seasoning
Watch this episode for a step-by-step tutorial on organizing baking and seasoning items.
Using a combination of Dollar Tree plastic containers and wire shelves, I created a system that fits my cabinets perfectly and keeps my ingredients fresh.
I’m convinced that making my cupboards attractive and easy to access has helped my family establish better eating habits and save money on food.
Bonus: 5-Day Emergency Food Storage
For years, I’ve been meaning to stock up on some basic food items “just in case”. Two winters ago, that just in case scenario became reality in the form of a snow storm that shut off our city’s power grid.
Because our kitchen is so small, I felt paralyzed by how much and what items I should store.
After some thought, I decided that a five day supply for the two of us (my husband and I), was a reasonable and realistic goal. Just making that decision made the process of creating our emergency supply easier!
Start by figuring out what kind of emergency food storage is realistic for your situation. Next, I recommend either using the list I’ve provided in the comments section of my video above, or taking some time to write down food items and quantities you would need.
Make sure to include protein: soups with meat, canned beans; canned fruits and vegetables; carbs such as noodles or crackers; and most importantly- a few treats!
Taking on a small space food storage project like this takes plenty of energy so give yourself a big pat on the back! Make sure to comment with any questions or ideas that have worked for you.