Organized Chaos in Our Kitchen: Making the Most of a Small Space

I walked in to our kitchen on Sunday morning and noticed how beautiful the light looked streaming through the window. I followed the sun’s early morning rays along the wall until the stream was no more and all of a sudden realized how well-equipped our kitchen is. I mean, we hardly have any counter space and are really short on cabinets, but we’ve found a way to make it work.

Over the last two years, this kitchen has seen several shelving units come in and out, but the two that remain are actually a gardening/potting shelf from World Market and a bookshelf from Ikea. We’ve tried, on occasion to reduce the collection of culinary tools we own. I have tons of mixing bowls, electric gadgets, both multi-taskers and uni-taskers (Alton Brown would be soooo disappointed), strainers, ramekins, baking dishes, enameled cast iron pots, skillets, and other assorted doohickies and thingamabobbers.

As you can see, every inch of space is used. Thanks to World Market’s clever design of this shelf, not meant for the kitchen, of course, we even have space to hang our measuring spoons, measuring cups, and mini strainers. And there’s even a secret compartment for me to hide about a million more pinch bowls and tiny assorted vessels. I love my little containers; I really do.

Cue the magical Ikea Pandora’s box. It holds our crock pots, ice cream maker, popcorn popper, sandwich press, baking dishes, glass nesting bowls, juicer, spice grinder, electric can opener, emulsion blender, coffee maker, etc. And the top is our bar. We got hanging wine glass racks, also from Ikea, to make use of the empty wall space.

Sometimes, I wish our kitchen had a more minimalist appearance and had less “stuff” on display. But you know, I was watching the Frugal Gourmet one day and he talked about how seeing all of his “stuff” inspired him to get creative in the kitchen. I think that if all of my doohickeys and thingamabobbers were put away, I’d be less inclined to dig through a cabinet to get them out. So, maybe it’s just as well.