Whether you live in a simple cabin or a mansion, chances are, your kitchen counter space is always too crowded. It seems as though the things you need to prepare your meals just expand to fill whatever space is available, until you find yourself annoyed by not having enough room to work.
The answer is to maximize your kitchen counter space by employing these clever tricks that will enable you to make the most of whatever kitchen counter space you have.
Take It Off
Perhaps the simplest and most effective way to increase your counter space is to have as few things as possible sitting on your countertop. That means transferring everything you can from the counter to the walls, cabinets and shelves so that you start each meal with as few things as possible already resting on the counter surface.
For those things that do have to sit on your kitchen counter, make sure nothing is loose. That means putting things in jars, canisters and any kind of container that will keep things like tea bags, sugars and spices or whatever odds and ends you keep on the counter completely confined to an area precisely set aside for it, leaving no opportunity for it to end up spread out all over the place.
You should always make maximum use of whatever shelving you have available. Don't hesitate to increase your shelving by adding layers to already existing shelves or by putting up entirely new shelves on currently empty walls.
The backs of cabinets can also become more useful by putting shelves in back in order to utilize otherwise dead space. Another nice feature of shelves is that they can be made to match any decor style.
One advantage that trays have over shelves is that trays can be mobile. That means you can keep items organized on a tray when not in use, then move the whole tray and everything on it easily to a new, out of the way location whenever you need the area. That way, everything in the tray is always organized in whatever location best suits your space needs.
A lot of times, counter space is taken up by essential appliances such as a microwave. However, for a relatively inexpensive bit of carpentry, you may be able to push your appliances right into the wall.
For a microwave, you might be able put the entire thing into a hollowed out wall space. For larger appliances like a refrigerator, you probably can't set it completely back into the wall, but you could build a back space capable of pushing it back several inches. Even a small amount of indentation can save a lot of valuable space. As you can see, wall appliances and storage was a big theme of 9 Secret Places That Can Add Storage To Your Small Kitchen.
Few activities take up more space around the sink area than doing the dishes. Therefore, dish racks for holding and organizing the dishes, as well as towel racks, keep the dish washing chores from turning into a countertop crowding mess. It also gives the dishes and towels a sanitary place to dry without getting other areas wet or creating damp areas where bacteria can thrive.
The area around the sink itself is often wasted space, unless you are actually using the sink. This can be remedied by covering the sink area when not in use with some sort of flat surface. One such convenient item to cover the sink might be a cutting board, which enables you to do such things as cut your vegetables without having to use any of your normal counter space at all.
Although not as effective as shelves, hooks can be a valuable ally in freeing up counter space. The great advantages of hooks are that they can be easily installed in places where shelves are not practical. Under cabinets, along shelving or even screwed into the ceiling, hooks are great for hanging things that would otherwise clutter your kitchen counter.
Those little carts with wheels on them that you often see in restaurants can also be useful in the kitchen. Besides using them to wheel around food, you can use utilize their shelves to permanently store things you don't necessarily need very often. In addition, the top of a cart can actually serve as extra counter space when you need if you keep it clear.
Plan ahead when you buy a table for your kitchen and get one that is adjustable in size. That could mean a folding table, which has a section of it that can be lowered when not in use, or one of those tables that slide apart and have inserts that can be put in when needed and removed when not.
The kitchen table is one of the most space-hogging items in your kitchen, so being able to shrink it whenever necessary is a great space saver.
Organization Is Key
No matter what your kitchen counter size is, you can always squeeze more space out of it if you improve the way your kitchen is organized. While the preceding tips provide solid general ideas for how to do this, nothing can substitute for your own creativity.
Once you've utilized the space saving tips above, take a look around your kitchen for any fresh counter space saving ideas you can come up with on your own. You may be surprised by what you see when you organize your kitchen with fresh eyes.
Regardless of your kitchen layout, counter space is an important aspect of having a functional kitchen. While it may seem impossible to make more counter space, you can try, test and even mix-and-match counter space saving options to increase your total counter space and overall kitchen functionality.