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The Japanese have lived with small kitchens all their lives - and they have the organisational skills to prove it! One look around a clever apartment kitchen in Japan will show you that efficient organisation is the key to making a small space work. In this article we go through some basic tips for keeping your kitchen in order.
Start With a Good CleanoutThe kitchen is one of the main rooms where junk can accumulate - particularly in the miscellaneous draw that every household seems to have. So start making the most of your small kitchen with a ruthless cleanout. Do you really need those freezer bags that didn't work very well and haven't been used since? Are three potato peelers actually useful? Why did you buy that ice-cream maker anyway? Forget about nostalgia, resist the urge to hoard and get rid of anything that's been cluttering up the kitchen - right now.
Organise Your Utensil Drawer
All manner of kitchen utensils tend to gather in here and not all of them need to stay. Find objects that are used only rarely (apple corers and cookie cutters, for instance) and store them away where there's more space, in easily accessible containers. You can also take out some of your most-used items, such as spatulas, tongs and garlic crushers, and store these in a wall-mounted container. That puts them close to hand when needed and cleverly increases your storage space in the drawer.
Check Out the Pantry
If you're lucky enough to have a pantry in your small kitchen, you need to make the most of the space. So take a look at how everything's organised. First of all, get rid of all expired food. Look at the cans that are gathering dust and grime - will you ever eat them? If so, get to it. If not, give them a wipe down and donate them to your local charity - someone out there will appreciate those lima beans.
Store your cereals and other dry foods in airtight glass or plastic containers that are easy to see. This is more hygienic than keeping them in the box (moths and cockroaches can't get in) and better for your organisation, as you can see at a glance how much you have of everything. Make sure you choose appropriately sized containers that fit closely together - this will help you make the most of the space you have.
Also, if you're crammed for space in the kitchen cupboards but you've got room in the pantry, don't be afraid to dedicate a couple of shelves to appliances and utensils.