Hi everyone, I hope you have had a lovely weekend.
This post is the first of many of a little insight into my life in Chester. I have been here for just over a month and have fallen in love with the city. However, this post isn’t going to be about Chester as such. I want to share my kitchen set up. As you know I love cooking and my kitchen is definitely my happy place. Moving to our new house, I was aware that I would be sacrificing kitchen space. And let me tell you, when I say it’s a tiny kitchen, I mean tiny. But with an open mind and some little storage hacks, I have managed to find a home for every piece of cutlery, equipment and ingredient. I also took some inspiration from the chef Rachel Khoo who famously turned her little Parisian apartment into a restaurant. If she could do that, the limits are endless for my kitchen.
I would say it took about 3 weeks to get fully organised. You have to live in a space to know how it is going to truly function for you and I think there may still be a few tweaks to make. My next task is regarding the organisation of the cutlery. But I’m happy with how accessible and functional my kitchen is right now.
The main hurdles I had to overcome were firstly, lots of equipment and ingredients to fit into very little storage. I have 5 cupboards in the kitchen, one of which is a corner cupboard with dead space at the back and one being under the sink. There are a few things to consider when trying to solve the issue of space, so I’ll share some tips that can be used and adapted for any space you have to help organise your kitchen.
Let’s start with making the most of your cupboard space. My wall cupboards are not very deep but have some height to them on each shelf. So, I purchased some shelf dividers from Ikea to not only stack and organise but to make everything accessible.
Next, think about what your ingredients are stored in. I already had some glass jars and I also save the big jars from things like gherkins to use as storage. The only ones I purchased where some new spice jars. Being a chef, I love to have lots of spices, herbs and seeds readily available. Not only do they look pretty, you can label the jars and organise them to suit your needs. Jars can be stackable, and the glass containers make a space feel less cluttered.
Now you might need to create more storage space. Are there any areas in the kitchen that is dead space? For example, I have a very small gap between my cupboard and the wall, the perfect spot for the spice-racks.
I also had one bare wall in the kitchen and with the addition of shelves I now have all of this extra space.
By adding hooks under a shelf or cabinet you can hang your cups to free up shelf space.
Make the most of the space you have, no matter how small it is. When you think of a kitchen island you automatically think of a big open kitchen. Well I’ve added a little island to my tiny kitchen and it works. It provides an extra worktop, shelving and a little drawer. I am also able to move it around, so it’s perfect for my cooking videos and some food photography.
Use your windowsill no matter how small. I’m currently propagating some baby spider plants before I pot them into soil (I’m repurposing the old spice jars I brought with me from the old house).
Storing things out of the kitchen might seem a little odd but hear me out. As you walk into my house, I have a huge cupboard space for coats and the water tank to the right and then my kitchen is to the left. My husband has created some shelving where I now store big items like the rice cooker and a juicer, plus it’s the perfect space for Tupperware and things maybe we don’t use on a daily basis.
Use the backs of doors in your cupboards. By adding stick on hooks you can hang things like strainers and sieves. We have also added things like an iron holder, a recycling bin and a tea-towel storage bin.
The next issue I had, was downsizing the fridge and freezer. I must admit this broke my heart a little. We eat fresh fruit and veg every day, I also like to meal prep and freeze left over meals or chopped veg. So, I have to totally rethink how I buy, store, prep and cook my food.
Changing how you shop for food can be a little bit confusing to start with but you will soon adapt. Instead of doing one big shop every week, I now nip to the shop every 3 days or so. I can cycle to the shop and this makes my shopping trip much more enjoyable. This also means I buy less food than I’m used to because now I have to carry it instead of dumping it in the boot of the car. Without planning to do so, I have even found myself choosing a better variety of fruit and vegetables as I can adapt and shop around our needs. And as a result of this, I have been more creative with my cooking and our food waste is at an all-time low.
This is the fridge and freezer space I am working with so I wanted to add a bit more storage. I found these adjustable trays on Amazon that you can clip onto the shelves in your fridge and I love them. I can keep soft foods separate and sometimes use them for fruits and veg that need eating first. This help me get the most of the food we purchase and prevents any food going to waste.
Choose wisely when storing your food. Stay away from single use freezer bags if possible. I love using silicone reusable bags. I keep them in the fridge / freezer and they take up very little space.
I may not have created a restaurant like Rachel but I feel very proud of myself. My happy place may have downsized but my organisation skills have definitely increased and my cooking reflects the positive environment that my kitchen has become.
I hope you found this helpful and I have included the link to items I have purchased where possible. I just want to say, I have no affiliation with these brands nor am I making any money from this post. I am purely sharing the products I have found useful to enhance my kitchen space.
If this has inspired you to get the most out of your kitchen, please let me know by tagging @pinchofkindness in your posts on Facebook and Instagram. I’d love to see if your kitchen can become your happy place too.