Grabbing the Gusto

Deirdre Reid – Freelance Writer & Home Cook

Instead of knocking out exterior walls, moving pipes, and spending probably close to $50,000 to get a bigger kitchen and finally have my much longed-for pantry (sigh), I’m going to learn how to make better use of the little space I have.

And why not? I’ve lived most of my adult life with a small kitchen. At least this one is bigger than the galley kitchen I had for 14 years in Arlington VA. And, at least now I have a dishwasher – an appliance I never had in any of my other kitchens. Well, I did have a dishwasher in Arlington but it was as old as I was, seriously, so I used it for much-needed storage.

If I didn’t have a dishwasher now, I would seriously consider buying this Roll-Up Over-Sink Drying Rack from Fancy. And because it’s heat-resistant, it can double as a trivet. I love multitaskers!

Roll-Up Over-Sink Drying Rack from Fancy

Roll-Up Over-Sink Drying Rack from Fancy | Small Space Gusto: Kitchen Solutions| Grabbing the Gusto

Here are two more multitasker ideas I saw on a Food Network Thanksgiving show this weekend. Use your creamer and sugar bowl for gravy and cranberry sauce. A creamer would work well for salad dressing too. And the sugar bowl could also hold parmesan cheese, salsa, nuts, pickled nibblies, and all kinds of other side dishes.

Their other idea was to use a pizza stone as a cheese tray. A pizza stone isn’t the most necessary kitchen item unless you make pizza a lot. I used to have one because I made pizza once a month, but it broke during a move and I haven’t replaced it. I’ve been using a dark baking sheet but now that I have a cauliflower pizza crust that I love, I may find room in this small kitchen for a pizza stone. It can live in the oven along with the other sheet pans.

The only hitch with using a pizza stone as a cheese tray: my old stone was pretty stained. I guess you’d have to use one side for pizza and the other side for other purposes. My cheese tray is a multitasking wood cutting board.

Apartment Therapy, always a good source of ideas about living in small spaces, recently published an article about downsizing your kitchen. I’m guilty of the “but I might need this for a recipe one day” food hoarding syndrome they mention. I’ve been thinking I should buy a small magnetic white board for the side of the refrigerator and keep a list of pantry, refrigerator, and freezer items that need to be used because you know what they say: out of sight, out of mind!

I’m learning that some storage and multitasker ideas are really obvious to others and a revelation to me, and vice versa. An article at The Kitchn talked about freeing up drawer space by using a crock or vase on your countertop for your most used utensils. I’ve been using a cherished oyster can for my utensils for decades. If I didn’t have that, I might use a multitasking ice bucket.

Small Space Gusto: Kitchen Solutions| Grabbing the Gusto

Store you most used utensils on the counter. | Small Space Gusto: Kitchen Solutions| Grabbing the Gusto

Let me know in the comments if you’ve discovered any good small space living tips recently. I’ll report back in two weeks with some new ones.

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