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8 space-saving tips for a compact kitchen

© Ryan McVay / Photodisc / Thinkstock © Ryan McVay / Photodisc / Thinkstock

By Chanti Burnette

Arguably the most frequented room in the house, the kitchen is often neglected when it comes time to talk about proper space and storage. Not only is a well-organized kitchen presentable to guests, but it also makes cooking and cleaning so much easier. By equipping yourself with an environment conducive to neatness and order, you will get into the habit of keeping your space clean. Here are a few tips to help you maximize space in your kitchen.

Downsize your appliances. So, you have your microwave, toaster oven, coffee maker, espresso machine, food processor, deep fryer and that as-seen-on-TV rotisserie, all strewn about your counter. Do you really need all those appliances? Probably not. Ditch the extraneous, and find a place for them in your cabinets and cupboards. Not only will your counter appear more organized, but you will also have freed up space, and made your daily appliances more accessible.

Spinning Tupperware set. Tupperware is essential. However, it often gets lost in your cupboards and drawers. Nothing is more frustrating than not being able to find a matching lid (except maybe not being able to find a matching sock). Save yourself time and trouble, and invest in a spinning Tupperware set. They cost around $15 to $20 at a home store and will save you the hassle of searching for lost lids. They also take up very little counter space, and can be tucked away in the corner if necessary.

Magnetic knife strip. Let's face it: Magnets are fun. They're sleek, they're versatile, and they make you feel a bit magical. Magnetic knife strips are quickly becoming a must-have in the kitchen. They hang on your wall and allow for a complete set of knives to be hung within reach. The one downside is that the blades are out in the open, and could prove hazardous to the distracted eye. Knife covers are an easy solution, and even keep your blades from getting dull. Consider ditching your knife block for this space-saving alternative.

Hanging fruit basket. Don't underestimate the power of the hanging fruit basket. Although your fruit bowl might not take up a lot of space, and may also serve as a decorative addition to your kitchen, you can benefit from storing your fruit overhead. Many hanging baskets are three tiers, and provide storage for both your fruit and additional food items. Suitable versions can be found online for around $15. Consider storing after-school snacks and packaged desserts in the basket as well.

Spice caddy. Spices tend to crowd counter space, making it practically impossible for home chefs to find the ingredients they need to complete a recipe. Although spice racks have long been a favorite of kitchen organizers everywhere, they tend to be expensive, bulky and just as cluttered as a spice free-for-all. A spice caddy, on the other hand, stands vertically and spins, for easy access to multiple spices. You can leave it on the countertop, or store it in a cupboard that's within arm's reach.

Overhead pot racks. Storing pots and pans in cupboards tends to get a bit crowded (and loud). It's also very easy to booby trap yourself, and watch in horror as 15 heavy pieces of cookware clamber to the floor in disarray. Overhead pot racks are a must. They keep your pots and pans visible and handy. Save the cupboards for your oversized pots and lids.

Plastic bins and jars. Cereal boxes tend to pile up everywhere. They crowd the counter, the cupboards and the top of the refrigerator. Plastic bins keep cereal fresh, and allow you to see how much is left without doing the cereal box shuffle. Countertop jars are also useful for crackers, cookies and nuts, and free up the space otherwise occupied by their bulky packaging. Glass jars are decorative and appear sophisticated when used practically, while plastic jars are a better choice for a kitchen that sees its share of children.

Avoid using the kitchen as your go-to room. It is easy to fall into the habit of utilizing your kitchen for everything. It is already one of the most cluttered rooms in the house, and needs to remain neat and sanitary. Don't treat your kitchen as an office. When the time comes to pay bills, work on school projects, or wrap last-minute gifts, use another common area like the family room or the living room. This prevents you from filling the kitchen with unwanted items.

Since the kitchen tends to get dirty faster than any other room in the house, you cannot neglect its maintenance. Piled-up appliances, counters full of food, and booby-trapped cupboards will add nothing but stress to your routine. Proper storage of these items will make your kitchen not only the most frequented, but also your favorite, room in the house.

This article was originally posted on IdealHomeGarden.com

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