Small & Simple Solutions: Kitchen

If you’re from the suburbs, our kitchen is small.  If you’re from the city, our kitchen is huge.  We’ve gotten both responses.  To me, it’s just right for now.  The key to a small kitchen is PRIORITIES.  Actually, that’s the key to a lot of things in life.

Anyway, some conveniences of a small kitchen include:

  • it’s easy to clean
  • I don’t have to take more than 2 steps in any given direction to reach absolutely everything
  • it has a 1.5 person capacity

Some inconveniences of a small kitchen include:

  • it’s easy to clutter
  • I don’t have to take more than 2 steps in any given direction to reach absolutely everything
  • it has a 1.5 person capacity

So perhaps the other key to a small kitchen is PERSEPCTIVE.  And again, that applies to all of life, doesn’t it?

If you have a small kitchen too, or are just interested in tweaking your priorities and perspective, I hope this post sparks some ideas.

Let’s begin.


In this corner is where I spend most of my days (sung to Fresh Prince).  If you’re a stay-at-home parent of insatiably hungry little ones and you don’t outsource all their meals to McDonald’s or Papa John’s, then you understand how it’s possible to stand in the kitchen for hours a day.  Anyway, the top cabinets to the left of the sink hold everything we eat on and drink from.  Plates, bowls, coffee mugs, glasses, stemware.  Bottom cabinet holds food containers.  And despite popular belief-and to my surprise- you do NOT need 7 mixing bowls, 10 varieties of Tupperware, 15 ‘just-in-case-lids’ or 3 different sizes of strainers.  Thus, we save a lot of space in cabinets.

Also not necessary: a microwave.  That’s right, we’ve survived for 7 years now (by choice) without a microwave; reheating food and beverages the old fashion way- stovetop.  Ironically, it takes the same amount of time, if not less, and saves space.  We do, however, have a toaster oven, which we use a lot.

To the right of the sink, the top cabinets hold my pots and pans. To clarify, I have 3 pots and 3 pans.  Period.  And I’ve never been caught in a bind- and I cook for my family and others A LOT.  The bottom cabinet houses what I’ve deemed essential gadgets: blender, food processes, crockpot, rice cooker/steamer, bakeware.

Turn 180 degrees…


…and you’ve got a stove which stores baking dishes & stoneware and one mouse last winter that was promptly rehoused.  Next to that is our super duper water filter (which more than one guest has mistaken for “wow, you guys drink a lot of coffee, huh?!”)


Fetching your own water is a rite of passage for Kirkpatrick kids.  First I wean’em, then I give’em a camelbak.  And since we only drink water (most of the time) any spill is actually an accidental cleaning.  It’s really quite awesome- they hydrate and clean up all in one!  And it’s one two less things on my plate.

*We’ve enjoyed this Propur Filter for years and would recommend it!

Next, the pantry.


You may have noticed that our pantry is rather toddler-sized.  Thankfully, our diet does not require a lot of pantry items (yeah, we’re local seasonal produce people) but it still took some ongoing creativity for our pantry to make sense.  In the end, I went with labeled shelves.  From top to bottom: Snacks, Spices & Sweeteners; Dried Fruit & Canned Goods; Nuts, Seeds & Butters; Grains; Bulk.

And lastly, truly the most highly-trafficked corner of the entire house: the fruit cart!IMG_3636

For years now I’ve adopted an open-produce policy, allowing the kids to eat as much fruit & veggies as they’d like in a day as long as they (1) ask permission (2) get it themselves and (3) actually eat it!  Other than the occasional half-eaten apple or carrot, this policy has worked out pretty well.  Note: I only shop for produce once a week, so when it’s gone, it’s gone!  My theory is that it will help them consume in moderation.  I’ll get back to you on that one!  Also note: I do not peel carrots or slice apples or chisel melon into cute little shapes.  I apply the keep-it-simple mentality to food presentation (because I value my sanity and time.)

So there it is.  Hope you enjoyed this little tour.  I’d really like to hear your kitchen-related stories.  Or dilemmas. Or dreams.  (My dream kitchen has a comfy sofa so guests can visit while I cook I can relax while my personal chef prepares dinner.)




4 thoughts on “Small & Simple Solutions: Kitchen

Add yours

  1. You have done an awesome job, downsizing to necessities, and organizing, handily placing your constantly used things! I am getting ideas (things may never get beyond that, probably!)

  2. Sooo can you come down south to Baton Rouge and organize my tiny house :). Ha. How many square feet is your house. We have a 3 bedroom one and half bath but its very tiny… The rooms are smaller side but comfortable. House is 1120 sq feet … But living on one pretty, small but grateful for job, income we will not and can not upgrade any time soon. Will start homeschooling in next 2 years or bit less and would love for our family to grow too! Know it can be done just need lots of brainstorming and planning
    Loved reading these blogs!

    1. I’m so glad you enjoy these blogs! Our house is a bit bigger, but not by much! I’m not sure if you noticed, but a while back I did a series on living in a small house. It’s categorized under Small & Simple Solutions. It may help at the brainstorming. Merry Christmas to your family!

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