When it comes to must-haves for a small kitchen every inch counts, which is why it’s important to do a bit of research before heading to the stores. Instead of stuffing the cabinets full and taking up every inch on the counter with an appliance or object, it’s best to analyze your situation and take stock of what you really need.
With limited counter and cabinet space, knowing what is necessary is your first step. You can start the process by making a shopping list of your absolute must-haves (such as a coffee maker or stand mixer) and analyzing what can be found in a smaller version. For example, instead of a full-size coffee maker, you might opt for a storable French press instead.
Beyond choosing products that are smaller, storable, or foldable versions of typical small kitchen appliances or tools, here are a few expert opinions and ideas on the best products for a small kitchen.
Must have products for small kitchens
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1. Over-the-door caddies
Jay Sanders, CEO of Castle Dream Construction, a home remodeling company based in Baltimore, Maryland, believes that, above all, kitchens need to be functional.
“With planning and creativity, small kitchens can feel spacious and functional. You can make your small kitchen useful and stylish with some planning and creative products,” Sanders explains. His first suggestion? “Over-door caddies can store cleaning supplies and keep sinks clear.”
This hanging organizer from West Elm is an ideal spot for storing items typically left on the counter.
2. Wall-mounted spice racks
Because freeing up counter space can be super important for maintaining a feeling of staying organized in a small space.
Sanders also recommends another organizing product for keeping your space feeling more open. “Wall-mounted spice racks both organize spices and free up counter space,” he adds.
These narrow yet lengthy wall-mounted shelves from Wayfair make the ideal space-saving spice rack.
3. Expendable cutting board
Let’s face it, there are some large necessities every home cook needs and a cutting board is one of them.
For this, Sanders has a brilliant solution. “Expandable cutting boards accommodate large items,” he says. “And you can fold them for storage.” Voilà!
This multi-functional cutting board from Amazon is a great way to save precious space when meal prepping and cooking.
4. Portable dishwasher
A dishwasher might not always seem like a necessity but for those cooking often (or for a lot of people), it’s a necessary luxury that can save you precious time and energy.
Ryan Fitzgerald, an experienced realtor and the owner of Raleigh Realty, has seen this product become a savior for many of his clients. “We all know the dread of washing dishes, especially in a tiny kitchen without a built-in dishwasher,” he says.
“The Farberware Portable Countertop Dishwasher, with its own water tank, has been a savior for many of my clients. Not only does it save on space, but it also makes the chore much more bearable, if not enjoyable. While space constraints in apartment kitchens can be limiting, with the right gadgets and a bit of innovation, they can be just as functional as their larger counterparts.”
Here is where you can purchase the timesaving (and adorable!) dishwasher on Amazon.
5. Appliances that do more
Are you tired of having too many appliances? “Imagine the convenience of toasting your bread, frying up some bacon, and flipping pancakes, all using a single appliance,” Fitzgerald says.
“The GreenLife 3-in-1 Breakfast Maker Station does exactly this”. After finding out about the appliance through his client, he is now singing its praises. “It transformed her morning routine and turned her cramped kitchen into a breakfast haven”.
This GreenLife 3-in-1 Breakfast Maker Station available for purchase from Amazon will save your Sunday mornings.
6. Portable Kitchen Islands
Interior design Shamika Lynch is the owner of Maximizing Tiny Interiors where she focuses on transforming small spaces. For her, transforming your kitchen means finding more counter space where you can.
“In homes where a quick fix is needed, portable kitchen islands are a lifesaver for additional counter space, especially in rental galley kitchens where for some reason, there is only one wall of cabinets,” Lynch suggests.
This portable kitchen island from Wayfair even provides storage.
Keeping your small kitchen organized is imperative to keeping your space feeling and looking clean. Besides these expert-approved product tips, we've scoured for more of the best products for your small kitchen.
More Buys For Your Small Kitchen
Who says magnetic knife holders can’t be chic? These real wood wall bars made by Schmidt Brothers are available in either Acacia wood or a black-stained Oak to keep your knives organized and out of your utensil drawer.
Easy to use
If you’re someone who dreads cleaning out the French press each time you use it, the beautiful yet useful Chemex is a great option. Just grind the beans, use a filter, rinse with soap, and get on with your mornings.
Small kitchens come with one advantage: adorable small appliances. This miniature working waffle maker available at Target creates just the right amount of waffles for a breakfast-for-one, and can easily be stored away every morning.
Finally, a steel kitchen sink caddy (complete with storage pockets for soap or sponges) that has some style. More than just a great organization tool, this caddy will bring your counter some color.
Every cook needs a wall-mounted pot rack. Great for small kitchens, this rack comes with hooks for your pots, pans, and other kitchen necessities.
Bulk buy this set of drawer organizers and use them anywhere, from your bathroom to your office or your kitchen. Fitted with non-slip pads, they'll keep your drawers looking neat and tidy.
Meet The Experts
Ryan Fitzgerald is an experienced realtor and the owner of Raleigh Realty. He was named a 30 under 30 Realtor® by Realtor Magazine. He’s also a regular contributor for Forbes and US News.
Jay Sanders is the CEO of Castle Dream Construction, a home remodeling company based in Baltimore.
Shamika Lynch is the owner and founder of Maximizing Tiny Interiors, an interior design studio based in Jersey City, NJ that focuses on transforming small spaces. She has a Bachelor’s degree in English and a Masters in Business Administration with a specialization in Project Management. Her superpower is optimizing small spaces to maximize function while maintaining a cohesive aesthetic.
Deck your small kitchen out with all the must-have items to make cooking and day-to-day chores easier. To really make the most of your drawers and cabinets, it might be worth stocking up on some extra kitchen organizers. Happy tidying!