There's a Secret Trick to Keeping a Small Kitchen Neat and Clean

Many of us instantly think it's difficult to work in a small kitchen.


The kitchen is not just the area where we cook and prepare meals – it’s also the place where we wash the dishes and store food. Given the things we keep and tasks we do in the kitchen, it’s inevitable to come home to a messy one – especially if you’re busy juggling other must-dos, including taking care of your kids.

“The two most common causes of clutter in the kitchen are failing to organize the items and food and leaving too many items on the countertop. It’s not even about the size of the kitchen,” says interior designer Rachelle Medina.

How do you keep a small kitchen clean and functional?

Many of us instantly think it’s difficult to work in a small kitchen, but it all depends on how you maintain and maximize the space. To make the most of a small kitchen, you need to make sure the complete work triangle is in place, your appliances are appropriately stored while still being accessible, and that you have the right organizers to keep kalat at bay. Don’t let a tiny kitchen stop you from cooking to your heart’s content with these tips.


Make sure you have a complete work triangle

“Any size of the kitchen is okay. What’s essential is your kitchen has a complete work triangle that’s composed of a washing and prep area (the sink), a cooking area (the stove), and a refrigeration area (the ref),” explains Medina.

Keep in mind that these three work centers don’t necessarily have to form a triangle. According to an article on Real Living, having a work triangle “helps in minimizing the length of trips you make from one work center to another, saving time and energy.”

Choose a color that can help create an illusion of a bigger, more maaliwalas space

Medina suggests painting the kitchen cabinets white. Many kitchens are decked out in yellow and orange as these are known to stimulate the appetite. “[These colors are] a bit too bright for today’s kitchens. I’d suggest all-white cabinets with wood accents, cream, natural wood, or even white cabinets paired with a robin’s egg blue backsplash — it’s so refreshing,” the designer declares.


Those who live in condo units and apartments often deal with a small kitchen. Make the most of the available space by getting rid of clutter and maximizing your cabinets. PHOTO BY Jilson Tiu

Avoid closing off the kitchen

Closing off a small kitchen from the living, dining, and other areas can only make it look smaller. “Avoid a closed kitchen. This will just make it look too cramped. An open kitchen is a solution to that problem,” advises Medina. If you’re worried about food smells dominating the entire home, there are range hoods you can invest in that can remove and suck the cooking odors.


Buy multipurpose organizers and containers.

Get rid of kalat easily by investing in organizers that can hold the different items found in your kitchen. Plastic baskets, hooks, and stainless steel wire organizers can be used to store pantry supplies as well as keep utensils in place.

Maximize your kitchen cabinets.

Are you guilty of stuffing everything inside one cabinet? Doing so can make it difficult for you to find and get what you need. Keep your cabinets organized using containers and stackers. These can help you store more items and canned goods inside each cabinet while making it easier for you to keep an inventory of what you have in stock.

Schedule a regular decluttering session.

Old receipts, takeout menus, and expired food items don’t have a place in your small kitchen. Go through each drawer and cabinet before tackling the contents of your refrigerator. Don’t forget to throw out spoiled food and empty bottles, too.


The secret to keeping the kitchen tidy is clearing your countertops

“Throw all the litter away after prepping. Return the appliances to the cabinets and hide the canned goods behind closed doors. Not everything should be on display,” says Medina. Think of it this way: you can accomplish tasks faster if you have enough room to move around it.

With a neat countertop, you can bring out your pans, utensils, and ingredients. It will be easier to clean and prepare what you need, too. Worried that it will look boring after cooking? You can always spruce it up with potted herbs or an indoor plant you can display in a corner.


This story originally appeared on

* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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