The most common complaint from homeowners with small kitchens is the lack of counter space. It can be especially problematic if you have a few kids at home who like to do their homework at the kitchen table, or you’re a foodie who enjoys preparing fancy cuisine (or both!). Fortunately, you can take some small steps in your kitchen to get the most out of your workspace.

Hide Your Gadgets

Probably the first thing you can do to increase your counter space is to clear off the extra gadgets. Mixers, coffeemakers, toasters – all of these small appliances perform essential everyday tasks, but they’re also big space wasters. Unfortunately, chances are pretty good that if countertops are at a premium in your house, so is cabinet space. So what can you do?

Rearrange, of course! There are a lot of standard places to put things. Spices go in the spice rack. Utensils go in the drawer. Pots and pans go in the bottom cabinets. But just because kitchen things usually go in those spaces, doesn’t mean that they have to go there.

By hot gluing a small, powerful magnet on the bottom of your spice jars, you can make a spice rack on the side of your fridge instead of in a cabinet. Using a magnetic wall strip for your knives frees up the space a knife block would occupy. Extra wire shelves sitting inside your shelves make sure that you use every inch of space within your cabinets, too.

Once you’ve rearranged, you might find that your small appliances have a new home out of sight. If you’re still struggling to put them away, however, you might need to do some soul searching and decide if you need the appliance in the first place. If you only make toast three times a year, for instance, you might just get rid of your toaster and learn how to make toast in the oven. Paring down your kitchen stuff is a fantastic way to ensure more countertop space.

Go Vertical

To free up some space on your countertops, you might want to try going vertical. There is a lot of vertical space in your kitchen with untapped potential, which could free up some countertop space. A magnetic knife strip, like mentioned above, is a good choice, or you could install a rod with hangers or pots to hold your cutting boards, utensil containers, and coffee mugs. They sell container systems like that at IKEA, or you could just repurpose an old curtain rod and add some hooks.

Additionally, metal pegboard backsplashes are becoming trendy because of their extreme functionality. Not only do they look cool, but they can protect your walls from kitchen messes, while keeping all of your essential tools within reach.

Modify Your Cutting Board

Ah, the humble cutting board. If you do it right, this kitchen necessity can add valuable acreage to your workspace. Start by measuring the width of your kitchen sink, and then purchase a cutting board that is wider than your sink opening. That lets you chop your foods over the sink and rinse them right away. Some cutting boards even have extender feet that can reach across any sink or integrated bowls and strainers, which frees up even more space on your counters.

Along that same vein, you can look for large wooden cutting boards to place over your stovetop to add workspace. Just make sure that you either buy a board with extended feet so that your cutting board isn’t resting on the cooking surface, or install the feet onto a cutting board you already have. Talk about versatility!

Add Some Countertops

Sometimes, despite your best efforts to economize and maximize space, there still isn’t enough. Luckily, there are plenty of products out there that can add a little extra space where you need it most. Fold-out countertops or tables are fantastic ways to both save space and add more of it. They’re also pretty inexpensive, and you can often install them yourself.

A miniature island is another great way to add both counter space and storage space. They often come with roller feet and racks or hooks, so you can move them out of the way when you’re done, all while keeping kitchen accouterments off your countertop.

Consider the Countertop

Sometimes there’s not a lot you can do to add countertop space, but you can always make the most of the space you already have. By installing soapstone countertops to your Denver home, you have a beautiful, low-maintenance, heat-resistant countertop option. The exceptional thing about soapstone is that it is easy to carve, and so you could have your dish rack or soap dish integrated to save space.

Having a small kitchen can be a pain in the neck, but it’s not the end of the world. By making a few slight modifications to your existing space, you can maximize the space you have to ensure a pleasant kitchen experience.

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