Ask the Experts

Smarter Kitchen Storage When You Have a Small Space

“My apartment’s kitchen is small, and part of the space is taken up by the laundry. So the floor is usually buried under a pile of clothes. I do have access to basement storage, where I can store some kitchen items. Should I use that space for large pans and serving bowls? Kitchen appliances? And how do I keep the laundry off the floor?”

You have to stop thinking about being space-efficient and start thinking about being effort-efficient. Storing kitchen items in a basement locker takes too much effort to put them away, so they linger in your small space, creating clutter. Instead, weed through all your kitchen items until what remains fits within the kitchen storage, and then be resourceful and resilient about what is left. Toss the fancy chip-and-dip server. On the rare occasions that you need one, you can improvise with a soup bowl and a dinner plate. Think of yourself as living on shipboard: you don’t have much, and the things you do own are versatile.

As for the laundry, keep clothing off the floor by never putting it on the floor. When you dump your dirty clothes in the washer, place the laundry basket on top of the machine or on a nearby chair. Once clean, dry clothes are returned to the basket, and the whole thing goes back to the bedroom. That means no storing or sorting of laundry in the kitchen. All laundry activities, before and after, are confined to the bedroom.

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