If I’m being completely honest, my kitchen was my least favorite room for the first three years I lived in my Irvine, CA home. Okay, total transparency? I hated it. It was just the smallest, good-for-nothin’ space I could’ve imagined. But, I got a great deal on the house when I bought it and the location can’t be beat. I’m three miles from work, ten miles from my parents’ house, and there’s a grocery store within walking distance. I told myself on closing day that I’d figure out a way “to make the kitchen work.”

Then, three years went by.

I’m not proud to tell you that after roughly five months of angrily attempting to “make it work,” I resorted to pre-made frozen food and take out. 17 pounds of weight gain later, I decided that enough was enough. That stupid kitchen and I had been at odds far too long and my waistline was suffering. I needed to eat real food again. I needed to food prep. I needed… to make it work.

Remodeling the kitchen had been in the back of my mind for exactly three years and 42 days—those were the days I was in the process of purchasing. I knew I couldn’t make it bigger; there just wasn’t enough room in any direction to do that. But, I could bite the bullet and make it more functional.

If you’re struggling with your good-for-nothin’, tiny kitchen and need some ideas, keep reading. Perhaps my ideas will help you love your kitchen—because now, I can honestly say I do.

I purged.
You probably could’ve guessed this would be Tip #1. It’s important, though. If you have two of anything, get rid of one. If you have oversized appliances, buy new, smaller ones. For example, I had this unforgivably large fridge (it came with the house). I mean, even for a big kitchen, it would’ve been big. I sold it and I used the money to purchase an “apartment-sized” fridge. It’s just me—there’s plenty of space to hold what I need. I gave away spatulas, an extra knife set, and ladles (who even uses ladles anymore?!).

I reconfigured the kitchen cabinets.
I called Kitchen Cabinets & Beyond to help me with this part. The corner cabinets were a pain in the butt—I couldn’t access anything easily. And, there were more cabinets than drawers—I wanted that reversed. The stove was moved adjacent to the wall (bye-bye, corner cabinets!), there was a tip-out sink drawer added, and I added small baskets and rolling shelf systems inside a few cabinets for spices, canned goods, sandwich bags, etc.

I created miscellaneous additions.
Check out some great ideas I found on Pinterest:

  • Repurposed magazine holders inside the pantry doors = freezer bag and aluminum foil roll holders
  • Over-the-sink self
  • Metal bars on the bare side of the cabinets to hold cooking utensils
  • Small shelves framing the sink window for glassware
  • Magnetic spice rack

Now, I love my tiny kitchen in Irvine, CA. You can, too; even if it’s small. And, link up with the pros at Kitchen Cabinets & Beyond to help you make your kitchen cabinets work for you!

Kitchen Cabinets & Beyond | 2910 E La Palma Ave Ste B | Anaheim, CA 92806 | 714-630-0477

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