Tiny home kitchen with bright cabinet colors.

What is one of the most used areas of your home? It may just be the kitchen. After all, it’s a space for cooking, gathering, and connectivity.

When you settle into your new, tiny home, it’ll still be a hub for meals and cheerful conversation. So this brings you to your next move: How do you scale down a kitchen that fits perfectly into a smaller house?

If you’re gearing up to move into a tiny home, the kitchen will be just as important but also more compact. Streamlining this space doesn’t have to be complicated; it’s easy to pare right down to the essentials.

And how exactly do you begin to declutter? Whether you set aside a few hours a week, or devote a weekend marathon to downsizing, it can be done in a few easy and manageable steps.

Read on for our guide to paring down kitchen items for your tiny home.

1. Decide the Kitchen’s Role in Entertaining

Grandkids gathered around a book with their grandparent.

Entertaining can certainly still take place in tiny homes. From one-on-one coffee breaks to cozy dinner parties, we’re willing to bet the kitchen will be a central player at mealtime and more. But how the kitchen functions in your lifestyle is up to you—and that can mean hosting dinner guests frequently or offering your place for an occasional hang out. Make note of how often you foresee yourself cooking—for one, or more—in your space. Beyond dinner parties or teatime, it’s also essential to note what meals you enjoy whipping up in the kitchen on the regular. (Hint: If you like to keep your cuisine simple, tossing appliances and pots you rarely use is the first step.)

2. Toss Anything that isn’t Reusable

One-time use flatware and dishware consume precious real estate in any space. Replace these items with reusable water bottles, utensils, and anything else that can accompany you at home and on-the-go. Donate or use up these items before you move so they don’t go to waste.

3. Consider Smaller Appliances

High-tech countertop dishwasher.

Depending on the layout and the square footage of the room, you might consider specially sized appliances which include a stove, fridge, and even a dishwasher. This will help free up more space—for storage and flow—and facilitate the downsizing process.

4. Pitch the Paper Goods

Stray menus and napkins need to go. (Again, use or donate the napkins!) And paper menus can be digitized (take a photo with your smartphone or upload it to the cloud), to access whenever you’re feeling peckish for takeaway. Whether you’ve been keeping excess paper in a drawer or on top of the fridge, you’ll have much more free space moving forward.

5. Review one Cabinet or Shelf at a Time

It might seem easy to dump all your kitchen’s contents out at once, but instead, break up this process into chunk-able projects. Start with just one shelf or cabinet space and parse through your belongings. Even applying this method to one shelf at a time in a pantry makes a big difference.

6. Take Inventory of Your Plates, Mugs, and Glasses

Kitchen cabinet with lots of cups and plates.

Whether you live solo or with a partner, determine how many place settings you’ll actually use. (Note: This also applies if you enjoy having company over frequently.) Mugs, glasses, and flatware also fall under this purview. Invest in less dishware that’s sturdier and stands the test of time.

7. Lose it if you Don’t use it

Maybe your best friend waxes poetic over their air fryer, or your neighbor adores their sous vide. And you? You couldn’t be bothered with either appliance. So, toss it. Donate these rarely-used items to someone who will love them. And, if you need this item once or twice a year, rent or borrow instead.

8. Use and Keep an Organization System

Tiered small shelf in a corner.

When the dust settles and you are left with the essentials, add in bins, drawer dividers, hooks, and other organization tools to keep everything neat and tidy (and easy to find).

9. Tone Down the Tupperware

Just like dishware and glasses, how many sets of Tupperware do you truly need? Especially if your fridge is significantly smaller (and shorter), you can’t store or freeze as much as you used to.

10. Donate Duplicates

Any appliance that’s doubled—or kitchen tool—needs to go. After all, do you really need two wine openers? Nope, you don’t.

11. Add in Multi-purpose Cleaning Supplies

Reusable towels and napkins are already clever but look for cleaning supplies that work on multiple surfaces to get you more bang for your space (and your buck).

12. Keep Counters Clear

Kitchen with an L-shaped counter.

Flat space for food prep is important. And the less clutter on your counter tops, the bigger the kitchen feels, and the easier it is to cook and clean too. It’s a win-win.

About the Author, Stephanie Valente

Stephanie Valente is a Content Director and Editor in Brooklyn, NY. She's previously held writing and social media positions at Barkbox, Men's Journal, and currently works at a full-service advertising agency. She's a self-confessed home and design enthusiast. Stephanie is an award-winning poet and fiction writer. When she's offline, you can find her taking a yoga class, running, hanging out with her rescue dog Pepper. Find her on stephanievalente.com.

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