Cooking in a Tiny Kitchen | A Detailed Guideline

stoThis is my kitchen and it’s not the smallest I’ve had. But it’s still pretty tiny, especially when you consider that we work from home, hardly ever eat out and therefore prepare breakfast, lunch and dinner in our kitchen every day. My kitchen is L-shaped, small, and yet is perfect for us.There are a lot of myths about cooking in a tiny kitchen, which I’ll be debunking in this article.

The tiniest kitchen I have ever had was a kitchen-in-a-cupboard. I’d open two doors and there was a sink with a minuscule cheap fridge below it, a single bowl sink, a two-ring gas cooker and shelves above. My current kitchen isn’t as bad as that, in fact, I love it. It’s compact, there’s plenty of space and cleaning it is so easy. Something is especially like is that everything is near at hand. I used to be a kitchen designer when I lived in England and for many years would plan huge kitchens and dream that one day I’d have one of my own. Eventually, I did but I prefer my tiny kitchen!

There’s a lot of advice on the internet about small space living – often from writers who don’t actually have that lifestyle. I enjoy living (and cooking!) in a small space and I also have employed the same principles to prepare meals in boat galleys and tiny RVs. These tips are also invaluable if you’re vacationing in self-catering accommodation – their kitchens are often tiny. They are also great if you have a new dorm room-dweller in your family and want to ensure that they get good home-cooked meals!

The entire room

cook in a tiny kitchen

Here’s another shot of our kitchen. I’ve included this because it shows the entire room. As you can see our fridge, which is much smaller than the usual American refrigerator is on the left of the room. On the right is the back door; you can just see the black doormat. As you can see, my first rule is:


The sink is an appliance too.


Our sink measures about twenty inches by sixteen inches but it’s used more than anything else when I’m cooking. You’ll notice that there are two items in the sink. On the right is a plastic rectangular bowl. I do the dishes in this so, when I’m cooking and I’ve finished with an item or utensil, it goes straight in there, ready to be washed.


This is intended to hold the dishes and silverware when they’be been washed. I use it for much more than this. The first step for cooking a meal is gathering the ingredients from the fridge or cupboard and putting them in the drainer. I carry it to the fridge and add the items from there, then the cupboard for any canned or dried goods. See the next image.

Decide where garbage will go.


No, I don’t have one. I also don’t have a dog (and dogs can do a pretty good job!) So it’s important to decide what you are going to do with food scraps and peelings while you work. Piling them up on one side of he chopping board isn’t a good idea because they can overflow onto the worktop and make more mess for you to clean.


I simply put a glass jar in the sink and when I trim vegetables, add the trimmings and peelings to it. If I feel a vegetable stock coming on, I store this in the fridge so that I can add them when I make stock. This keeps all the mess under control. If necessary I move the jar from the sink to the countertop if I’m working there.


I know that I’m going to need a plastic or wooden spoon to stir the beans and a spatula to remove the pasties from the oven so before I start to cook I get those out and hang them from the tension rod that’s over my sink. Now I have everything to hand.

Utensils I don’t use daily


I need my can opener for the beans but it’s not something I use every day. Neither is my pizza wheel or my ladle. So these live in a plastic box that’s kept in the cupboard below. It’s easy to reach when I need it but it keeps my knife drawer uncluttered

Use a Lazy Susan


My pasties are cooking in the oven, I have a pan on the stove ready to cook the beans and now I need to get plates and silverware together and make a quick salad. But using a Lazy Susan on the countertop I can easily make use of the wasted space in the corner and it’s protecting my white surfaces too. It can be stored vertically so takes up little space and I also use it on the dining table.

Just a touch of decor


You’ll have seen from the top photograph that I have a lovely ceramic jug and a black and white vase in the unreachable corner of my countertop. Hey, I like uncluttered rooms but I like a little decor too. But they are practical too. If I’m following a recipe, it’s a great place to keep the cookbook and the jug holds it while the vase keeps it in place. As you can see, I use clothespins to make sure that the pages stay open.

Plating the meal


It’s only steps from the kitchen to the dining table but I like to use a tray so that I don’t have to make more than one trip. I put our meal and its accompaniments on a tray. This protects the surfaces but it’s now also easy to transport everything to the table. Oh and the tray also fits perfectly on my trash can if I need extra surfaces.

Doing the dishes


When items are used during cooking, I put them straight into the washing up bowl in the sink. Just before we eat, I fill the bowl with warm soapy water so that the used items are soaking. After the meal, we simply add the plates and silverware we’ve used and doing the dishes takes about three minutes tops.


I like to use a cloth but I’ve learned over the years that ‘people’ (guys) are likely to grab cloths and use them for just about anything. We don’t have a draining board but our drying mat is placed on top of the ceramic hob, the dishes are piled there and they air-dry themselves. (Once the stove top is cool of course!). Read wood stove reviews.

More tips for Cooking in a Tiny Kitchen


You may not be able to store all your kitchen equipment in the room itself. We have a small storage area in our apartment building and if anything isn’t used on a regular basis, it goes into the storage area. If your pressure cooker that you only use at the holidays lives in your clothes closet, so be it.


Many people who have small kitchens complain that they can’t take advantage of special bulk-buying offers to save money. There’s nothing wrong with having a twelve pack of canned tomatoes under your bed! We have a suitcase stored in one of our cupboards for when we go traveling – at the moment, it contains bulk-bought cans of soda. I’ve even stored bulk purchases in the car for a few days until I’ve found them a home in the apartment. A wine rack can live in the lounge.


Our fresh bread lives in the halogen oven. Why not? It keeps it close to hand and when we use the oven, we just put the bread into the basket on the shelf above.


When I first moved to the tiny apartment I found that I had seven egg whisks – seven! We don’t even eat eggs very often. And even if we did, how many egg whisks can I use at one time? It was the same with mixing bowls. I only need one medium sized bowl. For small items, I use a cereal bowl or even my jug.


I have five. Two skillets and three saucepans. They live in the drawer underneath the oven. I only really use two of them. If I really needed more space, I could give away a couple. It’s a good idea to consciously inventory your kitchen equipment to see what you really use regularly.


When we moved to the tiny apartment I grandly declared that we’d downsize to two plates, two cereal bowls, two knives, two forks, two wineglasses and so on. This was a little impractical because we do have guests from time to time. But nevertheless it’s a good idea to donate any items you don’t use to the Salvation Army or Goodwill. The less clutter in your kitchen, the better.


The more organized your store cupboard and your refrigerator are, the easier it will be for you to cook quickly and efficiently in a tiny kitchen.


I can’t claim that this is original – I read it on the internet and loved the idea. Instead of keeping a shopping list of what you need keep a list of what you have. I started to do this and you can immediately see what’s in stock and what foods you should be using up.

Some small kitchen myths

I’ve seen these items of advice on the internet. They may or may not work for you but here’s why they don’t for me.


My kitchen is way too small for any of these. If you have the room for them, you don’t have a small kitchen 🙂


Another bad idea if it can be avoided. Unless you use the items on your shelves every single day, they will attract dust and dirt and create a mammoth clean-up job. If you fry an onion, the grease gets into the air and attaches itself to items on open shelves – yuck.


This creates the same cleaning problems. I’ve seen photographs on the internet with lovely racks holding a dozen or more pans. I’ve never used a dozen pans for making a meal. Keep handy only what you need.


Home editors and journalists also like to recommend that utensils such as spatulas, lades etc. are hung on racks and that the best place to store knives is a magnetic knife rack. Again, there’s the cleaning problem, plus I rarely use more than one knife per meal – one good knife is all you need.


Home editors love these as a ‘solution’ for small kitchens. If a kitchen has an area for a table to pull out to then it’s not what I’d call a small kitchen!



There was a time when I thought this was a good idea and, if you have a double sink, they normally automatically arrive with a board. That’s fine but remember that if you have a kitchen sink that has a single bowl, which most small kitchens have, then your sink is out of action when the board is in place. How are you going to strain the spaghetti or wash the salad? These boards can be more trouble than they’re worth.

Final tip

For example, I often cook curries and foods that need certain spices. I keep all of these in a tray in the cupboard. That way I don’t have to search for my curry spices, just get the tray out. For example, if you regularly bake keep flour, baking powder and other similar items in a specific basket or tray.

How to Seed Start Tomatoes and Peppers Indoors

Video: How to Seed Start Tomatoes and Peppers

This video article will teach you how to start seed tomato and pepper  indoors for your garden. It will cover all aspects of the process from materials to methods. Starting seeds indoors is easy once you buy the essential supplies and give it a try. It is not as difficult as it may seem and it really does save you money. You can grow tomatoes and peppers as well as other vegetables for pennies per plant. When you buy a tomato at a store it may cost you several dollars. The materials for starting seeds indoors cost as much as 5 or 6 store bought tomatoes or peppers. Give it a try! And remember you can use the cell flats and seeds trays year after year. You can save hundreds of dollars in planting costs over several years.

Video: How to Seed Start Tomatoes and Peppers

This video demonstrates how to start tomato and pepper seeds indoors. It covers starting mix, trays, seeds, watering and methods to plant the seeds.

Overview of Starting Seeds Indoors

The video presents all the details but here is a basic overview of the requirements.

All seeds should be started in a seed starting mix. Seed starting mix is typically sterile and contains no soil products. This creates a disease free base for your seeds to germinate.

Seed starting mix typically comes dry. You should moisten the mix before you fill your seed cells. This is an essential step to ensure your cells will wick water up from the watering tray.

You do need light. You don’t have to use indoor grow lights but should make sure you have a south facing window. Your seeds really need 6 to 10 hours of full sun or 10 to 14 hours of light from grow lights. Less light does work.

The seed trays and supplies are inexpensive and can be found at any do-it-yourself store or at a local nursery.

You can use your seed trays to start seeds all season long. For instance lettuce and spinach enjoy cool weather. Tomatoes and peppers enjoy warm weather. Cucumbers tend to like the heat too and can be started at different times in the summer. Basil can be started several times during the season and in the Fall you can start lettuce and spinach again. You really can save a lot of money.

When the weather gets warm you don’t need to keep the seeds indoors to start. They can sit right outside in a sunny area.

Cost of Seed Starting Supplies

$4-$6 Bag of Seed Starting Mix
$5-$9 Seed Starting Cells and Flat
$1-$3 A Pack of Tomato Seeds
$1-$3 A Pack of Pepper Seeds
$Free A Southern Facing Window For Sunlight

$??? Grow Lights Vary on Size and Design (They Aren’t Needed!)

Considering a pepper and tomato transplant can cost anywhere from $2 to $5, you can save a lot of money by starting them yourself. This method also works for most other vegetables and the seed cells and flats can be used year after year. Give it a try!

So What Can I Start in Seed Trays? Cool Weather Crops

Vegetables prefer different growing conditions and are primarily planted based on temperature preferences. The ‘Cool Weather Crops’ can be seed started early before you might start your tomatoes and peppers. Cool weather vegetables typically grow quickly and can handle a light frost. Here are some great cool weather vegetables and basic seed starting directions.

Lettuces: They love the cool weather and should be started 3 seeds per cell. If you are growing for full head size, gentle separate the plants and plant one per hole. If you what to cut leaves for smaller leaf lettuces, you can plant all three per hole.

Kales: Kales love the cold and can survive the Winter. Plant 2 kale seeds per cell and plant 1 plant per hole in the garden. They get large and you don’t want 2 plants in the same planting hole.

Radishes: They are cool weather crops but can’t be started in cell trays but the can go directly in the garden.

Leeks: The take a long time to mature and should be stared indoors. Plant 3 seed per cell and divide them into single plants before planting outdoors.

Other vegetables that can be started in seed sells like lettuce are: arugula, endive, mustard greens and bak choy.

So What Can I Start in Seed Trays? Warm Weather Crops

Well, if you have cool weather crops, you have to have warm weather crops. Tomatoes and Peppers need warmer nights and days and should be started 6-8 weeks before last frost date. But there are also vegetables that really like the warmth and can also be started in seed trays. These plants should NOT be started 6-8 weeks ahead of time. They grow too fast and will out grow the cell. You can start the following warm weather crops on the expected last day of frost. They only need about 3 weeks before planted into the garden.

Cucumbers: They need the heat. Only plant one seed per cell about 1/2 inch deep. They are big seeds and grow fast. You can also start them in 8-12 ounce cups and in that case you would put two seeds per cup.

Beans: Just like cucumbers.

Melons: Just like beans and cucumbers.

Sunflowers: Just like melons, beans and cucumbers.

You get the point. The larger seeds go 1 seed per cell and they do grow fast. When you remove them from the seed trays be very careful not to disturb the roots. Gently place and press them into the planting hole in your garden and water nicely.
So What Else Can I Start in My Seed Trays?

Herbs are expensive to buy in the stores. You can save a lot of money by just starting basil in seed trays. Do you know there are dozens of varieties of basil?

Oregano and Thyme: They are really small as seeds. Plant 10-30 per cell tray. You can start them 6-8 weeks before last frost. They can be transplanted as a bunch. You don’t thin oregano and thyme into single plants. Just plant them as if the cell is one plant.

Chives: Plant 5 to 10 chive seeds per cell and follow the oregano and thyme directions.

Basil: Unlike the above, basil needs warm weather. Basil can be started indoors about 2 weeks before last frost date. you can put 5 to 10 seeds per tray and gently break the plug in half when you plant it in the garden. This will give you 2 planting clumps of basil.

Did you know there is lime basil, lemon basil, purple basil, ruffled leaf basil, bush basil, cinnamon basil and many more kinds. Don’t just plant 1 type.

So, are you ready to start tomatoes in your home ? Mean that time you may check our awesome post on lawn care, which you will love for sure .

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