When cooking in a small space, the kitchen clutter can get out of hand. These tips from The Veggie Wifey will whip your kitchen into shape.
It is not surprising that Hong Kong is ranked as one of the most expensive places in the world when it comes to the residential market. Tiny apartments here go for record-breaking prices, and the rents are notoriously high. Most of us scramble to find enough storage space, especially when we want to opt for a zero-waste lifestyle and buy kitchen staples in bulk. Cooking a meal can also be frustrating when there is a significant lack of space, and you’re unable to find your ingredients. Here are a few smart organisational tips to conquer kitchen clutter and make the most of your cooking space in tiny Hong Kong flats.
Get organised and conquer kitchen clutter
1. Make use of vertical space
Most of the time we look for space that’s around the kitchen, rather than space on the walls or above the sink. Stores like PriceRite or Japan Home Centre (JHC) sell extremely useful dish racks that can be placed over the sink. These racks are multi-purpose. Along with hanging your plates, pots and pans on the top of the dish-rack, you can hang your washcloths, dish sponges and cutlery on the edges using any hanging add-ons from the store.
2. Wall organisers
Your kitchen tiles above the sink, or the tiles above your kitchen countertop can be used for wall trays with suction cups or strong 3M stickers. You can organize your dishwashing liquids or other cleaning products above the sink using these hanging trays. Additionally, you can place kitchen towels, cling wrap, or foil in holders above the countertop to cut down on kitchen clutter and save space.
3. Baby bottle organisers
I invested in a baby bottle organiser because baby bottle parts are small, and can go missing easily. I also have a small steel holder on the side of the sink to separate my baby’s bottles/pacifiers from the dirty dishes when I’m washing up. I did not like the idea that I was placing my baby’s pacifiers in a sink that had a dirty pan of food. I bought my bottle organiser from OXO TOT and it helps me divide and hang all the small parts before I place it in the steriliser. This company sells very useful organisers for all things baby if you need more organisational items.
4. Elevated sink platforms
This is the most practical installation for small kitchens, with small sinks. It creates an extra platform to place clean cutlery before you stack them away. I personally use this platform for placing my colander when I finish boiling veggies or pasta. The best thing about this is that it is removable.
4. Thin vertical cabinets or drawers
When I lived in an apartment with a 50 sqft. kitchen, I had an annoying 15cm gap between my fridge and the kitchen cabinets. I had absolutely no idea what I could fit in there, until I saw a 10cm wide sliding sauce drawer that was a good 1-meter in height. It was my proudest find. In Hong Kong apartments, we often find these dark pockets of space, and finding ways to maximise the functionality of those areas is key. Asian-based home furniture stores are the best places to find functional tools for creating a place to organise the kitchen clutter.
5. Removable bins
My kitchen does not have space for a big rubbish bin, so I had to buy a small one to store below my sink cabinet. However, when you’re cooking several meals a day, opening and closing that cabinet, to access your bin, gets a little frustrating. I bought this bin ring that hangs a bin liner on the side of my kitchen cabinet. Now, every time I cook, I slide all the waste into this convenient hanging bin without having to open a single door.
6. Trays for reusable containers
I store a number of reusable containers as an initiative to reduce waste, but the cabinet I store them in was always a mess. I tried several ways to organise this and the most practical solution was to separate the lids, of the containers from the rectangular, square and circle containers and stack them all in separate trays. Now, whenever I need a container, I simply slide the tray out, pick what I need, and slide the tray back in.
7. Air-tight containers for bulk buying (with labels)
I bought these containers from TAOBAO, and created my own labels using a Dymo LetraTag. Using airtight containers is essential in maintaining the freshness of any perishable item in Hong Kong humidity. The number of times I have found small insects taking over my pantry made me learn that sealing your food, especially anything sweet, is vital. A second fridge for all the perishable dry goods would be wonderful to have, but Hong Kong homes don’t accommodate such space, so this is the next best alternative.
For more kitchen tips and tricks, check out the latest recipes at The Veggie Wifey.