Cooking in a Tiny Kitchen: 5 Tips to Create a Happy, Functional Space

Cooking in a tiny kitchen can be frustrating if you don’t have a functional design, streamlined routine, and a positive outlook. In this article, I share a few tips to help you become more organized and happy in your Tumbleweed kitchen.

5 Tips for Cooking in a Tiny Kitchen

1). Magnetize your tools

If you’re like me, you love experimenting with unusual spices. I have dozens of spices, and they would take up valuable cabinet space if I didn’t come up with a solution. Magnetic spice racks are very popular in tiny kitchens. I like this spice rack from Gneiss Spice because it looks like a honeycomb, but there are many options out there. Hanging my spices near the stove allows for easy access and spontaneous creativity. I also recommend magnetic knife holders, which will free up your counter space.

Tiny Kitchen

My tiny kitchen with a magnetized spice rack

2). Cook in one pot

Cooking doesn’t always have to be a BIG event. Check out this book by Martha Stewart, which lists 120 fantastic recipes that can be cooked in one pot, skillet, or slow cooker. This trick isn’t only for Tiny Housers, it’s also great for those of us that hate doing dishes.

You may also like : “10 tricks to declutter your countertops” 

3). Place items over the sink

To save space in your tiny kitchen, purchase a cutting board or dish rack that fits over your sink. You can use this space as an additional prep area.

Tiny Kitchen

4). Cook Some Things Outdoors

I’ve written about my Solavore Sport solar oven before, but I think it’s worth mentioning in this article as well. I love having an oven option that works outside. It’s low-hassle and frees up space inside my tiny kitchen. The best part? It uses no electricity. You can also barbecue or create an outdoor wood-fire pizza oven. Cooking in nature is fun, reduces smells inside your tiny kitchen, and frees up space.

5). Have a Positive Outlook

If you don’t have a lot of refrigerator or storage space in your tiny kitchen, focus on the positive effects this will have on your life. Yes, you will make more trips to the grocery store, but you will also: 1). Eat fresher produce, 2). Be more organized in your shopping, and 3). Waste less. In this way, your tiny kitchen will help you live a healthier lifestyle.

BONUS TIP: Don’t forget to allocate space in your design for waste disposal! I have a trash can, recycle bin, burn bin, and a composting container in my tiny kitchen. If I didn’t think about my waste containers during my design, I wouldn’t have such a functional space.

Share your Tiny Kitchen tips in the comments!

Jenna SpesardTumbleweed Tiny Houses Lifestyle Blog built a Tumbleweed in 2014 and traveled with it for one year, clocking over 25,000 miles. She writes about the Tiny House Movement and travel on her blog:  “Tiny House Giant Journey.”



  1. Dan April 18, 2017 at 4:36 am - Reply

    If you are going to do serious cooking in your kitchen, plan on a good range hood and mount it properly (the one pictured is way to high to be effective)
    You might want to consider using a popup canopy as a “summer” kitchen. I ended up building a more permanent structure

  2. Dan April 18, 2017 at 4:43 am - Reply

    One other thing- do you really need a DW? Generally you’re going to end up with an apartment size that is only 18″ wide that really doesn’t fit much. And you probably aren’t going to have that much stuff that you can afford to have it languish in the DW. Just clean as you go.

  3. Glen April 19, 2017 at 9:04 am - Reply

    you forgot the number one thing for cooking in a small area. “clean as you go” as in clean the utensils and containers right after you use them and put them away. I’ve cooked full course turkey dinners in 2.5′ of counter space just need to plan and keep your work area tidy.

  4. Peggy J Brodie April 19, 2017 at 5:49 pm - Reply

    Another space-efficient spice organizer: a rack of corked test-tubes. Can be hung on the inside of cupboard doors. Check scientific and educational supply houses.

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