Top Kitchen Essentials For A Small Kitchen

Advertiser Disclosure

Unbiased Content. Factual Advice.
In order to provide top tier advice from industry professionals - for free - we partner with sponsors. This post contains affiliate links and we will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on these links.
We want you to know this does not impact the quality of our content as writers are not influenced by this process. Links are added after the article is finalized. By doing this, we strive to bring you the most straightforward, factual advice to help you through your 20s. Learn more about our content process here.

Shorter Version

Est. Reading Time: 3 Minutes

How To Make Your Small Kitchen Feel Bigger

Do you want to cook more, but have a tiny kitchen? No problem! Being well equipped in a minimalist kitchen creates a sense of relaxation. Multi-purpose, compactable tools are easy to store and keep out of the way while also providing everything you need to cook.

Whether it’s a studio apartment, shared condo, or your first home, this list of kitchen essentials is perfect for meal prepping in a small kitchen. You’ll be able to save space, energy, and time while whipping up some delicious meals from home.

  • Adjustable Measuring Spoon – This is a one size fits all type of tool. One spoon with over 4 different measurements and some ranging from 1/8 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon. Try this double-edged spoon for smaller incremental measurements or stick to the basics with this simple spoon.
  • Collapsible Salad Spinner – As we shop sustainably and avoid packaged leafy greens, a salad spinner is a must! These bowls tend to be large and clunky, so try a collapsible version that’s easy to wash and store.

Magnets and Mounted Storage

  • Magnetic Knife Strip – If you’re short on drawer/counter space, you may want to forget about the knife drawer or counter-top knife set. Magnetic knife strips can go on any kitchen wall but work best over the stove or on the wall above the best counter space. The length and material of strips vary. You can get as little as a 10-inch stainless steel strip or a 16-inch stainless steel strip. Or stick with the natural look of this 17-inch bamboo wood strip.
  • Mounted Pot Lid Rack – Another kitchen essential that’s tough to store – pots and pans. While pans are easily stacked inside one another, try mounting the lids on a wall rack. Two great places are the inside of your pantry door or on a discrete wall in the kitchen.
  • Magnetic Spice Jars – Keep your herbs and spices in a cool, dry place by sticking them to your refrigerator. Most cooks keep spices in the cabinet just above the stove but the heat can cause spices to go bad quickly.

Dietitian Tip: Herbs and spices are full of nutritional benefits. Storing these flavors on the side of the fridge in magnetic tin jars like these will also prompt you to use them more often! 

Getting the Most Out of Your Space

  • Nesting Mixing Bowls – Nesting bowls simply mean bowls they stack within each other. This is another huge space saver. Get this colorful 9-piece set that includes measuring cups and a tablespoon (and a bonus colander!). Stick with a stainless steel theme with a set of 6 bowls. These microwaveable bowls are especially convenient with 6 bowls and matching lids for easy storage.
  • Folding Kitchen Cart – If your kitchen lacks counter space but has ample floor space, a collapsible kitchen island is your best friend! Its folding capability allows for easy storage. It can be used for meal prepping or for serving house guests. There is a wide price range depending on material and durability. Go for a cart with a wood butcher block top like this one with a stainless steel bottom or one that’s completely bamboo wood.  
  • Collapsible Colander – Just like that big salad spinner, colanders can be shelf hogs. If you don’t already have a colander in your over-the-counter cutting board, you’ll want to keep one of these on hand for rinsing and draining a variety of foods like cooked pasta, canned beans, and washing veggies. Keep it simple with a set of 2 or set of 3 in multiple colors or try this set of 3 with a variety of handle options.

More Space-Saving Suggestions

  • Over-the-Sink Cutting Board – Extend your counter space with your cutting board. Place these over your sink for easy clean-up when you have heavy chopping. This polypropylene board (BPA and phthalate free) has extra-long extensions and a silicone colander insert. For a more natural look, try this bamboo board with a collapsible colander.
  • Roll-Up Dish Drying Rack – Dish racks can make a counter look cluttered. Keep it out of sight with a roll-up version that also sits over the sink
  • Immersion Blender – These handheld gadgets are multi-purpose for pureeing, blending, frothing, beating, whisking, and stirring. Get one with multiple attachments for more cooking uses. Most are compact and easy to store. Here’s an 8-speed, 5-in-1 set blender or a simple 3-piece, 6-speed handheld.

More Small Kitchen Tips

There are countless ways to organize your cozy kitchen while making sure you have all the right tools and space to be the next top chef. Keep reading for more details on how to create a minimalistic kitchen.

Skip to Actionable Steps

A Gift For You

Win a free 1:1
coaching session!

A Gift For You

Win a free 1:1 coaching session!

Actionable Steps


Spring clean your kitchen

Do an inventory of your kitchen – the tools, utensils, appliances, and storage containers. Take note of what you have and what you need. What should you keep, what can you donate, what do you still need? Make some space for your new kitchen essentials.


Have yourself a merry little shopping spree!

Use the list above or continue researching more essentials in the articles below to make your own kitchen essentials list. Keep in mind the type of storage space, how much storage space, your cooking lifestyle (are you meal prepping once a week or cooking dinner every night?), and the type of recipes you most often make. These will help you determine which utensils and appliances are essential to YOUR kitchen. Get more ideas by browsing Minimalist Baker’s shopping list.


Re-organize all kitchen spaces

Now that you have just what you need and you’ve created a new space, take time to re-organize your kitchen and pantry space to promote your health goals. Get more tips on creating a healthy organized pantry from Nutrition Stripped.


Read more on this topic

Check out a Dietitian’s Kitchen Essentials by Daisybeet. Business Insider has 19 space-saving gadgets under $60 that every kitchen needs. McKel Kooienga, Ms, RDN, LDN talks about the top 21 Kitchen Essentials Every Kitchen Should Start With.

Coaches For All Your Self-Improvement Needs!

About the Author

shannon costello

Shannon Costello

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)

Hi, I’m Shannon! I’m a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Culinary Coach, and Personal Trainer. After dedicating over 8 years to the corporate wellness world, I began my own nutrition practice. Chef Shannon Nutrition focuses on plant-based nutrition and culinary coaching. My passion for culinary nutrition grew when I worked as a cooking instructor for a culinary entertainment company. After several years as an instructor and event coordinator, I moved into the role of Director of Culinary Entertainment where I developed all the recipes, menus, and instructor trainings. My dietetic’s expertise helped the company expand into allergy-friendly and health conscious menus to suit all clients.
Full Bio | LinkedIn | 1:1 Coaching

favouriteLoadingAdd to Favorites


Getting a Job
No data
Brent is a former Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm. During his 5+ years there, he worked ...



Sue Wang

Leave a Reply

Related Posts

How to Store Seasonal Food Long-Term

Trying to save money by buying in bulk and storing food? Use these tips on how to store food long-term to save money and eat well.

Hey there! Let’s get started.

Sign up with email
Have an account? Log in
By signing up, I agree to this platform’s Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Hey there! Join for free.

Access 1,000+ resources to change your life today. Sign up with email
Have an account? Log in
Are you a coach? Click here
By signing up, I agree to this platform’s Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Sign in with email

All sign in options

Welcome Back

Sign in with email
Don’t have an account? Sign up
By signing in, I agree to this platform’s Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Win a FREE Coaching Session

Achieve success like member Michael M - our coaches helped him to increase his salary by $60,000! Enter to win a free session with a self-improvement coach on our Sweepstakes page today.