Tiny House: Think Outside the Oven Part 2

Now that we have our 448 square foot beach cottage with its small kitchen and carefully selected appliances, countertops and cabinets, we had to figure out the most efficient ways to utilize it. We only have 5 upper cabinets, 4 lower cabinets (one is used as a pullout trashcan/recycling can), and 4 drawers. Not much for two people to live with! We have played around with the workflow and best setup for the past 9 months, and have discovered a few rules that work.

Distinct Areas for Everything

Food is always stored in two upper cabinets which have become our pantry. Pots and pans are in the 3 lower cabinets, and all plates and cups/glasses in 1 big upper cabinet. We use several tiered racks and bins to elevate or separate items so that they are easily seen.

Less is More

We only have enough plates and cups and silverware for the two of us to eat each day, so approximately 6-8 of each. We wash a full load of dishes each night. Also, we do not buy grocery items in bulk, since storage is limited. A neighborhood market is 3 blocks way so we walk there for refills as needed. Some items like paper towel rolls that are large and cheaper are stored in our mobile storage unit as needed: ie the car.

Special Cabinets are reserved

The big cabinet under the sink is used only for our dog- food, treats, her toothbrush etc. The high cabinet over the microwave that is hard to reach is perfect for storage of cleaning items that we only use weekly, like Windex or trash bag refills.

best workflow for Cooking

Due to the L shape of the countertop, it only works for one person at a time. We love Food Network and have seen shows where teams of chefs take turns prepping and cooking. So I prep by myself by pulling out the needed appliances, cut up vegetables and leave spices or cans on the countertop. All the while my husband relaxes in the den (or porch if the weather is nice with a glass of wine or beer). Then we switch and he cooks the delicious meal while I relax. After the meal, we take turns cleaning up immediately. A small kitchen that is the focus of the house must be clean every minute. We also use the kitchen table as an extra food prep area as needed.

Magnetic Hooks on the Fridge

These magnetic hooks are a lifesaver. They hold up to 20 pounds (!) and I use them for cutting boards, ladles and tongs to hang on our steel fridge. I also use them for jewelry, coats and purses on the washer and dryer in the bedroom. They are my favorite trick for a tiny house!

Microwaves Don’t Just Heat up food- they can Cook!

I discovered a wonderful pasta cooker called “Fasta Pasta” from Rachel Ray. It cooks all types of pasta quickly in the microwave, freeing up our one portable stovetop burner for sauces or other ingredients. The pasta turns out perfectly al dente in 13 minutes or less. No need to boil water!

Next blog will address how we designed our small bedroom, and tips to make it efficient for storage. Remember, we have no closets anywhere, so clothing storage was a challenge. To Be Continued!

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1 thought on “Tiny House: Think Outside the Oven Part 2”

  1. Very well thought out and with all of the special touches very comfortable .
    Be sure to add that you also have room for a sweet dog I’m glad that you are enjoying your tiny house. You and. C have done a good job

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