Here in our little Tiny House, we’re all about living small. We like keeping things basic and simple. At the same time, though, we aren’t about living like pre-historic caveman. In our view, Tiny Life is such a raw balance of keeping only what you need, while living comfortable enough to actually like it.
One of the most important and discussed areas of Tiny Life is, of course, the kitchen. It’s where meals are stored, planned, created and served. Without any form of a kitchen, you really couldn’t sustain life in a tiny home.
When we first started creating our house design, the kitchen scared me. It’s important to me to serve my growing family a nutritional variety of foods, but I was worried that living small would mean I would need to get rid of most everything I used to cook, thus lowering the quality or variety of foods we could experiment with. Although we did get rid of over 50% of our kitchen supplies, there are some basic essentials we opted to keep that keep Tiny Living bearable, but still small and within our means.
Without further ado (and in no particular order);
10 Must- Have Tiny House Kitchen Essentials
- Crock Pot
It is just so nice to sometimes place all of your nights planned dinner into a one place, and literally leave it alone for 6-8 hours to cook. Voila, it’s a meal! And it is glorious! For those of us who have jobs that keep us busy during the day (and sometimes late through the evening), there is nothing more refreshing then a meal prepared that morning that had little to no effort in the actual cooking process. So much better then grabbing that Little Ceasers or Taco Bell.
2. Stove Top (more then one burner!)
Seriously the stove + oven combo we choose is my fave. Although microwaves do the job for most food products now a days, there are simply some things that require a stove top- and nearly every Tiny House sports one. I would definitely recommend having more then one burner. Not only does it simply save time when you are cooking a meal with multiple components (pancakes, eggs and bacon, anyone?), it just makes tiny life easier.
In the early stages of designing our kitchen, Jeff + I completely disagreed whether an oven was necessary or not. I stuck my foot down and demanded the ‘luxury’… and three months into Tiny Living, I would consider it anything but a luxury. Considering about half of our meals every given week is cooked inside of our stove (fish, pizza, chicken, etc) it allows us to eat the healthy variety we desire without being limited to boiled, and stir-fried meals. (Bonus: banana bread. ‘Nough said).
4. Proper Cooking pots + pans
Ya’ll, in the very early stages of downsizing I know it’s easy to believe you can live off of a large pot and a single-burner stove for all of your meals- but let’s be realistic. You don’t need a extravagant amount of cooking items, but you do need the basics. A skillet, two (or three) different sizes of reasonably sized pots, and a baking sheet (which is used for so much more then baking). This saves you from using a over-sized pot for one cup of rice, or having to try to fit all of that spaghetti in a tiny sauce pan. Creative storage is your best friend for this one.
5. Mini Fridge (and freezer)
Not much explaining for this one- I think most people would agree that a refrigerator is a necessity. Although we are feeding our family with just a mini-fridge, we have seen Tiny Housers opt for bigger sizes to meet their personal comfort desires. However, it is possible. We’re able to store over a weeks worth of food for two + baby in our little guy.
6. Suitable (and Stylish) Storage
I can’t stress this enough! Know what you are keeping, and then make sure you have the space for it! Whether you are opting for a open-shelving design or prefer to hide the essentials in cabinets, keep it cute! This is your home, after all, and the last thing you need is a unorganized, cluttered small kitchen to enhance the inevitable stress life throws your way. However, if your house has a small bright, organized, and stylish kitchen that you love and filled with food you love more- hello, stress reliever.
7. Medium- Large Sink
Recently, I’ve been seeing a lot of Tiny Homes that sport super cute yet super tiny kitchen sinks. I mean, it’s awesome if it’s a bathroom- but your kitchen?! As most tiny people, Jeff + I do the dishes by hand. Having a larger sink allows us to place them in the sink vs. our counter, and is especially helpful for the larger dishes that may need extra time to soak and/or are splash monsters (you know what I’m talking about).
8. Dish Drainer
So, once your dishes are all washed (from your medium sized sink, of course), they have to get put away eventually. So unless you are *that* person who washes each single dish, then dries, then puts away, and repeats (or have a handy helper every time to do the drying and putting away once it is shiny clean), it’s really inconvenient to stack the dishes all on the countertop until you can get to drying them. Hence: dish drainer! The best part is, by the time you get to them, they are partially dry!
9. Cutting Board (lightweight)
I’m *that* person who has never really cared about nicking countertops or cutting fruits in my hand (my whole life has been with laminate countertops, so I was never worried!) However, that changed once we moved to the tiny house- the countertop is a gorgeous Aspen Wood, and as a soft wood can be cut into easily. Oof. I’ve already made one or two marks on our countertop, and it’s pretty sad. Also, much more sanitary to just pull out a cutting board. Although there are a lot of stylish ones out there, I would recommend a lightweight one that gets the job done over a heavier yet gorgeous one. We have a bamboo cutting board- which looks amazing and makes me feel like such a great chef- however it’s heavy and space consuming. Think light!
10. Dish Cloths + Rags
To end our list, another no-brainer. Or is it? We condensed our dish cloths to four- two small washcloths and two drying cloths. Quickly, we realized we needed more on hand. The washcloths get dirty so so fast, and our drying cloths often are soaked after a day. Although we often try to rotate those out by placing them out in the sun for a bit, everything just collects yucky stuff quickly. This past week, we grabbed an extra washcloth and drying cloth- and it is so. worth. it.
There you have it! Our top ten must-have kitchen essentials! This list is ideal for our family of two (and soon to be three!), however needless to say every family *is* unique and different. A college student roughing it on his own may have a very different list then ours!
If you didn’t feel like reading all of this, just watch the video below!
Thanks for reading! Until next time.