This Small-Space Expert Shares Her Smartest Kitchen Organization Tips
Pro organizer Jakia Muhammad has a knack for small spaces — which makes sense because her own home is just 980 square feet. “I have a very simple style, and I tend to purchase whatever catches my eye but I try to ensure that it flows with what I already have at home,” says the CEO and founder of SoleOrganizer of her rental apartment near Baltimore, Maryland. “While I don’t consider myself a minimalist, I don’t like to overwhelm my space with a lot of belongings because then it will require more work for myself to maintain.”
Curious about Muhammad’s uncluttered style and her approach to organizing small spaces, we were more than excited to take a peek into her apartment — and behind her kitchen cabinet doors. We took the tour and found three smart tips worth noting. Come along, and let’s take a look!
Take the full tour: This Pro Uses All Her Favorite Affordable Products and Tricks for Organizing Her Rental Apartment on Apartment Therapy
1. Don’t overspend on organizers.
One key takeaway: You don’t have to spend tons of money to be organized. Expensive doesn’t necessarily mean better. In fact, Muhammad often shops at budget-friendly stores, such as Big Lots!, Ross, HomeGoods, IKEA, and Target for most of her organizers. “I found it challenging to work within a budget but it also allowed me to really stretch my skills,” she says. Her best advice is to look for deals. “My shopping trick is to check out the clearance section because many items located in that area are functional but the store may be discontinuing the item.”
2. Only buy organizers when there is an immediate need.
Muhammad says the function of an organizer is first and foremost in her mind. “My rule for when it comes to purchasing organizing and lifestyle products is to make sure that there is an immediate need for the product and that it guarantees to solve a problem,” she says, explaining that it’s important to find organizers that don’t just add to the clutter.
Take, for instance, the Joseph Joseph tiered organizer Muhammad keeps near her stovetop on her kitchen counter. The simple product serves multiple purposes: It hides her tea bags and makes a prominent stand for her salt and pepper shakers.
3. Use Command hooks for just about anything.
Instead of feeling limited by space, Muhammad says she enjoys living in a tiny apartment because it forces her to be creative and think outside of the box. Part of that draw, she explains, comes from creating space out of thin air. To do this, Muhammad has invested in a few versatile Command caddies to maximize her pantry storage. “They’re inexpensive and can be easily removed,” she says, pointing to the four placed on the back of her pantry door where she stores spices.
She’s even spray-painted silver Command hooks cream to match her walls to hang a curtain rod. “I purchased a $3 bottle of spray paint from Michael’s and transformed silver hooks into a cream color. It may seem very small but it makes me feel good when I have an idea, I execute the idea, and the outcome comes out better than expected,” Muhammad says.
Are you inspired by these practical organizing tips? Share your own advice in the comments below.