The average size of a Tokyo apartment is typically pretty small, especially for single residents. For example, a typical 1K apartment (one room and kitchen) is around 25 meters. When I lived in a 17-meter place with my partner, what drove us up the wall wasn’t sleeping on a futon or a tiny balcony — it was making dinner in the one-meter-long kitchen.
My life consisted of one-pot meals, stacking cups like Jenga and appliances like our microwave doubling as a cutting board. Don’t even get me started on the no-oven situation. After moving to a bigger place, I am now blessed with a—ahem—generous two-burner stove. However, I still come across annoyances that I can’t “Marie Kondo” away.
Luckily for us, we are not alone. As this is a domestic problem, the Japanese kitchenware market has developed innovative products and appliances to cure our tiny-kitchen woes.
Attract attention with magnets
Your kitchen might be small, but it probably has a treasure trove of magnetic surfaces and the prime spot on the fridge. While mine is usually home to an impressive display of souvenir magnets, I could place several useful inventions for everything from towels to kitchen rolls.
If you have a larger fridge—lucky you—you may benefit from an all-in-one rack that can hold up to 9 kg.
Hang your fruit high
Organizing your kitchen doesn’t need to be bland. So why not breathe a little personality into your cooking sanctuary by channeling your inner bohemian. For example, if looking at your overflowing fruit bowl fills you with dread, then try hanging your produce with a mesh bag.
Mesh bags clear your cluttered worktops, let your potatoes and onions breathe and avoid the path of the humid-loving cockroach.
These mesh bags look stylish while also doubling as eco-friendly shopping bags. But, from my experience, you may need more than one if your other half often brings home a bushel of apples.
You can also use adhesive hooks. They won’t break the bank (prices start at ¥100) and are excellent in the kitchen. You can also hang a range of bits and bobs such as towels, spatulas and pots.
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