We can’t all have a sprawling kitchen with ample storage for all our stuff and yards of counter space for prepping those elaborate meals we drool over in cooking magazines. If you have a kitchen that is not as well-appointed as you’d like, there is no need to settle for what you’re given.
It’s a good idea anytime you’re making an expensive home improvement to make sure you understand your financing options. Home owners often use home equity lines of credit (HELOC), personal loans and/or credit cards to help pay for remodels large and small, but they all come with different terms, benefits and pitfalls. For example, a credit card may have a higher interest rate than a HELOC, but if you default on the credit card debt, your home won’t be in jeopardy like it would with the HELOC.
No matter which option you pursue, you can check your credit score for free on Credit.com beforehand to see which options and interest rates you’ll qualify for. And if you spot errors on your credit, disputing them can get them fixed quickly.
Here are some ways to make the most of your small space.
1. Island Time
If you’re lacking in storage and/or counter space but have some floor space to play with, Doug Hopeman, CEO and decorator at ArtificialPlantsandTrees.com suggests opting for an island with wheels. “Using a mobile island … can help maximize space in your kitchen. An island can be used to store and prep simultaneously, and you can move it to create more space when needed,” Hopeman said.
2. Think Beyond the Kitchen
Does everything in your kitchen have to be there 24/7? Probably not. Architect Frances Temple-West of Sargenti Architects in Philadelphia said “figure out what kitchen items you use on a daily basis and keep only those in the kitchen. Store the rest in a nearby closet. You probably only use a fraction of the kitchen gadgets and storage containers you have on a regular basis.”
It may take some trial and error to get it right, but once you have your daily-use items readily available and secondary items stored nearby, you’ll have freed up a lot of precious space.
3. Mobilize Your Bar
Along those same lines, make more room for your kitchen essentials by moving all your barware and cocktail supplies to a bar cart in another room. Hopeman said, “Bar carts offer multiple shelves and space for you to fit alcohol, glassware, and even mixers.” Overstock.com has a large range of bar carts in a variety of styles, from modern to rustic. The carts with the best storage start at around $118.
4. Put the Cabinet Doors to Work
Temple-West suggests utilizing the inside of your cabinet doors for storage.
For example, if you have more available cabinet space than floor space, try an in-cabinet trash can like the In-Cabinet Can by Simple Human ($30 at Simplehuman.com) to free up floor space. If you are lacking drawer space, use a cabinet door rack, like the Home Basics Wire Food Wrap Organizer ($12.99 at BedBathandBeyond.com) to hold tin foil and plastic wrap.
5. ‘Under’ Think It
Most kitchens have cabinets on the walls, but if you don’t have anything mounted under them you’re ignoring precious real estate! Take a good look around the room for usable space underneath a cabinet or two. Whether you use that space for an under-mounted appliance, like a microwave or toaster oven, or a wine bottle/wine glass rack, like the GGI International Sorbus 6-Bottle Wine Glass Rack ($20.99 at AllModern.com), you’ll be putting underutilized space to work.
This article originally appeared on Credit.com.