small kitchen tips
Katie and Martin Clemons share how they make super-efficient use of every inch in their 36-square-foot kitchen. How much appliance do you really need?
Ed and Joan Kobrinski left a large family home for a smaller, simpler cottage—and they’ve never looked back. Their tips for downsizing and living in smaller spaces could help make your transition easier.
Think your balcony's too tiny to provide food and fun? Check out Apartment Therapy's great tips for making the most of your outdoor space.
Empty nesters Ed and Joan Kobrinski downsized their lifestyle and moved to a smaller home where they could grow more vegetables. "We've learned to enjoy and appreciate living comfortably and contentedly with less," Ed says.
Readers share tips and ideas for saving time in the kitchen.
Readers share their best tips for keeping food fresh longer. Learn how to extend the life of all kinds of food, and prevent spoilage.
An annual survey of home buyers found that Americans want smaller homes with a focus on casual living and togetherness. From larger kitchens to outdoor living spaces, these 10 features were the most popular. Find out how you can get them, too!
Looking at the differences between the current homesteading movement in the USA compared to Smallholders in the UK.
Put your kitchen on an energy diet without spending money on new appliances. Use these simple tricks to use less energy while cooking, freezing and refrigerating--even drinking your morning coffee.
Follow these simple guidelines to make the most of your small space: contain clutter, find furnishings do double-duty, and make maximum use of color and light.
Learn three simple tips for making the most of small gardening spaces, including hanging plants and advice for selecting seed varieties.
Kitchen dish towels designated only for hand drying help keep germs out of the kitchen, without going on a fanatical sanitizing binge.
Creating your own start-up is full of obstacles, but rewarding. MOTHER EARTH NEWS reader Jessica Vaughan shares advice from her experience as a first-time small business owner who teaches clients how to grow organic produce.
Karen and Tony Tipsword's rehabbed 720-square-foot cabin allows them the freedom and independence to live their dream of running a campground. "Being happy does not mean a large home filled with things," Karen says.
A chainmail fillet glove revolutionizes a cook's potato-peeling technique. Plus, get recipes for potato and pumpkin curry soup and toasted pumpkin seeds.
Americans are turning to smaller, affordable housing. Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence looks into this trend.
Smallholder farmers around the world have practiced traditional, subsistence farming for as long as farming has been around. Using manure as a natural fertilizer can make the difference between barely scraping by and growing enough to earn an income.
Ryan Mitchell, founder of TheTinyLife.com, is saving up to pay cash for a 130-square-foot home on wheels in North Carolina. He’s seeking perspective, clarity—and a girlfriend who gets it.
Victoria Gazely considers her revitalized 650-square-foot homesteader’s cabin on 7 acres of fertile earth--purchased for $150--a blessing. “I absolutely love living here,” she says.
An experiment in urban gardening produces a melon miracle.
Natural Home bamboo kitchen tools are made without formaldehyde or other harmful additives, through a process that eliminates waste.
Chinese worker Chen Shun Qun says she is paid and treated fairly at the factory that makes Natural Home bamboo kitchen tools.
Natural Home chose bamboo for its kitchenware line because it's both sustainable and beautiful.
Readers share their favorite durable, long-lived, sturdy and well-made kitchen tools.
Read reviews of the best butter churns.
A recent American Institute of Architects (AIA) Home Design Trends Survey found that demand for luxury products is waning. In contrast, manufacturers are seeing an increased emphasis on both accessibility/universal design and renewable materials. Essentially, homeowners are shying away from expensive (and usually unnecessary) products that add little actual value to their home, concentrating instead on features that promote energy efficiency and sustainability.
Learn to create your own heirloom kitchen garden at this 3-course series in Pennsylvania.
Here are some ideas to help you plan and build a recycling center that’s just right for your environment.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence offers up some home decluttering tips.
The American Institute of Architect’s Home Design Trends Survey confirmed what Natural Home predicted in January—Americans are moving to smaller homes.
To satisfy today's home buyer, a developer of million-dollar luxury homes in New York is offering smaller, more affordable houses--more anecdotal evidence that the McMansion is dying.
From a little-known sugar substitute to a conversation-starting book, this list of items for the green kitchen contains a few surprises.
Roger Doiron, a MOTHER EARTH NEWS contributor and the found of Kitchen Gardeners International, recently spoke at a TEDx conference about the power of gardening.
Here's a tip on how to grow sprouts in your kitchen garden for fun and nutritious eating.
Builders and designers believe that low-e windows, engineered wood products and eat-in kitchens will be key characteristics of new homes in the future.
As the economy improves, the trend toward smaller homes is reversing.
A National Association of Home Builders report and a Better Homes and Gardens survey find that builders and homeowners are moving toward smaller, more energy-efficient homes.
Sometimes the most direct route to your destination may not be the most fuel-efficient.
15 tips to help you get rid of clutter once and for all and create a clean, serene home.
Green means go, but don't go too quickly.
You can boost your mpg by losing the cargo in your trunk. Then help reduce global warming emissions by sweating off a few pounds.
Slow down and enjoy the scenery — you'll also enjoy a significant boost in your mpg.
Forget what your grandpa told you — there's no need to warm up your car every cold winter morning.
Here's another gas mileage myth busted: it's better to turn off your engine than to leave it idling.
Make new friends, save big bucks on gas, reduce pollution!
5W-30? 10W-30? Be sure you get the right motor oil grade.
Give thanks and give back to the earth this Thanksgiving by greening your celebration. Here are eight tips to get you started.
Here's how to change your car's air filter — do it yourself to save big bucks and boost your gas mileage by 10 percent.
How long has it been since you checked your tire pressure?
Handy Camel multi-purpose bag clip earns several awards during release year.
These tips will help you keep your kitchen compost free of rotten smells and fruit flies.
Reuse various household materials to make a functional cheese press.
How to make a homemade cheese press in order to make a massive cheese.
Readers share reports about their favorite specialized kitchen utensils.
A wolf spider lives on our window sill, with a little help from her friends. Watch this video of a wolf spider catching a moth.
When you're facing a tricky woodworking project, it's a good idea to build a mockup
A Texas family searches for a suitable crop as supplemental income on four acres. After watermelons and flower fail, they succeed with luffa.
Homeowners want energy-efficient features and functional rooms that will expand on small homes’ square footage, according to a recent American Institute of Architects report.Homeowners want energy-efficient features and functional rooms that will expand on small homes’ square footage, says an American Institute of Architects report.
Living luxuriously doesn’t necessarily mean living large — at least not in these homes — and reducing a little waste doesn’t hurt, either.
Sayra and Dominic live with their 5-year-old daughter in a charming 550-square-foot home in rural Idaho. There are challenges, but they've found that less really is more. "It's like living in a fun clubhouse," Sayra says.
Outdoor kitchens, dining areas and living rooms are a great way to expand your home's living space. Designers offer advice on how to make the most of the great outdoors--in your own backyard.
Don’t let this tricky pipe slow down your projects — these CPVC basics will help you ease into those plumbing repairs.
Wood stove considerations that should be considered before you purchase a stove.
Mother has always known best, and these tips for reusing what would otherwise be garbage are as relevant today as they were in 1970.
Considerations of sustainability factor into countless supplies, tools and methods present in your garden. What do you do in your own garden to be a sustainable gardener?
Clearing out life's detritus is an important first step when spring cleaning. Follow these tips to make clutter-free, organized living possible.
The fields that were laid out in 1843 for livestock farming are teeming with hay-making grasses.
Katie and Martin Clemons are resetting their priorities as they settle happily into a 480-square-foot apartment in Berlin. “Living smaller has taught us to live more simply,” Katie says. They bike more, shower less and enjoy their good life.
I’ve learned that gardening in small spaces can be challenging, but I’ve had great success with a Topsy Turvy tomato planter this year. Have you used similar products in your home? How do you handle gardening in small spaces?
This unusual water-powered clock from Bedol is powered by salt and water.
Diana and Tony Varnes are the happiest they’ve ever been, and they attribute their well being to living in a small home. They have more time for reading, talking and enjoying the outdoors—and their relationship is better than ever.
The Bedol water-and-salt-powered clock runs for six months on a teaspoon of salt.
The right recipe can convert people who think they don't like cooked greens, or energize cooks in need of fresh ideas. Here we offer a roundup of recipe ideas for garden-fresh greens from arugula to turnips.
Learn about the many kitchen and community projects supported by SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education), including the training necessary to be able to sell value-added food products at markets.
Canning won't heat up your house when you set up your own portable outdoor canning kitchen.
Keep your garden safe by testing your organic materials for herbicide residue. A few simple tests can help you avoid harming your plants.
Feeling blue? Try these simple happiness exercises including bouncing on an exercise ball and smiling while holding a pen or pencil in your mouth.
Natural Home editor in chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence suggests some tasty, eco-conscious recipes and tips for your Earth Day celebration.
Consult these seed starting tips for easy advice on seed planting, using the best materials, watering, grow lights and more.
Want more gas for your money?
Catch the gardening bug, and start to grow your own food! Once you start, you’ll love it. Here are some basic pieces of advice for the budding gardener.
Don't rip yourself off at the gas pump — stop topping off!
Car tips for prepping and survival for driving in extreme winter weather.
A contribution for wildfire mitigation.
Sue Parker shares her grandmother's secrets to a strong tomato crop.
Don't over-stay your welcome at the hive. Give your bees space.
The first frost of fall is a significant change in the garden. It is a sign of summer vegetables finishing and cold crops coming into prominence.
Apartment Therapy's annual Small Cool contest, featuring homes of less than 1,000 square feet, is a gold mine for smart ideas that make tiny spaces elegant, graceful and liveable.
How to flush a small engine and repair a clogged carburetor.
This year readers were concerned about bedbugs and greenwashing, and everyone wants to know more about smaller homes.
Small house builder Rich Daniels seeks to cluster 100 homes under 400 square feet in a former sawmill.
Help us find the small U.S. towns and cities that are getting it right for citizens and the environment.
It's important to prepare your Micro Dairy or small farm for winter by making small improvements to your facilities. But it's also important to mentally prepare for the dark, cold months.
Save energy and resources and reduce waste when traveling by dumping all your trash in one receptical.
My grandmother taught me everything I need to know about keeping my house clean--without chemicals.
So maybe you can't afford the pricey furniture and decor on display at the design shows in Milan and Vegas. Just take a look at these ideas and start riffing.
A surprising number of amenities found in a small town complete with western hospitality.
Reasons why we like to shop at our local grocery.
Watch a video of a traveling sheep shearer at work and tell us about small-scale farming artisans in your region.
Gary Chang's brilliant solution to making a 330-square-foot apartment work for his family was to create a sliding wall system that can be configured into 24 different rooms. You have to see this one to believe it.
What we have found as an advantage of having a rural hardware store close by.
On a snowy winter morning, the kitchen table becomes the grand cathedral of a home. It is the place of family, song, wood fires, community and love as we wait for spring.
Simran Sethi discusses the "wood" that makes up our kitchen cabinets, as well as more eco-friendly (and people-friendly) alternatives.
Set up a washing station in your garden. Rinse your veggies there, saving the water for the garden and keeping your kitchen clean.
Chris Larson's Asheville, North Carolina, home--already a superb example of smart, passive solar design--gets even better with the addition of solar hot water collectors.
Kitchen Gardeners International's 20ate campaign urges Americans to say no to junk food.
Rosemary is known as a tasty condiment, but it has also long been used as medicine, and makes for a blissful foot soak.
When you get home today, do this simple test: Close your fridge door on a dollar bill or piece of paper; if you can pull the bill out easily or worse, if it falls, then it is time to replace the seal.
Did you know that heat transfer through windows can account for up to 25 percent of your energy bill by allowing heat out during the winter, and makes your air conditioner work overtime to combat the sun’s warming? Drafts and leaks can be the biggest culprit of energy waste but can also be fixed with relatively little effort.
Attics can be a huge energy drain if they are not insulated sufficiently. We’ll leave the
heavy lifting for next weekend, but for now look for uneven insulation, base sports, water damage, and anything else that looks out of place.
It might seem like a small thing, but your refrigerator can be a HUGE drain on your energy bill. We’ve already shown you how to check for leaks in your refrigerator seal—now let’s take the next step in keeping your fridge in top working order.
Use our popular When to Plant app to know when to plant each crop in your area.
Get tips on growing watermelons from the expert growers at Willhite Seed company, which offers dozens of unique watermelon varieties.
Calculating your fuel economy is easy and can help you save big bucks at the pump.
The vegetables and herbs that are still available in our Southeast garden make for delicious, festive and surprisingly varied holiday fare.
Learn how to rotate crops with this helpful crop rotation video.
Send us your garden tips and you could win a free deluxe, ergonomic garden trowel.
Here are two helpful tips that will help you have a successful tomato plant.
Cole takes you through the first steps in learning to cut your own meat - sourcing.
Don’t let the cost of gardening keep you out of the dirt this year. Cheap gardening can be fun and easy. With these tips for gardening on a budget, you’ll save on seeds, make your own fertilizer and impress your friends with your gardening know how.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS contributing editor and compost expert Barbara Pleasant provides some great homestead compost tips in celebration of Compost Awareness Week.
This blog post explores eco-friendly gardening tips to refreshing your garden tools, furniture, accessories and outbuildings without the need to buy mass-manufactured goods or use harmful chemical treatments.
When the dining table is laden down with mail, laptops and other clutter, the entire house feels messy. Follow these seven steps to keep your dining table free of detritus. (Set it for dinner right after breakfast, if you have to.)
Follow these tips to banish clutter and increase your efficiency, from your home office to your garage.
Gene GeRue relates the lessons he learned from a childhood of frugal living.
Before space beneath your grow light is needed for onions and other early seedlings, fill it with baby lettuce grown in translucent clamshell salad containers.
A potential solution to rising food prices, food insecurity and the obesity epidemic may call into play raising farms inside the city limits.
Ranging in size from 528 square feet to 960 square feet, miniHomes are a combination of park model trailer, manufactured home and code-compliant residences that combine modern design with state-of-the-art building technology.
Some people just do not want help! The frustrations of starting a business and attempting to offer professional help to community organizations.
One farm is able to combine cost savings, with energy sustainability by using a Savonius rotor.
Our guest blogger is positively enchanted by the convenience, not to mention the benefits, of keeping worms in the garden.
Finding time to make improvements on a small dairy is difficult but making a few improvements as the seasons change can often make a micro dairy or any size small farm more efficient. Here are 7 steps to help you prepare your barn for the cold winter months.
Living in a tiny house is good for the environment and for the wallet, but requires a lifestyle shift for the inhabitants.
Anyone can have an indoor supply of fresh greens. Just try nutritious microgreens and sprouts year round.
The original weeHouse prefabricated kit house is 435 efficiently designed square feet and comes with everything you need to live well. Need more space? You can snap together two or more of the modules to satisfy your needs.
Renovating a heritage log cabin DIY style isn't easy, but with some thought and attention to detail, it can be done - and cheaper than you might think.
Homeowners are willing to splurge on kitchen and bath remodels, but they're not interested in building luxury or second homes, according to an American Institute of Architects survey.
In an era of increasing volatility of the weather and climate, we need new coping skills. Preparedness is an important factor in dealing with bad weather events.
Food preservation expert Sherri Brooks Vinton makes food preservation look easy and shares helpful hints about equipment and technique during a standing-room-only workshop at the Fair.
Air conditioning accounts for as much as 20 percent of the average homeowner's utility bill. These simple tips can help you reduce your mechanical cooling needs, meaning more money for you and better-quality air for the world.
Not quite ready to get rid of family heirlooms and art that you don’t have space to display? The Japanese practice of rotating precious items through a special alcove, or tokonoma, on a seasonal basis is less painful than giving away or selling them.
“For anyone considering downsizing, or considering a small starter home, we say just do it!” Linda Bolton says. “We promise you won’t miss a thing living in a thousand square feet or less. You’ll just have smaller headaches.”
Landscape designer Alma Hecht turned a tiny house into a welcoming home and studio with cozy outdoor "rooms" that extend her living space.
In support of the Obama Administration's all-of-the-above energy strategy, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced Nov. 19, 2012, 10 small business-led projects to speed solar energy innovation from the lab to the marketplace.
Victoria Gazely lives in a 650-square-foot homesteader's cabin built by a man who didn't need closets. She's found five great ways to stash her stuff without renovating--and her solutions work for anyone who needs to hide a few things.
Tips for starting seeds indoors and a calendar for when to start your seeds indoors for a Zone 6 garden.
We all have hoarding tendencies. If yours are getting the better of you, rest assured that there are support groups and professional organizations just waiting to help.
We can learn a lot from the Amish, who have passed down wisdom on living simply and celebrating community for generations.
Flea market shopping takes dedication and agility--and it's a ton of fun if you're well prepared.
Researchers have found that inhaling a bitter substance calms and dilates the airways. Can sniffing horseradish also calm and soothe the mind? Sniffing horseradish works for Ellen Sandbeck; can it work for you?
In my hometown of Boulder, Colorado, kids are leaving town and dumping a lot of really good, useable stuff. If you have a college in your town, it's a great weekend to go Dumpster diving near campus.
Things to consider when purchasing a new or used tractor.
Use a digital tire gauge and learn how to check tire pressure regularly to get better gas mileage. While other types of gauges exist, the digital tire pressure gauge is an accurate and simple way to keep your tires properly inflated. Read this digital tire gauge review to see what digital tire pressure checkers you can buy.
Using an old-world technique, Russians are growing their own organic crops -- and it's working.
Watch this short video to hear how bicycle travel can save small town America.
What to plant in April for your vegetable garden, and what sized pot you need for your vegetable plant.
Anecdotal evidence from coast to coast indicates that Americans have had enough of granite countertops and whirlpool tubs. They want smaller homes with green finishes instead.
Help save this small family farm in Michigan, and stand up for our right to live sustainably!
A wind energy expert discusses the durability of small-scale wind turbines.
Book reviews by permaculture educator Cindy Conner. Learn about Sustainable Market Farming, The Art of Fermentation, The Permaculture Handbook, and The Small-Scale Poultry Flock.
Transitioning seedlings from indoor starts to outdoor plants
Harvesting abundance in the early spring.
Is your patio short on space? Check out the Hot Pot BBQ, a grill that doubles as an herb planter.
How the small town atmosphere can enhance your homesteading and living.
A short description of why we prefer small city living over large city living.
Preserving an abundant basil harvest for the coming winter.
Use of a mobile chicken tractors allows us to keep the birds on fresh ground and stay on top of the weeds.
A proper tea house is a luxury I believe in.
The author discusses setting up small-scale dairy for local, doorstep milk sales in Great Britain.
Living in possibly the best place in the USA.
After working four jobs to make payments on their larger home, Debra and Gary downsized--to 320 square feet. The family lacks for nothing, and guests are always welcome. "I've got everything I need," Debra says. And their $20K house is paid off.
When he renovated his 816-square-foot condo in Boulder, Colorado, Greg Miller borrowed space-saving and efficiency solutions from his years of living on the road. Check out this video of his van, prepped for adventure.
A Berkeley, California, artist has outfitted a dumpster with all the amenities--including granite countertops and hardwood floors--in his mission to "break down what a house should be."
A brief announcement of a rare educational opportunity ... a wind turbine installation. We'll be installing a 2.5 kW Skystream wind turbine on a 127-foot tilt-up tower.
How prepared ahead of time for remote living and what was required.
Join two modern homesteaders as they begin down the road toward building their small home and self-reliant farmstead on their new piece of raw land in northeastern Kansas.
If you want to own property, you have to find a way to finance buying land. Here, one couple explains how they took out a mortgage to build a home and purchase land.
Tyler and I spent an afternoon creating a footpath and campsite in our woods. Now we can go camping with friends and enjoy meals (and s’mores) over the campfire whenever we have the time or desire.
In order to access our land and put in a driveway, we need to secure an entrance permit. If you're planning to buy land and build a home, check what your entrance permit requirements are before you purchase the property.
If you want to be hands-on with your house building, a kit home can be an affordable, energy-efficient option. One homesteading couple assess whether building a kit home is right for them.
In order to secure a building permit to construct their future home, we must first complete a soil evaluation and meet the county's requirements for septic system installations.
Check out these tips and share your ideas for welcoming 2010 with a green New Year’s Eve party.
In a wabi-sabi house, space and light are the most desirable ornaments. Follow these steps to clear the clutter so they can shine through.
One small brown bat can eat several thousand insects each night. Install a bat house and invite them to feast in your yard.
Heritage breed chickens are more nutritious and flavorful than store-bought chicken, but require different cooking techniques. Learn different methods of cooking different age and different breeds of chickens.
Housekeeping tips mined from the second issue of Mother Earth News--published in 1970--are surprisingly relevant today. Use these to make this task--which we all have to do sooner or later--more efficient and enjoyable.
Blume Distillation debuts appropriate-scale biofuel distillation equipment that will allow farmers, entrepreneurs, municipalities and communities to produce their own alcohol fuel from a variety of readily available fuel stock sources.
Christy Oates's brilliant fold-out furniture takes up virtually no floor space when it's not in use. It's the perfect solution for small homes--and a hopeful sign for the future of design.
Community food events are an outstanding way to share the abundance of our harvest and strengthen local community ties.
As winter descends a three-season hoop house is weeded, compost spread, and a straw mulch applied. Next spring will be here soon.
This tiny kit home--less than 90 square feet--is energy-independent and so well-designed that you'd never miss the space.
While many indications point to house size shrinking in America, National Public Radio reports that the McMansion is far from dead.
In her new book, Micro-Green: Tiny Houses in Nature, Mimi Zeiger profiles 36 creative, innovative small dwellings that represent a "new, rich architectural typology." Here are eight great examples to start fueling your fantasies.
We received some good additional tips on buying land and building a home. These pieces of advice are a roundup of comments taken from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Facebook page.
Whether you are buying a house, purchasing land, or getting ready to build your own home, we recommend starting by setting your priorities and then matching a house design to your needs.
One homesteading couple reads up on passive solar house design and then modifies online options to create their own custom passive solar plans. Here are their recommended resources.
One homesteading couple learns what a land survey plat is, and then proceeds to have a plat completed of their rural property.
Simran Sethi discusses easy (and free) ways to reduce your water footprint.
Baking the Great American Apple Pie chases away the blues and grays that sometimes afflict the homestead.
Simran Sethi describes the choices she made for her eco-friendly kitchen remodel.
Apartment Therapy's smart, comprehensive guide to the best summer flea markets and salvaging spots nationwide just might influence your summer travel plans.
In my quest for the most energy efficient ceiling fan, one model blows the rest away. Now is the time to install ceiling fans for lower electricity bills this summer--here's how.
A listing of companies that offer green dwellings in the form of modular, prefab, manufactured, compact, or mobile structures. These days, many such options are available that are not only green, but also beautiful, well-made, and often low-cost.
Homegrown vegetables are a lesson for kids in where food comes from.
With no building experiment and only the information they found online as their guide, Kyle and Jeannie built a sweet little home on wheels. In this video, they share what they learned in the process and invite you inside.
D Acres offers alternative economics. We are the 99&: join us.
After a tree crushed the back of their shotgun home (while 40 Hurricane Katrina refugees were camped out there), a Baton Rouge couple rebuilt a green, energy-efficient house that encourages connection with their neighborhood's "front porch" culture.
If you have access to small diameter trees and wood pallets, and live in an area not restricted by building codes, then this truss design is one good low cost roof option. If you do all the work yourself, these trusses are virtually free.
This article describes an alternative roof design for those building in areas without building codes. A little extra effort working with poles will reward you with a stunningly beautiful wood ceiling and superinsulated roof at very reasonable cost.
Leaves are a valuable source of mulch and fertility within the permaculture garden.
The roundwood truss system described here enables DIYers to build their own trusses at very low cost. You can gather truckloads of poles from national forests, enough for several small houses, for the cost of one $25 firewood permit.
The process of curing potatoes for winter storage.
With its newest offering, Tumbleweed Tiny House Company gives homebuyers the flexibility of a kit house with the fine craftsmanship they expect from the flagship small home builder.
New investment in clean energy reached $243 billion last year, driven by soaring activity in China, offshore wind and European rooftop photovoltaics
Black bears and rural living go hand in hand in many parts of North America. So how do you keep bear/human conflicts to a minimum?
There's honey in the hive, peaches on the trees, and food on the table, but it's still a long way from self-sufficiency.