Not all of us are blessed with large kitchens with tons of storage. For those of us with small kitchens, it can take a little more work to keep our cabinets from overflowing and still leave enough workspace for cooking. If you have a small kitchen, effective storage can be life-changing.
You can keep all your stuff in your small kitchen. Instead of throwing stuff away, it is time to get smart. Get ready to reclaim your cooking space with these 30 storage ideas for small kitchens!
You are not the first person to struggle with storage space in the kitchen. Who is ever really satisfied with the amount of storage in their kitchen? This problem has been around for a long time, and people have invented quite a few handy gadgets over that time to make kitchen storage easier and more efficient.
This is deceptively simple, but it is also unbelievably useful.
Investing in a small rolling cart can give you massive amounts of additional storage. This lower storage option can be great for those who have trouble reaching high shelves, and it can be rolled out of the way when you need more room.
This 4-Tier Mesh Wire Rolling Cart from Pipishell is a great option for around $30.
One of the less expensive things you can buy that will greatly increase your storage space is stacking shelves. These shelves can be placed on your existing pantry shelves to easily turn one shelf into two. You can also put them on your countertops.
Check out this set of 6 shelves from Smart Design for a better idea of what these shelves look like and how they work. There are a wide variety of designs when it comes to stacking shelves, so pick something that goes with your kitchen!
Stacking shelves can also be a low budget option. There is a huge variety available, so it simply depends on what you choose. You can splurge or save.
Magnetic Knife Holder
A traditional knife block is large and clunky, taking up valuable counter space. Instead, you can use a magnetic strip mounted on your wall to store your knives both within easy reach and safely. There are a lot of options, so find the size and style that works for your kitchen!
Pegboards are not just for storing tools in the garage anymore. Hanging one of these versatile storage devices on your kitchen wall may be the answer to all your kitchen storage problems.
Pegboards offer not only a large amount of storage but also storage options that are adjustable. With one of these, you can hang pots, pans, cutting boards, cooking utensils, cups, or anything else your heart desires. When your storage needs change, your pegboard can change with them.
With a variety of colors, sizes, and accessories to choose from, you can find a pegboard that fits your kitchen and storage needs.
While you may not have room for an extra pantry, your kitchen may have room for this narrow shelf. At only 4.7 inches wide, this shelf can slide in between your fridge and the wall or fit discreetly near your wall.
This narrow shelf is perfect for storing cans, bottles, or snacks. At only $50, it provides 5 extra shelves of space.
If you want something more creative, check out this do-it-yourself narrow shelf from Classy Clutter.
Low Budget Options
Those gadgets are neat, but what if you want to save space and money? If you are trying to organize your kitchen on a budget, these options are an efficient way to do just that.
The diversity and usefulness of this simple item cannot be overstated. You can attach file holders to the inside of your cabinet doors for an instant trash bag or box storage. You can use them to separate and hold your cutting boards. You can use them to neatly store pans and even water bottles.
File holders are the unsung heroes of kitchen organization. With several of these, you can turn your clutter into organized bliss and free up space.
Maybe the pegboard idea appealed to you, but you don’t want to spend the money on the full ensemble. Hanging things is still a great way to store items when you have little space with which to work.
You can get a set of adhesive hooks for fairly cheap and start hanging your cooking utensils and pans instead of letting them pile up in a drawer. You can also buy hangable rails with hooks for under $15. The more stuff you hang, the more counter and cabinet space you can free.
You can also attach adhesive hooks to the inside of cabinet and pantry doors for hidden hanging storage.
If you don’t want to hang things on the wall or simply don’t have a lot of wall space, consider installing some basic tension rods in your cabinets. With these, you can create hanging spaces for mugs, cooking utensils, and even pans within the confines of your already existing storage space.
Hanging Mason Jars
These are a cheap and easy do it yourself storage idea that will save you space and give your kitchen some unique décor. You can hang mason jars under your cabinets for hanging storage of food staples such as pasta, rice, and sugar. Check out this tutorial to see how to make them.
You can also try this using small jars for a cheaper spice storage option.
Under Shelf Basket
This is the opposite of the stacking shelves from earlier. Undershelf baskets hang on your already existing shelves in your cabinet or pantry to create additional storage space. You can get two from Simple Houseware for around $15, making them a more budget-friendly additional shelf option.
Organize to Maximize Space
You would be surprised by how much space you already have in your kitchen if you cut down on the clutter. Here are some tips and tricks to contain the clutter and make more use of the storage you already have.
Turn Deep Shelves into Drawers
Our pantries often look like they have so much space, so why do we often feel like they don’t? Pantry storage tends to be deep rather than wide, so as we store more items, other things get pushed to the back.
Soon we can’t find what we need because of the clutter, and we end up buying more of the same thing, which only adds to the mess. You don’t want the clutter, but you also don’t want to give up that storage space in the back, so what can you do? Turn those deep shelves into drawers!
Don’t worry; this does not involve any renovation or expensive device. In fact, all you need are some plastic bins. Line your shelves with plastic bins that are as long as the shelves are deep. Put your pantry items in the bins instead of on the shelves.
With the bins in place, you can simply slide them out like a drawer to access everything in your pantry with ease. This trick will effectively increase your storage space by allowing you access to your entire pantry. You will be amazed at how much more you can fit inside your pantry with this simple hack.
Divide your Cooking Utensils
Another trick to clear up clutter and free space can be found inside your drawers. While many of us use dividers for all silverware, have you ever considered that something similar could be used for your larger cooking utensils as well?
Many of us have an entire drawer in our kitchen for various cooking tools such as pizza cutters, measuring cups and spoons, large spoons, spatulas, and more, and it isn’t long before it starts to overflow. If this is you, invest in some dividers for this drawer. With everything neatly stored, you can likely fit more in your utensil drawer.
If Tetris has taught us anything, it is that square shapes are much easier to stack and fit in tight spaces. Apply this philosophy to your cluttered kitchen, and you will be amazed by the results.
Instead of tossing your groceries as is in your cabinets, pantry, and fridge, doing some organization can go a long way in making more space overall. Store your staples such as flour, sugar, rice, pasta, cereal, chips, and more in storage containers that can be easily stacked.
It also helps if you have clear containers and use labels. Then you can easily locate things, and you won’t be tempted to push things around, making clutter all over again.
Have an Organization Plan for Clutter Prone Items
Some items are more prone to clutter and mess than others. Identifying what areas are the messiest will allow you to organize and save space without having to tackle your entire kitchen.
Two common places that could often use some extra help are our pot/pan storage and our food container storage.
Getting a pot and pan in most kitchens is a loud and awkward process. Stacking pans and pots together may seem efficient, but it makes it harder to get to any specific one. Using something as simple as a file holder to separate and hold your pans will keep the clunking to a minimum.
How many of us have located a Tupperware bowl for our leftovers only to be unable to find the lid? Many of our storage containers are piled together in one place. Organizing this can save both space and time. There are several food container organizers available online if you do not know where to start.
Whatever it may be, finding your most cluttered kitchen space and giving it an organization makeover will prove useful in adding storage to your kitchen.
Keep Your Pantry Updated
How much room is taken up in our cabinets by long forgotten and expired goods? Probably way more than we would like to admit. Commit to keeping your pantry up to date to avoid overbuying and consuming extra space.
One effective method for ensuring your pantry stays updated is the first in, first-out rule. Instead of placing newly purchased items at the front of your pantry, place them in the back. This will ensure that the old stuff gets used up first.
Some places in your kitchen make for excellent storage if only we thought to use them. Here are some places that can help you get more out of your kitchen that you may not have thought to use.
I know what you are thinking. If I put things up high, I won’t be able to reach them, and they will fall. However, you can easily and safely take advantage of those high places by storing items in baskets.
Put items you use less often in baskets and then place them in those out of the way places such as on top of the fridge or cabinets. When you do need to use them, simply take down the whole basket for safe and efficient retrieval.
Baskets will keep your kitchen looking neat while secretly letting you store way more items in the open.
Have we mentioned that hanging things is a great way to store extra items? It really is. Your walls are probably the most underutilized space in your kitchen. If you start using this blank space, you will find you have way more storage than you thought.
Hooks and pegboards aren’t the only great things you can hang on your walls, though. A set of small shelves can give you a myriad of storage possibilities. Cookbooks, spices, dishes, mugs, storage containers, and whatever else you want can go on a shelf. You can put hooks under the shelves for double the storage space.
You don’t need to install a large shelf or an enormous pegboard to take advantage of your wall space. A couple of small shelves to hold oil and everyday spices or a magnet strip for your knives will immediately clear up your counter space.
What do you do when your cabinets are filled to the brim? Use their doors for additional space! Attaching a few caddies (or a file holder) to the inside of your cabinets doors will instantly create another small storage area.
In addition, if you have a cabinet with a blank side, this can be a perfect place for some more hanging storage with the use of a few hooks. You can also really take the back of the door storage to the extreme with an over-the-door organizer in your pantry.
If you stop to think about it, there are likely a ton of spaces in your kitchen where you can stick a hidden caddy or basket to hold a few more items. Taking advantage of a number of these tiny places will add up to create a kitchen with a lot more cooking space and storage.
If you happen to have a window in your kitchen, congratulations! You have even more storage options. A window sill can be a great place to store items. Everything from cookbooks to cooking materials can go on this narrow space.
You can install a tension rod in the window frame for additional hanging storage.
If you are worried about blocking the light, you can still take advantage of the window sill by using it for smaller items that will not interfere with the sunlight.
Tilt-Down Sink Drawers
Ever wondered what good you could possibly get from those fake tilt drawers under your sink? These can become a great place to store sponges or brushes for washing dishes. Check out this easy tutorial from Domestically Speaking to figure out how to make these spaces usable.
Storage or Décor?
When you run out of places to put things away, why not put them in the open? The need for more storage space can also double as a chance to add some décor to your kitchen. Don’t be afraid to get creative, and you can add both beauty and functionality to your kitchen.
Make a Hanging Display
We have emphasized hanging items in a variety of ways throughout this article because it is one of the best ways to create storage space where there was originally none. If the idea of hanging a bunch of stuff on your walls seems unattractive, make your storage solution a piece of décor with a tasteful hanging display.
Cutting boards, aprons, and pans can be mixed amongst pictures, and decorative items for a wonderful kitchen themed wall that is both beautiful and practical.
Move Stuff out of the Kitchen
If your kitchen is too small, why stay within the confines of the kitchen? Letting your kitchen storage spill over into other parts of your house can be a creative way to decorate and keep your kitchen clutter-free at the same time.
A tall bookshelf in the dining room can hold large serving bowls, dishware, or an array of bottles and spices. With just a little arranging, such a shelf quickly goes from storage to elegant décor.
Rolling carts can be used to great effect this way as well. Decorate the top with a vase of flowers and a few pictures, and it will make a cute addition to any room while providing storage underneath.
You can also use a rolling cart to set up a coffee or wine station in your living room. You and your guests will love the convenience, and you will have saved space in your kitchen.
Display Your Dishware
Have you ever seen fancy china displayed in a glass case? It is no secret that dishware can be art, and you can take advantage of this with your dishes to save both space and make a unique statement piece.
By displaying your dishes, we do not mean putting them in a glass cabinet and never using them. Instead, simply think about storing your dishes in the open on a shelf or open case. Your dishware, whether it is simply plain white or quite decorative, will add an elegant look to your home while remaining easy to access.
Maybe these ideas sound great, but you were hoping for some larger projects that will add a lot of brand new storage in one go. If you are ready for something more, here are some bigger ideas for kitchen storage.
A Hollow Island
Even a small island in a tiny kitchen can make an enormous difference. While we normally think of islands as increasing counter space, they can also provide quite a bit of storage if you invest in a hollow one.
You can get a hollow island that is only open in the back so that you maintain that classy island feel while still getting storage. You can also install a tension rod and curtain across the open space of the island if you want to hide the storage.
Naturally, this is a more expensive storage idea, but it will effectively give you more drawers and more counter space. The added storage from a hollow island will also be easy to reach, which may make it more practical for some.
Whether it is at a breakfast nook or the table, consider replacing some of your seating with a hollow bench. This can quickly create a fairly large storage area. It is a great place to put things you do not use very often or to keep table essentials like napkins within easy reach.
Item Specific Storage Ideas
For those of us with very specific storage goals, here are a few items to help you organize those particular items.
Tea Bag Organizer
For something so small, tea bags can quickly cause a large mess. Especially if you drink more than one type of tea. Instead of having multiple boxes and tea bags scattered about, invest in an organizer. This can sit next to your kettle and stylish display your tea collection.
There are a lot of options when it comes to teabag organizers, but we like this tea bag carousel from Nifty Solutions for $20.
If you prefer coffee to tea, don’t let your K-Cups take over the pantry! Check out this K-Cup carousel for a stylish way to store your coffee.
If you are one of the many people who like to collect mugs, then your cabinet may be overflowing with your collection. Here are a couple of helpful projects to tame your mugs.
· Alliebe 3 Pack Mug Storage Hooks: At only $12, these simple hooks hang on your cabinet shelves. At six hooks per rail, this 3 pack can store 18 of your mugs.
· Tree Stand for Mugs: This is a countertop option from DII that you can keep near your coffee maker or kettle. It costs around $25 and holds 12 mugs.
· Wall-Mounted Coffee Mug Storage: Don’t forget about the wall! With this 3 pack from MyGiftSet, you can hang up to 21 mugs.
If they are just sitting in your cabinet, your various spices take up a lot of room, and when they are all piled in one space finding the one you want quickly becomes a headache. Investing in a spice rack can consolidate your spices into a small space and make them easy to find.
There are numerous types of spice racks out there, so here are our three favorites for saving space:
· SWOMMOLY Spice Rack: This $60 spice rack comes with 24 empty bottles and 396 labels. It can be hung on a door, placed on a counter, or slid into your pantry, giving you a variety of storage options.
· Kamenstein Revolving 20-Jar Countertop Rack Tower: If you want something that looks nice enough to be displayed on your counter, or simply won’t take up as much room in your cabinet, this revolving rack tower is an ideal choice. At $45, this spice tower comes with 20 spices and free refills for 5 years. Take care of storage and your stock in one swoop.
· Spice Rack Organizer For Cabinet Door: If you aren’t into the idea of purchasing new spices or pouring them into new jars, this spice rack is perfect for your already existing collection. This set of 4 racks can be hung on the inside of your pantry or cabinet doors. It comes with both adhesive hooks and screws for hanging and is a cheaper option for around $23.
While fresh produce is a wonderful thing to have on hand, it can also take over your counter space. Luckily, you can get storage bins specifically designed for your produce. This 3 tier storage basket from Saratoga Home Store can be mounted on the wall and has chalkboards for easy labeling.
If your small kitchen is overflowing, don’t despair, and don’t throw anything away! Using just a few of our 30 storage ideas can reduce the clutter and help you get your kitchen back. Making a couple of small changes will add up to a lot more storage.