Best Storage and Organization Ideas for Small Kitchens

Last Updated on March 23, 2023

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Storage and Organization Hacks for Small Kitchens

Small Kitchens are a pain in the glass.. bakeware. There’s nothing worse than being cramped in a small and cluttered space while trying to prepare food.

Reasons why Small Kitchens are a Huge Bummer

Cleaning up and organizing a small kitchen can be stressful since there are only so many places to cram stuff. Plus, not having enough space for ingredients, pots, pans, and bakeware forces you to narrow your arsenal of meals that can be prepared. Both of these issues can really bring down the kitchen vibes.

Reasons your Kitchen isn’t Big Enough

The reasons for small kitchens are pretty easily identified – older houses from before the 1950s usually have tiny kitchens, apartments and duplex homes often have small kitchens, and poorly designed or remodeled homes can have small kitchens.

However, “small kitchen” is a bit of a general term and can actually refer to a combination of one or more problems:

  • Not Enough Counters or Countertop Space
  • Not Enough Cabinets or Cabinet Space
  • Not Enough Drawers or Drawer Space
  • Poorly Designed Kitchen Layout
  • Not Enough Floor Space
  • No Kitchen Pantry

Check out these tips below to remedy some of the problems and make the best of your small kitchen!

Countertop Space-Saving Hacks for Small Kitchens

Some kitchens just don’t have enough countertops. Some kitchens have plenty of countertops but they just aren’t used effectively! Here are some space-saving countertop tips for getting the most out of those precious countertops!

  • Use Tiered Fruit Baskets to Save Countertop Space

  • Two and Three tier fruit baskets are a great way to organize counter space by organizing vitamins, small snacks, and even spice containers when a conventional spice rack won’t work in your kitchen. I guess you could even use them for fruit as well..

  • Wall Mounted Paper Towel Holders Save Counter Space

  • Moving your paper towels from the countertop up to the wall can save valuable counter space. Using a paper towel rack with an integrated shelf above it will give even more space to store small items that clutter your kitchen. I recommend mounting the shelf with screws and not adhesive though, for obvious reasons!

  • Over-the-Cabinet Towel Racks Save Wall and Countertop Space

  • This two pack of towel racks that hang on the front of cabinet doors are perfect for getting rid of the countertop towel rack, or if you don’t have wall space for a towel bar.

  • This Spice Rack Holds More Spices by Storing them Horizontally

  • Most spice racks are just tiny shelves to set your spices on, and they really just take up space instead of saving it! This spice rack stores spices stacked horizontally with lid labels that are easily read with a quick glance. Storing the same amount of spices in a conventional spice rack would take up a lot more space on the wall or countertop!

  • This Over-the-Microwave Shelf makes the Most of your Countertop Space

  • A shelf over your microwave is a great way to get some extra storage space out of a small kitchen. Over-the-Microwave shelves are a great place to place for a toaster to live. If your microwave is near the stove then the shelf can be used for a spice rack too, and the hooks on the side are perfect for hanging pot holders!

  • Move your Microwaves, Air Fryers, and Toasters to a Mini Bakers Rack

  • Need countertop space but have some empty floor space in your kitchen? Use a small bakers rack to get your microwave, toaster, air fryer, and other things off the countertop to free up space in your small kitchen! This is especially useful if an over-the-range microwave won’t work for you!

  • Install an Over-the-Range Microwave to Save Countertop Space!

  • Installing an over-the-range microwave is a great way to free up countertop space by getting the microwave off the counter. If there’s already a vent-a-hood over your range, don’t worry because there are over-the-range microwaves that also function as exhaust fans and have lights for making your range easier to cook on!

    To see more brands, sizes, and colors of over-the-range microwaves at Amazon just click here!

Pantry and Cabinet Space Hacks for Small Kitchens

Not having enough cabinet space can be a huge pain! Some times you just need help using the cabinet space to it’s fullest extent, and sometimes you need to actually relocate items from the cabinet shelves to a new home. Use these small kitchen tips take advantage of every square inch of cabinet space possible!

  • Under-Sink Organizers help Maximize Storage Space for Cleaning Supplies

  • Using a two-tier under-sink organizer takes advantage of vertical space that is otherwise lost under the sink without it. Two organizers can even fit if your sink doesn’t have a garbage disposal installed on one side!

  • Over the Cabinet Door Storage Racks Save Cabinet Space

  • These storage racks for the fronts of cabinet doors are a great place to store cutting boards, baking trays, and anything else that’s small enough to fit but takes up too much room on the countertop or in a drawer.

  • Stackable Shelves help use Cabinet Space more Effectively

  • Some times you have lots of short items in a cabinet that leave a ton of empty vertical space. Use stackable cabinet shelves to fit more in your cabinets and use the space more effectively.

  • Risers make Finding Canned Goods in the back of Cabinets Easier

  • Canned goods hidden behind other canned goods can be a pain to find, and sometimes get forgotten. Use shelf risers to make canned goods easier to spot and grab instead of having to move everything around every time you want to eat your favorite soup!

  • Find Spices in your Cabinet Easier with a Rotating Lazy Susan

  • If you don’t have the wall or countertop space for a designated spice rack, then your spices are probably in a cabinet near the stove. Use a lazy susan that rotates to easily find your most used spices without having to dig around the cabinet every time! Just make sure the lazy susan you get is skinny enough to fit in the cabinet where your spices are kept!

  • Adhesive Shelves for the Inside of Cabinet Doors Save Space

  • Cabinet shelves are usually empty towards the top, leaving a negative space that is perfect for these shelves to live when the doors are shut! Make the most of your cabinets by sticking these shelves on the insides of the doors, just make sure you don’t store things in them that are too heavy!

    Drawer Space-Saving Tips for Kitchens

    Having small drawers or too few drawers can lead to all sorts of clutter issues. Use some of these drawer space-saving tips to get back your drawers!

  • Convert the Fake Drawer in front of Your Sink to a a Tip-Out Tray

  • Most kitchen sinks have a fake little drawer front above the cabinet doors, use this kit to transform that waste of space into a tip-out tray for storing small things you might need at the sink. Just remember to let anything wet dry out before placing it in the tray otherwise it might drip down in the cabinet or even grow mildew!

  • Use a Utensil Holder to take back a Whole Drawer

  • If you need some drawer space but have some countertop space to spare, get a utensil holder to free up a whole drawer or two!

    Some utensil holders have dividers to separate utensils, some have built-in lazy susans that spin, and there are even some some combination utensil and knife holders!

  • Store Pot & Pan Lids on the Wall to Save Room in Drawers

  • Often enough there’s just enough room for a set of pots and pans to live nicely in a cabinet or drawer, but when it comes to storing the lids it all becomes a huge mess. Use these wall shelves to store cookware lids on the wall to keep everything nice and tidy.

  • Use Wall Space and Utensil Racks to Free Up a Drawer

  • If you don’t have the space on your countertop for a utensil holder, try using a wall-mounted utensil rack to free up some drawer space in your small kitchen!

  • Use a Wall-Mount Rack to get Foil, Wrap, and Bags out of the Kitchen Drawer

  • If you have some wall space to spare, try a wall-mount rack for storing boxes of sandwich bags, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, and wax paper!

  • Over-the-Cabinet Racks for storing Foil and Wrap with Bonus Towel Hanger

  • Check out these over-the-cabinet door racks that store items like foil, food wrap, and bags inside the cabinet while giving you a towel holder on the front of the door! That’s saving drawer space, and wall or counter space at the same time! Perfect for the under-sink cabinet doors.

Other Awesome Hacks for Small Kitchens

Sometimes semi-drastic measures are needed to free up space in small kitchens.

  • Use a Standalone Pantry to get Dry Food out of your Cabinets

  • Have empty floor space in your kitchen but not enough cabinets? A standalone pantry like this is perfect for getting food out of your kitchen cabinets. If you don’t have room in your kitchen to add a pantry, try stealing some floor space from the next room over! Having a seprate pantry in the dining room is a great way to free up some kitchen space.

Customize your Kitchen Storage and Organization Buys so they Match!

Remember, if any of the things above clash with your kitchen, just get some aerosol primer and spray paint! Anything listed here could be painted almost any color under the sun to match your small kitchen’s vibe! If you’ve never used spray paint before, here’s a crash course on how to spray paint things with good results:

30 Second Spray Painting Crash Course for Kitchen Hacks!

  1. Spray paint in an area with lots of ventilation. Use a flatted cardboard box, plastic, or an old sheet to paint on top of or the paint will get on the floor.
  2. If the item to be painted has large flat surfaces that are very smooth, scuff it up with steel wool or some fine grit sandpaper.
  3. Wash the item with hot soapy water and let it dry thoroughly, this removes any oils and dust so the primer sticks.
  4. Start off with 1-2 light coats of primer – use metal primer for metal and plastic primer for plastic.
    • Make sure you shake the can of primer thoroughly for a whole minute first.
    • Spray paint in slow sweeping motions about 8-12 inches away from the item.
    • Don’t stop moving while praying, and don’t get too close, or there may be drips/runs.
    • Read primer instructions on whether to wait for it to dry between coats.
  5. Follow the primer with 2-3 coats of your choice of paint color!
    • I recommend using Flat, Satin, or Semi-Gloss paints only.
    • High-Gloss paints can often turn out bad, especially on large flat surfaces. It’s better to use a flat paint and then follow it with a few coats of clear gloss!
  6. Let the primer/paint fully dry before trying to touch it or you will get fingerprints. You may need to do extra coats at different angles for total coverage, just make sure to wait betwen coats otherwise runs and drips may occur.

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