The beautiful grand kitchen. It’s every mom’s dream right? Or maybe a husband that does all the cooking and cleaning is, but hey – we will settle for the big kitchen right? But what if you have a smaller kitchen? It may not have all the room that you’d like, but with the right small kitchen storage ideas, you can still have an amazingly efficient kitchen that you love. You might even love it more than you do that imaginary big one!
What is the best way to organize a small kitchen?
Small kitchen organization can be done easily with a few simple tricks!
I’ll share a secret…I actually love the challenge of a smaller space. I love that it forces you to get creative with the space and maximize it. It also helps to set limitations on what you can keep and increases the likelihood that you are simply keeping what you actually need!
How do I add storage to my small kitchen?
Is it really possible to make your small kitchen feel bigger?
Well, you may not be able to make it bigger, but you can definitely make it more functional and maximize the space you do have. Small kitchen organization can help you feel like you’ve got a great kitchen even if you don’t have the square footage you wish you did.
You might say things like..”but I don’t have any space”
And, I would say
1 – you likely are storing things you don’t use or need (ie. too much stuff) .
2- you need to look at your space through a different lens.
To address #1…
Simplify what’s in your kitchen
In order to leverage every bit of space in your kitchen, we are going to simplify. Those of you who have been following along with me know this is always the first step in the Life Made Simple strategy. The less stuff you have, the less to manage, the less potential wasted space, AND the more storage you’ll be able to utilize for what you actually use. Do you need 6 spatulas? I don’t think so, friend. You only have 2 hands, right?
When you simplify, you’ll be amazed by how much space you actually have and how little you really need.
So let’s clean out and get ready for optimal small kitchen organization. If you need help getting started with simplifying, just check this article out!
To address #2…
Here are a few things you can do to “add” storage to your small kitchen:
Move your junk drawer to another space
I can’t tell you how many kitchens I have been in that have 2, 3 even 4 “junk” drawers. That is valuable space that can be better utilized for kitchen specific items. Find a drawer, one drawer, in an adjacent table or sideboard that could spare some space to house those random, homeless items we all tend to have.
Furthermore, it’s likely that you don’t really need all the things that are in your junk drawers anyways. Clean out duplicate items and then use the one drawer as a proper home for the things you feel are worth keeping.
Hang utensils in cooking area
I love to put cooking utensils in a drawer but if there isn’t enough drawer space, consider hanging your utensils (large spoons, spatulas and tongs) to keep counter space free and clear of the oh-so-common utensil canister. This also helps you use underutilized wall space, keep your counters ready for cooking, and all together make it less likely to attract clutter.
Small kitchen storage ideas sometimes just take a little creative thinking, but are not hard to achieve!
Skip the pre-sized drawer dividers for cooking utensils
The idea of pre-sized drawer dividers is a good one, but somehow it just doesn’t work that well in real life, especially if you are trying to create more small kitchen storage.
Instead of the pre-sized drawer dividers, we opt for something like a non-slip drawer liner (my all time favorite secret weapon) to help hold items in place, therefore keeping things organized, but not taking up extra space or wasting the space you do have.
If we don’t use non-slip drawer liner, we recommend an expandable drawer divider to maximize your drawer space. Often the pre-sized drawer organizers end up wasting space and don’t fit all of your utensils.
Add a magnetic board for small kitchen storage
Adding magnetic boards in smaller spaces is great for knife storage and spice storage. This easy to grab method is a great way to open up the drawer and counter space and maximize wall space that would otherwise go unused.
Not to mention, you can use it as fun decor if you are creative and intentional when you organize it.
How do you organize a small kitchen with few cabinets?
We tend to think that more cabinets equals more storage, and while that’s true, it can still be wasted space or space we think we “need to fill with something”.
You can create small kitchen storage just with a few tricks within the cabinets you already have!
Adjust your shelving to make more space
Did you know that you can actually change how your shelving sits? If you’ve looked at the inside of your cabinets you’ve probably noticed those little holes on the side. You simply lift the shelf up, move the pegs to the hole or height you prefer, and this can help create more storage space.
I often bring the shelves down to a reachable height so we can store, and reach, all the things we need on a daily basis. Let’s avoid scaling our counters and cabinets to get that bowl for soup. Eek!
When your cabinet shelves are at reachable height, you feel like you have more storage…because you do! No more wasted shelves that are inches from your ceiling.
When you need just a little more space, you can add additional shelving to maximize your cabinets.
Cup Holder For Under shelf
Where are my coffee addicts? One thing we like as much as we do our coffee is the cute mugs we drink it from. If you want to clear out a shelf for other storage, then simply grab cup holders/hooks to put underneath your cabinet or shelves so you can hang your coffee cup collection. Not only does it help with small kitchen storage, it helps you get that cup of coffee in the morning even faster. Win-win right?
Add pull outs to cabinets
Did you know that you can change the kind of shelving you have altogether? You can add a pull out like these to make the cabinets you do have more accessible, better organized, and triple your storage space. No more getting on the floor to try to dig out that pan or can from the very back of the cabinet or losing half of your food inventory to the black hole that is the back of our cabinets.
Although, this option is not inexpensive, I find it is one that has a huge ROI.
With one swift pull and glance, you can easily see what you have and what you need when it comes to grocery shopping and meal prep. No more buying an extra can of beans “just in case,” aka “you have no clue what you actually have in your pantry.”
It also helps you see all the small appliances and gadgets you have and prevents you from wasting money replacing what you couldn’t find or thought you lost.
File your lids
When it comes time to cook, the last thing you want to do is dig through a pile of pans and lids.
I love to stand my lids up vertically with this trusty rack so there is no digging or clanking. You can even take it to the next level and place the rack into a drawer or pull out so you can easily see and access your lids. There are a variety of racks out there to fit various lids and even pans.
Decant your pantry items
Combining your “like” items is another great way to save space. For example, if you have two open bags of spaghetti noodles, combine them in a see-through container. This opens up more storage and also is aesthetically pleasing.
Boxed packaging not only takes up more space, it isn’t very airtight and prevents you from seeing what you actually have.
Depending on what you are storing (and whose little fingers will be handling the container, you can choose glass for things like rice, flour, and coffee. For snacks and cereals I recommend something more durable like plastic.
Food storage contained
The dreaded tupperware storage. When you end up with all the different brands and sizes, it can seem like there’s really no great way to organize all the parts.
First of all, if your collection is old and full of mismatched pieces- invest the $20 and start fresh (your sanity is worth it). A matching set that can nest conveniently will make storing it so much easier.
Also, think about how much Tupperware do you really need? How much food are you actually storing all at one time?
Once you have the collection and the quantity that suits your needs, my favorite trick is to stack the containers and secure the lids separately using a drawer divider or container. It saves space and makes it easy to find the lid when you need it. Sanity saved!
Turntable for spices or sauces
If you check out my Simple Shop, you’ll see I have a few different turntables I love. Different sizes serve different purposes in different spaces. Incorporating a turntable helps you see and grab everything, even if the item is way in the back. You are making the small kitchen storage you have more efficient and useful with one simple turn.
If you’re running short on cabinet space, but your drawer space is readily available, you can also use one of these great drawer inserts to keep your spices organized and front and center. No more wasting spices or buying four paprikas “just in case”
So you see, you don’t really need the big grand kitchen. You just need a few small kitchen storage tricks and organization to help maximize the kitchen you do have.
If you’d like to take the next step in making your kitchen the space of your dreams, then grab my Kitchen/Pantry Organization Kit for only $27!
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I like your suggestions, thanks. It cracks me up, though, that everyone besides me calls all plastic food containers "Tupperware" when none of them are Tupperware brand. I used to sell it in college decades ago, that ain’t it in the pictures above, just sayin’. Keep up the great job of helping us simplify.
Thanks for your comment. You are right, not all plastic food containers are in fact the Tupperware brand. They have been popular for so long that I think many people still associate the name with plastic food containers. There are many other options out there now, as you can see. I agree, it is funny that we still use the brand as an association!
Thank you for pointing that out and for being a part of the Life Made Simple fam! We love that we are able to help simplify! 😀