Cooking in a small kitchen can be frustrating, but cooking in a cluttered small kitchen is surely desperate. What’s worse is chaotic countertops lend themselves to unnecessary injuries related to chopping and sautéing.
Luckily enough, there are thousands of small kitchen storage ideas that can help you cut clutter. Rather than go over every small kitchen remodeling trick, I decided to come up with the ultimate kitchen storage guide. Below is the roundup of the easiest and smartest kitchen storage tips.
Let’s discover hidden storage space around your small kitchen.
1. Inside Cabinets
When it comes to kitchen cabinets, there’s no such thing as too many. But, before you tear down your walls and add more cabinets, ask yourself if you’ve already made the most of your existing cabinets. Unfortunately, more often than not, the answer is NO.
Believe it or not, there’s lots of wasted space, like those dead corners, inside your cabinets. Here are a few solutions to make every inch of your cabinet space count.
Stop cramming everything into your cabinets. An overcrowded cabinet will only lead to disorganization, making it difficult to access items at the back of cupboards. To keep your kitchen storage organized and easy to access, try adding a pullout shelf to your cabinets. This type of shelving allows you to see and reach everything, saving you time when searching for items in your cabinets.
You can also use it in your bottom cabinets to store bulky pots and pans. You won’t have to get down your hands and knees when taking care of heavy cookware.
Rollout Trash Bin
Don’t let your garbage can get in the way. Just like those pullout shelves, a rollout trash bin concealed inside the cabinet can offer quick access. Most importantly, it won’t take up any of your precious real estate when it's not in use.
Converting your bottom cabinet into a rollout trash bin is totally DIY-friendly. Nevertheless, if you can’t pull this off, ask your local kitchen experts for help.
2. Behind the Cabinet Door
Plastic wrap and aluminum foil are must-have items in every kitchen. Given their slim shape, you would assume they wouldn't take up too much of your drawer space. Wrong. If you’re like me, crazy about the Stretch-Tite plastic wrap from Costco, believe me, you'll cry for more drawer space.
In fact, instead of storing plastic wrap and aluminum foil in the drawer, why not place them behind your cabinet door? All it takes is attaching a magazine file at the back of your cabinet door. And I assure you that your plastic wrap and aluminum foil will fit perfectly in the magazine file.
3. Above Cabinets
Every homeowner hates the awkward space between the top of cabinets and the ceiling, but not you, small kitchen owners. As I mentioned in 11 Small Kitchen Ideas That Make A Big Difference, you should see this tricky spot as a hidden gem in your tiny kitchen.
Take advantages of that wasted space by adding a few dressed-up, enclosed boxes to hold seasonal kitchen appliances you don’t access year-round.
4. Under Cabinets
If you can hide items above cabinets, why can’t you use the empty space under those cabinets? This Ikea toe-kick drawer will not only retrofit your existing cabinets, but also offer you extra room for holding cake pans or baking dishes.
Given that most tiny kitchens can’t accommodate a standard range accompanied by a storage drawer under the oven, this hack will certainly come in handy.
Just because your kitchen drawers are full, that doesn’t mean you’re putting them to good use. A well-organized kitchen drawer should allow you to open and close smoothly and find what you need immediately. Therefore, if your drawers are full of kitchen tools you only use once a month or even untouched, it’s time to clean them out. This way, you’ll have room for frequently used utensils.
The most common way to de-clutter kitchen drawers is using storage trays. However, storage trays are designed for flatware, utensils or knives. Hence, when it comes to keeping pots and lids organized in kitchen drawers, most will fret. (We all know how frustrated it is when seeing pot lids rattling around and getting lost in drawers.)
Don’t fret just yet. By positioning a short tension rod in the drawer, you can create an instant divider to separate your lids from pots. Also, remember to lean lids against the rods on the smaller side, so they’ll stay in place.
Built-In Chopping Board
Counter space is precious in small kitchens. So, why waste it with a large cutting board? Consider tucking away your cutting board in the top of a kitchen cabinet drawer. The built-in cutting board can offer handy functionality as well as extra work surface.
I highly recommend installing this built-in cutting board over a pullout garbage bin. With a hole cut through the cutting board, you can dump scraps directly into the trash. And there’s no need to worry about cleanup after a long prep.
6. The Small Gap Between the Fridge and the Wall
Did you know that you could store food not only in the refrigerator, but also in the space between the refrigerator and the retaining wall? Look around your refrigerator. In general, there should be a four to 10-inch gap between the refrigerator and the wall. That’s the perfect space for a slide-out pantry you can use to stock canned goods or spices.
7. Wall Studs
Make up some of the lost storage by borrowing space in between wall studs for small niches. I especially admire this appliance garage idea, since it lets you hide small appliances you don’t often use. Most importantly, the sliding tray design can prevent you from throwing out your back next time you need your five-quart stand mixer.
8. Open Shelving
Every storage shelf has two surfaces, but oftentimes, we only use the top-facing surface and ignore the underside. Yes, due to gravity, it seems impossible to store your stuff upside down. Fortunately, there’s always a way out. Get some mason jars with metal lids and screw them into the bottom of your shelf. Then, fill the jars with spices, nuts or whatever you want to keep on-hand while cooking.
Don’t forget to remove labels from jars, so you can see what’s inside without guessing. The best part yet, these glass jars can also be a beautiful display, bringing charm into your small kitchen.
9. Empty Walls
I always encourage small kitchen owners to use very inch of wall space. Whether you want to install a wall-mounted rack or use a magnetic strip, just follow the “go vertical” rule. However, if you have a wall-mounted rack on one wall and a few magnetic strips on the other, your small kitchen can feel very claustrophobic rather than clutter-free.
Here comes a de-clutter idea. Hang a small pallet to integrate all of your wall stuff together. The wall-mounted pallet offers the perfect foundation where you can put your pot racks and magnetic strips in one place. This way, your small kitchen will look much nicer and neater.
Cooking in a cluttered small kitchen is not the end of the world; it only feels like it. If you spend a few minutes taking a look at these nine places, you’ll find that your small kitchen can actually store more than you think.
With the arrival of the hectic holiday season, it’s time to reorganize and de-clutter your small kitchen. Thus, you can ensure your family and friends won’t get hurt when they’re helping you prepare that holiday meal.
Do you know any other storage tips for small kitchens? Feel free to share your ideas in the comments section below. We’re looking to hear more creative ideas from our fans!