Small Kitchen Storage Ideas

Kitchen storage ideas have been bouncing around in my pea brain for years...I have a small kitchen myself! I KNOW how frustrating it can be to find a place for everything when space is limited.

Try these kitchen storage ideas
in your kitchen!

Get creative!

"Remodel" your cabinets to create more storage.

This blind corner cabinet was adding a door on one end and long interior pull-out shelves on drawer slides.

Now the homeowner doesn't have to crawl inside to reach anything - it comes to her!

She can open the cabinet's original front door to reach things just inside.

Then for those items in back, she can open the side door and pull out the long shelves.

Use taller wall cabinets

If you're replacing cabinetry, run your cabinets to the ceiling...or use taller cabinets - 42" high is a great size.

You don't need "display" space on top of shorter need storage more. And who wants to get up there and dust?

Use glass doors on taller cabs - gives them an open "feel."

Move your cabinets up

Existing wall cabinets can be unscrewed from the wall (and each other, if need be) and repositioned higher on the wall. (For how-to tips, see Move Your Cabinets.)

Then add a shelf underneath! For spices, canisters, dishes, glassware...anything that looks good out in the open. Add cup hooks under the shelf for coffee mugs.

Or use some of your new-found space to install appliances under the cabinets - like your microwave!

Another option is glass stemware storage.

Move stuff out

First step in kitchen organization: go through your cabinets and remove everything you only use occasionally (or maybe never?).

Find an out-of-the-kitchen spot for rarely used appliances, gadgets and general extra stuff. Do you only use the breadmaker a few times a year? Store it in the guestroom closet, or under the bed.

I use the lower half of my dining room china cabinet for less-used items like the wok, milkshake maker, and small things. It's close to the kitchen but not taking up space in my cabinets.

Re-think storing pots & pans

Always a challenge! Base cabinets with built-in roll-out shelves - everyone sings their praises. I have these and they don't hold as much as you'd think! The shelves are narrower to fit in the cabinet, and the height between shelves doesn't allow much stacking.

Here are roll-outs that make sense: roll-out metal shelves - under the sink!

You probably keep some cleaning supplies under the sink, but this is a large space you could put to use for storing cookware!

Hanging pot racks are one of the great - and decorative - kitchen storage ideas.

BUT sometimes they create a visual "obstacle" - the last thing you need in a small kitchen!

This pot rack is tucked out of the way, and the number of pans and their size isn't overwhelming.

There's always a new gadget/gizmo to make pots and pans fit in a cabinet. Usually on websites that proclaim they have the latest in kitchen storage ideas.

If you're considering anything like this, look at the cabinet space the gizmo itself takes up - is it really a space saver? Or is somebody just trying to sell you something?

In my not so humble opinion, deep drawer cabinets are a great solution. They hold everything you cook with and can be placed right next to the stove.

But in a small kitchen you may not have room to fit in these cabinets and may have to create other, or secondary, spaces for storing cookware.

Look for vertical solutions

"Floppy" packages of stuff like rice and dried beans lay around in a cabinet and take up space. Store "floppies" in glass Ball jars...cut off the package instructions and tuck them in before you close the lid.

Throw out the old and the mismatched and treat yourself to a new set of storage containers. Square ones stack up better, and take up less space in the fridge or on shelves.

Borrow pantry storage from a nearby room

No room for a pantry in your small kitchen? Or is pantry space limited?

This homeowner likes to shop at Sam's Club.

She uses a piece of furniture in her adjacent dining room for storing bulk canned goods and large items like paper towels.

Note how the style of the "pantry" is similar to her kitchen cabinetry.

Create storage in a wall

Canned goods usually get lost in a cabinet's depth. Here you can see what you have in a glance.

This spot was carved out between the studs.

The wall behind it is a closet in another room, so the loss of "sound barrier" between rooms isn't a problem.

You could use this same idea to create a small niche for spices above the stove. For a cleaner, less cluttered look, buy glass spice jars. HINT: store your favorite spices in your kitchen, but put the rest in a drawer in the dining room hutch.


Put your backsplash to work

Great example of creative kitchen storage ideas: a backsplash knife block!

How many of your knives do you really use?

Go through 'em and toss (well, not literally) all but your favorites. Or store the lesser-used ones elsewhere.

This piece was cut from butcher block, split in two, reamed out with a router and then glued back together to hold everyday use knives.

Hang it up

Oven mitts and hot pads can hang inside a cabinet door near the stove.

Barbecue tools can be too big to store easily. Hang them from a rack on the wall.

Corner space to the rescue

Make use of oddball corners with corner cabinets like this unusual triangular pantry with a screen door.

Check online name-brand catalog stores for kitchen storage ideas for corners. You can find nice, sometimes inexpensive corner cabs - or have one custom built.

Open shelving

This is one of the best kitchen storage ideas for small kitchens! The open feeling is just what a small space needs.

Use shelves for real storage, but remember: stuff that's "out" can clutter up the look of an already small room. If, say, the bottom shelf holds not so pretty stuff, you might add short curtains or wicker storage boxes.

Shelves can be arranged to hold odd-sized items, like serving trays, that won't fit or take up too much space in cabinets. Large platters can be leaned upright against the wall, with smaller items in front to keep them upright.

Store items like dishes and glassware you use regularly - they won't have time to collect dust. I did this once in a kitchen of my own, using all white dinnerware on white shelves. The look was charming and surprisingly when someone "helps" they know where everything goes!

Remove anything not doing a job

Things in your kitchen not kitchen-related can go elsewhere.

Junk drawers can be relocated to other rooms. Ditto for boxes of trash bags and packs of paper towels. Even cookbooks can go in a bookshelf in another room - you usually use one at a time anyway!

To help you better organize your kitchen (and everything else for that matter), check out this great website - Tips to Organize Life.

Kitchen Plans for Small Spaces

Design Ideas for Compact Kitchens

Two Cooks

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Thinking of remodeling?

Keep a notebook or scrapbook of notes, clippings and ideas.

Kitchen magazines are expensive - look through them in the grocery checkout line. If you see pix of a kitchen you really like, buy that magazine.

Stop in at home centers and pick up any free cabinet manufacturers' catalogs.