How I Maximized Storage Space for Kitchen Tools in Our Small Apartment

Kitchen Organization

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Welcome to my living room, which also functions as a morning writing desk, food photography station, and kitchen storage spillover space. Do you think it looks cozy, cluttered, or somewhere in between?

Let me tell you how I've arranged things to take the best advantage of our home's limited space.

My husband and I have been living in our apartment for about seven months now, and we are still in the process of fiddling around with kitchen storage solutions. There is very limited cabinet space in our kitchen proper — in an act of extreme martyrdom, I have allocated an alarming chunk of prime cabinet real estate for tortilla chips and diet Sodastream mixes, ak.a. my husband’s favorite midnight snacks. The beagle also has his own two shelves for treats and medicines, along with a big wheeled container for his kibbles taking up space next to the sink.

We all make compromises, right? I thank my lucky stars that my husband is not a doodie (save for the telltale sous vide machine biding its time in the bottom of a corner cabinet), otherwise we’d probably have a lot more trouble figuring out a kitchen system that works well for both of us. He’s got his snack cabinet, and I’ve got, well, the rest of the kitchen.

In order to accommodate our burgeoning set of appliances and cookware, I’ve taken advantage of our dining room space and stored a lot of stuff there. A rolling cart holds all of our liquors and accompanying glassware. The husband’s beer fridge chills his fancy brews, keeping them from completely taking over our regular fridge space.


A sofa table holds mixing bowls and appliances — it’s lined it with a couple table runners to prevent harming the extremely scratchable surface. A shelving unit with glossy doors holds our table linens, serving bowls and trays, a stash of homemade jams from last summer’s canning, and a few seldom-used items we should probably haul off to Goodwill one of these days.

The piece of furniture I’m happiest with is probably the least attractive of the bunch, but it’s so darn functional that I’m willing to forgive its homeliness. It’s the squat little wire shelving unit stashed in the corner next to the kitchen. It holds an impressive amount of heavy appliances, and the addition of a handful of S hooks from the hardware store have extended its capacity enormously. There are seven pans hanging off of the little guy!

While the pans do block easy access to the appliances, it is simple enough to slip them on and off to get at the shelves. I’m willing to put up with this minor inconvenience in order to have freed up so much space.

While we’ve got a perfectly nice office set-up upstairs in the second bedroom, I find myself lingering over my morning cup of coffee down here in the dining room most often. I love how the morning sunlight comes in through the roman shade (which doubles as a light filter for my food photography), and it’s honestly kind of fun to be surrounded by my gadgets, so many of which were gifts from loved ones.

Do you have limited space in your rental kitchen? What kind of storage solutions have you used? I’d love to hear about your experience!

(Image credits: Coco Morante)

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Main, Kitchens, Organizing

Coco is a recipe developer for The Kitchn. A self-taught cook and classically-trained soprano, she writes and sings in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she lives with her husband and their beagle. For more recipes, visit her blog, It Was Just Right.

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