10 Brilliant Ways to Squeeze Extra Storage Space Out of a Small Kitchen

updated Sep 13, 2019
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(Image credit: Julia Brenner)

When you’re short on kitchen space, you have to be extra creative in coming up with ways to maximize the square footage you do have. And while there are tons of smart kitchen organizing hacks out there, you may find that many don’t actually apply to your snug space.

That’s why we’ve done the work for you and rounded up 10 pretty brilliant organizing solutions that will work for the smallest of small spaces.

(Image credit: The Kitchn)

1. Create a pot “gallery” wall.

It’s a fact of small-space life that some of your things just have to be on display. Make the best of the situation by crafting a spot that looks intentional, like this organizing pot gallery wall seen on Houzz. Any free wall — even one in a hallway on the way to the kitchen — will work.

See more: Short on Space? Stylish Ways to Store Pots & Pans

(Image credit: The Kitchn)

2. Use the space above your cabinets.

Leave it to the gals over at A Beautiful Mess to come up with a smart — and stylish — way to use the top of kitchen cabinets. It’s often untapped territory, and is a great place to house extras like serving pieces or small appliances. Here, bottles of wine and seltzer, plus coffee grounds, are kept in order with wire bins.

See more: Home Tour: Elsie’s Kitchen at A Beautiful Mess

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

3. Add rods to your cabinets.

When you’re thinking of ways to max-out available space in your kitchen, don’t forget about the cabinets you do have. Streamlining the way you organize the interior can often lead to more storage space. Here, tension rods divide the space so that platters, cutting boards, and baking sheets can stack on their sides, where they’re slimmest.

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

4. Add a pot rail — anywhere!

In our humble opinion, pot rails are one of the MVP’s of the kitchen space. There are just so many different ways to make them work for your layout and organizational needs. In the sunny small Paris kitchen of freelance writer Kim Laidlaw, they act as an inexpensive place to situate everything from a paper towel rack and oven mitt, to spices and random utensils.

5. Take advantage of every little corner.

We’re big fans of putting shelves anywhere you can (use all the wall space!). That includes corners above doorways! In the kitchen, that space is perfect for some potted plants, cookbooks, or special occasion dishes.

Tour this space: Whitney and Adam’s Live/Work Canal Cottage at Apartment Therapy

(Image credit: Julia Brenner)

6. Use the bottoms of your cabinets.

The bottoms of cabinets or shelves are so often overlooked. Add magnetic strips or even hooks and you’ve got a place to hang little spice jars or mugs.

(Image credit: Alexis Buryk)

7. And the sides of them!

If you have an exposed cabinet side, consider adding hooks or a rail to it. You’ll instantly create a space for all your small tools and utensils, freeing up a drawer for something else.

Read more: The Hiding-in-Plain-Sight Storage Space You’re Not Using

(Image credit: Jacqueline Marque)

8. Use a dessert tray for storage.

We can’t step foot into a kitchen store without seeing tiered dessert trays these days. While we love them for cookies and other treats, they also help create extra storage space in a counter. Stack one up with spices, baking gear, or other odds and ends.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

9. Organize a drawer diagonally.

Organizing things diagonally can help you find more room in a drawer. You can buy a ready made organizer or just make your own. Working on the diagonal, instead of right angles, can give you much more flexibility on how you use the space inside your drawers.

(Image credit: The Kitchn)

10. Install toekick drawers.

If you have the opportunity to do a full-blown renovation on your kitchen, we insist you consider adding toekick drawers, no matter how small (or big!) your space is. Seen here in the renovated kitchen of Shawn, the blogger beind I Wash You Dry, they’re a great way to transform a previously unused spot into a drawer just slim enough to hold a short stack of pans, linens, or pantry items.

(Image credit: The Kitchn)