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 even apply to your snug space (NYC apartment dwellers, we're looking at you!).
That's why we've done the work for you and rounded up 10 pretty brilliant organizing solutions that are small space-approved.
1. Put open shelving above your sink.
Make work of an empty wall and hang exposed shelving for added spots for stacking. The above galley kitchen, featured on Cup of Jo, utilizes a whole wall above the sink to house items like bowls, mugs, cutting boards, and more.
2. Create a pot "gallery" wall.
It's a fact of small-space life that some of your things will be constantly on display. Make the best of the situation by crafting a spot that looks intentional, like this organizing pot gallery wall seen on Houzz. With hooks atop an inky black wall, the display is functional and easy on the eyes.
3. 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.
4. 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. Case in point? This ingenious solution seen on Martha Stewart. Tension rods divide the space so that platters, cutting boards, and baking sheets can stack on their sides, where they're slimmest.
5. 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.
6. Create an "exposed" pantry.
Uniform-sized Weck jars are perfect for creating a mock pantry shelving display in your kitchen, as seen on Domino. Not only do they keep baking and cooking ingredients fresh, but they also allow for easy access to all your most-used seasonings.
7. Store things in baskets.
It may seem counterintuitive to add more stuff to your countertops when trying to organize your small space, but trust us on this: Baskets are your friend in the kitchen. They're a super-simple way to instantly make your counters look more organized — just by corralling things within them. How easy is that?
8. Add a freestanding shelving unit.
Borrowed from industrial and commercial kitchens everywhere, those classic metal shelving units add a huge storage advantage if you've got the floor space. And, when styled right (think: pretty dishes and sleek appliances, like above), they can look anything but industrial.
9. Add tiers within your cabinet.
If you have particularly wide or tall cabinets, you can make the interior more useful to your needs by popping a shelf divider, like this one from The Container Store, inside. No more toppling glassware or mismatched stacks of plates.
10. DIY a door organizer.
This charming storage solution from Jamie Dorobek of C.R.A.F.T. checks off all of our DIY boxes — colorful, charming and smart. To make her small space more manageable, Jamie transformed old shutter doors with a bit of sunny yellow paint and A+ add-ons like hooks for utensils, a magnetic knife strip, towel holder, and more.