9 Brilliant Ways to Use All Those Awkward Spaces in Your Kitchen

updated May 28, 2021
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Credit: Anna Spaller

Fact: We unknowingly waste a lot of space in our kitchens. That space above your upper cabinets? The little sliver of space next to your fridge? Those inches add up, and could be put to better use. With a little bit of creativity (and, okay, maybe a few smart Amazon buys), you can easily boost your storage space. Sounds awesome, right? Here are nine simple-but-brilliant ideas for making the best use of every awkward space in your kitchen.

Credit: Sarita Relis Photography

1. Put baskets on top of your cabinets.

If you have upper cabinets that don’t go all the way up to the ceiling, use that space. Don’t just stash stuff up there all willy-nilly, though, as that can make things look cluttered. Instead, add baskets to hold/hide your items. You can also consider using that space for cute canisters or to display serving pieces you love to look at but don’t use on the regular.

2. Use the top of your refrigerator.

While up-high spots aren’t necessarily ideal for stuff you’ll need to reach for frequently, try using the top of your fridge for storing cookbooks, containers of extra snacks, baskets of overflow ingredients, or even a small appliances (just make sure you have a safe way to get them down when you do need them!).

3. Get a roll-out shelf for next to your fridge.

No pantry? No problem! We love this tall, narrow sliding shelf for storing canned goods and all sorts of shelf-stable items. Just know that your fridge could give off some heat so it might not be the best place to store oils or spices.

4. Add little shelves to any available wall space.

A shelf doesn’t have to be giant in order to be useful. Just look at this little guy in the picture above. If you have a little bit of free wall space, consider adding a shelf — even if it’s teeny tiny. (Whatever you can store on it is stuff you don’t have to store on a counter or in a pantry!) We also strongly recommend adding hooks where you can!

5. Turn deep shelves into drawers.

It can be very hard to see (and access) the stuff that gets pushed deep into the back of a cabinet. And then that cabinet becomes, well, incredibly not useful. If you can’t add hardware to your cabinets (maybe you’re a renter, not super handy, or on a budget), consider baskets, which can be found on the cheap and configured specifically for your needs.

Credit: Margaret Rajic | Stocksy

6. Rethink your corner cabinet situation.

Corner cabinets are probably the most awkward spaces in any given kitchen! While there’s no “right” way to do them, we do know that it’s “wrong” to keep them the way they were just because that’s how they’ve always been. If they’re not working for you, change them up. We do have some ideas …

Read more: 5 Mistakes You’re Making with Your Kitchen’s Corner Cabinet

Credit: Cambria Bold

7. Turn your windowsill into storage.

As long as your windowsills aren’t too drafty or leaky, they can be a great home for plants, herbs, cookbooks, and more.

8. Add bookcases to your breakfast bar.

Do you have an awkward breakfast bar that goes relatively unused? (Because you eat standing over the sink or at your WFH desk?) Steal an idea from this small kitchen and slide some bookcases under the counter for bonus storage. It also adds a nice focal point.

9. Rehome your trash can.

Your trash can doesn’t need to be front and center in your kitchen. In fact, it’s probably best if it isn’t! Tuck it into an awkward, unused corner and call it a day.

Which one of these ideas are you most excited to try in your kitchen? Let us know in the comments below!