Kitchen Tour

The Covert Place to Stash a Trash Can If You Have a Small Kitchen

published Sep 29, 2023
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Mapping out storage options for a smaller kitchen — especially one that spans the length of just one wall — shouldn’t entail making sacrifices. It’s OK to both want and get it all. Mainly if the “it all” in question is a basic necessity, like space for a trash can. 

Small-space dwellers (myself included!) have to harness creativity to ensure our kitchens work for us. So, when I stumbled upon the kitchen in Erinne Brown’s 451-square-foot studio apartment in Chicago, I was inspired. 

Brown technically has a smaller kitchen, but it doesn’t feel that way with her clever storage solutions. Here’s how this renter got the most out of her kitchen. 

Instead of an under-sink trash can, Brown looked to the exterior of her cabinets.

Studio apartments — given their smaller size — usually mean that floor space is super-valuable real estate and should be maximized, and Brown’s apartment is no exception. It didn’t help that she couldn’t place a trash can underneath the sink (which turns out actually isn’t the best place!). 

“The pipes underneath the sink take up a lot of space, so it’s hard to fit a trash can underneath,” Brown said at the time of her house tour. 

So instead of taking up floor space for her trash can, she attached one (that looks similar to this Simplehuman version for $30) to the exterior of her cabinet door beneath the sink. The garbage receptacle can be hung inside or outside the cabinet and hold up to 10 liters of trash. 

Hanging the trash can on the exterior of Brown’s cabinet door makes life easier for many reasons. For starters, it’s not taking up floor space, and its thin design keeps it out of the way while she’s cooking. Secondly, having it right below the countertop makes swiping away discarded veggies or scraps so easy. 

And the trash can hack isn’t the only clever element in Brown’s 451-square-foot home. To see more of her gorgeous space, visit the full house tour on Apartment Therapy. 

Buy: Simplehuman In-Cabinet Can, $30