20 New and Old Storage and Design Ideas for a Small Kitchen

Small Kitchen Shelf


Do you love to cook? Do you love whipping up delicious dishes right in the comforts of your own kitchen? Do you take pride in cooking for your family? If you have answered yes to all of these questions, then you surely dream of having a big and well-organized kitchen, right? But sadly, that is not always the case.

Today, most of the kitchens that we have are quite small and lack space. If this is the kind of kitchen that you have, you might be having a few problems organizing your kitchen and finding storage solutions for your kitchen tools, foods and equipment.

Fortunately that doesn’t have to be the case. You can keep your kitchen well organized, no matter how tiny it is. How, do you ask? Take a look at the hacks that we have below:

1. What you lack in cabinets, make up for with shelves

Small Kitchen Shelf

If you are having some kitchen storage problems, chances are, you do not have enough number of cabinets. If you still have an empty wall in your kitchen, just simply hang a few rows of shelves there. It is much more cost-effective plus the items that you will place on the shelves can also be a great décor in your kitchen.

2. Use your cabinet doors as storage for your spices

cabinets doors as storage for your spices

While you are already well aware of how to cook with spices, the biggest problem that you will have is how to store it. One thing that we want you to do is to take advantage of the available space in your cabinet doors. Install a sheet of steel in your cabinet door using a drill. Place your spices in small bottles then glue magnets in the lid. Attach the bottles with magnets on the steel sheet and voila, instant spice storage solution for you!

3. Establish a cute and useful labeling system

Food Label System

Want to make your kitchen look cute and organized at the same time? Put your spices, food items and condiments in jars then label them. You can do this by printing out labels on a sticker paper. You can find lots of cute templates online. If you will be placing the jars in the cabinets, place the label in front of the bottle. If you will be putting them in the drawer, place the labels at the top of the jars. In this way, you can easily identify what are the items stored in the jar.

4. Hang baskets in your backsplash

Kitchen Basket Backsplash

Backsplashes are not just for decorative purposes. If you wish to add more storage solutions to your kitchen, drill some holes in the backsplash area and attach rods into it. Afterward, hang some baskets and place a few of your most used item there for easy access.

5. Keep drawers organized with drawer inserts

Drawer Inserts

If you have this bad habit of throwing all your kitchen tools haphazardly in your drawer, then you will surely find it hard to keep kitchen drawers organized. To easily sort out tools and utensils in your drawer, use drawer inserts.

6. Keep your sponge free from moisture and mildew using a paper clip.

Paper Clip Sponge

For sure, you have this habit of leaving your sponge at the edge of the sink. If you do, there is a big chance that your sponge will be a conducive area for mildew and mold growth. Lucky you, there is a way to protect your sponge from these elements. How? Just simply place a paper clip at the bottom of the sponge to keep it upright, making it inaccessible to water.

7. Post or write your to-do list in a cork or a blackboard.

Corkboard to Do

If you are one forgetful Susie, then you should remind yourself about all your cooking and kitchen errands by hanging either a cork board or a black board in your kitchen cabinets. You can post your grocery list, to dos’ and even a few motivational quotes there.

8. Use magazine holders as freezer shelves.

Magazine Freezer Shelf

Do you have no idea how to keep your freezer as organized as possible? If you have some magazine holders that you no longer use, just simply place them in a horizontal position in your freezer. It will be perfect for storing bags of frozen veggies and fruits.

9. Store your snacks and other food items in a hanging shoe organizer.

hanging shoe organizer

Looking for a fuss-free and cost effective storage solutions for your snacks, food items, and cutlery? Just simply hang a plastic shoe holder at the back of your pantry door and place the food items in the pockets. Just make sure that the shoe organizer is brand new!

10. Create a DIY Pegboard organizer.

DIY Pegboard organizer

Where do you hang your pots, colanders, and pans? We cannot think of a better way to organize the kitchen tools than with a pegboard. Attach a pegboard in your kitchen wall then attach a few S-hooks into it. Doing this will definitely keep your pots, pans, and colander handy in an Instagram-worthy way!

11. Downsize your furniture

Half Moon Table Kitchen

Replace the kitchen table with a half-moon table and place the flat side against the wall. You can have three or four kitchen stools designed to fit in under the table which tucks in nearly when not in use. 

If you do not have space for a full-size dishwasher but still want the convenience, there are a number of space-saving countertop dishwashers available. 

The tabletop also provides an extra work surface. The space between the legs of the chairs can be used for storage of lightweight items such as plastic cups and bowls. These items are not breakable and not too heavy to allow the chairs to be easily moved out and back in again.

Ensure your appliances are compact if space is limited. Look for a microwave that does not take up too much space. Another essential appliance is a good toaster and there are some great compact options. 

12. Pantry shelves 

Roll out pantry shelf

Redesigning your kitchen to make the whole wall an even depth, say a counter depth of 24 inches, has both pros and cons. This depth gives much-added storage space, but things can easily get lost way back there. There are two great ideas to overcome this problem.

Firstly, install roll-out pantry shelves which are very convenient and make access a breeze. The guides are super sturdy and the roll-out shelves can carry up to 100 pounds, so there’s no problem with heavy cans and bulk items.

In a second pantry shelf, instead of rollouts, use baskets. These baskets can be either plastic or wicker, and chalkboard labels can be fitted to identify the contents.

13. Hidden drawers

Hidden Drawer Kitchen

A great space-saving tip is to fill those narrow spaces that always seem to be there where nothing really fits. A narrow slide-out drawer between the cupboard and the stove is an ideal spot to install a slide out drawer for all your spices. With three or four internal shelves you will be surprised how many spices can be stored here and they are visible from both sides.

Toe kick drawers for that space under the cupboards are the place to store baking trays, muffin tins platters, or linen. A thin handle screwed to the top of the drawer means they are neatly hidden under the pantry cupboard.

14. Pull out trash can

Pull out trash cans.

One of the biggest problems in any kitchen, even more so in a small one, is that bulky trash can. The same way we fitted the roll out spice rack, we can fit a pull-out trash can. Fit this next to the stove, or in the center island if your stovetop is fitted there as this is where you most need it. You now no longer have to look at that eyesore and your kitchen is neat and clean.

15. Shelving

Shelving Above Cupboard

Do you have a shelf on your cupboard stacked with the small stuff, leaving a huge space above them? Consider adding an extra shelf in this space to give you more surface area. That special tea set that your mother-in-law gave you that only comes out when she visits, can fit safely on this extra shelf. This will offer you additional storage for those crockery items that don’t feature regularly on your dining room table.

16. Under-the-Sink Storage

Under Sink Storage

This is an area that is often underutilized but offers a great opportunity for well-organized storage of all your cleaning chemicals and equipment. This space is normally a jumble of bottles, boxes, cloths, sponges, and brushes, with the item you need somewhere near the back of the cupboard. 

A two-tier sliding organizer will hold your cleaning supplies neatly and functionally. Bolted to the floor of the cabinet it is sturdy easy to clean. Keep sponges, brushes even paper towels in the metal baskets as they stay off the floor and free from any possible contact with wet surfaces. 

17. Add a Lazy Susan

Lazy Susan Kitchen

This busy little item is far from “lazy”. Another innovative space-saving idea to be placed in an open corner that is too deep for convenient access. A two-tier lazy Susan can hold items like salt, sugar, oils, vinegar, honey, your choices are endless. Simply spin and the item you are looking for is up front and center, and your space is doubled.

Another use for the lazy Susan is for your kitchen utensils such as spoons, forks, spatulas, basting brushes, tongs, bottle openers, and many more. Instead of lying loose in a drawer they are now neatly kept each on their hook.

18. Use the inside of cabinet doors

Cabinet Door Storage

There are many useful ideas for the inside of cabinet doors. There is a slip-on paper towel holder that is easy to fit over the top of the door. The paper towel fits snugly into the cupboard when closed and is out of sight, but quickly available. 

Fit plastic hooks to the inside of the doors and keep pot lids neat, tidy, and easy to find. Two small rails with hooks can hold your smaller cooking utensils such as pots and measuring spoons. Pouches on the inside of the doors for your plastic bags or recipe books keep them neat and tidy and out of harms’ way.

19. Use storage elsewhere

Dining Room Dresser Storage

There are many items that can be stored somewhere else in the house to free up space in the kitchen and to take the pressure of a small work and storage area. The second dinner service, the large catering dishes used for entertaining should be stored in a dining room dresser. 

Glasses and mugs, ice buckets, in fact, anything to do with the bar must go to the lounge cupboard. Most of the linen, table cloths, and napkins can be stored in the passage cupboard, and you will find more freedom in your kitchen.

If you need to do a bit of DIY to get this done, ensure you have the right tools. A good hammer drill will come in handy. 

20. Décor

Small Kitchen Light Decore

There is one very clever idea to create the impression of more space, and that is the décor. Dark colors make a room appear smaller so consider repainting with a soft light gray color and white trimming. 

The effect will amaze you as it will immediately feel lighter, cleaner, more open, and spacious. Consider an indoor garden in the window, some greenery and pot plants will help to create a tranquil feeling, and make your time in the kitchen a far more pleasant excursion. 

So maybe your kitchen is not big enough to have an island or a pantry, but that doesn’t mean that it is impossible for you to keep it organized. With the hacks that we have mentioned above, you can surely keep your kitchen in tip-top shape every time, all the time!

This article was last updated on August 5, 2020 .

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Written by

Writing full time from home, Charl has plenty of time to tinker around the house, whipping up something in the kitchen or enhancing the garden. As a result, he writes extensively on topics related to the home and garden. He enjoys modern technology and advanced gadgets but still has a soft spot for quality reliable appliances. He is passionate about durability and quality going to great lengths to find the very best ideas and leading products to share with readers.

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