How to Maximize Storage Space in a Small Kitchen

Regardless of size, the kitchen is the heart of most homes. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford an HGTV-level remodel with tons of new cabinetry and extra storage space.

The good news is that there are a number of simple, creative storage solutions that will allow you to maximize every square inch of your existing (small) space.

Try out these ninja hacks to help declutter your kitchen and make it more functional.

Install a Pot Rack (or two!)

Take advantage of empty space above your kitchen’s island by installing a pot rack that’ll help store pans currently sitting on the stove or larger pots that take up too much cabinet space.

If you don’t have an island, consider installing a pot rack anywhere in the kitchen where wall space is currently being wasted. Be creative and use the rack to hang items such as oven mitts and larger utensils that don’t fit properly in drawers.


Use the space above, below, and on the sides of your cabinets

Use your existing cabinets to their fullest potential!

Above: This is an often overlooked space that is great for storing larger, less frequently used kitchen items such serving pieces (like grandma’s Christmas cookie tray!) and small appliances. Use small bins to keep like items together.

Below: The space underneath your cabinets or shelves is perfect for installing hooks to hang mugs by their handles. Also consider hanging small mason jars underneath your cabinets (like you would see in a garage for nuts and bolts) for spices.

Sides: A cabinet with an exposed side (say, facing a doorway) is prime real estate to free up value counter and drawer space. Use hooks to hang smaller utensils and tools.

Take Advantage of Every Storage Opportunity

This is where you need to get your creative juices flowing and be on the lookout for all possible unused space in your kitchen. Here are some ideas:

  • Use the back of doors to hang items by installing racks or hooks
  • Areas above door frames are perfect for small shelves to hold cookbooks and small plants
  • If you’re doing a reno and are keeping the layout and square footage the same, install toe kick drawers underneath cabinets. They’re great for storing long, slim items like pans or trays.

Does This Item Bring Joy?

Use the Marie Kondo approach by going through every item in your kitchen and asking yourself “Does this item bring me joy?”. Or, better yet, “Have I used this item in the past 6 months?”

Be ruthless. Removing unused items from the kitchen (either disposing or storing somewhere else) will free up valuable storage space, and help with creating a more functional, organized space.

Every item in your kitchen should have a place. If you purchase a new item, keep in mind that the space will need to come from somewhere, so be mindful of what you can (and can’t) accommodate in your kitchen.


Organize as Much as Possible

If you’ve gone through the first four steps and still have items that haven’t found a home in your kitchen, it’s best to keep them together and organized. Purchase some decorative baskets and containers to help reduce the amount of clutter on your counter or in your cabinets.

Another great tip is to use bins for bulk items such as sugar, coffee, or baking ingredients. Say goodbye to random boxes and bags by emptying bulk items into labelled glass jars. This will help keep clutter to a minimum and allow ingredients to be neat and visible.