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27 Incredible Kitchen Storage Tips and Tricks

Every kitchen is a work in progress. A new appliance, new dishes or even a new recipe can mean having to find more space. Check out these incredible kitchen storage hints and tips and squeeze a little more room into the hardest-working space in your house.

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Kitchen Storage: Embrace the Opennessalexandre zveiger/Shutterstock

Kitchen Storage: Embrace the Openness

Cupboards are so passé; the latest trend in kitchen storage is to embrace the openness of basic shelving. This puts your pretty dishes on display and instantly invokes a sense of coziness to your kitchen. Note that you don't need to fill every shelf with plates, bowls, and coffee mugs. Rather, you can integrate a little greenery here and there with potted plants and succulents.

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Kitchen Storage: Get Rail

Kitchen Storage: Get Rail

Make space in your kitchen by installing a stainless steel rail from which you can hang kitchen utensils, pots, pans, and more. This is a great storage solution if you have unclaimed wall real estate. It doubles as a great place to arrange and/or dry dishtowels and oven mitts. If you're keen on this idea, you'll probably love the design for this ceiling-mounted pots and pans organizer, too.

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Pantry Storage: Spice StorageFamily Handyman

Pantry Storage: Spice Storage

Small spice containers use shelf space inefficiently and are difficult to find when surrounded by taller bottles and items. Use a small spring-tension curtain rod as a simple shelf. It's easy to install and strong enough to support the spices. Learn how to make this spice rack in our video tutorial.

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Kitchen Storage: Cutting Board with Storage: Instant Knife RackFamily Handyman

Kitchen Storage: Cutting Board with Storage: Instant Knife Rack

You can size this knife rack to suit any cabinet door and any number of knives for kitchen cabinet storage. To build this cutting board with storage, you just need a table saw and wood scraps. Run the scraps across the saw on edge to cut kerfs. Adjust the blade height to suit the width of the knife blades. You have to remove the saw's blade guard for these cuts, so be extra careful. Also cut a thin strip to act as an end cap. Glue and clamp the kerfed scraps together and sand the knife rack until the joints are flush. To mount it, use two 1-1/4-in. screws and finish washers.

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Chalk It Up ImageFlow/Shutterstock

Chalk It Up

If you're someone who likes to keep a running grocery list or piles of clipped recipes and coupons in your kitchen, then you might want to consider adding a coat of chalkboard paint to one of your walls. This idea allows you to get rid of the paper and pen clutter by utilizing wall space and chalk as your new canvas. If you're nervous about committing to painting an entire wall, try just painting a small section of it. Or, simply hang a chalkboard for notes and other great kitchen storage ideas.

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Kitchen Storage: Under-Sink Archives

Kitchen Storage: Under-Sink Archives

Don't file away the manuals for your kitchen and bath fixtures. Instead, slip them into a locking plastic bag and hang the bag in the cabinet under the sink. They'll always be right where you need them. Toss in paint samples and spare cabinet hardware too.

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Kitchen Storage: Better in a BasketThe Adaptive/Shutterstock

Kitchen Storage: Better in a Basket

You come home from the grocery store with an armful of fresh fruit, but lo and behold—there's no spare fridge or counter space available. A stylish solution for this storage problem is to hang a single or tiered wire basket from the ceiling. You can store your apples, bananas, and oranges as well as potatoes, onions, and garlic here. Plus, a hanging basket adds visual interest to your kitchen.

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Stop Drawers from Falling OutFamily Handyman

Stop Drawers from Falling Out

To keep a drawer in the cabinet where it belongs, drill a hole in the side of the box and make this stop with a dowel, a screw and a fender washer. It's easy to make and to remove. Got a sticky drawer? Here's how to loosen it.

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Kitchen Storage: Wine-Glass Molding

Kitchen Storage: Wine-Glass Molding

T-molding designed for wood floor transitions makes a perfect rack for stemware. Just cut it to length, predrill screw holes and screw it to the underside of a shelf. For a neater look, use brass screws and finish washers. Prefinished T-molding is available wherever wood flooring is sold. A 4-ft. section costs about $25. Watch our fun video to make your own wine glass storage rack for some more great kitchen storage ideas.

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Kitchen Organization: Drop-Down Tablet TrayFamily Handyman

Kitchen Organization: Drop-Down Tablet Tray

Keep your tablet handy and safe. Follow recipes online without worrying about spills frying your expensive tablet. This tray will keep your tablet computer off the countertop. As it swings down, it also swings forward, so the tablet isn't hidden under the cabinet. The mechanism is simple; just make and position the arms exactly as shown here and it will work smoothly. We cut the aluminum parts and rounded the corners with a grinder. When closed, small cabinet door magnets hold up the tray. We clipped the plastic ears off the magnets and glued the magnets into place with epoxy. The liner in the tray is a foam placemat cut to fit. The shelf folds up against a plywood top and is an option for kitchen cabinet organizers. Aluminum arms hold the tray in position. Don't worry, small magnets won't harm your tablet; it actually contains magnets. Plus: Keep your kitchen clean as a whistle with these secret cleaning tips from professional house cleaners.

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Kitchen Storage: Thyme SaverFamily Handyman

Kitchen Storage: Thyme Saver

If your spices are jammed into a drawer with only the tops visible, this nifty rack that slips neatly into the drawer will solve the problem. And it only takes an hour to build. Make it with scraps of 1/4-in. and 1/2-in. plywood. Or build a two-tier drawer spice rack.

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Kitchen Storage: Cutting Board StorageFamily Handyman

Kitchen Storage: Cutting Board Storage

To store cutting boards, mount a rack on a cabinet door. Use a sheet of 1/4-in.-thick acrylic plastic; plywood would also work. You can cut acrylic with a table saw or circular saw as long as you cut slowly. Knock off the sharp edges with sandpaper. Round the lower corners with a belt sander. For spacers, use No. 14-8 crimp sleeves (in the electrical aisle at home centers), or any type of tube or even blocks of wood would work.

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Functional DécorSteve Cukrov/Shutterstock

Functional Décor

If you happen to have inherited your grandma's rolling pins, knotty wooden utensils, and/or well-worn cutting boards, you have a design opportunity waiting. Consider storing these beloved kitchen wares out in the open as authentic décor elements by hanging them on available wall space. Just make sure you mount them in such a way that you can easily take them down for use. Plus: See how to work in your favorite workshop staples into your home decor.

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Kitchen Storage: Add a ShelfFamily Handyman

Kitchen Storage: Add a Shelf

This kitchen cabinet storage project provides more space for plates and bowls in crowded kitchen cabinets. Most cabinets come with only one or two shelves, leaving a lot of wasted space. So we added one (and sometimes two) shelves to most of our cabinets. All it takes is 3/4-in. plywood and a bag of shelf supports. The supports come in two diameters, so take an existing one to the store to make sure you get the right size.

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From Office to Kitchen

From Office to Kitchen

You see an empty file holder, we see an opportunity for some clever kitchen storage. If you have an orphan file holder lying around, try converting it to the upright storage space where you arrange your aluminum foil, your parchment paper, your plastic bags, and more.

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Kitchen Storage: Measuring Cup Hang-Up

Kitchen Storage: Measuring Cup Hang-Up

Free up pantry storage space by hanging measuring cups inside a kitchen cabinet. Position and mount a wood strip so that the cups will hang between the shelves and allow the door to close completely. Mount a second strip for your measuring spoons, then screw in cup hooks on both strips. Learn how to build your own measuring cup storage rack for more kitchen cabinet storage ideas.

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Plastic Bag HolderFamily Handyman

Plastic Bag Holder

An empty rectangular tissue box makes a convenient holder for small garbage bags, plastic grocery bags and small rags. Simply thumbtack it to the inside of a cabinet door. It's one of our favorite kitchen storage ideas.

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Cabinet Drawer Organizer: Drawer in a DrawerFamily Handyman

Cabinet Drawer Organizer: Drawer in a Drawer

Deep drawers often contain a jumbled pile of interlocking utensils. Our solution is a sliding tray that creates two shallower spaces. Make it 1/8 in. narrower than the drawer box, about half the length and any depth you want (ours is 1-3/4 in. deep). When you position the holes for the adjustable shelf supports, don't rely on measurements and arithmetic. Instead, position the tray inside the drawer box at least 1/8 in. lower than the cabinet opening and make a mark on the tray. Our shelf supports fit tightly into the holes, but yours may require a little super glue. This simple drawer rests on shelf supports.

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Spice Up Your LifeMasterchief_Productions/shutterstock

Spice Up Your Life

Surely you've heard of this revolutionary thing called a spice rack. Embrace it. When it comes to kitchen storage, all those little containers of cumin, oregano, and cinnamon can quickly overwhelm and confuse you. Stacking them in a cupboard without any logical order will only lead to chaos. The solution: spice rack. If you're extremely organized, you can transfer your spices to uniform jars and add printed labels. Depends on how often you find yourself reaching for these flavorings.

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Kitchen Cabinet Storage Organizers: Rollout Storage PanelFamily Handyman

Kitchen Cabinet Storage Organizers: Rollout Storage Panel

Keep small stuff from getting lost in deep base cabinets. If you know how to mount a slab of plywood on drawer slides, you can take advantage of all the nifty shelves, hooks and holders sold at home centers. It's easy as long as you remember two critical things: First, make sure the drawer slides are parallel. Place a plywood spacer between the drawer members as you screw them to the panel. Screw the cabinet members to cleats. Second, make your cleats thick enough so that the slides will clear the cabinet door hinges. (We glued 1/2-in. plywood to 3/4-in. plywood to make my cleats.) To install the panel in the cabinet, reassemble the slides. Hold the whole assembly against the cabinet wall and slide the panel out about 4 in. Drive screws through the cleats at the rear, then slide the panel out completely and drive screws at the front.

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Wine StashAfrica Studio/shutterstock

Wine Stash

What, no wine rack? No wine cellar either? No problem! You can just as easily store your wine collection in a deep kitchen drawer, if there's one that's vacant. Just be sure to alternate the direction of the bottle so that they nest well together. If you're feeling ambitious, you could try making your own roll-out drawers to house your wine supply within a more spacious cupboard instead.

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Cabinet Storage Organizers: Flip-Down Paper TrayFamily Handyman

Cabinet Storage Organizers: Flip-Down Paper Tray

This tray is perfect for pens and paper. When closed, it's mostly hidden by the cabinet face frame. Hinges and magnets hold this tray in place under an upper cabinet. To install the tray, screw on the hinges first. Then open the cabinet door above and clamp the tray to the underside of the cabinet while you screw the hinges to the cabinet. Need a more robust command center? Here's how to build a message center in your kitchen instead.

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Kitchen Organization: Racks for Canned Goods

Kitchen Organization: Racks for Canned Goods

Use those leftover closet racks as cabinet organizers. Trim the racks to length with a hacksaw and then mount screws to the backside of the face frame to hold the racks in place. The backside of the rack simply rests against the back of the cabinet. Now you can easily find your soup and check the rest of your inventory at a glance with this pantry storage solution. Here's a video on how to build this canned good storage solution yourself.

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Cabinet Drawer Organizer: Rollout Drawer for LidsFamily Handyman

Cabinet Drawer Organizer: Rollout Drawer for Lids

You can mount a drawer for pot lids under your pot shelf—or under any other cabinet shelf. Before you remove the shelf, put some pencil marks on it to indicate the width of the cabinet opening at its narrowest point (usually at the hinges). Your drawer front and slides can't extend beyond those marks (or you'll spend hours building a drawer that won't open). Then remove the shelf. If it's made from particleboard, we recommend that you replace it with 3/4-in. plywood and transfer the marks to the new shelf. If you can build a simple drawer box, the rest will be easy. Mount the drawer on cleats screwed to the cabinet sides.

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Hidden Cutting BoardFamily Handyman

Hidden Cutting Board

The secret to this project is "rare earth" magnets. The ones we used are just 5/32 in. in diameter and 1/8 in. tall. Browse online to find lots of shapes and sizes. Implant magnets at the corners of your cutting board and add more if needed. Make the metal plate under the cabinet larger than the cutting board so the board will be easy to put away. Glue the sheet metal to plywood with spray adhesive. Drill holes near the corners and screw it to the underside of a cabinet. Drill holes sized for the magnets and drop in a dab of super glue. Insert the magnets with a nail head. Slide the nail sideways to release the magnet. The metal plate grabs the magnets. Make sure you use galvanized steel, not aluminum. Plus, learn how to make your own cutting board!

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Cookware Organizer

Cookware Organizer

Most kitchen base cabinets lack vertical storage space for big, flat cookware like cookie sheets and pizza pans. To provide it, just remove the lower shelf, cut a vertical panel of plywood and fasten it at the cabinet bottom with furniture braces and at the top with a strip of wood. Drill holes for the adjusting pins to match the original locations and trim the shelf to length. This video will teach you more kitchen cabinet storage ideas.

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Jars on JarsZigzag Mountain Art/Shutterstock

Jars on Jars

You can easily organize your dry goods by storing them inside jars and canisters. Not only can you create uniformity in your pantry storage this way, but you can also see at a glance where your lentils, rice, or oats are stashed. Arranging these jars on display on open shelves can also give your kitchen a rustic, homestead-chic look.