Storage & Organization
30 Ways to Revolutionize Your Kitchen Space
Add a Single-Bowl Sink
Make a Blind-Corner Cabinet More Accessible
Consider a Cabinet-Depth Refrigerator
Cabinet-depth refrigerators stick out about 6 to 8 in. in front of your cabinets, robbing you of valuable floor space and crowding passageways. If you’re designing a new kitchen, consider buying a shallow-depth refrigerator. It’ll make your kitchen seem much more spacious, and depending on the floor plan, may even allow you to gain cabinet space across from the refrigerator.
Make the Most of Every Inch with Roll-outs
No Room for an Island? Try a Cart Instead
Pantry Cabinet in a Closet
Moving some of your bulkier or seldom-used items out of the kitchen and into a nearby pantry can free up a lot of space. Look around. You may have extra space in a nearby closet or hallway where pantry shelves would fit. A pantry could be as simple as adjustable shelves on wall standards or a more elaborate built-in cabinet. You can order closet parts like those shown here online at www.easyclosets.com.
Add Undercabinet Lights
Build in Your Microwave
Counter space is a valuable commodity in any kitchen, but even more so in small kitchens. Moving the microwave off the counter is a great way to free up a few extra feet of counter. In existing kitchens, you may be able to convert the lower half of a wall cabinet to hold a microwave, but this means making a smaller set of matching cabinet doors for the top—a challenging job.
Pullout Chopping Board
Pullout solutions are perfect for small kitchens as they allow a decent amount of extra kitchen counter space with a very small footprint. And a pull-out cutting board is perfect for food prep, cookbooks or for extra storage. Plus, when you are done, you can simply slide it back into the cabinet.
Photo: Courtesy of Dura Solutions
The best way to maximize kitchen counter space is to store bulky items elsewhere. With this cabinet door knife block, you can reclaim lost counter space and keep your cutting implements handy when you need them.
This drop-down storage tray is ideal for keeping your cookbook or tablet dry and out of harm’s way while cooking your favorite recipe. Best of all, it’s simple to make.
Utilize Wall Space
Fruit bowls can be pretty, but they take up a ton of kitchen counter space. Want to know what else looks pretty? This off-the-counter produce basket that is easy to make and hangs on the wall to create more counter space. We call that brilliant.
If you happen to have dead space between cabinets in your kitchen, but don’t want the expense of replacing your countertop, consider filling it with butcher block, cut to size and supported by legs. Butcher block will look right at home paired with any countertop. And you’ll love the extra kitchen counter space you gain.
Photo: Courtesy of Door Sixteen
Get a Cooking Caddy for Convenience
Keep condiments and spices in an easy-to-carry rack to free up countertop space (check out more space-saving tips for a small kitchen). You always want salt, cooking oils and your favorite spices next to the stove because you use them every day. But they don’t have to take up valuable counter space full time. Place them all in a caddy that you can instantly stow in a cabinet after cooking. You’ll find caddies in various shapes, sizes and prices at any store that sells kitchenware.
Under-Cabinet Knife Storage Racks
Pull-down racks give you instant access to kitchen essentials without the clutter of spice racks or knife holders. When the cooking is done, the rack swings up against the underside of the cabinet. The acrylic knife rack like the one shown here, or buy a pair of hinges only and make your own wooden rack to hold knives, spices or other small items that take up counter space.
Concealed Message Center
Don’t let shopping lists, phone messages and to-do notes clutter up counter space. Mount a dry-erase board and a plastic bin on the inside of a cabinet door with double-sided foam mounting tape. The bin will protrude into the cabinet, so be sure to position it where it won’t collide with shelves or the stuff inside. Get the board, bin and tape at a discount or office supply store.
Tidy File Center
Countertops are a landing pad for paper—mail, news clippings and other assorted notes. Get that mess off your counter with folders and a file holder. The one shown here (from an office supply store) mounts with screws or double-sided foam tape. If you don’t have suitable vertical surface, get a file holder that sits on the countertop. It will take up less space (and look neater) than a stack of papers. If you’re short on space and could use a home office, read up on how to turn your closet into a makeshift home office!
Tucked Away Coffeemaker
For serious coffee drinkers, stowing the coffeemaker inside a cabinet just doesn’t make sense; you’ll only have to pull it out again in a few hours. Here’s a solution: An under-cabinet coffeemaker is always available and doesn’t take up valuable counter space. Plus: here’s how to get those pesky coffee stains out of carpeting.
Decorative Backsplash Rack
Backsplash racks offer easy access and stylish kitchen storage solutions. Most versions take just a few minutes to install. Backsplash racks have a few disadvantages, though. All your kitchen utensils have to look good, since they’re on display. And if you ever decide to remove the rack, you’ll be left with screw holes in the backsplash; not a big problem with drywall, but ugly and unfixable in tile.
Under-Cabinet Entertainment Center
Replace that countertop TV with an under-cabinet model. On most models, the screen folds up and out of your way when not in use. Basic models include a radio, and pricier versions play CDs or DVDs too. Under-cabinet TVs are easy to mount—all you need is a drill and a screwdriver. But running cable or antenna wire to the TV probably won’t be so easy. Make sure you can connect a TV before you buy one.
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.
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.
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.
Pantry 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 pantry storage 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.