Your kitchen is the heart of your home, where your family comes together, cooks food, eats delicious meals, and spends quality time with each other. As a core space of any home, kitchen storage, functionality, and aesthetics are important. However, not everyone is blessed with a large and spacious kitchen with plenty of storage. Most people have smaller kitchens, where storage is limited, especially when they have a family to serve. Limited storage can have a huge impact on kitchen functionality and aesthetics. The lack of space can make it difficult to keep everything organized and clutter-free. Maximizing storage in a small kitchen is crucial to making the most of given space and creating a functional and enjoyable cooking environment. This is why we have come up with 11 ways to maximize storage in a small kitchen:
1. Store Items Based on Frequency of Use
To learn how to maximize storage in a small kitchen, you must learn how to store items in an efficient manner. Above all else, storage in a small kitchen should be optimized for functionality, because nothing is more important than a functional kitchen. A small kitchen that is functional will always be better and more practical to you than a small kitchen that looks slightly better than it did before.
When organizing your kitchen storage, consider how often you use each item. Things that are used regularly should be stored in easily accessible locations, such as on open shelves or in drawers. Things that are used less frequently can be stored in harder-to-reach locations, such as on high shelves or in the back of cabinets. By storing items based on frequency of use, you can optimize your kitchen storage and make meal preparation faster and more efficient.
It will significantly reduce the amount of time and effort you need to get things done, while making sure that the available storage is well-utilized.
2. Utilize Wall Space
Perhaps the easiest and most effective ways to maximize storage in a small kitchen is to utilize the wall space available to you. This may include the wall space behind counters or a full-length empty wall. Such wall space can be used in various ways to increase kitchen storage, most of which are mentioned ahead. Installing wall-mounted storage like shelving, magnetic knife holders, or hanging racks on your walls can free up valuable counter and cabinet space in your kitchen. Wall-mounted storage is particularly useful for frequently used items, such as pots and pans, utensils, or spices and other ingredients. Moreover, wall-mounted storage can be both functional and decorative, allowing you to display your favorite cookbooks, tea towels, or decorative pieces.
When choosing wall-mounted storage products for your wall, consider the size and weight of the items you plan to store in them. For example, a magnetic knife holder can store knives and small utensils, but heavy cast-iron pans may require you to install a sturdy rack instead. Find layouts and combinations of wall-mounted storage items that maximize your kitchen storage, increase functionality, and improve overall the aesthetic.
3. Utilize Vertical Space
A frequently overlooked aspect of kitchen storage is vertical space. Go through your kitchen storage, all the cabinets, shelves, and even above the cabinets, and look at all the empty vertical space. This is storage space that you are not utilizing yet. Think of how you can use this space to maximize storage in a small kitchen. Perhaps you add a shelf to a cabinet, a tension rod to hang things, or store a few things in the empty space above the cabinet. Vertical space above cabinets can be a great spot for storing items that you don’t use regularly, like large serving dishes or seasonal items such as holiday decorations, baking tools, cookie cutters, etc.
With the help of decorative bins and baskets, you can even create visually appealing vertical storage solutions that adds personality and charm to your kitchen. Just make sure you are not overloading your cabinets with more than they can hold. Consider the weight and size of the items you plan to store on new shelves, tension rods, and above the cabinets. Ideally, you want vertical storage options that can support the weight of your items and fit snugly in and above your cabinets, without looking cluttered or overwhelming.
4. Add Shelving Where Possible
Shelves are one of the best ways to maximize storage in a small kitchen. Of course, your kitchen likely already has shelving, but does it have enough? If you have an empty wall space where you could add shelving, consider doing it. It will allow you to create additional space for any number of kitchen items including glasses, plates, bowls, pots and pans. You should also consider open shelving to add some visual interest and personality to your kitchen design. You can showcase your favorite dishware, glassware, or any number of decorative items on open shelving, to make your small kitchen look more appealing.
Just remember to consider the weight capacity of the shelving and the items you plan to store before you add more shelves. It is also important to consider the spacing between shelves. Leave enough room for tall items, such as cases or pitchers, while still making the most of the available vertical space.
5. Consider Corner Storage
Corner cabinets may seem challenging for most small kitchens. However, they add storage and functionality to your kitchen, which makes them well worth considering. There are plenty of corner storage solutions available that can help you make the most of this often-underutilized space. For instance, pull-out shelves or a lazy Susan can provide easy access to pots, pans, and other kitchen items, while a hanging rack or corner shelf can be a great spot for storing your spices or any small kitchen appliances. Before choosing a corner storage solution, consider its size and strength and the size and weight of the items you plan to store in it. You must also consider the accessibility of such storage options. For example, a pull-out shelf may be easier to access than a hanging rack for most small kitchens.
6. Invest in a Kitchen Cart
A kitchen cart can be a great addition to any small kitchen, providing additional counter space on a mobile storage solution. You can use this cart to store small appliances, cookware, or even some pantry items. Since most kitchen carts have wheels, you can move them around your kitchen as needed. Just remember to choose a cart that fits comfortably in your space and doesn’t obstruct the traffic flow of your kitchen, or look out of place. It is also important to note that heavier items may not be ideal for a kitchen cart, as you risk tipping it over and causing damage to your items and flooring.
7. Utilize the Space Inside Cabinet Doors
Perhaps the most overlooked storage space is the inside of cabinet doors. They can be a hidden storage gem in a small kitchen. By installing hooks, baskets, or racks on the inside of your cabinet doors, you can easily create space for storing items from spoons, spices, and pot lids to measuring cups and cutting boards.
It is a simple way to keep such kitchen items easily accessible while freeing up space in other cabinets and drawers. However, you must remember that this solution can be a trade-off. Utilizing space inside cabinet doors means you are taking space from inside the cabinet. Although, considering most cabinets are not filled to the brim, you can easily use the top half of cabinet doors to create “extra” storage inside, because that space is typically not being utilized. Just make sure you aren’t taking up valuable space for larger items like pots and pans, and that there is enough clearance between the storage option and the items you store inside the cabinet.
8. Invest in Multifunctional Kitchen Furniture
When space is at a premium, multifunctional items can be a lifesaver, especially multifunctional furniture. For instance, a kitchen island with built-in storage is kind of a no-brainer. Similarly, a drop-leaf table that can be folded down when not in use can provide additional counter and storage space without taking up too much room. A small bistro table with built-in shelves or drawers can also be a great spot for storing your cookbooks, breakfast items, and other kitchen essentials.
When choosing multi-functional furniture, consider the layout, design, and aesthetic of your kitchen. Multi-functional furniture can be both functional and decorative, adding visual appeal to your kitchen space.
9. Optimize Your Pantry
There are very few things that are more important for a functional kitchen than a well-organized pantry. Most importantly, it can be a game-changer if you are looking for ways to maximize storage in a small kitchen. By investing in pantry organizers like lazy Susans, stackable clear bins, and door-mounted racks, you can maximize the storage space in your pantry, while keeping everything organized and easily accessible. You may also want to install additional shelves or wire baskets to maximize the available space. However, it is smart to consider your pantry items before adding storage solutions, because you want your storage to be purposeful for an optimized pantry. For example, if you have a lot of canned goods, a can dispenser can be invaluable to your pantry. Whereas cereal dispensers can be great for families who like various types of cereals.
On the other hand, clear storage containers are great for all pantries, because they can help keep your pantry items organized and visible, making it easier to keep track of what you have and what you need to restock. Another key aspect of pantry optimization is labeling. Labeling your pantry storage and grouping similar items together will not only make it easier to find what you need quickly, but also make it easier for you to put it back in the right place, reduce clutter, and stay organized in a small kitchen.
An optimized pantry with purposeful storage, labeled items, quick access, less clutter, and easy restocking, is a hallmark of a highly functional kitchen regardless of its size.
10. Add Drawer Organizers/Dividers
Drawers are the best place to store utensils, cutlery, baking sheets, and other such smaller kitchen essentials. However, by adding organizers to your drawers, you can maximize the available space, allowing you to store more items in a compact space. While it may not make a huge difference to the overall storage of your kitchen, every little bit counts in a small kitchen. The key is purposeful storage. Choose drawer organizers or dividers according to the size of the items you want to store inside.
Make sure to utilize entire drawers by creating optimal layouts that meet your storage needs. You’ll want to choose organizers that fit snugly in your drawers, store your items perfectly, and allow you to make the most of the available space.
11. Utilize Under-Sink Space
Under-sink space is also a common storage space that is often overlooked by most people. It is the ideal space to store cleaning supplies, garbage bags, and other cleaning products or household items, especially in a small kitchen. By using a tension rod, you can also create additional storage space to hang spray bottles or other cleaning supplies. Moreover, you can use plastic bins or wire baskets and label them, to prevent clutter and keep your under-sink items organized.
However, you must consider the plumbing pipes and other such obstacles that may be present under your sink. Make sure that your storage solutions don’t interfere with their function, and only store items that you won’t mind getting wet if the pipes leak. Most importantly, however, if you are storing any chemicals or cleaning supplies under your sink, must make sure that they are out of reach of your children and pets.
The Final Word
There are plenty of ways to maximize storage in a small kitchen, but they require a combination of organization, creativity, practicality, and some storage products. By using the ideas mentioned above, you can create a kitchen that is functional, efficient, looks good, and meets all your storage needs. Whether you are a professional chef, homemaker, parent, or even a student just starting out in the kitchen, these tips will help you make the most of your small space while keeping your kitchen organized and clutter-free. When planning your storage solutions, be sure to consider the size and layout of your kitchen, as well as the items you need to store.
It is also important to regularly assess and reorganize your kitchen storage as your cooking habits and storage needs change over time. Regularly purging items that are no longer needed or used can also help to free up valuable storage space. If you want to learn more about kitchen storage solutions, call or visit Modern Kitchen Center and consult with their professionals. Discuss your needs and preferences with one of their designers, and they will help you make the most of your small kitchen.