14 Ways to Make Kitchen Wall Storage Work for You

The kitchen is often the heart of the home, but it can also be one of the most cluttered rooms. With so many cooking tools, appliances, ingredients, and dishes, kitchen storage is an ongoing battle. Utilizing vertical wall space is one of the smartest ways to maximize storage and organization in the kitchen.

Wall storage opens up cabinet and countertop space by moving infrequently used items off the counters. It also provides easy access to items you use often. The key is selecting the right wall storage solutions for your unique needs. Read on for 14 tips to make kitchen wall storage work for you.

Carefully Evaluate Your Storage Needs

Before installing any wall storage, take time to evaluate what you need to store. Make a list of all the items you want to get up and off the counters. Also consider what you use most frequently versus infrequently. This will help determine the best storage options.

You’ll want quick access to everyday cooking tools, spices, dishes, etc. But items used less often can go in higher cabinets or shelves. Optimizing organization for easy access takes some planning. Measure available wall space and storage item sizes to maximize each area.

Opt for Wall-Mounted Rail Systems

Wall-mounted rail systems are one of the most versatile and customizable storage options. Known as pot racks or hanging racks, these systems feature metal rails installed on the wall. Hooks, baskets and other accessories hang from the rail to hold everything from cooking utensils to pots and pans.

Hanging rails open up cabinet space and provide easy access to essential cooking tools right at your fingertips. Install them above islands, peninsulas or other workstations for efficiency. Opt for a double rail to hang frequently used items lower and infrequent items higher.

Maximize Space with Wall-Mounted Shelving

Open shelving is ideal for frequently used items like spices, oils, dishes and cooking tools. Mount shelves above work areas or islands for quick access as you cook. Consider using shelving near the stove to store spices, seasonings and cooking oils so they’re within reach as you cook.

Mix closed cabinets and open shelves to maximize space while keeping some items concealed. Basic floating shelves work well for lightweight items. For heavier platters, cookware or appliances, select sturdy brackets and shelving. Consider shelving material and edge type based on what you’ll store.

Utilize Wall-Mounted Plate Racks

Plate racks mount to the wall to store dishes upright and close at hand. This frees up cabinet space for other items. Racks allow air circulation to prevent moisture buildup that can lead to odors and bacteria. Plate racks are ideal near dishwashers for clean dish storage or close to dining areas for quick table setting.

Consider racks with a lip or edge to securely hold plates. Some racks accommodate glasses and mugs too. For more versatility, look for adjustable or slanted racks to accommodate different dish sizes with ease. A scalloped rack adds style.

Install Wall-Mounted Stemware Racks

Like plate racks, stemware racks hold glasses upright for easy access. Mount them near dishwashers or dining areas to free up cabinet space. Look for racks with pegs or open slats to allow airflow. Racks with a lip or rail help securely hold glasses in place.

For wine glasses, tapered holders keep the bowl and stem secure while showing off the design. Choose from basic single-tier racks to dual or multi-level options. Rotate wine glasses for proper drying and display. Consider lighting above glass racks for accent and visibility.

Utilize Magnetic Knife Strips

Magnetic knife strips turn wall space into storage for sharp kitchen tools. The powerful magnets hold knives securely in place for safety. Strips also provide easy access to knives while cooking.

Look for commercial-grade magnetic strips that are durable and provide a strong, safe grip. Stainless steel or wood strips complement most decor. Choose a size that fits your knife collection and available space. Consider extra features like built-in knife blocks or strips with angled knife slots.

Proper placement is key – keep them safely out of reach of children but easily accessible for adults. Install them near food prep areas for efficiency.

Mount Multi-Purpose Wall Storage Rails

For maximum versatility, consider multi-purpose wall storage rails. These heavy-duty rails mount to the wall like a standard pot rack. The difference is the wide ledge that allows you to hang items below while utilizing the space above the rail too.

Pots, pans and baskets can hang from hooks on the bottom ledge. Meanwhile, the top ledge is ideal for trays, cutting boards, utensil crocks and more. Some systems come with adjustable brackets to fit larger items. Customize with hooks, baskets and accessories to suit your needs.

Incorporate Drawers for Enclosed Storage

While open shelves provide easy access, some items are best stored out of sight. Incorporate cabinets or drawers to conceal small appliances, cookware and tools you use less often. Look for wall-mounted options with smooth ball-bearing glides and soft-closing hinges for convenience.

Vertical drawer systems provide enclosed storage while maximizing vertical space. Consider drawers near mixing and prep areas to store gadgets, bowls and tools. Drawers keep items organized and free up precious cabinet room. Adding handles makes contents identifiable and accessible.

Take Advantage of Wall-Mounted Peg Rails

Peg rails mount to walls to create customized storage for kitchen tools, oven mitts, aprons and more. Opt for durable rails with pegs that slide easily to accommodate different item widths. Place rails near cooktops or ovens to hang necessary cooking tools and gloves within reach.

Consider combining peg rails with shelf units. Use the shelves for bulky, heavy items and the pegs for lighter tools, towels, potholders. Take advantage of vertical space above counters or work areas that lack storage. Customize with hooks, baskets and pans to maximize the space.

Install Wall-Mounted Paper Towel Holders

For easy access to paper towels for cleaning and cooking, install wall-mounted paper towel holders. This frees up counter space and eliminates having a paper towel roll sitting out. Stainless steel holders blend with most decor and provide durability.

Look for commercial-grade holders with a weighted arm to keep the paper towel roll securely in place. Consider spring-loaded holders that allow tearing off sheets one-handed. Place near cooking areas or sinks for quick cleanups as you cook.

Display Cookbooks on Wall-Mounted Shelves

Designate wall space for displaying treasured cookbooks to free up cabinet room. Floating shelves or book ledges mounted on the wall keep books within reach while cooking. Consider mounting shelves near food prep areas.

Opt for sturdy metal or thick solid-wood brackets and shelves that can handle the weight of books. Make sure shelves are deep enough to accommodate rows of books. Allow about 10-12 inches of depth. Angled shelves are ideal for easy book browsing.

Utilize Wall-Mounted Drying Racks

Take advantage of vertical wall space for drying dishes, glasses and cutlery. Wall-mounted dish racks maximize space while allowing items to dry hygienically without cluttering counters. Opt for a rust-resistant rack with drainage channels to prevent water pooling.

Look for durable racks with ventilation to allow air circulation. Position over the sink or near the dishwasher for convenient access. Fold-down racks save space when not in use. For other items, wall-mounted drying racks for wine glasses or cutlery are helpful.

Add Wall-Mounted Spice Racks

Bring your spice collection out of the cabinets and onto the wall for daily use. Wall-mounted racks keep spices visible and within easy reach while cooking. Racks promote better organization since you can easily see spice labels.

Opt for durable racks with secure shelves to safely hold spice jars. Racks with ledges or lips prevent toppling. Consider models with ventilation slots to prevent humidity buildup. Install racks near cooking areas like stovetops, islands or prep stations for efficiency.

Incorporate Wall-Mounted Message Boards

Bring function and style to your kitchen with a wall-mounted message board. Use it to post recipes, make grocery lists, write reminders, or display photos and artwork. Position the board for easy access from cooking zones.

For organizing recipes, look for boards with storage to slip recipes in place. Magnetic boards allow you to pin up recipes or photos. Chalkboard style boards let you write messages that are easily changed. Frame the board to coordinate with your kitchen decor.

Add Wall-Mounted Storage Bins and Baskets

Unclutter your countertops by storing baking supplies and loose items in wall-mounted storage bins. Baskets mounted to the walls corral everything from boxes of pasta to pasta spools. Opt for sturdy bins with secure front lips to prevent spilling.

Position bins near workstations or the pantry to keep supplies handy as you cook. Labeling bins makes it easy to quickly grab ingredients or locate utensils. Bins on rails easily slide out for access then back against the wall to save space.

Utilize Wall-Mounted Bottle Racks

Clear counterspace by storing oils, vinegar and other kitchen bottles on wall-mounted racks. Opt for durable metal racks with spring-loaded arms to securely grip each bottle. Ventilated racks allow airflow to prevent leaks.

Position racks near cooking zones for quick access when preparing meals. Mount racks high enough to keep bottles out of reach of children. Consider rack sizes and placement that fits larger bottles and containers used often in cooking.

Key Tips for Maximizing Wall Storage

When installing wall storage in your kitchen, follow these tips:

  • Carefully measure the area and storage items to find the right-sized solutions. Leave some extra space for future additions.
  • Opt for high-quality materials like commercial-grade steel, thick wood, and durable finishes that withstand kitchen heat and moisture.
  • Properly install into wall studs for security, and anchor well. Use all provided hardware.
  • Place the most frequently used items at the most accessible heights, around eye-level and lower.
  • Organize storage items neatly and label for quick identification. Group like items.
  • Edit items over time. Remove unused items to prevent clutter. Replace any racks/hooks/bins that become loose or damaged.
  • Clean wall storage regularly during kitchen cleaning. Check for dust buildup, dripping oil, leaks, etc.


With the right wall storage solutions, you can maximize every inch of your kitchen’s vertical space. Implementing a combination of shelves, rails, racks and other holders allows you to free up valuable cabinet and countertop real estate. Be sure to carefully evaluate your needs and frequently used items before choosing wall storage systems. Place items strategically based on use and ease of access. With smart wall storage, you can organize your kitchen for maximum efficiency and functionality.