32 Easy Kitchen Upgrades That Will Improve Your Life

The kitchen is often called the heart of the home. It’s where families gather to cook, eat, and spend quality time together. Even if you don’t cook often, having an efficient, organized, and comfortable kitchen can make your home feel more inviting.

Luckily, you don’t need a full-scale renovation to transform your kitchen. There are many easy and affordable upgrades that can make a big difference in both form and function. We’ve rounded up 32 of our favorite kitchen upgrades to help inspire your next project. Read on for ideas to simplify meal prep, increase storage, upgrade appliances, and more.

Streamline Food Prep

A well-designed and properly equipped kitchen can cut your meal prep time in half. These upgrades make cooking easier and more efficient.

1. Install a Pot Filler

A pot filler faucet mounted on the wall behind your stove lets you easily fill pots with water on the burner. No more lugging a heavy pot across the kitchen to the sink. Pot fillers are relatively easy to DIY install and start around $100.

2. Add a Kitchen Island

Islands provide additional counter space and storage. Carts or pre-assembled islands are affordable options starting around $120. Choose one with drawers, shelves, hooks, and other organizational features.

3. Get a Set of Nesting Mixing Bowls

Nesting bowls save cabinet space. This 10-piece stainless steel set covers all mixing and prep needs. The bowls have flat bases that sit stably on the counter and non-slip grips on the exterior.

4. Install a Magnetic Knife Strip

Clear counter clutter and keep knives within easy reach by mounting a magnetic knife strip to the wall. Wood or stainless steel strips let you display beautiful knives while also making them quickly accessible as you cook.

5. Change Out Electrical Outlets

Replace outdated outlets with modern, USB-charging outlets. They end the need for bulky adapter plugs. Just plug your phone directly into the outlet to charge while you cook.

6. Get a Digital Kitchen Scale

A digital kitchen scale takes the guesswork out of measuring ingredients for baking, cooking, and portion control. Choose one that toggles easily between standard and metric units.

Organize Cabinets and Drawers

The easiest way to maximize kitchen storage is with simple organizational systems and products for your cabinets and drawers. Here are our top recommendations:

7. Install Pull-Out Cabinet Shelves

Make items in the back of cabinets easily reachable with pull-out shelves. Full-extension shelves bring everything to the front with just a gentle pull. DIY installation kits are affordable and easy to configure.

8. Use Shelf Dividers

Shelf dividers instantly neaten up cabinets and drawers. Adjustable dividers let you customize spaces to keep everything in its place. Use them in cupboards to separate glassware, bowls, baking pans, and more.

9. Add Drawer Dividers

Plastic or bamboo drawer dividers organize utensils, cutlery, and tools. They instantly create neat compartments for each item. If you rearrange occasionally, choose adjustable dividers.

10. Label Jars and Containers

Never go hunting for a matching lid again! Use chalkboard labels and chalk to neatly identify what’s in each jar and container. This keeps food storage and cooking staples easy to find and retrieve.

11. Try Vertically Stacked Trays

Vertical dividers double storage in cupboards without taking up more footprint. Stacked trays let you neatly organize pots, pans, and lids while keeping them accessible.

12. Store Spices in Drawer Organizers

Clear up clutter on your shelves by storing spices and other small jars in drawer organizers. You can quickly see everything at a glance while keeping the most-used items closest at hand.

13. Use Under-Cabinet Holders

Take advantage of wasted vertical space with holders for paper towels, utensils, cutting boards, and more. Store these essentials just below eye-level for convenience.

Upgrade Appliances and Surfaces

Replacing worn or outdated appliances is one of the most impactful upgrades for any kitchen. New countertops also make a big difference in refresh a dated kitchen on a budget.

14. Install an Instant Hot Water Dispenser

An instant hot water dispenser delivers steaming water for coffee and tea on demand. Models install directly to the sink or countertop. Most heat water to preset temperatures from 180 to 205°F.

15. Add an Air Fryer

Air fryers use rapid air circulation to crisp up favorites like chicken wings, fries, and more with little to no oil. Today’s models have customizable settings, dishwasher-safe parts, and sleek designs to keep on your countertop.

16. Change Out Lighting Fixtures

Better lighting can make the kitchen much more functional and stylish. Update old fluorescent box fixtures with pendant lights, under-cabinet lighting, or recessed cans.

17. Upgrade Kitchen Stools

Quality counter stools provide comfortable seating for casual meals and keeping the chef company. Style options range from industrial metal to rustic wood, with or without back support.

18. Install New Faucet and Sink

Replacing an old faucet and sink completely changes the look and utility of the kitchen. New fixtures offer conveniences like pull-down sprayers, soap dispensers, and motion sensors.

19. Add a Backsplash

Ceramic, metal, or glass tile backsplashes protect the wall behind sinks and stoves. They come in endless style and materials options, making it easy to match your décor.

20. Replace Countertops

New countertops – like quartz, granite, solid surface, or laminate – can modernize kitchen style even in old, outdated spaces. Pro installation is recommended, but DIY options are available.

21. Get a Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals grind up food scraps so they can go down the drain instead of clogging pipes or overflowing the trash. Choose a quiet, powerful model sized appropriately for your household.

22. Install a Water Filtration System

Filtered water keeps drinks and ice tasting fresh and removes contaminants from water used for cooking. Faucet-mounted filters are easy to install. Under-sink systems filter all water to the kitchen.

Improve Storage and Organization

No matter how spacious your kitchen, more and better storage is always helpful. These organizational upgrades maximize every inch of space.

23. Use Cabinet Door Racks

Cabinet door racks utilize empty vertical storage behind cabinet doors. Great options include racks for foil and parchment paper, cutting boards, baking sheets, spices, and more.

24. Add a Kitchen Pantry

Pantries efficiently corral all dry, canned, and bottled goods in one spot. Freestanding cabinet pantries are easy to install. Custom built-in versions maximize available space.

25. Install Deep Drawers

Swap out standard drawers for deep roll-out drawers to optimize room for pots, pans, and lids. Full-extension drawer slides make contents totally accessible.

26. Add Pull-Out Trash and Recycling Bins

Pull-out bins make trash disposal convenient while also freeing up floor space. Bins are mounted on drawer slides under cabinets or islands. Sort recycling in dual-bin versions.

27. Use Lid Organizers

Lid organizers neatly store and stack pots, pans, and container lids of all sizes. Mount them inside cabinets to stop messy, toppling lid piles.

28. Hang Utensils from Drawer Fronts

Use the empty space underneath upper cabinets for handy utensil storage. Install hooks along the inside of drawer fronts to hang mugs, ladles, strainers, and more.

29. Undermount Your Sink

An undermounted sink is installed below the countertop creating a sleek, contemporary look. Most styles can be DIY installed. Make sure to choose a heatproof countertop material.

30. Add Pull-Out Pantry Shelves

Make deep corner cabinets more functional with pull-out pantry shelves on smooth glide tracks. Spinning “lazy Susan” tiers further maximize vertical storage.

Embrace Hands-Free Convenience

Hands-free kitchen gadgets simplify tasks and help reduce the spread of germs around food. Here are some affordable ideas to embrace.

31. Install a Motion Sensor Faucet

Motion sensor faucets turn water flow on and off with a simple hand motion. They make washing vegetables, dirty dishes, and more much more sanitary by minimizing handle contact.

32. Get a Touchless Trash Can

Touchless trash cans open automatically when you move your hand or foot near the sensor. They reduce germ transfer from handles onto food prep surfaces.


With a little creativity and elbow grease, you can upgrade your kitchen without a costly renovation. Implement just a few of these organization hacks, storage solutions, and new appliances to renew your cooking space and build your dream kitchen. Which of these easy kitchen upgrades will you tackle first?