Small kitchen storage ideas – 28 clever ways to optimize space


Having a small kitchen can present some storage challenges. With limited space, it can be tricky figuring out how to store all your kitchen items and keep things organized. However, there are many clever small kitchen storage ideas that can help you maximize every inch and keep your kitchen clutter-free.

In this article, we will share 28 smart small kitchen storage solutions to help optimize space. From cabinet organizers to dual-purpose furniture, these storage hacks will help you neatly tuck away cooking tools, dishes, food items and more – even in the tiniest kitchen. With a bit of creativity and strategic thinking, you can create a highly-functional small kitchen that makes the most of what you have available.

Use wall-mounted rail systems

Installing wall-mounted rail systems is one of the most efficient ways to add storage in a small kitchen. Mounted on the wall or inside cabinets, these rails allow you to hang cooking utensils, pots and pans to free up precious counter and cabinet space.

Look for rail systems with S-shaped hooks that can accommodate handles and free up cabinet space below for larger items. You can mount them on the wall, inside cabinet doors or even above the sink for quick access to frequently used tools. Wall-mounted rails are great for everything from pots and pans to spatulas, ladles and other odd-shaped utensils.

Opt for pull-out drawers and shelves

Swapping out standard cabinets for pull-out drawers and shelves is a game-changer for small kitchen storage. Pull-out drawers maximize vertical storage space and give you better visibility and access to items in the back that might otherwise get buried.

Install pull-out shelves in corner cabinets or any hard-to-access space. You can find pull-out shelves and trays for a variety of purposes, from holding spices and oils to storage for pots and pans. Pull-outs help you efficiently use every inch of existing cabinet space.

Take advantage of magnetic strips

Magnetic strips or magnetic bars provide convenient, space-saving storage for knives and other metal kitchen tools. Mount them on the wall or install inside cabinet doors to hold metal items in place with magnets. This frees up drawer space for larger utensils and gear.

Look for magnetic strips made of wood, stainless steel or other durable materials. Make sure they are securely mounted to provide a strong hold. Position magnetic strips in optimal spots for holding essential cooking tools within quick reach.

Get creative with shelves

Shelving opens up a world of small kitchen storage possibilities. Make the most of wall space by mounting shelves strategically around the kitchen to hold items of all sizes.

Install shelves inside cabinet doors to triple your storage capacity. Wall-mounted shelves let you store appliances and frequently used items within arm’s reach. Spice racks keep seasoning organized without taking up precious cabinet space. Floating shelves create storage anywhere without complicated installation. Get creative with shelf placement to maximize every bit of available space.

Use dual-purpose furniture

Dual-purpose furniture lets you get double the storage capacity from a single piece. An antique baker’s rack or used library cart, for instance, can provide a movable storage tower for appliances, cookbooks and accessories.

Look for small kitchen carts with storage drawers, shelves and towel racks that can be tucked under counters or in corners. Fold-down butcher block tables give you flexible extra surface space ideal for small kitchens. Dual-purpose furniture helps add function without claiming a large footprint.

Opt for open shelving

While cabinets hide away items, open shelving puts your most attractive and frequently used kitchenware on display. The key to open shelving is keeping things tidy so the space always looks organized. Use canisters, baskets and other organizers to corral loose items.

Mix open shelving and closed cabinets for the best use of space. Reserve upper cabinets for items used less often while displaying attractive dishware, glassware and cooking tools on lower open shelves. This opens up the kitchen visually while providing easy access to essentials.

Add tiered shelving

Multi-tiered shelving expands storage vertically to make the most of limited wall space. Tiered shelves and display ledges allow you to stack cookbooks, dishes or spices while keeping everything visible and within reach.

Look for corner shelving units to optimize awkward, wasted space in kitchen corners. You can find corner racks with two, three or more tiers of shelving for spices, cookware and other kitchen essentials. Vertical storage is a smart solution for small kitchens.

Use wall-mounted utensil racks

Wall-mounted utensil racks are perfect for freeing up drawers while keeping spatulas, spoons and other necessities conveniently at hand. Mount them near appliances or prep areas for quick access while cooking.

Opt for utensil racks with deep compartments or individual slots to keep items securely in place. Closed racks keep utensils tidy and dust-free. Include hooks underneath for hanging larger implements like whisks and spatulas. Wall-mounted racks are an efficient way to organize kitchen tools in compact kitchens.

Organize cabinets with trays

Installing organizers like trays and drawer inserts makes the most of vertical storage space. Stackable trays allow you to subdivide cabinets to hold everything from cans to baking pans. Deep cutlery trays corral loose utensils into neat rows.

Non-slip liners keep trays and contents securely in place, even in shallow cabinets. Organizers make it easy to see contents at a glance while keeping like items together. Look for trays sized to perfectly fit your existing cabinetry and drawer space.

Hang pots and pans

Instead of cramming pots and pans into crowded cabinets, hang them from wall-mounted racks to save a tremendous amount of space. Pot racks free up cabinet storage for other items and provide quick access to essential cookware while cooking.

Choose over-the-sink racks or ceiling-mounted racks to suspend pots, pans and lids above prep areas. Opt for swing-out racks that allow you to move pots out of the way as needed. Hang pans by order of use or size to keep your cookware organized.

Stack with vertical dividers

Vertical dividers transform wasted cabinet space into smart storage with neat compartments for cooking gear, food staples and more. These inserts feature tall, vertical slots perfect for organizing cutting boards, baking sheets, dishware and other kitchen essentials.

Look for vertical dividers made of durable materials like wood, metal or durable plastic. Measure existing cabinet space and opt for inserts designed for a custom fit. The vertical storage maximizes the height of existing cabinets for a clutter-free kitchen.

Take advantage of under-cabinet space

Make the most of the often underutilized space under cabinets with specialized organizers. Mount shallow wire baskets underneath to hold spices, oils and other small items. Hang utensil hooks or bars to keep essential tools right at your fingertips.

You can find footed racks that mount under cabinets to hold paper towels, aluminum foil and plastic wrap. Install shallow trays to corral small appliances like a toaster oven when not in use. Under-cabinet storage solutions help you use the full height of existing space.

Add over-the-cabinet storage

In addition to utilizing under-cabinet space, look up. Over-the-cabinet storage takes advantage of the forgotten space on top of wall cabinets. These organizers mount above existing cabinets for bonus storage.

Choose from a variety of over-the-cabinet organizers such as wire racks ideal for extra dishware. Or opt for enclosed units to conceal small appliances when not in use. You can even find over-cabinet units with built-in lighting, hooks and wine glass racks.

Use waist-high drawer organizers

Installing specialized organizers inside drawers instantly boosts storage capacity. Opt for tiered cutlery dividers, knife blocks and utensil trays that allow you to neatly arrange items in a single drawer.

Shallow spice organizers with small compartments are perfect for installing in a waist-high drawer near the stove for easy seasoning access. Non-slip liners and anti-tip hardware keep organizers securely in place. Built-in drawer organizers maximize existing space.

Store seasonings in wall racks

Free up valuable cabinet space by displaying spices and seasonings in wall-mounted racks instead. Wall racks keep your most-used herbs, spices and oil bottles visible and within arm’s reach for cooking convenience.

Opt for spice racks with stainless steel wire construction or solid wood designs to match your décor. Make sure racks mount securely and feature angled tiers that make labels easy to read. Position racks near cooking surfaces for quick seasoning access as you cook.

Use expandable shelves

Expandable shelves are designed to provide a custom fit in any size cabinet or closet. Made from materials like steel, these shelves feature adjustable brackets that allow you to customize widths and heights to match your existing space.

Expandable shelving maximizes storage, even in hard-to-fit areas like corners and irregularly sized cabinets. Look for durable shelves with anti-slip feet to secure heavier items. Install multiple shelves for tiered storage to optimize awkward spaces.

Take advantage of cabinet door storage

Instead of keeping cabinet doors bare, utilize them for extra storage using specialty racks made for cabinet doors. You can find space-saving racks for storing cutting boards, aluminum foil, cleaning supplies, utensils and more.

Door racks mount easily onto the back of cabinet doors to keep items neatly stored while freeing up space inside cabinets. Opt for sturdy over-the-door racks with secure hardware to hold weight without pulling off doors. This clever storage solution puts unused space to work.

Use nested storage containers

Containers designed to nest inside one another are a space-saving option for neatly storing pantry essentials, dried goods and more. Look for plastic or glass canisters with airtight seals to keep foods fresh.

Opt for nesting food containers in multiple sizes that all stack together into a single organizer to save room. Label each container to easily identify contents. Nested storage units allow you to organize ingredients and supplies efficiently, even in cramped spaces.

Stock up on stackable items

When every inch counts, look for kitchen tools and containers designed to stack neatly on top of each other. Stackable items conserve space and make it easy to see and access what’s on hand.

Invest in stackable mixing bowls, food containers, pans and colanders. Opt for circular or square-shaped items that offer a smaller footprint when stacked. The more you can stack and nest, the more you can store in limited cabinet and countertop space.

Use multi-tiered roll-outs

Install roll-out trays that feature two or more tiered compartments to maximize cabinet space. These built-in organizers mount to cabinet interiors and pull out to provide organized storage compartments of varying sizes.

Multi-tiered roll-outs allow you to neatly sort and store a variety of items while getting the benefit of full-extension slide-out access. Customize roll-outs to fit existing cabinetry footprints and maximize the storage potential of any space.

Opt for sliding drawers

Replace standard cabinet doors with sliding drawers for an instant storage upgrade in kitchens with limited space. Shallow drawers are ideal for organizing smaller items that can get lost in deep cabinets.

Look for soft-closing drawers on smooth, full-extension glides. Sliding hardware maximizes drawer space, allowing you to access the entire depth. Custom sliding drawers are a smart way to add extra organized storage.

Incorporate unseen spaces

Small kitchens require thinking unconventionally when it comes to storage space. Look for clever ways to add storage to unexpected voids and gaps:

  • Install pull-out spice racks behind kitchen cabinets.
  • Stash small appliances like blenders inside cabinet gaps with pull-out organizers.
  • Use the dead space between studs for narrow storage units like cutting board racks.
  • Build custom drawers to fit inside the void under kitchen sinks.
  • Add pull-outs to utilize awkward toe-kick space for cleaning supplies.

Finding unseen spaces for organizers and pull-outs adds usable storage without major renovations. Get creative and make the most of the tiny gaps and voids in your kitchen layout.

Add multi-use furniture

Make the most of small kitchens with furniture and carts designed for multiple purposes. An island with ample storage space along with a built-in butcher block top maximizes both storage and prep area.

Carts with drawer storage as well as retractable working space like fold-down butcher block save space when not in use. Dining tables with storage bases add storage as well as extra counter space when covered with a tablecloth. Furniture that serves various needs helps small kitchens function efficiently.

Utilize blind corner space

Kitchen blind corners and angles inevitably create unusable space. But specialized organizers like blind corner pull-out cabinets and lazy susans make these spots highly functional storage.

Pull-outs maximize use of entire blind cabinet spaces. Pantry pull-outs allow you to see and access a variety of food items. Lazy susans create easy access to items in deep corner cabinets. Take advantage of organizers made to optimize tricky corner spaces.

Add functional mobile storage

When your small kitchen lacks built-in storage space, movable carts and cabinets provide needed storage that can be positioned wherever you need it. Mobile storage gives you flexibility to tuck it out of the way or move it as your workspace needs change.

Carts and cabinets on casters allow you to roll them right up to your workspace for convenient access to essentials while cooking. Look for customizable utility carts with shelves, drawers, towel bars and other space-saving features.

Mount storage to walls and ceilings

Maximize vertical storage space using walls and ceilings creatively. Mount pot racks, utensil hooks, shelves and storage cabinets on walls to conserve floor and countertop space in cramped kitchens.

Ceiling-mounted racks utilize overhead space to hang bulky pots and pans overhead and still keep them accessible. Wall-mounted magnetic knife racks, towel holders and vertical spice organizers maximize space efficiency. Mount as much storage as possible to utilize air space.

Opt for multi-purpose appliances

When it comes to small kitchen appliances, look for space-saving options that perform multiple functions. Compact appliances with various capabilities consume less storage real estate.

Choose appliances like multi-cookers that work as rice cookers, steamers and more. Look for a toaster oven with a built-in rotisserie and convection features to replace several gadgets. Stackable washer-dryers, all-in-one printers, and combination stick blenders maximize efficiency.

Keep it minimal

Getting by with less is an effective small kitchen storage strategy. Keep only your most-used items accessible and pack away infrequently used appliances, utensils and dishes. Donate unused kitchenware to free up needed space.

Practice a minimalist approach in your cooking area. Pare down to versatile essentials that allow you to do more with less. Eliminating excess stuff in your small kitchen helps storage go further and keeps things organized.

Store according to frequency of use

To make the best use of limited storage, keep items that you use most often right at your fingertips while relegating rarely used things to harder-to-reach spots. Place everyday dishes, cookware and tools in primo spots for cooking efficiency.

Consumables like food staples also deserve easy access in prime pantry spots. Use top cabinets for occasion dinnerware and bottom cabinets for everyday dishes. Strategic storage placement tailored to your habits makes a smaller kitchen highly functional.

Get creative combining form and function

Storage furniture that looks attractive can do double duty in small kitchens where every piece counts. Look for ways to combine storage and display:

  • Repurpose a vintage ladder into a lean-to spice rack and towel bar
  • Use a decorative barrel as statement seating that provides hidden storage
  • Display pretty china and glassware in open cabinets with interior organizers
  • Add closed storage baskets and bins to open shelving for visual appeal

Choose furniture and organizational items with designs you love while still serving practical storage purposes. Creatively blending form and function lets you gain storage without sacrificing style.

Frequently Asked Questions about Small Kitchen Storage Ideas

Q: What are some of the biggest small kitchen storage challenges?

Some of the most common small kitchen storage challenges include lack of space for food staples and dishes, not enough drawers and cabinets, cluttered countertops, and disorganized utensils and appliances. Small kitchens make it extra hard to keep things organized and accessible.

Q: How do you maximize storage in a small, galley-style kitchen?

In a narrow galley kitchen, make the most of vertical storage with floor-to-ceiling shelving, hanging pots and pans overhead, and wall-mounted rails and organizational items. Also utilize multi-tiered carts and roll-outs. Focus on eliminating clutter and keeping only essentials accessible.

Q: What are some ideas for adding extra storage to a small kitchen without remodeling?

For quick extra storage, add multi-purpose carts, hanging wall racks and shelves, over-cabinet organizers, and drawer inserts. Also look at under-utilized spaces like inside cabinet doors, gaps between studs, and the toe-kick area for pull-out storage additions.

Q: How do you make the most of base cabinet and drawer storage in a small kitchen?

Install organizers like drawer dividers, tiered cutlery trays, spice racks and pan organizers. Take advantage of full-extension slides and roll-outs. Replace standard cabinets with pull-out shelves or drawers. Use every inch of existing base cabinet and drawer space efficiently.

Q: What are some good storage solutions for small kitchens with limited counter space?

Wall-mounted shelving, hanging pot racks and utility hooks maximize space while keeping items off counters. Mobile carts with storage provide extra space you can roll in and out as needed. Also opt for wall-mounted, fold-down work surfaces to maximize available counter area.


While small kitchens can be challenging when it comes to sufficient storage, the clever solutions in this article prove you can create functional, organized space even without expansive square footage. With smart organization hacks and space-saving fixtures and furniture, any tiny kitchen can overcome clutter and storage limitations. Use these ideas to fully optimize your available space and enjoy an efficiently organized cooking area. What small kitchen storage solutions do you find most helpful? Get creative and make even the tiniest kitchen