This simple hack has maximized the storage space in my compact kitchen instantly

Kitchen storage solutions are essential for keeping any kitchen organized and clutter-free. However, finding adequate storage in a small or compact kitchen can be especially challenging. If you’re struggling with a lack of space in your kitchen, there are some simple yet effective hacks that can help maximize the storage potential. Read on to learn a clever hack that can instantly increase usable storage space in a compact kitchen.

Why Storage is Key in Small Kitchens

When dealing with a compact kitchen, every inch of storage space counts. Without sufficient and smart storage solutions, it’s easy for a small kitchen to become chaotic and crowded very quickly. Some key reasons why storage is so crucial for small kitchens include:

  • Limited Cabinet Space – Standard kitchen cabinets provide a lot of storage space. But in a compact kitchen, cabinet space is at a premium and you likely have fewer of them. This limits where you can put all your dishes, cooking items, pantry goods, etc. Proper storage is essential.
  • Minimal Counter Space – Having ample countertop space makes storage less of an issue since you have room to set items out. But small kitchens have very minimal counter space to utilize. So everything needs a dedicated storage area.
  • Clutter Accumulates Fast – When you don’t have designated homes for all your kitchen items, clutter on the counters and floor happens rapidly. Without strategic storage, a compact kitchen looks and feels messy very quickly.
  • Easy Access is a Must – Reaching into deep corner cabinets or constantly reorganizing to find items wastes time and space. Efficient storage ensures daily cooking items are readily accessible.

Maximizing what storage potential exists is vital for keeping a small kitchen organized and clutter-free.

Storage Limitations in Compact Kitchens

Several standard kitchen storage solutions aren’t possible or practical in a compact kitchen. Understanding these limitations is key to finding solutions that work. Some main storage limitations include:

Upper Cabinets

Standard kitchens have upper cabinets going across most of the wall space, but compact kitchens may only have one or two. This significantly decreases available cupboard space.


A spacious walk-in pantry is out of the question. And there likely isn’t even space for a pantry cabinet. This limits available food storage.


Appliances take up significant floor space that could otherwise be used for storage solutions. Working around the refrigerator, stove, and other appliances limits options.


A kitchen island can provide cabinet storage and counter space for storing items in a standard kitchen. But compact kitchens don’t have room for an island.

Open Shelves

While open shelves provide easy access in large kitchens, they take up wall space that could otherwise be used for more enclosed storage. Open shelving may not be ideal for small kitchens.

Understanding these limitations helps narrow down what types of storage solutions will actually work in the available space.

A Simple yet Effective Hack for Compact Kitchen Storage

Even with size limitations, there is one simple hack that can have an instant impact on storage space in a compact kitchen. The hack is to add an over-the-cabinet door rack for extra storage.

This storage solution maximizes the often underutilized space above the kitchen cabinets. Here’s a closer look at how this clever hack works:

Utilizes Wasted Space

Kitchen cabinet doors typically stop 12-18 inches from the ceiling, leaving a gap between the top of the cabinets and ceiling. This space sits empty and wasted. A door rack instantly adds a second level of storage in this unused vertical space.

Increases Storage Capacity

The size and shape of most over-the-cabinet racks allow for storing multiple items. A typical rack can hold 3-4 large bowls, a set of mixing bowls, appliances like a blender or food processor, or a combination of these items. This added storage capacity makes an immediate difference.

Creates Instant Accessibility

Because the rack sits in an open area rather than inside a cabinet, whatever you store is always visible and within reach. You don’t have to dig through cabinets or rearrange items to access what you need. Everything stored is convenient and instantly accessible.

Takes Just Minutes to Install

Over-the-cabinet racks come ready to install out of the box. All you need is a screwdriver and a couple minutes. Simply position the rack above the cabinet, mark and drill pilot holes, then screw the rack securely into place. Installation is quick and easy.

With virtually no effort, this single hack literally maximizes unused space and storage capacity above your existing cabinets. It’s affordable, instant, and makes a significant difference for compact kitchens. Now let’s look at how to choose the best over-the-cabinet rack and use it effectively.

Choosing the Best Over-the-Cabinet Rack

While the basic concept is straightforward, you’ll want to choose the right style and size rack to maximize functionality. Consider these factors when selecting an over-the-cabinet rack:


  • Door rack – Simplest option that sits flush against wall above cabinet. Provides basic storage shelf.
  • Wall rack – Similar to door rack but sticks out slightly from the wall. Access items easier.
  • Microwave shelf – Specialized rack designed to hold a microwave. Frees up counter space.


  • Take measurements so rack fits properly between cabinets and aligns with edges.
  • Allow for any light fixtures or vents when measuring.
  • Depth can range from 8 to 16 inches. Depth impacts storage capacity.


  • Metal wire provides open visibility. Mesh hides clutter while allowing ventilation.
  • Solid wood matches cabinets but blocks light. Sturdy for heavy items.
  • Metal racks are the strongest but can be prone to rusting.

Weight Capacity

  • Standard racks hold 15-25 lbs. Sturdier racks can hold 50+ lbs if storing heavier appliances.

Be sure to measure carefully so the rack aligns flush with existing cabinets for a seamless look. The right size and style over-the-cabinet rack will maximize storage space.

Ideas for Using Over-the-Cabinet Racks

There are many smart ways to utilize the extra storage space from an over-the-cabinet rack. Here are some great ideas:

Kitchen Appliances

  • Stand mixer
  • Blender
  • Food processor
  • Toaster oven
  • Electric grill

Storing bulky appliances frees up precious counter space. Just be sure not to exceed the rack’s weight capacity.


  • Pots and pans
  • Lids
  • Baking sheets/cooling racks
  • Cutting boards

Vertical storage keeps these daily-use items accessible yet out of the way.

Baking Essentials

  • Rolling pin
  • Mixing bowls
  • Measuring cups/spoons
  • Baking pans

Keep all baking supplies together but separate from other cooking items.


  • Plates
  • Bowls
  • Extra silverware

Store overflow dishware that doesn’t fit in cabinets. Use plate stands or inserts to separate.

Spices & Condiments

  • Spice jars
  • Oil & vinegars
  • Sauce bottles

Keep favorite spices and condiments on quick display rather than buried in a cabinet.

Get creative with vertical storage! An over-the-cabinet rack instantly adds usable space exactly where you need it most.

Tips for Maximizing Over-the-Cabinet Storage

To get the most out of an over-the-cabinet rack storage solution, keep these tips in mind:

  • Strategically place – Spot the area where extra storage is most needed and will be most useful. Near the pantry or appliances are ideal.
  • Use durable hooks – Sturdy hooks allow hanging cooking tools, towels, utensils. Hang items from front and back.
  • Try under-rack baskets – Baskets add an extra layer of storage and can hold small jars, boxes, or cans.
  • Consider a microwave shelf – This special rack adds storage while freeing up counter space by holding a microwave.
  • Keep it organized – Use dividers, bins, or trays to neatly organize items. Label for easy identification.
  • Check weight limits – Don’t overload top-heavy appliances that could unbalance the rack and pull away from the wall.
  • Install securely – Ensure the rack is properly screwed into wall studs so it can safely hold weight.

Taking these simple steps will guarantee this hack provides optimal storage space exactly where you need it most!

Frequently Asked Questions About Over-the-Cabinet Racks

What items should not be stored on an over-the-cabinet rack?

Avoid extremely heavy items that exceed the rack’s weight limit, overflowing the rack with too many items, or items that could tip easily. Avoid storing valuables or breakables that could fall.

How much weight can an over-the-cabinet rack hold?

Standard racks hold 15-25 pounds. Sturdier metal or solid wood racks can hold up to 50 pounds. Check specifications before loading with heavy items. Spread weight evenly.

Should the rack be screwed into wall studs?

Yes, it’s crucial to attach the rack securely into the wall studs and not just drywall. This provides a stable anchor to safely hold items without pulling away from the wall.

Can you install an over-the-cabinet rack yourself?

Definitely! Installation only requires basic tools like a drill, stud finder, and screwdriver. Follow included directions closely. It’s simple and can be done in minutes.

How do you determine proper sizing for an over-the-cabinet rack?

Carefully measure the exact width between your existing cabinets and from wall to cabinet top. Allow for lights or vents. Choose rack depth based on your storage needs.

What is the best material for an over-the-cabinet rack?

It depends on your needs. Metal provides industrial strength. Wood matches cabinets and hides contents. Wire creates open visibility. Choose material that fits your storage purposes.

Should the rack be anchored into wall studs or the cabinets themselves?

For safety, it’s best practice to anchor directly into the wall studs for the most secure hold. This distributes weight properly.

Get Instant Storage with This Simple Hack

If your compact kitchen is limited on space for dishes, cookware, appliances and all the necessities, this simple over-the-cabinet rack hack can make an instant difference. Adding a rack maximizes the unused vertical space above your existing cabinets for extra storage capacity. And the items you store will always be conveniently at hand instead of buried in a cabinet.

With many affordable style options, it’s easy to find an over-the-cabinet rack that fits your space perfectly. By screwing it securely into studs, you can safely double your storage, keeping daily-use items accessible while decluttering your counters. This single, simple hack takes just minutes to install yet provides an instant storage solution that maximizes every inch of space!