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10 Ways to Organize a Small Kitchen: Would You Do #4?

Could you use some extra storage space in your kitchen?

You’re not alone! Here are 10 creative tips to find more room in your kitchen.

Try as many as you like and enjoy the extra space!

Wall Baskets for Produce

1.  Use shelf organizers wherever you can.  These are usually metal racks covered in white rubbery plastic.  You can set them up inside cabinets to make a second shelf for dishes or food packages/cans.  It can double the use you get from a space.  These work well in a pantry closet also, if you are lucky enough to have one.  I particularly like the rack you attach to the bottom of a shelf that holds foil, waxed paper, plastic wrap, etc.  It frees up a whole drawer!  Of course you can add organizer shelves to the inside of a pantry door.  And here’s a way to add extra storage to the sides of a pantry closet at DomesticImperfection.  Just screw in desk drawer organizers to the side walls.  They make similar bins to store potatoes and onions that can go on the bottom of a pantry closet or on a counter.  If you can find racks that attach to a wall, they are fairly decorative.  Any kind of decorative rack works for this, including floral baskets and bicycle baskets.  They don’t take up valuable space on the counter or on the floor of your pantry.

Add Side Shelves

2.   Look for storage space near your kitchen.  If you have a washer/dryer closet in your kitchen, you might have room to install shelves above the machines.  My son put in wire rack shelving in their laundry closet all the way to the ceiling.  They store items there that are extras or things that they don’t use very often in the kitchen.  It works very well for them.

3.  Store extra pots and pans in your oven, but remember to take them out before heating the oven!  Don’t store paper goods in there just in case you forget!
4.  Put shelves in your garage.  Whether it’s full size-shelves or small ones, every little bit helps.   You can put narrow shelves on the walls to hold canned goods.  I know some of you shop at Costco or Sam’s Club!  I store rice (with a bay leaf included) and flour from Sam’s in large plastic jars that came with pretzels inside.  These fit well on the floor of a pantry closet or other closet.
Make Your Own Canisters

5.  Use canisters on your counter top for whatever staples you need to store.  Traditionally they were for flour, sugar, and salt, but put in whatever works for you.  Make your own canisters with any large jars.  The ones in the photo are from IKEA (no affiliation) that have had vinyl lettering added.  You could just use a Sharpie or paint.  I bought a decorative set of canisters for just $7 at a going-out-of-business sale.  And they match my kitchen decor!  You can probably find some nice ones at a garage sale also.

6.  Use Mason jars (canning jars), decorative jars, or any other jars to display dried beans, pasta, rice, split peas, popcorn, etc.  Mason jars are very popular decorating items right now, and it’s a classic country look.  Mason jars don’t take up much space on your counter top, can be displayed on shelves for a pretty look, and free up some space in your cupboards.  I have a French country look in my kitchen & love the colorful look this kind of display gives. They give interesting texture and a friendly casual feeling to my kitchen.
DIY Drawer Organizer
7.  Organize your junk drawer.  This is the drawer that holds pencils, scissors, paper clips, note paper, etc.  You can buy plastic organizers for this, or make your own using cereal boxes and wrapping paper.  Click here for the tutorial at The StonybrookHouse. This is one drawer that you need to be strict with.  Too many rubber bands that you will never use?  Out they go!  Can some of these items go to your desk instead?
8.  Store items on top of your kitchen cabinets if you can.  Some are open to the ceiling.  It won’t look decorative to store items up there in plain sight, but if you put them in baskets that hide the contents, it can be attractive.  If you want to keep it decorative, leave some space between baskets.  You can also display a few trays or bowls that you don’t use very often.  Intersperse them with the baskets for a pleasing look.  Those bowls can hold kitchen gadgets you don’t use often also.  If you never use them, how about giving them away?
9.  Install decorative bars on the wall to hang pots on.  Your pots will need to have a hole in the handle and the bar should be rounded.  Use S-hooks to hand the pots.  This can look very nice and takes up little space on the wall.  Don’t worry if your pots are less than perfect.  Hang them so the bottom of the pot is the part that shows.  I’ve seen these bars at IKEA for about $10 each.  You’ll need to attach them to the wall where there are strong studs to hold the weight.  You could also use strong curtain rods  if you can find a short enough length.
Mop Holders as Spice Rack

10.  Store your spices on a wall spice rack.  Don’t store your spices on a shelf; they take up too much room. You can install mop holders inside a cabinet door.  They hold standard sizes of spice bottles well.   You can buy a spice rack to hang on the wall or make your own. Hang a steel cookie sheet on the wall.  Put your spices in little jars with metal lids.  Hot glue a strong magnet to the lid.  Paint the jars with chalkboard paint and write the name of the spice on the jar with a white or silver Sharpie.   You might want to paint just a stripe of the chalkboard paint around the jar.  That way you can still see what’s inside and if you are getting low on the spice.  Use masking tape to get the stripe even.  You can buy small jars for this, but baby food jars work well.  Paint the lids with the same chalkboard paint or any color you want.

Inexpensive Lid Holder

Bonus: Attach cheap curtain rods on the inside of lower cabinet doors.  They will hold pot lids right where you can grab them, and they won’t take up extra space.  Love it!

Getting your kitchen more organized saves time and aggravation.  If you are less aggravated while trying to cook, you are likely to cook more often.  That’s a huge benefit to your health and your budget.  It can also save money because you don’t buy things you already have when you know where things are.  You might also feel more in control of your hectic life when at least one area is organized!

There are tons of organizers at discount stores and also specialty organizing stores.  Before buying any item, consider if it will really save space or solve a problem for you.  Organizing can cost a lot of money, so watch for sales on these items and maybe buy just a few items at a time. Look at items you already have to see if they can be used as part of your organizing project.  I love using repurposed items to add interest and character to a space.

I love an organized kitchen because it makes it much easier to cook! Keeping things organized saves your sanity and saves money because you don’t buy duplicates of things you already have.

Want more ways to make your kitchen work for you? Click here for how to use every bit of space in your refrigerator AND how to use your kitchen cabinets to organize your whole family!


Justin Weinger :

View Comments (14)

  • Thanks for the great ideas! I have a small kitchen so these ideas are perfect for me. I also love mason jars, so many uses from food storage, drinking glasses to craft projects!

  • Thanks for the great ideas, I have a small kitchen and will be using some of these ideas this weekend! I also love mason jars so many uses for them, to storage for food & and all sorts of items, craft projects, even serving drinks! and of course canning ;-)

  • Thanks, Mary Vee! I love Mason jars too. I even like them on a high shelf with all sorts of items in them as decor. Marbles, river rocks, sea shells, sand from the beach, buttons, candles, etc. just seem to look nicer in a Mason jar. And, as you say, we can even try some canning in them! Have fun with your organizing! And thanks for stopping by.

  • Oh Lol You just gave me more great ideas!! I use to save buttons as a kid. I have many in a shoe box, will put them in jars! Thanks!

  • Mary Vee, I have jars of buttons on my bookshelves & I think they look very nice. I have them separated by color so that I can find what I want more quickly. However, I think mixed colors look really cheerful! Sorting them is a good project for kids too. I confess that they are in old jam/jelly jars that I think are attractive. And they are free!

    • You might also try The Container Store or other organizing stores. Readers, if you have seen these somewhere, please share! Thanks!!!

    • I didn't get these as I have room for my spices in the cabinet now. Did you try the hardware stores? I'd ask at Lowe's, Home Depot, and smaller hardware stores. I bet they are sold as tool holders, like for rakes and shovels in the garage. I hope you find them. Let us know if you do & where. Good luck!

  • I saw an idea to improve those wire rack shelves. Put some self-stick tiles on the shelves to make a smooth, solid surface. No more items tipping over! Hopefully the tiles fit the shelves you have. You can buy them fairly cheaply at the big box hardware stores.

  • Thanks for the great ideas! I have a small kitchen so these ideas are perfect for me. You can also add some more things in it. But surely this article is very nice.

  • Love using mason jars! If you don't want the contents showing, just paint them in your kitchen colors!