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If you’re like most people, your kitchen space is the center and heart of your home. It’s often where the family checks in with each other and, most importantly, it’s where the food and snacks are prepared. That’s why small kitchens pose a particular set of challenges to make the most of the space you have.

Use Ceiling Racks

If you have high ceilings in your kitchen space, then ceiling racks are a tried and true method of storing pots and pans. Due to their unique shapes, pots and pans likely take the most space in your kitchen cabinetry.

Hanging your utensils also has the added benefit of air drying them, which is often more sanitary than using a towel to dry dishes. Just be sure to check for dust on any pots or pans that aren’t a part of your usual rotation.

Make Use of Wall Storage

Using your walls wisely is another way to add more storage surfaces to your kitchen. Convert your backsplashes to storage space or even use the doors of your pantry.

DIY wall storage is most commonly created using: 

  • Pegboards – Pegboards offer a place to hang frequently used, although awkwardly shaped, cooking tools such as large spoons, spatulas, colanders, or graters.
  • Knife Magnets – Knife magnets not only replace the knife block to free up your counter space, but they are also one of the best ways to store knives without prematurely damaging their edges. Also, if you have extra room on your knife magnet, this is a great way to store other magnetic items, such as kitchen scissors or spice storage tins.
  • Curtain Rods – Curtain rods offer a more stylish hanging method for your utensils. Outfit them with cute hooks and hang up spoons and spatulas that have a hole in the handle.

Build Shelving and Cabinets Around the Fridge

If you’re in an older home, the space surrounding the fridge is often underused. Fortunately, this is the perfect space to house some of your infrequently used items. Installing a cabinet above your fridge likely gives you a couple of feet of storage. This is a great storage option for those small but very useful appliances, such as your waffle maker or egg cooker. Just make sure that the shelving over the fridge is closed off from dust.

Build Folding or Nesting Tables

Folding tables are a powerful solution to add more cooking or even dining space to a limited floor plan. These tables are generally screwed into a vertical support structure, such as a wall, or they can be attached to an existing cabinet. Similarly, nesting cabinets are stored in existing cabinets spaces. You can pull them out whenever you need to create an additional prep surface.

Install Kick Drawers Under Your Cabinets

Most cabinets have a three to four-inch empty space between the floor and the bottom of the cabinets. This offers a space for your toes and also elevates the bottom of the cabinets from the floor so that you don’t have to bend all the way down to reach the cabinet bottoms.

However, this useful space can be used for additional storage, particularly for items that you don’t use all the time, such as service ware for entertaining or seasonal items. All you need to do is install kick drawers (really, they are a thing!) below your floor cabinets. Just make sure that they’re pull-out drawers to make your life a whole lot easier.

Use Home Storage Spaces for Bulk Storage and Pantry Overflow

At some point, you’ll likely find that as much storage as you add to your small kitchen, you’re going to have some pantry overflow, particularly if you’re the type that likes to buy in bulk. However, for overflow or bulk storage, you don’t have to keep your entire stock in the kitchen.

Instead, check your home for any closets or storage spaces that are half-full or have some spare space for a backup pantry. Then, use this storage space for your bulk purchasing and dry foods overflow. You can even keep a utility drawer in this separate closet with some infrequently used kitchen tools. Just because something is used in the kitchen doesn’t mean it has to be stored there.

Add in Free-Standing Shelves Where There’s Empty Floor Space

Don’t underestimate the possibility of a slim bookcase or metal wire-shelf for offering you a little extra storage in your kitchen. Just because it isn’t a cabinet doesn’t mean it won’t make it storage concerns a little easier.

Make sure to drill holes in the back for power cords, then you can turn part of the shelf into a dedicated coffee bar, using your coffee maker and milk frother. Or, make it a more general small appliances shelf to get the clutter off your countertops.

Use Sides of Cabinets or Your Fridge for Storing Containers

Don’t forget about using the sides of your fridge, the inside of cabinet doors, or the sides of cabinets. Racks or baskets can hold odds and ends, favorite spices or spice mixes, or other forms of organization.

If you have tall upper cabinets, you can also consider hanging storage below the cabinetry. This is a common place for installing specialized racks or hooks. You can easily hang jars or stemmed wine glasses from these racks for quick access to items that you use often.

Small kitchen spaces call for a little creativity when it comes to organization and finding the extra storage you need. Nonetheless, with a few tricks and installations, there’s no reason that your kitchen can’t be a loveable and functional space for all your cooking needs.