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11 ways to maximize your kitchen storage space

You have a tiny kitchen. It’s not the end of the world, but it will require some creative solutions to make sure you have maximum use of your space. While you may not want to scrimp on the view from your window in your loft apartment or trade space for that premium location, you can use our list of the most creative solutions to maximize storage space to help you fall in love with your kitchen all over again.

Couple Cooking in the Kitchen
Becca Tapert on Unsplash

Add a shelf above your cabinets

If your cabinets don’t reach all the way to the ceiling, you could be leaving valuable storage space on the table. This is the perfect place for things you don’t always need to use — think cake pans, serving dishes, or holiday wares.

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Rebuilding the space above your cabinets allows you to store those things safely out of the way without using up space you need for everyday things — no more compromising between saving your favorite Christmas serving dish and having a place to store your cereal.

Use cabinet doors

Revamping the inside of your cabinets could provide you not just with space, but truly usable space. Think about how much space you waste in your cabinets losing things in the very back. By hanging storage containers on the doors, you put a lot of smaller items right where you can both see and reach them.

Install rolling shelves

A good partner to utilizing space on your door is installing a rolling shelf for your cabinets. These pull out to allow you to see easily all the way to the back of the cabinet. Install them a few inches inside your cabinets to give your door shelves space to close, and you’ll have the most organized cabinets of all time.

Go vertical

If you’ve got tall cabinets, you may be wasting some of your vertical space. Using temporary wire shelves to create a second layer allows you to store mugs in a double layer without precarious stacking, for example. You can also store plates and bowls on top of the other without struggling to remove them when you need them.

Hang hooks

Hooks are an excellent way to store everything from oven mitts to measuring cups to stand-mixer attachments out of the way but within easy reach. They’re so multipurpose, in fact, that we recommend using them throughout your kitchen to put things you use every day within easy reach.

Optimize with stackable containers

Instead of keeping things in their original packaging, invest in stacking containers for all your staples. Flour, rice, or pasta can go in tall, vertical jars while flat-stacking containers can store taco-spice packets, snack bags, and plenty of other things. They’re easy to move around, easy to label, and never come tumbling off the shelf while you’re moving other things around.

Use cabinet bottoms

The underside of your cabinets could be another area where space is premium. Get magnetic strips and use those to store spice jars where you can easily see them. Twist off, and you’ve got an easy-to-use storage system right at your fingertips.

Add shelves to open space

We mean everywhere. Bare walls? Add a shelf. Sides of your cabinets? Add narrow shelves. Side of the fridge? That’s right, magnet shelves. These shelves help give you space to store those few extra necessities and could keep you from stacking too much in a cabinet. Plus, with some pretty arrangements, they could also be a fun design feature.

Use the ceiling

If you have space above your head, consider hanging a pot rack above you. You free up vital space for other types of storage, and you always have the exact pot right in reach without digging. Plus, if you have a set of beautiful copper pots, for example, they can be their own design style in the making.

Edit ruthlessly

Consider editing the things in your kitchen down to only what you truly love. You received that gravy boat as a wedding gift, but when was the last time you even made gravy much less needed a dedicated dish to serve it?

One of the only ways you’re going to maximize your storage space is by keeping the clutter at a minimum. Marie Kondo has an excellent strategy for finding what you truly love about your space that follows draconian rules about numbers or even types of things. Give it a try, and you could find the joy in your kitchen again.

Buy in bulk strategically

Bulk shopping isn’t for impulses. Buying in bulk can save you serious money, but you can’t love your kitchen if you’re constantly tripping over things on the floors. While there are good reasons to buy in bulk, not everything should follow suit.

Bulk only makes sense if you eventually use it before it goes bad. Keep a food diary to help you get to know your eating habits and purchase in bulk only what you use the most. Get creative with its storage by using your flat containers or storing it on the shelf above your cabinets.

Bulk doesn’t make sense for most things in your kitchen. Flour goes bad far sooner than most people realize. Nuts and seeds go rancid. Condiments and sandwich materials are at risk of contamination with each serving. Spices lose potency. Oil oxidizes. Bulk makes sense for things you’re cooking every day or every other day. Leave the rest.

Utilizing small space

It is possible to have a well-stocked, well-organized, tiny kitchen. You must be creative about using all the space you have and try to arrange your kitchen based on the way you prep and serve your food, says The Kitchn. Once you get the zoning right, your organization will follow.

While bulk items are cheaper, you’re off the hook with most of those, too. Get only what you can reasonably use and edit ruthlessly to create space in your kitchen that brings joy and provides functional space for whatever you may be cooking, one container, hook, and wire shelf at a time.

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Deb Goncalves
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Deb's work has appeared on Moms, Babygaga, and WorldAtlas. When she's not working (that's hard to say about a Capricorn), she…
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