Running out of room in your kitchen? You aren’t the only one! Many homeowners and tenants find their current kitchen space inadequate, but you don’t need to move or renovate to solve the problem. In fact, it’s possible to free up valuable storage space by using a little ingenuity and some good old fashioned organizational skill.
We’ve come up with a few ideas to help you get started. Some of these tips are so simple they’re brilliant—you might kick yourself for not having thought of them by yourself!
That frustration will fade, however, when you try them out for yourself and see how much storage space they create.
Adding Storage to Your Kitchen
- Turn an empty wall into a storage wall. Many people think they lack space in their kitchen simply because they aren’t considering areas that aren’t being used for anything. If you have a spare wall in your kitchen, you have room to add storage space!
- Nail a few boards to your wall to create a floating shelf. It’s easy to make a floating shelf—just attach a thick piece of wood or a few boards to a horizontal section of your wall. Now you have a ledge where you can rest jars, glasses, spices and other items.
- Use both sides of your floating shelf by adding a pan rack to the bottom. The top of your floating shelf isn’t the only useful part. By putting a few hooks in the bottom, you can also use it to hang larger items such as pots and pans.
- Add a pegboard. An alternative to the classic shelf, pegboards can turn a blank wall into a valuable place from which to hang items of all kinds. Typically, they make excellent storage space for cookware and utensils that are used often in the kitchen—you can simply grab what you need off the wall and go to work!
- Keep loose items on your pegboard with baskets. Pots and pans with holes in their handles aren’t the only items you can keep on a pegboard. By attaching baskets to your pegboard, you can give yourself an easy way to store onions, garlic, and other loose items.
- Mount your drying rack. A vertical drying rack on the wall or cabinet next to your sink not only helps your dishes dry faster, it also frees up counter space. Be sure to wipe excess water off your dishes before you set them in the rack, or put a towel beneath it to catch the drips.
- Be creative about your spice rack space. Too many spice jars is an easy way to clutter up your cabinets, so get creative with where you store your spices! Because spices are light, DIY racks can normally be added to the undersides of existing cupboards or surfaces with very little trouble. A magnetic strip on the wall or under a cabinet can also make it easy to store metal tins of spices.
Maximizing Cabinet Space
- Install retractable shelves in your cabinets. Retractable shelves won’t technically add space to your cupboards, but they will help you make better use of the space you have! The ability to pull out a shelf makes it much easier to store and access things from the those hard-to-reach areas in deep cabinets. They’re also quite fashionable, so this is an excellent way to update your kitchen while making it more efficient.
- Hang smaller items on the insides of your cabinet doors. People forget that the insides of cabinet doors have plenty of room for nails and hooks. Keep measuring cups and other such items on them!
- A single metal bar can create loads of lid storage. You can also attach a crossbar to the inside of your cabinets, then place pot or pan lids inside and let their handles rest on the bar to keep them in place.
- Consider vertical storage for your plates. Instead of stacking a few plates on top of each other and then having to create a new stack, try using every inch of your cupboards by placing your plates inside vertically. Add a few wooden sleeves to keep them from falling over and you’re good to go!
- Replace your cabinet toe kick with a hidden drawer. Most lower kitchen cabinets have a 3-4 inch gap between the bottom of the cabinet and the floor. This area, known as the toe kick, is blocked off by a board that is recessed a few inches, allowing you to stand close to your cabinets without stubbing your toes. If you’re in desperate need of space, however, do away with the toe kick and install under-the-cabinet drawers for baking sheets, muffin tins, and other flat items!
Fool-proof Fridge Hacks
- Use the wall space even inside your fridge! You put magnets on your refrigerator door, so why not the inside of your fridge, too? Simply glue magnetic disks to the bottom of small plastic or metal containers, and then you can grab and go as you please! This hack is particularly great for loose items like garlic, nuts, diced veggies, small snacks or leftovers.
- Add more shelf space in your fridge and freezer. Wire racks are easy to install (simply open your fridge, set the rack down, and voila!) and can double the amount of shelf space in your fridge. You can also think outside the box and repurpose other items such as magazine holders.
- Put a lazy susan in your fridge. Like retractable shelves, a Lazy Susan makes sure that you have quick and easy access to all the contents of your refrigerator. No more condiments that go bad hidden in the far reaches of your fridge. Smarter storage means less waste!
Knowing how to make the most of the space you have is often more important than getting more of it. Use the tips listed above to make your kitchen more efficient than you thought possible, and enjoy greater freedom whenever you cook!