Back when I lived in Chicago, I had a studio apartment. It was just me. Living by myself. So having a tiny kitchen was totally doable. I had a small oven with a 4-burner stove. I had a baby fridge…like those Smeg fridge’s you see on Pinterest. And a baker’s rack to hold everything that didn’t fit in the 3 upper cabinets I had.
When I moved in with my husband, we had a galley kitchen. So we had a bunch of cabinets but not a lot of counter space because of the sink and stove.
And one thing I learned about small kitchens is you need to make sure they are super organized. You have to use every space. And get super creative in how you store things. So I am sharing 10 creative organizing ideas for small kitchens!
First rule of small kitchens, is reducing as much of your kitchen gadgets as you possibly can. I have found that by grouping items that do similar things together, you can make an educated decision about which item or items you need to keep. This helps you visually plan out what needs to stay and what can go.
When I was living in my studio apartment, I used hanging cups to hold all my cooking utensils. This helped keep my tiny countertop clear of clutter because I was using the wall space I had.
Those extra items. Overstock. And bulk items can easily consume an entire cabinet set. So instead of trying to cram all that into your small kitchen, why not store those extras somewhere else?
I bet you have a closet or space where overstock items can go. Make sure to store them in something if you are leaving open bags like cereal in a closet. I like using large tubs to store my overstock. Then I add a piece of paper with items that are inside. Before I go to the grocery store, I shop my overstock first!
My biggest complaint about tiny kitchens is that they don’t have enough shelving. Like why does a cabinet only come with 2 shelves? Why can’t I get more?
So I suggest taking out one shelf and bringing it with you to your local hardware store. Find matching shelves and have that shelf cut to size. Get the brads that hold the shelves in place. And BAM! You just gave yourself extra shelves!
When you give yourself extra shelves, you are creating more room for storage in your kitchen. Store off-season items on the taller shelves. And more frequently used items on the lower shelves.
How To Transform Your Built-In Closets To Custom Closets On A Budget (my exact strategy for adding shelves to every built in, including kitchens)
Use door space for storing things that can take up room in a drawer like measuring cups. Hang those measuring cups on hooks inside your baking drawer. Use a paper towel holder that goes on the door instead of paper towels on the counter. Add baskets on the inside of a cabinet to hold dishwashing detergent. All these different ideas can help you add space to your kitchen by using the inside of the cabinet doors!
Stand The Trays
One thing that can take up a lot of cabinet space are cooking and baking trays. Instead of lying them flat in a cabinet, stand them up. Use a baking tray organizer to hold all the trays in place. They end up taking up less space because they are standing up. Plus they are so much easier to find when you need them!
Double Stack Drawers
Use double stack drawer organizers to keep deep drawers tidy. These are drawer organizers that can stack on top of each other. I love using these for serving utensils. I place them on the drawer organizer on the bottom. Then I place the utensils we use daily on top. This way I can keep them all in one drawer but still have access to them when I need them. Plus, I don’t lose out of the space in the drawer.
Use turntables in corner cabinets. You can either purchase smaller turntables or Lazy Susans. Or you can get a large one installed. This helps keep those corner cabinets from becoming a dumping ground of random stuff. It makes the cabinets functional for items you use occasionally.
One thing I have noticed is that those larger kitchen gadgets come with so many pieces. So storing them can be tricky. Especially in a small kitchen. So store bins to hold extra parts of the kitchen gadgets.
I like storing the gadgets behind the larger kitchen gadget. So if your food processor has many parts, get a small bin that will fit the parts. And store it behind the gadget in the cabinet.
Now I am sure you are reading this, thinking it isn’t going to happen. You have too much stuff and not enough space to store things. But I promise if you try to keep your counters clear, you will significantly increase the organization in your kitchen.
To do this, start by minimizing your kitchen supplies. Add extra shelving to your cabinets. Store overstock items elsewhere. And remember, I just said try. It won’t always stay clear. But if you make an effort to clear the counters, you will already feel more organized!
Organizing Ideas For Small Kitchen
With all these organizing ideas, you are sure to have an organized kitchen. Start by reducing the items you have in the kitchen. Then add shelving to your cabinets. Keep those counters cleared. And store parts behind larger kitchen gadgets.