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10 ways to make the most of a tiny kitchen

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Get organized!

dorm room with loft bed
Tiny house-inspired student housing
Photo by Wouter van der Sar

A tiny kitchen can feel like a curse, but it can become manageable and charming if you know how to make the most of the available space. Cabinets aren’t the only place you can store things, and there are a lot of “dead zones” in kitchens that can actually be useful.

From utilizing the sides of refrigerators to the insides of cabinet doors, get ready to triple the amount of room you have with these tiny kitchen organizing ideas.

1. Hang things up. If you don’t have a whole lot of cabinet space, try displaying your pots and cutting boards in an eye catching way to free up room. Ikea’s Fintorp series is the perfect thing to hang on unused wall space.

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If you want to add some texture to your kitchen, a grid panel works well too and can display everything from pans to photo booth strips.

2. Look under the cabinets. Lots of people love wine, but not everyone has the space to house it. Get these clever under-the-cabinet stemware racks to create room.

3. Get a rolling cart. This attic apartment in Sofia, Bulgaria creates more storage space in its kitchen with a handy three-tier cart on wheels. You can find similar options at Target and Ikea.

4. Make your fridge work for you. Rather than hoarding magnet freebies, try putting up magnet shelving. This magnetic kitchen organization rack can hold everything from sauces to paper towels. The same concept can also be applied to the sides of cabinets.

Magnetic Kitchen Organization Rack, $28, Amazon.

5. Organize the cabinets. Seeing an avalanche of cookware and other kitchen miscellany can get anyone’s eye twitching. Avoid cluttered cabinets by installing three-tier pull-out baskets or door racks.

3-Tier Cabinet Pull Out Basket, $44.99, Wayfair.
Grid Over Cabinet Door Organizer, $16.91, Wayfair.

Another unexpected way to create more room in your tiny kitchen is to create “sub-shelves” with under-shelf baskets or stackable shelf organizers.

6. Try a moveable island. As we mentioned in our guide to easy kitchen remodel ideas, not all islands have to be custom designed. A compact multifunctional island like the Ikea Stenstorp or this stainless steel table on wheels from Home Depot are smart options to provide extra storage space and prep room, while giving you a spot to eat your omelette in the morning.

Stainless Steel Table with Wheels, $170.97, Home Depot.

7. Mount a pot rack. If you’re lacking in cabinets, consider installing your own compact wooden pot rack over a free spot in the kitchen, where you can stack your stock pots and hang your skillets.

8. Explore standalone shelving. If you find yourself with any sliver of vertical space on your kitchen walls, put it to work with standalone shelving. Fill it with all your mugs, saucers, and teapots, plants, and more.

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9. Build it up like a high rise. Increase and organize your counter space by investing in an expandable tower shelf.

Home Tower Expandable Kitchen Counter Organizer, $68, Amazon.

10. Give beloved utensils pride of place. If you’re a baker but feel overwhelmed with having your utensils strewn about all over your kitchen, take notes from Jenny Steffens Hobick and hang your most needed utensils on the inside of a cabinet.