Does your small kitchen feel cramped and cluttered? If making more space isn’t an option, you’ll have to make better use of the space you DO have. Let’s look at this inspiring list of 35 clever small kitchen organization ideas.
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Table of Contents
- 1 Tips to Organize a Small Kitchen
- 2 Kitchen Drawer Organization Ideas
- 3 Kitchen Cabinet Organization Ideas
- 3.1 12) Food Storage Container Lids –> how to organize them!
- 3.2 Pots and Pans Storage – Essential small kitchen organization ideas
- 3.2.1 First: Eliminate duplicates or unnecessary items
- 3.2.2 Vertical Pots and Pans Storage
- 3.2.3 15) DIY Pots and Pans Storage
- 3.2.4 16) Pegboard Pots and Pans Storage
- 3.2.5 17) Stack Pots and Leave Lids separate
- 3.2.6 18) Nesting Cookware Set
- 3.2.7 19) Store Pots and Pans in Oven when not in use
- 3.2.8 20) Slide-out Cabinet Shelf
- 3.3 21) Nesting Mixing Bowls
- 3.4 22) Water Bottle Holder
- 3.5 23) Dish Risers (aka cabinet shelves)
- 4 Kitchen Counter Organization
- 5 Kitchen Sink Organization Ideas
- 6 Spice Storage Ideas
- 7 Pantry Management
- 8 Conclusion and Appreciation
Tips to Organize a Small Kitchen
Before we launch into organizing and kitchen organizers…
we need to evaluate what we already have in our kitchen.
(There is no sense in buying organizers and organizing items we don’t need.)
Small Kitchen Organization Tips (To Do List)
- Get rid of duplicate-sized pots and pans
- Donate food items that you’ll never use (if you haven’t cooked it in a year, will you ever?)
- Pack up and store excess dishes elsewhere (only leave in the kitchen what you realistically use)
- Eliminate mismatched and unused cutlery (aka silverware, flatware)
- Put seldom-used kitchen appliances in hallway closet or garage. (Just because it’s a kitchen appliance doesn’t mean it needs to be in your small kitchen at all times.)
- Label things (everything!) and know where they are
- Group and organize by category (Baking goods with baking, dishes together, cookware together, etc…)
Kitchen Drawer Organization Ideas
Many kitchen utensils and cutlery are stored in kitchen drawers. And there are lots of ways to make good use – better use – of your kitchen drawers.
Below you’ll find a few kitchen drawer organization ideas to help you make the most of your tiny kitchen.
8) Tray Dividers and Organizers
Marie Kondo of “Tidying Up”-fame loves boxes and containers for organizing drawers.
You can get drawer dividers in different sizes and styles.
The interlocking set shown below allows you to “click together” a wide variety of shapes to customize to your kitchen drawers.
If you want more a standard drawer divider for your cutlery – but one that is suited for a small kitchen – check out this adjustable tray divider made by Camco.
It is intended for use in RV’s and campers (speaking of tiny kitchens!) – so it should be perfect for your small home kitchen.
It adjusts side-to-side to fit a variety of kitchen drawers.
It is well-rated (currently 4.7 stars out of 5 on Walmart.com).
(Note: I’ve seen this product on both Walmart.com and Amazon.com, but right now – April 2020 – you may be more likely to receive it from Walmart than Amazon due to delays in Amazon’s shipping.)
Below is a photo from Instagram. I’ve included it because the first photo in the carousel shows how this person does what Marie Kondo suggests.
Marie Kondo says you should organize kitchen utensils by size: similar-sized utensils together.
9) Nesting Kitchen Gadget Set
Here is another cool idea that RV’ers and other tiny kitchen users love. It is a nesting kitchen gadget set. It has graters, a slicer, a peeler and more.
It is a clever idea and good for people that have limited utensil storage space.
7 Simple Habits of People who always have a clean kitchen (Do you do these things?)
10) Magnetic Bars
We have a magnetic bar mounted above our stove. It is by no means a beauty, but it is helpful.
And I know it isn’t a drawer organizer, but it helps free up space in our drawers by storing utensils elsewhere.
I was going to store spices (in steel tins) on the bar, but we’ve decided to stick metal utensils on it. (And it is a good way to keep the sharp scissors away from our 3-year old.)
11) Utensil Jar
Another way to remove some kitchen utensils from the drawers is to put them in a utensil jar near the stove.
The photo below is from my sister’s RV (tiny kitchen). All her regularly used utensils are within reach.
Kitchen Cabinet Organization Ideas
Well organized kitchen cabinets may very well be the key to a good, efficient small kitchen.
12) Food Storage Container Lids –> how to organize them!
Are food storage container lids a thorn in your side?
My sister-in-law helped us organize ours using just a box: circular lids together in one direction, and square lids together perpendicular to the circular lids.
If you want something more than a box, check out the adjustable tupperware lid organizer shown below.
It is currently well-rated on Amazon (4.6 stars out of 5 with over 2,000 ratings!) .
Pots and Pans Storage – Essential small kitchen organization ideas
Most kitchens have a dedicated cabinet for pots and pans.
But is yours a scattered mess?
First: Eliminate duplicates or unnecessary items
I already mentioned this above, but it is worth restating.
Do you need all the cookware you currently own? Do you have duplicates of pots and pans? (Leftovers from previous sets mingled together.)
Donate what you don’t need.
Below you’ll find some pots and pans storage ideas that may help you.
Vertical Pots and Pans Storage
So you have a cabinet for your pots and pans, but do you need to keep them in cabinet?
13) Ceiling-mounted Pots and Pans Storage
If you have the space, you could hang a rack from the ceiling (like the photo below.) The rack in this photo is currently very well rated on Amazon.
Many small kitchens may not have the space to do this, but if you do, give it some thought. It’ll free up room in your cabinets, and your most used pots and pans will be within easy reach.
14) Wall-Mounted Pots and Pans Storage Rack
Another great option for storing pots and pans, is to put them on a wall.
If you have room on a wall you could install nice open shelves, or install a rack like the one below.
15) DIY Pots and Pans Storage
Make use of your skills, your available space and materials on hand.
Check out this simple pots and pans storage ideas I found on Instagram.
16) Pegboard Pots and Pans Storage
If you have some wall space – even a narrow rectangular section of wall – you can install some pegboard and use “S” hooks to hang your cookware.
Check out the picture below. So awesome! (And it’s right next to the stove so within easy reach.)
I love magnetic knife bar too.
17) Stack Pots and Leave Lids separate
Stack your pots inside each other in your cabinet, and leave the lids separate.
You can use a lid rack to store your pot lids.
What’s cool about lid racks is that you can mount them to the wall, or to the inside of cabinet doors (like in the picture below).
If you don’t want to screw into your walls or cabinet doors, check out this “over the door lid organizer” from Spectrum Diversified.
(At the time of writing this there are no sellers on Amazon who can supply this product. But maybe by the time you read this there will be, so I’ve provided you a link below if you want to check.)
You can also get lid organizers that sit in the bottom of a kitchen drawer like in the photo below. Nice and tidy!
18) Nesting Cookware Set
This is a cool idea. Instead of having your pots and pans spread out inside a cabinet, you can buy a nesting cookware set like the one shown below.
It stacks nicely and it’ll will help organize your tiny kitchen.
The set below is available at Walmart.com
It is currently well-rated at 4.7 stars out of 5 with 26 reviews.
There are lots of nesting (or stacking) cookware sets available. So have a look around and I’m sure you’ll find one you love.
19) Store Pots and Pans in Oven when not in use
This is an easy DIY pots and pans storage tip that anyone can do. When you’re not using your oven you can store cookware inside it.
My mom did this when we were kids.
You just need to remember to remove the cookware before pre-heating your oven. But you’ll soon develop a habit of checking the oven before you turn it on.
It has been a long, long time since I’ve lived with my parents and I still have the habit of checking inside the oven before I turn it on!
20) Slide-out Cabinet Shelf
If you hate getting on your hands and knees trying to find something at the back of the cabinet – you are not alone!
And there is help.
These slide out cabinet shelves make your kitchen items way more accessible.
You can get them in different widths and depths – so measure and order carefully. (I know in my 70’s kitchen there are no cabinets wider than 14-inches.)
The product shown below is a well-rated slide out organizer made by Lynk Professional.
21) Nesting Mixing Bowls
Most of us already have these, but it’s worth mentioning. If you have nesting bowls that fit inside each other, they’re going to take up way less cabinet space.
Stop the cabinet sprawl!
If you don’t already have a set of mixing bowls, check out the well-rated stainless steel set below (available on Amazon).
(At the time of writing this it looks like Walmart has a slightly better price and is available, but that may change.)
21B) Colorful Nesting Bowl set from Joseph Joseph
Here is a colorful nesting bowl set from the company Joseph Joseph. It comes with measuring cups and a colander too.
It could help you organize your small kitchen cabinets, or it could a great house-warming gift for someone moving in to a place with a smaller kitchen. (RV’ers love these nesting bowls in their small RV kitchens.)
They are highly rated on Amazon with thousands of customer-submitted ratings.
22) Water Bottle Holder
A tidy idea to keep your cabinets organized.
23) Dish Risers (aka cabinet shelves)
These handy shelves can essentially double your dish-storing ability.
And if you want more kitchen cabinet organization ideas, click here to read my article on 14 super helpful kitchen cabinet organizers.
Kitchen Counter Organization
Can you even see your counter-top? (I know we struggle with this!)
There are different opinions on kitchen counter organization.
- Some think the counter-top should be bare (nothing on it)
- Others think that the counter-top should contain the things you need regularly
Opinion #1 is about LOOKS. There is something calming about having a sparse and clean counter.
Opinion #2 is about FUNCTION. If you use something regularly (like the toaster or coffee maker), why have it hidden in a cupboard and have to pack it in and out every day?
Question for you –> What is on your countertop?
Look at your kitchen counter right now. Or better yet, take a picture of it.
What things are on your countertop?
- Does it have to be on the counter?
- Do you use it regularly enough to warrant it being on the counter?
Below are some kitchen counter organization ideas and organizers.
24) Banana Bungee
This is a clever-looking banana hanger. It is supposed to decrease bruising, and it gets the fruit off your countertop.
25) Countertop Organization Stand
There are lots of organization possibilities with a countertop stand like this one.
You could store spices along the top rack, and even put fruit baskets on the bottom shelf.
26) Over the Sink Drying Rack / Organizer
If you have space above your sink, the organizer/drying rack below could really help you get “stuff” off your kitchen counter.
It is made by Covaodq, and is available on Amazon. (Just make sure your sink is less than 32.5-inches wide and your faucet is less than 17.5-inches.)
Will this fit in your small kitchen?
27) Bamboo Stove-top Cover and cutting board
This elevated bamboo cutting board has height-adjustable legs that allow you to position it over stovetops and provides an extra kitchen work surface.
One of the most frustrating things about working in a small kitchen is lack of countertop space. This well-rated product helps solve that problem by giving you some extra food prep space.
It currently has 4.6 stars out of 5 on Amazon and meets Amazon’s “Climate Pledge Friendly” certification.
Kitchen Sink Organization Ideas
Have a look in the cabinet under kitchen sink. Is it a total mess? If so, these organizers may help.
28) Slide-out Garbage Can
Having a slide-out garbage can would help organize the cabinet, but it will also help keep it cleaner. (Less garbage missing the can.)
The one shown here is a well-rated slide-out shelf made by Lynk Professional.
29) Over the Cabinet Door Garbage Can
If you don’t want a big slide-out garbage can shelf, perhaps an over-the-door trash can like the one below will fit your needs. It is a well-rated trash can that is available on Amazon. And you can also find it at Walmart.com
Under-Sink Storage Shelves (clever small kitchen organization ideas)
You don’t need to settle for a messy under-the-sink cabinet. There are lots of clever under-sink organizers, and they are often under-utilized. They are one of the important small kitchen organization ideas to help reduce the clutter around your kitchen sink.
30) Expandable Under Sink Organizer Shelves
This under sink organizer expands to fit a variety of cabinets. It expands from 15 to 25-inches wide.
It is a well-rated product with lots of reviews on Amazon.
It is available at Walmart.com as well, but as of the time of this writing (April 2020), it is cheaper on Amazon. But if you want to check if that has changed click the link below.
31) Slide-Out Under Sink Shelf
I wish this would work in our kitchen! It would be great to slide it out and reach everything. (But our sink cabinet has a vertical divider in the center.)
Amazon appears to have it available in more sizes than Walmart. If you want to check them out on Amazon, click the link below.
32) Stackable Drawers
Another under-the-sink storage shelf option is the stackable drawers like the ones below. It may work better for kitchens like mine where the cabinet doesn’t open up all the way to allow a full-width organizer.
33) Scrub Pad Holder
Our scrub pad holder was supposed to suction to the wall of the sink. But it didn’t stay on very well and I always knocked it off.
So we used cup hooks to attach it to the inside of under-sink cabinet door. Once it dries it gets put back into its little cradle.
Spice Storage Ideas
I wrote an entire article dedicated to spice storage ideas for small kitchens (click here to read that article), but an awesome idea I recently learned about is labeling the top of your spice bottles.
34) Label your Spice Bottles
If you store your spices upright it can be difficult to find the spice you’re looking for.
But if you label the top of your spice bottles you’ll easily be able to find what you need.
You can buy printable stickers at Staples or your local stationary store. Then you can use your computer to print off your spice labels. This is a great idea for people with bad handwriting (like me).
I also wrote an article on how to organize a small pantry but one thing I’ll add is:
35) Avoid buying duplicates of food items you don’t need.
If you already have small pantry you don’t want to be stuffing it full of duplicate items.
36) Try keeping a magnetic whiteboard on the fridge and keep a running tally of items you need.
This will save you money and it’ll ensure you buy what you need and need what you buy.
Conclusion and Appreciation
I really hope you found something on this list of small kitchen organization ideas that’ll help make your small kitchen more efficient and more enjoyable.
I’d like to thank all my sisters and sister-in-law for helping me with ideas and photos for this article.
It was truly a team effort.
But we’re just one family…what does your family do to help organize your small kitchen?
Is there something I should add to this list?
Thank you in advance.
Tim from LearnAlongWithMe.com
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