10 Brilliant Ways to Maximize Your Kitchen Storage
Corral the Counter Clutter
Turn your head for one second, and chances are your kitchen counter will collect some new clutter. The best way to contain the assortment of utensils, spices, canisters, and oils is to find a tray that can hold it all. Start by choosing a tray that’s pretty enough to leave on display. Laura from Inspiration for Moms used a rustic wood and metal one, but we also love this chic gold and marble option ($35). Next, she decanted oil and vinegar into glass bottles with gold spouts and added canisters for stashing the utensils she uses every day. Not only will the tray make your counter look neater, but when the collection starts to spill over, it’s your cue to tidy up.
Install a Wall-Mounted Pot Rail
While your kitchen counter and cabinets are likely filled to capacity, chances are you have some unused wall space lurking in the room. Whether it’s the wall over the sink, or the side of a cabinet, why not put this empty space to work by installing a pot rail for hanging oven mitts, ladles, or pots and pans? In this kitchen snapped by Great Romance Photo for 100 Layer Cake, a gold pot rail and s-hooks hold pretty copper pots and pans. To get a similarly stylish look, order a handmade copper and brass rail from Etsy, created in a customized length to fit your space. Be careful about which items you store on the new rail, and keep flammable items away from the stovetop.
Maximize Your Pantry
Your kitchen pantry only has so many shelves, but with a couple smart organizers, it’s possible to double your storage space. Shawn from I Wash You Dry uses expandable spice racks to hold her stash of sprinkles and food coloring. This three-tier system ensures that each bottle is visible, so she’ll never have to search the back of the shelf for a lost bottle of blue sprinkles. Small turntables hold pantry staples that are reached for often—extracts, salt and pepper, soy sauce—so she can spin the base and grab what she needs quickly. Rather than leave small appliances out on the shelves creating clutter, Shawn corrals them together inside plastic bins. When each item is awarded its own spot, they won’t have to fight each other for shelf space.
Make Space for Cookbooks
If you like to keep your cookbooks in the kitchen, but don’t want to devote precious counter space to the collection, find inspiration in this clever idea from Jordan from the blog The 2 Seasons. “There are certain cookbooks that I use over and over again, and having them near and handy would be a bonus,” says Jordan. Instead of hiding her favorite cookbooks, Jordan installed shallow spice racks from IKEA on the side of the cabinet so they could be kept in view. Each shelf is just $4—so incorporating this idea into your own home is remarkably inexpensive.
Utilize Over-the-Sink Space
A typical dish rack has a tendency to monopolize counter space, but this clever Tosca dish drainer rack floats above your kitchen sink, freeing up the counter and letting the drying dishes drip right into the sink. The combination of wood handles and white metal gives this rack a minimalist look, making it the most stylish dish rack we’ve ever seen. The compartments are designed to hold everything from plates, to utensils, to glasses, while the handles are ideal dish towel perches. Want one more way to maximize sink space? This cutting board perches on top of the sink, and comes with a collapsible colander for rinsing chopped fruits or veggies.
To buy: $68; ahalife.com.
Reevaluate Your Under-Sink Storage
The cabinet under the kitchen sink is a notorious catchall for garbage bins, cleaning products, and stray glassware, but the right organizer can change that. Have your doubts? So did Michelle Cannon Smith from Iron & Twine—until she found this rolling two-tier organizer. “At first I had total sticker shock, and had a hard time seeing the value,” she admits. But after installing it and watching as it kept all of the cleaners, sponges, sprays, and detergents tidy, there was no turning back. She kept this durable chrome unit for five years in her last home, and then immediately bought the same one in her new place. The product comes in multiple sizes, ranging from 11.5 to 14.5 inches wide, so be sure to measure your cabinet first and choose one that fits the space.
To buy: $64; amazon.com.
Squeeze in More Shelving
If your cabinets are cluttered with dishware and appliances, installing a couple floating shelves on the side of a cabinet could help accommodate the overflow. To add extra storage space to her kitchen, Jennifer Bridgman from The Chronicles of Home attached inexpensive IKEA shelves with brackets to the side of her refrigerator cabinet. She uses the two shelves to store items she reaches for most often: the coffee maker, salt and pepper shakers, and fresh fruits. A paper towel holder that suspends from the wall puts paper towels within reach, while leaving counter space free for food prep. Want to clear off counter space in your own kitchen? Find similar floating shelving in vintage oak and white at Target.
Declutter Your Cabinets
If you dream of orderly kitchen cabinets, but aren’t about to shell out hundreds for custom organizers, find inspiration in this smart storage hack from Kristin Bauer from Everyday Organizing. Rather than install an expensive sliding system, she invested in $4 clear plastic storage bins. Small appliances and measuring cups can be piled in each bin, yet they’re contained, so you’ll no longer be greeted by an avalanche of rolling pins and immersion blenders when you open the door. You can use these pretend pull-out drawers until you’re ready to splurge on the real thing, but don’t be surprised if you decide you don’t need the fancy upgrade after all. “This system has worked wonderfully for us for over four years!” Kristin reports. “We still use the exact same bins to this day.”
Bring Storage Down Low
While many of us take advantage of the space above our kitchen cabinets, how many of us consider the space belowthem? By converting her kitchen’s toe kicks into sliding drawers, Joni Lay from Lay Baby Lay gained extra storage in an unexpected spot. The large, flat drawers are ideal for baking sheets or, in Joni’s case, her daughters’ art supplies. By keeping the papers and crayons low to the ground, her little ones have easy access. While this project requires a little more effort than buying a few bins, it’s a smart idea to add to your kitchen remodel wish list.
Choose a Magnetic Fridge Organizer
If you have a magnetic fridge, consider yourself lucky—the entire surface is one big blank canvas for magnetic organizers and bins. This storage rack from the ultra-stylish Japanese brand Yamazaki Home sticks onto the side of the refrigerator and comes with a shelf for aluminum foil and plastic wrap, a bar for dish towels, and hooks for scissors or oven mitts. Want to max out your fridge’s storage space? Try adding these colorful magnetic bins that can hold measuring spoons, pens, pencils, and a notepad for jotting down grocery lists.
To buy: $50; ahalife.com.