20+ Brilliant Storage Ideas for Small Kitchens

These brilliant storage ideas for small kitchens will help you make the most of your space! Keep the kitchen cabinets, drawers, refrigerator, food, and pantry items organized with these simple tips.

Small white kitchen in a townhouse, IKEA SEKTION cabinets with brilliant storage ideas

I’ve lived in a bunch of different sizes of homes in my adult life– from my first one bedroom apartment to our tiny townhouse we lived in for seven years to our current single family home.

Along with my own houses, I’ve helped others organize homes, and particularly kitchens, of many shapes and sizes.

And while there are organizing challenges in all kitchens, small sized kitchens hold a special place in my heart.

They cause me to have to think outside the box and get creative. I have to be super strategic about what I put where. And small kitchens have helped me discover some fun gadgets and organizers that are useful in bigger kitchens as well!

Below I’ve rounded up more than 20 smart storage ideas for small kitchens that can help make even the littlest spaces more functional.

Storage Ideas for Small Kitchens

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

Creating the Best Possible Layout in a Small Kitchen

Before I get into the nitty gritty of organizing cabinets and drawers, I have to think about the kitchen’s layout.

Small kitchens usually have limited cabinet and counter space, so we have to be really intentional about how we use every inch!

Here are a few things to think about as you are planning the layout of your small kitchen…

1. Organize the “have to” pieces first.

In small spaces especially, sometimes there is only one place where something will fit.

For example, in my townhouse kitchen, I only had one cabinet that was big enough to accommodate my pots and pans and my larger mixing bowls.

Love this beautifully organized kitchen! Click through to see all of the awesome organized details-- she thought of everything!

When planning out my kitchen organization then, I put these “have tos” in place first, and then arranged all other items afterward.

Take a tour of the small, organized kitchen in our townhouse.

2. Put items in close proximity to where they’ll be used most.

After I have my “have to” pieces in place, then I do my best to store the rest of my items close to where I’ll use them, if possible.

Ideally, oven mitts are stored in a drawer right next to the oven, pots and pans are close to the stove, dishwashing detergent is close to the dishwasher, etc.

Small kitchen drawer with potholders, oven mitts, dishrags and kitchen towels

See all my tips for organizing a small kitchen.

Smart Ways to Maximize Space in Small Kitchen Cabinets

Cabinet space can be pretty minimal in smaller kitchens, so we need to make the most of every bit of room!

Here are some storage ideas for small kitchens when organizing cabinets…

3. Add risers in cabinets to maximize vertical space.

One way to use space wisely within cabinets is to add risers, like Christin from My Homier Home did with her coffee mugs.

This makes way for two layers of items instead of just one, allowing the cabinets to hold more!

Organized kitchen cabinets with a drink shelf from My Homier Home, organized storage ideas for small kitchens

Read more about how to organize kitchen cabinets from Christin from My Homier Home

4. Use bins to create “drawers” within a cabinet.

If you don’t have a dedicated pantry, a kitchen cabinet can be a great place to store snacks and dry goods.

To ensure that items don’t get lost in the back of the cabinet, use clear containers to act as drawers, like Emily did at Small Stuff Counts.

When she wants to use an item in the back of the cabinet, rather than rooting through a bunch of food and making a mess, she can just grab the bin she needs, pull out the desired item, and put the bin back neatly.

She can reach and find what she needs quickly and easily, and she’ll waste less food.

Organize your small pantry using the KonMari Method, clear bins, and labels from Small Stuff Counts.

Get all the details from Emily at Small Stuff Counts.

I’m a big fan of filing items vertically rather than stacking. It makes them easier to take out and put away since you don’t have to unstack and re-stack everything to get what you need.

Using a divider like this one from Zoe at Pine and Poplar to file cookie sheets in a cabinet will help make them easily accessible and can save space too!

DIY wood cooke sheet organizer

Find the full tutorial from Zoe at Pine and Poplar.

Not a DIY-er? You can snag a store-bought version of the cookie sheet organizer right here.

6. Organize pots and pans vertically.

Pots and pans can also be filed vertically if it makes more sense for your space!

I love how Zoe at Pine and Poplar created this custom organizer for her pots and pans with flexible panels that can be rearranged to accommodate different sized kitchen tools.

DIY pots and pans organizer

Get the full tutorial from Zoe at Pine and Poplar.

If you don’t want to DIY, this store-bought version can accomplish the same organization technique.

7. Hide your trash can.

Morgan from Charleston Crafted repurposed one of her upper cabinets to create hidden storage for her trash can!

This keeps the trash can tucked neatly out of the way and makes good use of an awkward empty spot in the kitchen at the same time.

Hide your trash can by turning it into a pullout trash can

Get the full tutorial from Morgan at Charleston Crafted.

If you don’t have a spare cabinet to build a trash can holder yourself, you can grab the store-bought version here.

Utilize the Space on the Backs of Cabinet Doors in a Small Kitchen

If you have a small kitchen, using the backs of the cabinet doors to create more storage space is a no brainer!

Here are a few items that are easy to store on cabinet doors…

8. Use command hooks to organize measuring cups inside a kitchen cabinet door.

These clear command hooks are unobtrusive and can neatly organize measuring cups and spoons for easy access.

I love how Zoe at Pine and Poplar even added cute labels so there is never any question about which measuring tool goes where.

Measuring Cup organization using command hooks from Pine + Poplar

Get the tutorial from Zoe at Pine and Poplar.

9. Hang pot holders with a command hook on the back of a cabinet door for easy access.

Command hooks are also great for hanging pot holders and oven mitts! Emily from Small Stuff Counts hung her mitts right with her pots and pans so she can easily grab both when it’s time to get cooking.

Use Command Strips to organize your kitchen utensils and storage space

Learn more kitchen hacks from Emily at Small Stuff Counts.

10. Create a convenient cutting board storage rack on the back of a cabinet door.

Cutting boards can also be tucked away behind a cabinet door using a simple rack to secure them in place. Cheryl from That’s What Che Said keeps her cutting boards within easy reach using this smart method.

Create a convenient cutting board storage rack right on your cabinet door

Get the details from Cheryl at That’s What Che Said.

Install pull-out drawers within cabinets to keep all items within easy reach.

Kitchen items that are pushed to the back of the cabinet are often lost or forgotten about. But in a small kitchen, every inch of storage space is prime real estate!

We can maximize the use of the entire cabinet by using pull-out drawers to make even the items in the back easily accessible.

Here are some ways to use this type of organizer…

11. A pull-out organizer keeps baking supplies easily accessible.

Again, if you don’t have a pantry, using a cabinet may be your best bet. Emily from Small Stuff Counts created an organized baking cabinet using stacking storage bins + a wire pull-out organizer that she installed herself.

Organize baking supplies and ingredients so they are all within reach

Get all the info from Emily at Small Stuff Counts.

12. Create your own DIY pull-out drawers to maximize space in the kitchen cabinets.

If you’re a DIY-er, you can create your own pull-out drawers for your cabinets without too much trouble at all!

This will ensure that you have a completely custom fit, allowing you to use alllllllllllllll of your cabinet space.

Pull out cabinet drawer in kitchen

Get the full tutorial from Zoe at Pine and Poplar.

13. Use pre-made roll-out drawers to organize small appliances.

If you’re not a DIY-er, there are plenty of options for installing a pre-made pull-out drawer, like Emily did at Small Stuff Counts.

She used her roll-out drawer to hold small appliances so she doesn’t have to wrestle with the appliances in the front to be able to reach the ones in the back.

Upgrade your kitchen cabinets with these roll-out drawers

Get the tutorial from Emily at Small Stuff Counts.

14. Install a sliding organizer under your kitchen sink to maximize the space.

One of my favorite places to add a sliding organizer is under the kitchen sink! This cabinet is often one of the bigger ones in the space, making it easy for items to get lost or disorganized.

Adding a pull-out organizer– like Laura from Inspiration for Moms— gives you easy access to all of your supplies without having to practically climb inside the cabinet to reach them.

Install a sliding organizer under your kitchen sink to maximize the space

Get the details from Laura at Inspiration for Moms.

Organize Small Kitchen Drawers Efficiently

Along with maximizing the cabinet space, we’ll want to make the most of our drawers too!

Here are some storage ideas for small kitchens when organizing drawers.

15. Divide up utensil drawers with strategic organizers.

When everything has a specific home, items have a better chance of being returned to their designated spot!

Whether I’m organizing silverware, utensils, or my kitchen junk drawer, I like to divide up the space with organizers so it doesn’t become a jumbled mess.

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Find all of my small kitchen tips here.

16. Use a spice organizer within a drawer to save space on countertops and in the pantry.

If your small kitchen is lacking space on the counters or in the pantry, try storing your spices in a drawer!

You can build your own DIY organizer like Morgan did at Charleston Crafted for a completely custom fit, or you can snag a store-bought version like this one.

Build a simple wooden spice drawer organizer to see all your spices easily without them sliding around

Get the full tutorial from Morgan at Charleston Crafted.

17. Use drawer organizers to hold plastic wrap, aluminum foil, wax paper, and more.

When we moved into our current house, I was frustrated to find that our kitchen drawers were too shallow to store our boxes of foil, plastic wrap, wax paper, and more.

Danielle from DIY Danielle solved this problem by building her own drawer organizer to hold these kitchen staples perfectly!

Build your own DIY drawer organizer to hold plastic wrap, aluminum foil, and more.

Get the full tutorial from Danielle at DIY Danielle.

If you’re not a DIY-er, you can grab the store-bought version of the foil/wax paper/plastic wrap holder right here and an organizer for Ziplock bags here.

18. Keep the knife block off of the kitchen counters with an in-the-drawer organizer.

Again, since counter space is typically limited in a small kitchen, I am always trying to find ways to get things off the counters!

I found this knife drawer organizer to replace my traditional knife block, and it has helped keep my counters looking neat and organized!

Knife block in kitchen drawer

Tour our current organized kitchen here.

Organize the counters in your small kitchen.

Speaking of kitchen counters, here are a few storage ideas for small kitchens that will keep them organized, especially when you don’t have much counter space…

19. Add a tray to your kitchen counter to corral frequently used items.

A simple tray can make the difference between a cluttered counter that has bottles and crocks everywhere and a neat counter with plenty of space to work.

I love how Laura from Inspiration for Moms is able to keep the items she uses often close by without them looking cluttered.

Add a tray to your kitchen counter to house frequently used items and still have it look pretty

Get all the countertop organization tips from Laura at Inspiration For Moms.

20. Bring in a piece of storage furniture for additional counter space.

Our little townhouse kitchen had a wall with a low window, so we weren’t able to add cabinets for additional storage.

One day, I pushed a little desk I was using for storage in our entry into the kitchen to get it out of the way, and I realized that it would be the perfect fit. AND it gave me some extra counter and drawer space at the same time!

An Upcycled Kitchen Sideboard  to add extra counter space in a small kitchen

If you don’t have room for a storage piece like this one, a small rolling island or even a rolling cart may be a simple way to add some extra storage to your small kitchen.

Organization Ideas for Small Refrigerators

Finally, I couldn’t end this post without sharing some ideas for small refrigerators! It is totally possible to keep a small fridge organized if you’re strategic about it.

21. Create zones in your small refrigerator to keep like items together.

No matter the size of our fridge, I like to create zones so that we can easily find what we’re looking for.

When we keep like items together in a designated spot, we will be more likely to put things back correctly, which keeps our refrigerator organized longer.

Love the ideas and strategies she uses to organize a small refrigerator! I need to put some of these to work in my on refrigerator organization! Click through to the post to see all of her organizing tips and tricks!

Get all my tips for organizing a small refrigerator.

22. Corral like items in storage bins to keep a small refrigerator looking tidy.

I like to use bins sparingly and strategically in my refrigerator.

Though too many bins can crowd the space and make it difficult to fit everything, a few well-placed bins can really go a long way toward keeping the fridge organized.

In our small refrigerator, I used bins to corral bread and cheese. Your needs will likely vary based on the layout of your refrigerator and the foods you buy often.

Organized Small Refrigerator

Small Kitchen Storage Ideas: Final Thoughts

Small kitchens can be a challenge to organize, but they’re not impossible!

If we take the time to plan our space and are strategic about the organizing systems we choose, we can definitely make our small kitchen work for us.

I hope these storage ideas for small kitchens will be helpful as you work to organize your own space!

Organizing your own small kitchen in the near future? Be sure to pin the image below so you can reference this post later!

20+ Storage Ideas for Small Kitchens

Thank you for following along! Have a wonderful day!

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.