Best Ways to Store More in Your Kitchen

Control clutter in your kitchen with these effective ideas. Here are 30 solutions to help you store more stuff -- from food to cookware to small appliances -- and find it more easily.


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Faded green freestanding armoire
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Boost Storage with Freestanding Pieces

    If your kitchen lacks built-in cabinetry, consider a stand-alone piece to increase the room's storage capacity. This freestanding armoire houses delicate dishware while lending warmth and charm in a contemporary kitchen.

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Freed Storage Space

    Give your kitchen a new look and boost its storage capacity at the same time. These open shelves keep dishes neatly organized and the bottom shelf is the perfect spot for small appliances. To boost efficiency, have electric outlets installed within the shelving space so you don't have to move the appliances to use them.

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Easy Cleanup

    Conquer your undersink space with an simple, on-a-dime solution. Keep your most frequently used items (dish soap, dishwasher detergent, sponges, and scrubbers) in an over-the-door wire organizer for quick access.

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Morning Brew

    Make mornings easier with an all-in-one coffee station. Use a basket to hold filters, coffee beans, and travel mugs, and keep it next to your coffeemaker, so brewing a fresh pot is a one-step task.

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Tap into Storage

    Put the toe-kick (the space between the cabinets and the floor) to work and install a shallow drawer in this underused space. Use the newfound storage spot to house kids' craft supplies or serving dishes and baking pans.

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Use Clear Containers for Dry Goods

    Shift dry goods into airtight, stackable containers. Packaged food products can be stored more compactly when transferred from their packaging into stacking containers. Cut out the necessary information from the package (instructions, nutritional information, etc.) and tape to the outside of the container.

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Freezer Smarts

    Stock your freezer with storage-smart ideas to make use of every inch of shelf space. Use plastic baskets (an affordable organization tool) to store foods by type and put a labeled tag on each. (We used scrapbook paper and luggage tags.) Keep small adhesive labels and a permanent marker on hand to label individual containers.

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Store Stuff on the Doors

    Attach racks to the inside of cabinet doors to boost storage options. Be sure to allow enough clearance within your cabinets to allow the door to close completely. A narrow rack such as this one is ideal for keeping small jars in order.

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Pantry Drawers

    Using substantial-size drawers is a smart alternative to a full-size pantry when kitchen space is limited. These drawers, outfitted with compartments, keep boxes and bags upright and organized.

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Keep Towels Close to Cleanup Area

    Keep dish towels in a cubbyhole close to the cleanup zone. Use a pullout towel rack with more than one bar to air-dry and store towels.

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Add Shelving

    Add open shelving for cookbooks, displays of attractive serving bowls and dishes, stemware, vases, or baskets. Here, grouping and stacking pieces on the open shelves keep items neat and easy to find.

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Cubby Organization

    Give order to a collection of small appliances with a system of cubbies. Tuck in the necessary attachments and manuals that accompany each appliance so everything is on hand.

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Put Walls to Work

    Install a wire wall grid to keep kitchen tools handy. Turn a bare section of wall into a hook-and-hang center. For more storage, add accessories such as spice racks and cookbook holders.

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Properly Store Spices

    Store spice bottles on their sides with labels visible; lay them in shallow drawers instead of stacking them, says organization consultant Ginny Scott of California Closets in Portland, Oregon. The best location for spice storage is below a cooktop or to the side of a range. The flavor of spices stored above a cooking surface might be adversely affected by the heat.

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Solutions for Linens

    Run out of drawer space for towels and cloth napkins? Reach for a basket to neatly stack linens and tuck the basket onto a shelf or inside a cabinet. A basket will help keep linen sets together and will be easy to find when you want to use them.

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Divide Your Drawer Space

    Adjustable inserts help organize flatware and other items inside your drawers. When designing custom drawer space, specify shallow drawers to store utensils one deep for easy viewing.

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Choose Full-Extension Pullouts

    Drawers and trays that extend fully allow the use of back corners without having to reach deep into cabinets to retrieve a pot or small appliance. You might prefer drawers because they save having to first open a set of doors.

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Try Upright Storage

    Store shallow items, such as cutting boards and platters, upright. Even narrow spaces next to your range or your sink can be used in this manner. Use dividers to separate items for easier retrieval.

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Put Corners to Work

    Perpendicular countertops result in extra-deep corners that often go to waste. Put this area to work storing small appliances. Install a door that slides down to conceal the contents.

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A Place for Pots and Pans

    Fill in the space under a cooktop with a tilt-out tray for spices and rollout trays for pots and pans. Or, slide in a movable cart with shelves to accommodate cooking equipment.

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Island Ingenuity

    Add shelves or niches to the end of a cabinet run. The side of an island or cabinet is a prime spot for storing cookbooks and displaying kitchen collectibles.

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Best of Both

    Combine open and closed storage for visual interest and accessibility. An arrangement of cabinets, cubbies, and a plate rack makes use of typically wasted space around a refrigerator.

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Pantry Organization 101

    Group items by size. "This is the best way to use space more efficiently," says organization consultant Alice Winner of Hummelstown, Pennsylvania, especially when you size shelves to fit the groupings. Keep in mind, however, that grouping similarly sized items that serve different functions, such as tall cereal boxes and a blender, might take more time when you're searching for something.

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Round Up Your Recycling

    A two-bin unit lets you sort recyclables and trash, then conceal them behind doors. The most convenient location for this unit is next to the sink so cans and bottles can go straight from a rinse into the appropriate bin. Or, choose a location near the door where you exit the house to limit how far you must lug the bins.

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Create a Message Center

    Set up a streamlined household communications center. Conceal a message board or calendar on the back of a closet or cabinet door. Use baskets or cubbyholes, one for each family member, in a closet or cabinet to sort mail, and stash pens and notepaper nearby.

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Bring the Pantry Closer to You

    A pullout pantry system has wire shelf sides that prevent items from falling out and allow easy viewing of the contents. Pullout pantry systems, especially those that extend into toe-kick space near the floor, must be installed perfectly level and plumb to operate smoothly.

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Take Cabinets to the Top

    If you're planning for new cabinetry, choose designs that reach the ceiling rather than those topped by a soffit. Although high-rise storage can be difficult to reach, it's convenient for concealing infrequently used items.

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Bottle Drawer

    A deep drawer such as this one is the perfect spot for storing tall bottles of oil, vinegar, and more. Consider adding one to your next cabinetry makeover, or as a quick-fix alternative, corral all your bottles into a deep basket that you can slide onto a shelf or inside an existing cabinet.

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Clear the Countertops

    Your kitchen countertops should hold only things you use daily. Create a permanent spot for everything else, including small appliances. Store things close to where you use them.

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Customize Shelves

    If you're installing open shelving, strategize your plan to accommodate what you'll be storing. Professional organizers recommend measuring your stacked dishes to determine the shelf height your dishware requires.

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