34 Ingenious Ways to Store More in Your Kitchen

modern keep sleek organize kitchen
Photo: Helen Norman

Store more in your kitchen with these effective ideas. Maximize the space you have with solutions for food, cookware, small appliances, and more. Make room for all the essentials and find everything more easily using these storage ideas.

01 of 34

Add Open Shelves

gray kitchen with tile and white open shelving
Greg Scheidemann

Open shelving is a pretty and practical way to utilize kitchen wall space. Line the shelves with 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.

02 of 34

Put Walls to Work

pegboard kitchen storage
Adam Albright

Turn a bare section of wall into a storage center. Pegboard provides an easy way to keep kitchen tools handy. Use a combination of hooks and pegs to hang cookware, cutting boards, utensils, and more.

03 of 34

Fake a Pantry

organized kitchen cabinet drawers
John Granen

When kitchen space is limited, unconventional storage solutions can ensure you don't have to sacrifice function. Outfitting cabinets with pullout shelves is a smart alternative to a full-size pantry. The raised edges on these shelves keep boxes and bags upright, organized, and accessible.

04 of 34

Divide Your Drawer Space

kitchen drawer organize silverware
Helen Norman

Dividers help organize flatware and other items inside your drawers. Choose adjustable inserts for added flexibility, or create custom organizers that fit your drawer's exact dimensions. Consider a two-tiered system to double the storage capacity.

05 of 34

Extend Kitchen Cabinetry

grey kitchen cabinets, yellow chairs
David A. Land

If you're planning on new cabinetry, choose designs that reach the ceiling, rather than something topped by a soffit. Although high-rise storage can be difficult to reach, it's convenient for concealing infrequently used items. Keep a step stool nearby to help you access this area when needed.

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Organize Your Refrigerator

fridge filled with food
Cameron Sadeghpour

Keep the space inside your refrigerator in order with a few easy strategies. Start by grouping foods by type, such as beverages, dairy products, leftovers, and produce. Consider add-ons including clear bins, baskets, trays, and turntables to organize items and grant easy access. Keep in mind that you can adjust refrigerator shelves as needed to better accommodate different-sized items.

07 of 34

Incorporate Baking Storage

pan dividers in upper cabinets
Werner Straube

If you do a lot of baking, keep all your supplies in one spot. Here, cookie sheets, muffin tins, and serving trays are stored in a cabinet over a wall oven. Retrofit an existing cabinet with inexpensive dividers to keep everything organized.

08 of 34

Upgrade an Island

modern keep sleek organize kitchen
Helen Norman

Boost kitchen storage by adding shelves or niches to the end of a run of cabinets. The side of an island or cabinet is a prime spot for displaying kitchen collectibles or storing cookbooks. Adding onto an existing island will also extend your available prep space.

09 of 34

Utilize Pullouts

Cupboard filled with spices and oils
Edward Gohlich

A deep, narrow drawer like this one is the perfect spot for storing tall bottles of oil, vinegar, and more. Additional shelves stash smaller spice containers. Consider adding one to your next cabinet makeover, or as a quick-fix alternative, organize all your bottles in a deep basket that you can slide onto a shelf or inside an existing cabinet.

10 of 34

Round Up Your Recycling

kitchen drawer trash can
Tria Giovan

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 you use to exit the house to limit how far you must lug the bins.

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Create an Easy-Access Pantry

built in pantry sliding drawers

Store all your pantry staples in one convenient location. A floor-to-ceiling cabinet is divided into shelves, so nothing gets lost in the back of the cupboard. Consider attaching a tack board to the door or side of the pantry for posting notes, a calendar, and shopping lists.

12 of 34

Combine Kitchen Storage Types

kitchen with white cabinets and wood tones
Laurie Black

Combine open and closed storage for visual interest and accessibility. An arrangement of cabinets and cubbies makes use of typically wasted space around a refrigerator. Reserve open storage areas for items that look good on display, such as cookbooks, glassware, or serving pieces.

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Store Inside Cabinet Doors

cabinet added storage shelves
Michael Partenio

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

14 of 34

Build in Storage

white bench with drawers
Laura Moss

Turn unused space below a built-in banquette into storage. Deep drawers are a convenient spot to store extra table linens, placemats, and napkins. For an open storage option, build cubbies or shelves into the area below the seat.

15 of 34

Boost Storage with Freestanding Pieces

kitchen wood black cabinet high top bar stools
John Bessler

If your kitchen is short on 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 transitional kitchen. The piece fits into a corner niche so it doesn't impede traffic flow.

16 of 34

Maximize Undersink Storage

under sink storage bins wood cupboards
Marty Baldwin

Conquer your under-sink space with a simple, inexpensive solution. Keep your most frequently used items on a turntable for quick access. This idea works well for dish soap, dishwasher detergent, sponges, scrubbers, and other items you reach for often.

17 of 34

Streamline the Coffee Station

pull out drawers coffee machine mugs
Werner Straube

Make mornings easier with an all-in-one coffee station. Dedicate a drawer next to your coffee maker to hold filters, coffee beans, and travel mugs, so brewing a fresh pot is a one-step task. If you don't have a drawer to spare, consider outfitting a cabinet with pullout shelves that function similarly.

18 of 34

Sort Your Freezer

freezer storage plastic bins containers
Jay Wilde

Sort your freezer with ideas that 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. Keep small adhesive labels and a permanent marker on hand to label individual containers.

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Use the Toe-Kick

Craft supplies drawer under cabinets
Greg Scheidemann

The narrow strip between the cabinets and the floor, called the toe-kick, frequently amounts to wasted space. Put this area to work by installing a shallow drawer. Use the newfound storage spot to house kids' craft supplies or serving dishes and baking pans.

20 of 34

Add a Kitchen Command Center

paper wall organizing kitchen
Laura Moss

Organize your family's paperwork, mail, reminders, and more in one convenient spot. Built-in bins, a bulletin board, and a clock turn one side of a refrigerator cabinet into a household command center. This simple DIY project creates instant organization and utilizes small spaces that are otherwise wasted.

21 of 34

Use Clear Containers for Dry Goods

panty food containers cans
Bill Holt

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 (such as cooking instructions or nutritional information) and tape it to the outside of the container.

22 of 34

Keep Towels Close

Pull-Out Cabinet towel
Beth Singer

Keep dish towels in a cabinet close to the cleanup zone. Use a pullout rack with multiple bars to air-dry and store towels. Add another removable bar you can load and reload with paper towel rolls.

23 of 34

How to Convert Cabinets to Open Shelving

No need to tear out existing cabinetry to make room for shelves. Watch and learn how you can turn cabinets into open shelving. With a bit of paint and quick-drying putty, creating a polished look is easier than you think.

24 of 34

Organize with Cubbies

kitchen storage wicker basket
Adam Albright

Give order to a collection of nesting mixing bowls or small appliances with a system of cubbies. Add baskets or bins to hold items and create a streamlined look. Tuck in the necessary attachments and manuals that accompany each appliance so everything is on hand.

25 of 34

Properly Store Spices

spice drawer
Christina Wedge

To store spice bottles with their labels visible, don't stack them, lay them on their sides in shallow drawers. The best location for spice storage is below a stovetop or to the side of a range. Spices stored above a cooking surface might be adversely affected by the heat.

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Neatly Stow Linens

Wire basket shelf filled linens books
Reed Davis

Run out of drawer space for towels and cloth napkins? Neatly stack linens inside a basket on a shelf or inside a cabinet. This kitchen storage idea will keep sets together and easy to find when you want to use them.

27 of 34

Choose Full-Extension Pullouts

Kitchen drawers red accent
Bryan E. McCay

Maximize space with drawers and trays that extend fully. These allow you to make use of back corners without having to reach deep into cabinets to retrieve a pot or small appliance. Drawers are often a more convenient choice than cabinetry, since they save having to first open a set of doors.

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Try Upright Storage

Baking sheet organization
Cameron Sadeghpour

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.

29 of 34

Put Corners to Work

Kitchen Cabinet Door wood mugs
John Granen

Perpendicular countertops result in extra-deep corners that often go to waste. Put this area to work storing small appliances. Here, sleek bamboo cabinet doors conceal the contents.

30 of 34

Stow Pots and Pans

pots pans storage drawers
John Granen

Fill in the space under a cooktop with rollout trays for pots and pans. A two-tier system works well for storing lids near their corresponding pots. Alternatively, slide in a movable cart with shelves to accommodate cooking equipment.

31 of 34

Group Items by Size

blue pantry food storage closet
Adam Albright

Arranging same-sized items together is an easy way to use pantry space more efficiently. For the best use of space, adjust your shelves to fit the groupings. Keep in mind, however, that similarly sized items may serve different functions, so a tall cereal box and a blender might take more time to find when you're searching.

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Extend Your Pantry Outward

Kitchen Drawers roll out drawers
Paul Dyer

A pullout pantry system brings the ingredients you need within easy reach. Shelves with tall sides will prevent items from falling out while allowing easy viewing of the contents. Keep in mind that these 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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Clear the Countertops

small appliances hidden in black cabinet
Helen Elizabeth Norman

Your kitchen countertops should hold only the things you use daily. Create a permanent spot for everything else, including small appliances. An appliance garage is an attractive solution for storing bulky items out of sight.

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Customize Shelves

kitchen storage green white wood
Anna Molvik

If you're installing open shelving, strategize your plan to accommodate what you'll be storing. For example, professional organizers recommend measuring your stacked dishes to determine the shelf height your dishware requires. Weight is another important consideration when determining how to hang your shelves.

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