Best Ways to Store More in Your Kitchen
Boost Storage with Freestanding Pieces
Maximize Undersink Storage
Conquer your undersink space with an simple, on-a-dime solution. Keep your most frequently used items (dish soap, dishwasher detergent, sponges, and scrubbers) on a turntable for quick access.
Streamline the Coffee Station
Make mornings easier with an all-in-one coffee station. Dedicate a pullout drawer next to your coffeemaker to holding filters, coffee beans, and travel mugs, so brewing a fresh pot is a one-step task.
Organize Your Refrigerator
Keep the space inside your refrigerator in order with these tips and strategies.
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.
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.
Use the Toe-Kick
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.
Add a Command Center
Built-in bins, a bulletin board, and a clock turn one side of a fridge cabinet into a household command center. This simple DIY project creates instant organization and utilizes small spaces that are otherwise wasted.
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.
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.
Fake a Pantry
Using substantial-size drawers is a smart alternative to a full-size pantry when kitchen space is limited. These drawers keep boxes and bags upright, organized, and accessible.
Keep Towels Close
Keep dish towels in a cabinet close to the cleanup zone. Use a pullout towel rack with more than one bar to air-dry and store towels.
Add Open Shelves
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.
How to Convert Cabinets to Open Shelving
Watch and learn how you can turn cabinets into open shelving -- it's easier than you think!
Organize with Cubbies
Give order to a collection of nesting mixing bowls or small appliances with a system of cubbies. Tuck in the necessary attachments and manuals that accompany each appliance so everything is on hand.
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.
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.
Neatly Stow 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.
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.
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.
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.
Put Corners to Work
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 cabinet's contents.
Stow 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.
Upgrade an Island
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Stash Tall Bottles
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.
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.
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.