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Organizing a Small Kitchen

Organizing a Small Kitchen, A small kitchen painted lime green.

Organizing your kitchen is tough even in a large kitchen. It is even more important to organize a small kitchen, where space is limited. This is a guide about organizing a small kitchen.


Solutions: Organizing a Small Kitchen

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Tip: Sink Cover to Maximize Counter Space

Kitchen sink with wooden cutting board coverMy husband constructed two wooden cutting boards to fit my double sink to increase my counter space. The stove is to the left of the double sink; there is no space to the left of the stove for cooking preparation.

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Tip: Use Chest of Drawers for Extra Space

My kitchen has lots of floor space, but hardly any cabinet or counter top space. I use a chest of drawers to give me extra counter and storage. It has a hard easy to clean surface and holds can goods, aluminum foil, zip bags, etc. A tall, narrow one might work for an even smaller kitchen.

By tnphoenixrising from Clarksville, TN

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Tip: Square Box Shelves for Small Kitchen

View of small kitchen with white box shelf with many small compartmentsMy passion is my kitchen and making it easier to work in, as it is small. I just try different things. Some work fine, but if not, I try something else.

I bought one of a set of square boxes from the hardware store, and put it on my upper counter to give me a space to slide things in. They are handy, exposed, and easy to use. I will enclose a picture so you can see just what I did.

Source: I saw this shelf or box in the store, so I just bought at Lowes.

By Bonnie from Brownsville, TX

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Tip: Use Unused Kitchen Appliances for Storage

I recently moved from a 3 bedroom house to a single wide mobile home. I found I have much less storage space in my kitchen so this is what I did. I don't use my oven regularly, so I store my pots and pans and lids in the oven. In order to cut costs on my electric and water bills, I do not use the dishwasher. The top tray makes an excellent place to store the small items like measuring cups and spoons, long handled forks and spoons, tongs, and can opener. The bottom is large so the large dishes, baking pans and cookie sheets fit with no trouble. I also hang a small hand towel and a dish towel over the door.

This puts everything in a place, out of sight, and everything is quickly reachable. This worked so well that I bought a small roll of that rubber mesh used for shelves and cut it to fit the top tray so the measuring spoons and other small items wouldn't fall through. Works great.

By Clynnaltemus from Inglis, FL

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Tip: Use Upright File Storage in Kitchen

I have very little storage space in my kitchen, so I'm always looking for creative ways to eek out just a little more space. Cutting boards and pan lids were always particularly difficult to store, until I found that the upright manila file storage racks sold for office organization work great for upright kitchen storage. Use Upright File Storage in Kitchen

The rack of lids is stored in the cabinet behind my frying pans. I can reach over the pans or easily remove them to get to the lids, and it is so easy to find the right one. The cutting boards go behind the mixing bowls, I just pop out the stack of bowls and slide out the cutting board I need. Use Upright File Storage in Kitchen

By Stephanie from Hillsboro, OR

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Tip: Under Cabinet Spice Rack

Spice Rack in KitchenI adapted instructions for a vinyl molding spice rack to fit my space. I used the space just between the counter top and the cabinets.

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Tip: Garden Pots for the Kitchen Counter

I use an oval metal planter that has a plastic lining by my kitchen sink for my hand soap container, dishwashing soap container, stoppers, and scrubbers. They are all in one place and in a decorative container.

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Tip: Extra Counter Space In The Kitchen

I have a very small computer desk that didn't have enough surface space. It has one drawer. I had a small metal cookie sheet that I wasn't using, so I covered it with a piece of an old plastic tablecloth (using tape). You could also use a plastic tray or even a cutting board. Basically, whatever will fit on top of the drawer. I just happened have the cookie sheet that fit perfectly.

I placed the covered cookie sheet across the opened desk drawer. Doing this, I created more desk surface space. I can remove the cookie sheet very easily and store it next to my computer or lift it to use the drawer. I normally keep it on the opened drawer. If there is a problem with the sheet or tray sliding, glue pieces of that "grippy" liner that is sold in "Dollar Discount Stores", on the top sides of the drawer. Just check to be sure the drawer can still close. If ever I need to use the cookie sheet, I just have to un-tape the piece of tablecloth and wash it. This idea can also be used in the kitchen by placing cookie sheets or cutting boards on an open drawer.

By mkymlp from NE PA

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Tip: Magnetic Items to Organize Your Kitchen

magnetic items on fridge

In addition to making a magnetic knife holder, I also purchased little magnetic spice canisters to hold the spices I use most often. Like the ones that I have recently dried from the garden, or that are "over flow" spices that I bought extra of, like exotic peppers or salts.

I decided to get magnetic hooks to hold pot holders and kitchen scissors. Now the pot holders and spices are right next to the stove where they should be. Bye bye counter-cluttering pot holders and spice jars. You can also use the hooks to hold spare keys.

I bought magnetic clips to hold coupons or special papers we don't want to lose. For some reason even really powerful refrigerator magnets always seemed to drop papers.

The other thing I purchased was a dry erase board to write down things we are out of. That way whoever goes to the store next knows to buy more.

    By Bella Blue [44]

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    Tip: Use Multi-Level Plate Hangers for Storage

    To match my kitchen, I have a glass cutting board on a plate hanger right at my counter. Near my table is another with place mats, and two hot plates for the table in a multi-level plate hanger.

    I love my Norman Rockwell tray that hangs above the refrigerator in another plate hanger, beside the baskets for serving guests beverages and snacks. Much of what I use on a daily basis is hanging decoratively in my kitchen and dining area.

    My husband and children use them and put them back because they are so accessible. I love it this way and will never go back to hiding things in cupboards!

    by Chrissy

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    Tip: Extra Counter Space With Baking Sheets

    I live in a very small house and the kitchen is tiny. I do a lot of freezer cooking and holiday baking so I never have enough counter space for everything. What I have been doing is to pull out the top drawers and using them to rest my cookie sheets on. When the cookie sheets aren't used for baking they can still hold ingredients or utensils.

    By K. Cooper

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    Tip: Using Plastic Shoe Organizer for Kitchen Items

    I was reorganizing my limited kitchen drawer space (5 in the entire kitchen). I needed to have a place for my plastic storage bags, waxed paper, plastic wrap, and what have you. So I bought a plastic shoe bag that hang in a closet at the thrift store. I store kitchen items inside the slots for the shoes. Now that I have the empty drawer space, I can put my spices in them. That really helps, since I am having issues with arthritis in my shoulders. I hang the organizer in my front closet half pantry. It is easily accessible and so are my spices.

    By Laura from Gig Harbor, WA

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    Tip: Utilize a Cutting Board for More Counter Space

    If you run out of room on your kitchen counter, place your cutting board on top of your sink basin, or pull out a drawer and place the cutting board on top of it.

    By Kim

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    Here are questions related to Organizing a Small Kitchen.

    Question: Organizing a Small Kitchen

    My kitchen in my apartment is very old and very small. More like tiny. I only have 1 drawer, 3 cabinets, and about 2 square feet of counter space. I don't know where to put anything.

    By Ginn from Tuscaloosa, AL

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    Most Recent Answer

    By Ginn 4 18 05/19/2010

    That is so true! I never really thought about that! Heck, maybe I should just rid myself of the awful stove too! Thanks Cathy S!

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    Question: Table for Small Kitchen

    I have a very small kitchen and do not have any space for a dinette table and 4 chairs. I only have 2 adults in my family, and was wondering if there anything else I could use for a table. I thought about a small portable card table, but wanted to get your suggestions first. Thank you.

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    Most Recent Answer

    By Karen Schembri 3 08/02/2014

    To expand on Sandi's answer. You can buy a hinged table from a RV or Trailer Equipment Sales Store/Supplier. They can be hinged either upward or downward. If using a model that hinges upward than a peg leg can be used for extra support without bending. Less bending down is especially nice when you have a bad back. The bottom/sides of the table can be painted to match your walls, so it's not noticeable.

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    Question: Posting Recipes in a Small Kitchen

    Cork Board

    My house has a very small kitchen and there's nowhere to put my recipe while making something except on the stove or counter where it gets dirty. I have put up a 12x12 inch piece of cork on the front of one cabinet door so I have a place where I can tack my recipe.

    By K. Cooper

    Tape To Cabinet Or Use Fridge Magnet

    I used to have the same problem when we lived in a tiny apartment. I'd tape the recipe to the cabinet door, or, since the refrigerator was right next to the counter, I'd stick it to the fridge with a magnet.

    By Camilla

    Large Chip Clip On Fridge

    I have a large chip clip with a magnet, more like clipboard size that works well for putting the recipe up on the fridge.

    By Susan from ThriftyFun

    Use A Fork

    Stand a fork in a drinking glass, with the handle down. Slide the recipe between the tines of the fork, and you have an easy recipe holder.

    By zballoongirl

    Magnet Clip On Cupboard Handles

    I too have a small kitchen. Here's my idea and it works great for me. The handles and hinges on my cupboards are metal. This allows me to stick a magnetic clip holding my recipe to the handle. When finished baking, the clip gets placed in with my wooden spoons, spatulas, etc.

    By Marian

    Wooden Clothespin

    What I did is I glued a wooden clothespin inside my cupboard door, just hang the recipe on there. Works for me!

    By Greta

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    Most Recent Answer

    By lisa (Guest Post) 03/09/2007

    I have a large magnet I keep my recipes clipped to on top of my stove fan. Works great. I keep several there at a time.
    I also keep a typed list of recipes I use often.. (also listing the c-book they can be found in.) taped inside my cupboard door.
    One c-board door is painted with chaulk paint for my groc . list.

    I just started a recipe cllection for my 10 yr old daughter. I write the recipe cards out and simply insert into the album. Easily kept clean by the wipe off sheet.
    Lisa , Ia.

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    Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the comments that were provided then.

    Archive: Organizing a Small Kitchen

    I recently moved into a 1 bedroom apartment. I have very limited space in my kitchen for storage, and no counter space. I have two bakers racks for my microwave, small appliances and other kitchen items. It feels so cluttered to me. I have two small cupboards and no drawers. Any ideas how I can organize?

    By mem53 from Gloversville, NY


    RE: Organizing a Small Kitchen

    Perhaps instead of the bakers racks where everything is out in the open, maybe a large bookshelf with a front cover or wardrobe type thing where you can store it hidden away. I have a very small galley kitchen but am fortunate that I have a ton of cabinets. I store stuff in them, under them and on top of them.

    Also if you can find room, Walmart and K-Mart type stores have plastic drawers that you can buy individually and different sizes, maybe you can stack some of those somewhere to keep the little stuff? (05/18/2009)

    By SusLuvsVintage

    RE: Organizing a Small Kitchen

    Do you have any spare space in a closet or laundry area, or even under your bed? If you do then you might consider them for storing some of the items you don't use often. For example, I really like having a bread maker but use it only a few times a year, so it didn't need to take up valuable kitchen space.

    I also have a small galley kitchen and recently cleaned out my laundry room and added wire shelving to hold overflow small appliances, paper products, etc. Another idea would be to add vertical storage - shelving, a hanging rack for utensils, a pot rack - if your landlord will allow you to do so. If you would like to store things under your bed you can buy an inexpensive set of risers that will lift the bed up about 6" and give you ample room to slide large plastic containers underneath that store whatever you like. (05/18/2009)

    By lah34a

    RE: Organizing a Small Kitchen

    Stick on hooks inside the cabinet doors can hold flat things like measuring spoons, pizza cutter, potholders. Pegboard is great if you are allowed to put screws into the walls - you can even put small shelves on it. I have plant hangers put in my ceilings and use inexpensive plastic chain from the hardware store to suspend wire racks; you can put large baskets on the racks and store things inside, and hang things from them also. Just be sure that you watch the weight and use the kind of hooks that have toggle bolts. Google "storage ideas for small places" for tons of ideas. (05/23/2009)

    By cacshantih

    RE: Organizing a Small Kitchen

    For utensils, measuring spoons/cups, etc. (gadgets) get an inexpensive tool box. Hang 3/tier wire baskets for fruits and veggies. If you're single, you only need the basics; 1 8" and 1 10" skillet, 1 qt. sauce pan and a 3 qt. sauce pan. A can opener, a spatula/turner, perhaps 1 whisk, 1 set of measuring spoons/cups for dry measure and a 4 cup liquid measure. Weed out what you don't use. (05/23/2009)

    By chef4u

    RE: Organizing a Small Kitchen

    I also have a small kitchen. I utilize my front closet and also a perfectly placed book shelf that I made a covering for. The book shelf holds plastic shoe boxes of my silverware. I also use the shelves for my canned and boxed foods. I use a shoe bag to hold my boxes of aluminum foil, plastic wrap, etc. I use a flower pot on my stove to hold my cooking utensils. I also bought one of those Rubbermaid three drawer organizer units. I actually have two. I stacked them in the closet and use it for breads, flours, grains, teas. (05/23/2009)

    By bina2j

    RE: Organizing a Small Kitchen

    What about those sticky backed plastic hooks? Also, we have a tension rod between cabinets above the sink with s hooks holding light cooking utensils. Neither require drilling holes or any repairs. (10/05/2009)

    By poepadoe

    Archive: Organizing a Small Kitchen

    I would also like storage ideas for the kitchen in my new flat, as it is very small. Many thanks.

    By Helen from U.K


    RE: Organizing a Small Kitchen

    We have a small kitchen and have no storage space. What we did was buy a cupboard with doors and put it in our little hallway near the kitchen (or wherever you can fit it) and use it for food and baking goods, etc. (10/08/2009)

    By karenkay

    RE: Organizing a Small Kitchen

    I have what can politely be called a one-butt kitchen. The best investment I ever did was a pot rack (see photo). (02/04/2010)

    By fletchypoo

    <img src="/images/feedback_image.lasso?id=52185207" width="400" height="300" alt="RE: Organizing a Small Kitchen ">

    Archive: Organizing a Small Kitchen

    I am learning to cook and have bought several spices and have a small kitchen. I need to know the best way to organize them without them looking cluttered.