Cooking is inherently a busy activity. Depending on what you’re cooking, several pots are bubbling at the same time. Food prep leaves you with a loose mountain of shavings and leftover pieces from the cutting board. And the dishes. Sometimes you can only look at the dishes as they pile up. You know it’s a rickety mess that can topple with the wrong plate, but you don’t have the energy to clean it.
Sometimes, cooking is crowded and a little overwhelming. So, it’s essential to clear out as much space as possible on your workspace. At least, it’ll look tidy when you’re not cooking.
To help you out with that, we listed 24 kitchen storage ideas to keep your space neat and clutter-free.
Hang your mugs
It’s tempting to place every kitchenware you own on the counter. It’ll always be in your line of sight and within reach. But, when you have a small table as it is, you might run out of workspace for next time you need it.
Unless you want to chop your carrots in the dining room, it might be a good idea to consider installing metal rods on your walls. You can hang mugs, pot holders, and more on the hooks. They will still be visible and accessible for when you’re fumbling at dawn for a coffee cup.
Hide your clutter behind curtains
A whole line of cabinets in your kitchen can be a little boring. Or there may be times that you regret open shelving, like when your pantry’s raided, and the mess is visible for all to see.
Hiding your shelves behind curtains or, in this case, wooden blinds is the kitchen equivalent of sweeping your mess under the rug. Keep the muck out of sight and out of mind. They make for a cute break in this otherwise minimal kitchen too!
Build your appliances into the wall
Appliances are clunky. Most kitchens will have free-standing tools, where the stovetop fits between cabinets, but not perfectly. That’s still space you could have used for walking or an extra counter.
If you want to have more room to move around, you can talk to your contractor about installing built-in appliances. Ovens that blend into the wall, cooktops that are only slightly thicker than the counter, refrigerators that camouflage as one of the cabinets. There are a few ways to go about it, but all help create a modular look for your kitchen.
Find a free-standing rack to fit your kitchen
This free-standing shelf has about six panels. That’s a lot of extra storage space! But, the beauty of this open shelving unit is that it fits the nook between the cabinet and door perfectly. It doesn’t take up too much space since it’s curved like a fan, and the area it does take is out of the way of any busy work. Cast in the cabinets shadow and blending into the white wall, it doesn’t make the room look too busy either. It’s a fantastic addition all-around.
Find a small, unused space in your kitchen and shop for the best free-standing unit for your home.
Organize your spices in containers
Unless your aesthetic includes “McCormick’s branding,” then chances are you’ll want to personalize your spice collection. Clear jars that you can decorate with labels and ribbons are both functional and flexible. Colorful spices stored in transparent containers make for a beautiful view on your open shelving unit too.
Reach to the ceiling
You can get a lot of extra kitchen storage by merely stretching things out to the room’s limits. Look how this kitchen has drawers and cupboards from the floor to the ceiling. It’s also pushed against this niche in the wall. So, there’s a bit of countertop to use when you close the drawers.
Organize your drawers
A messy drawer is a messy drawer, no if’s and but’s about it. You can dig around a bed of sharp, metal objects if you place your utensils in the drawers as they are. Or you can add an organizer with metal or wooden divisions. It will give you space to put forks in one panel and spoons in the other to pick them out easier.
Using the organizer to lay your spices sideways, with their labels facing upward, avoids possible spillage too. You won’t have to haphazardly toss the bottles back while you’re in the middle of cooking.
Place shelves in free counter space
Shelves are a gift meant to be taken advantage of. You can never have enough of them. If you ever find yourself with empty spaces and more countertop real estate than you need, consider this. This kitchen features a shelf dedicated entirely to bread to keep them fresh and display them!
You might not necessarily need a bread rack of your own. But, it works just as well with other items like oil bottles.
Be creative with old baskets
Are you the type who buys random garage sale items because you’re so sure you’ll find a place for it eventually? Here it is. This is the place.
Old wire baskets, decorative pitchers, vases, and other novelties are garage sale and surplus store staples. Most of those can be used as a centerpiece, but go a step further. They can be functional, too, like the basket pictured above. Any of them make great containers for cookbooks, fruit, spoons – and they instantly add personality to your kitchen.
Hang your cutting boards
Rods are versatile storage tools. Aside from mugs, you can hang cutting boards on a rod too. It’ll dry while you aren’t using it and quickly bring it down to your counter when you need it.
Make good use of high ceilings
This kitchen makes use of every available space wisely. The irregular shape of pots and pans makes it a hassle to store them. Here, they hang high up on the walls, beams, and right above the stove. Since the kitchen has high ceilings, they’re not dangling in your path like they would typically be in a smaller house.
Turn closet space into a pantry
One sure-fire way to keep clutter out of sight in the kitchen is to store your items somewhere else entirely. If you have an extra closet near the kitchen, you can turn it into a dedicated pantry.
It doesn’t have to be a walk-in either. Find a deep niche in your home, install some shelves, and hide it behind room dividers or curtains, and you’ll get storage space for your groceries.
Pair high shelves with a ladder
If you’ve been avoiding placing items in the highest panels of your shelves, fret no more. A ladder for the kitchen is inexpensive. There are even thinner, wooden versions, so they don’t have to eat up space when you don’t need them.
Stick your knives to a magnetic surface
Knife blocks take up a considerable amount of counter space. The traditional wooden ones aren’t the best when it comes to sanitation either.
A solution that solves both of those problems is by using a magnetic block to stick the knives to. Just be careful to keep it out of reach of children.
Find an island with shelf space
In this modular kitchen, there’s no room above the shelves to take advantage of. Instead, the island is hollow, with shelves and cabinets on the bottom for storing your cookbooks and dishes. The countertop stretches into a dining table too. It’s a genuinely functional centerpiece for your kitchen!
Hang lighter items on a metal frame
This has the same energy as installing a pegboard in your kitchen. Pegboards would be more capable of hanging more cumbersome items, too, if that’s what you need.
But, there’s a certain rustic charm to this metal frame. It can hold these small vases and just imagine how charming it would be to grow a small herb garden in your kitchen. Make sure to set it against a window, and you can grow basil, oregano, sage, and a few others year-round.
Tilt your floating shelves
Something about colorful objects in cylinders feels reminiscent of a retro look and lava lamps. Plus, the custom wooden floating shelves in this kitchen make it look polished.
By tilting the baskets your way, you can get a better view of what’s inside your bottles. It makes for a seamless cooking experience when you don’t have to read labels to know what you’re reaching for.
Use wicker baskets to organize shelf spaces
You’ve got a container system down pat. Good. But what are you supposed to do about items that don’t fit in jars?
Instead of just lining them up on the bottom panel of your shelves, consider using wicker baskets to store them. You can sort them according to use, like have a separate bucket for different boxes of tea.
That way, you can cut down on having to rummage through the depths of your cupboards just to find what you need.
Get a bar cart
When you have a smaller kitchen, it’s unavoidable that you have to downsize some of the furniture. Instead of an island, consider buying a bar cart or coffee table to fit your home. You’ll still get the extra storage space without cramping your kitchen.
Bar carts have wheels too. If you have guests over in the living room, wheel it there with a bunch of refreshments, and you have an instant snack area.
Use your backsplash
A backsplash keeps the wall behind your sink free from splashes. It’s usually decorative, with it having fun patterns or colors to accent the kitchen, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be useful too. Don’t be afraid to install rods or shelves on your backsplash. You can even place a dish rack on it, so it’s easier to store your plates after washing.
Maximize your windows
This kitchen has a long line of windows. By placing a shelf on top of them and using the window sill, you can maximize the space in your kitchen. The windowsill in the kitchen is also the perfect place for growing plants, like herbs and maybe some vegetables like lettuce. They can get direct access to the sun there.
Store your plates sideways
We’ve mentioned that a plate rack by your sink would be ideal, but also consider storing them sideways. This wooden rack separates plates individually, making it easier to get the dish you need. Vertical storage would dry them better than stacking them together too.
For your next DIY project, you can replace your shelving system with painted crate boxes. This gives them a rustic, natural look. Place planters on your new shelves to complete your kitchen. It’ll look like you have boxes of fresh produce on your wall 24/7.
Display your best ware
Clearing clutter doesn’t always mean hiding things away. You can be strategic about it. In this open shelving unit, the best dishwares are on display, with the rest of them stored in the cabinets. The colors of the dishes themselves can add as a decoration to your kitchen. Use them to accent your chosen color scheme.
There are more DIY projects and fun purchases you can buy to build your kitchen storage system. Find the ones that work best for your kitchen and your needs, and you won’t have to waste time sifting through the clutter again!