The kitchen is the heart of the home and the room where everything happens. When you are renovating your kitchen, designing enough storage space is one of the most important decisions in the process. This can be especially challenging if the space is small. The cost of a kitchen renovation is not always cheap, so you want to make sure you make the most of it. Here are a few clever kitchen storage ideas to help you maximize your storage space.
Designing a Space for You
You can find plenty of ideas for kitchen renovations by a quick search on the internet. It is easy to fall in love with a certain design, but before you commit to it, you need to think about whether it would work for you or not. When designing your kitchen storage space, you need to think about how you cook and the items you have.
For instance, are you a person who has every kitchen gadget and small electric appliance on our kitchen essentials checklist? Or, do you take a more simplified approach and need more space for storing basics like flour, cooking spices, beans, and rice? Do you do a lot of entertaining and need to keep large sets of plates, utensils, and glasses, or do you need your space for canned goods and boxed food?
The best way to design a space that works for you is to decide how much space needs to be dedicated for each type of item that you need to store. Start by emphasizing function over form in the initial design process. A well-organized kitchen always looks more aesthetically pleasing than one that is cluttered and one where you cannot find what you need. Making a list of the things you use more frequently, as opposed to those you use less frequently, can help design a space that works for you.
Shopping for your kitchen? Make sure to get our Kitchen Essentials List . It has over 200 items for your kitchen, from the appliances right down to the toothpicks.
Kitchen Storage Solutions
Now that you know what you need to store, you can begin designing the space you need. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your space, regardless of the area you have.
Hang What You Can
The first tip is to hang what you can. Hooks underneath the countertops are the perfect place to hang mugs, utensils, and cutting boards. You can easily hang your pots and pans using an overhead rack that is designed for this purpose or by hanging them on the wall. Hanging as much as you can clear up counter space and precious cupboard space, which is important if you are limited in these areas.
You can also find a wide variety of hanging storage solutions, such as hanging three-tiered metal mesh bins for fruits and vegetables, wall-mounted containers, and magnetic storage for your sponges and other kitchen cleaning tools. You can also repurpose a hanging shower rack to provide extra shelving in your kitchen. Another hack is to screw mason jar lids underneath your counter so that you can use them to hold jars of dry goods. You could also install baby food jar lids to hold cooking spices.
Once you have freed as much shelf and counter space as possible by hanging everything that you can, the next step is to maximize the shelf space that you do have. Installing a lazy Susan in the pantry, using slide-out shelves, or turning one shelf into two are a few ways that you can maximize your space. For instance, if the spacing between your shelves is 12-inches tall and what you intend to store in it are small 4-inch cans, then you are wasting 8-inches of space that could be used to store more canned goods. This is one example of how you can design your shelf space to fit your needs.
Another trick is to maximize your drawer space by using dividers. As drawers get pulled in and out, everything tends to slide towards the back, and that once organized drawer is soon a mess. Installing dividers that keep everything in its place will help maximize your drawer space and keep them organized, too. This hack helps to keep your drawing looking neat and tidy, and you can find everything easily.
Install an Island or Butcher’s Block
If you are renovating, consider adding an island or Butcher’s Block to the center of the kitchen. This will not only add extra cutting surfaces and workspace, but you can also build clever storage space underneath that is hidden from sight. If you are renting, you can still use a table as an island or get a portable butcher’s block. It does not have to be built-in. Suppose you have an area under a table or butcher’s block. In that case, it can be excellent storage real estate for a few shelves, a rolling organizer, or to hide your kitchen trash can or recycling.
Kitchen Pantry Storage
Kitchen pantry storage is always a challenge. This is an area that can easily become cluttered, especially if you don’t have much space. A cluttered pantry costs you time and money. You can spend many minutes standing in front of cramped shelves looking for what you need and never find it. You also do not know what you already have, and it is easy to buy duplicates or forget to restock things that are low. It can also mean that food goes bad and goes to waste. Here are a few ideas for pantry organization that can help solve these problems.
Pantry on Wheels
One solution is building pull-out kitchen pantry storage that is on wheels. You can tuck this mobile pantry in a small closet or underneath the open space of a cabinet and pull it out when you need to find the items. These can be made from wood, or you can find small wire ones that are narrow and designed to fit into tiny spaces. Rolling carts on wheels are your best friend when it comes to organizing pantry items.
When it comes to organizing pantry items, clear plastic bins are an excellent way to maximize the space on the shelving that you have. You can easily see what is inside, and you can stack several on top of each other. If you have an extra drawer, you can also use dividers to turn two drawers into one and use them to store certain pantry items.
Don’t Ignore Small Spaces
With the clever storage solutions that you can find available today, it is easy to make use of nooks and crannies that you might not have considered. For instance, if you have space between your refrigerator and wall, you can use this to store narrow items. You can also put hooks, towel racks, spice racks, and many other storage solutions on the inside of cabinets. The rule of thumb is that if you find a small nook or cranny, there is probably something that you can store in it.
One idea for transforming your space is to place a cutting board over the sink, which is especially handy if you have a garbage disposal. You can also purchase a magnetic knife holder and mount it on your wall. Just make sure that the magnet is strong enough to hold your knives securely.
If you must store some of your items on the counter, there are a few things that you can do to keep it from turning into a cluttered mess. Labeling stored items make them not only more attractive but also helps you find what you need easily. For instance, you can arrange your items with the taller ones in the back and the labels at the top to make them easy to locate and read. You can create decorative labels to match your style.
More Kitchen Storage Hacks
Now you know how to maximize your storage space, counter space, shelves, and pantry, but we have a few more miscellaneous hacks that can help you maximize your kitchen space.
You can turn one refrigerator shelf into two by using small stackable plastic shelves.
Installing a pegboard on the wall gives you the perfect place to hang baskets, kitchen towels, shelving, and hooks for many items.
If you are truly short on your space, you can use mason jars, beautiful vases, or baskets to store things such as spatulas, spoons, wire whisks, and silverware.
For a more rustic look, you can hang an old wooden ladder from the ceiling and use it to hang dried herbs or pots and pans.
You can transform the bottom of a wood shelf on the wall into the perfect place to hang pots, pans, and utensils by adding a few hooks.
Installing a small curtain rod or shower rod underneath your sink makes an excellent place to hang spray bottles.
You could also consider installing a paper towel holder underneath your sink for dispensing trash bags, paper towels, or both. Or, you could purchase a lazy Susan for jars and containers in your refrigerator or for under your sink to organize cleaning supplies.
Don’t forget to repurpose office organizers, such as magazine holders or desk organizers as a way to keep things neat and tidy in your refrigerator or freezer.
Final Thoughts on Clever Kitchen Storage
An organized kitchen is a happy kitchen, and a happy kitchen makes a happy family. Whether you consider yourself to be a gourmet chef or just like to warm up a few frozen pizzas, having a kitchen designed for your needs and the way you like to live is a good investment. The best place to start is to look at your kitchen in a different way and spot any unused or wasted space. If you need help, many professionals are available who will help you design the kitchen just the way you like it.