Kitchen storage ideas: 10 clever tips for a tidier space
May 21, 2022
Kitchens can be difficult spaces to navigate, meaning smart kitchen storage ideas are essential if you want to streamline your cooking or open it up for guests.
Whether you have a small kitchen space or larger square footage to play with, there are simple kitchen storage ideas that will help create a well-organized kitchen that functions with ease. From open floating shelves to affordable free-standing units, hidden corner pantries to clever cabinet design tricks, there are plenty of smart ideas to keep in mind if you need to maximize your space.
Plus, a kitchen with proper storage also guarantees an easier kitchen cleaning routine – and that can only be a win! Here’s how to execute effective storage ideas in your home for more organized and streamlined countertops, cabinets, cupboards, and more.
10 easy kitchen storage ideas
There are so many genius and affordable tricks to corral clutter and store cooking essentials to make your kitchen more functional and less chaotic. Intrigued? Let these easy kitchen storage ideas inspire you…
1. Choose freestanding storage units
Open shelving is one of the biggest kitchen trends right now for creating a more versatile storage solution that can be used for all manner of kitchen items, from stacked crockery to pots and pans storage to cooking ingredients beautifully decentered into fashionable glass jars. Shelving such as this ENHET combination unit by IKEA offers a pantry-style feel for storage without having to reconfigure the space.
“Open shelving is a great and stylish way of storing items without being concealed by doors,” says Andy Briggs, Interior Designer at Optiplan Kitchens (opens in new tab). “This could be used for cookbooks or small appliances that you don’t want cluttering your worktops.”
Freestanding open shelves are also a great budget solution, that provides plentiful storage without having to install expensive wall cabinets. Because the units are combination systems you can create bespoke storage to suit your space, at very little cost. Also because the units are freestanding you have the freedom to move them within the space, to change the layout to suit your lifestyle.
2. Utilize corner cabinet space with smart designs
Corner cabinets may use valuable space but is the space actually useable? In other words are you storing items that are a struggle to retrieve from. the back of the cabinets, so they go untouched for months on end because they are too tricky to get to? There are smart solutions in kitchen design that can change the way you use your corner cabinets.
“The most difficult space to fill in a kitchen are those awkward corner cabinets that go far back underneath the unit,” explains Andy. “To make the most of this usually empty space, opt for built-in swing-out drawers such as “magic corners” that display the entire contents of the cupboard, so you can easily locate items.”
3. Create space in corners with shelving
From your best cookbooks to your best blender that you use every morning shelves, as long as they are kept in check, provide an aesthetically pleasing storage solution for kitchens of all sizes.
4. Put a pegboard on the wall
Kicking off our list of kitchen storage ideas is a handy pegboard. A stainless steel or plastic pegboard kitchen splashback idea is a great feature that protects kitchen walls from cooking spills and provides extra hanging space for your utensils, kitchen cloths, or any other assortment of kitchen odds. Add a magnetic strip and you can even hang knives if you need to free up more drawer space.
Some pegboards available to buy even have shelving built into them for extra space for more bulky items, such as spices or storage containers. And, if you ever find yourself not needing the pegboard in your kitchen anymore, it’s a perfect transitional item that would work in bathrooms, garden sheds, or offices, too.
5. Add a pull-out pantry
Of course, a huge walk-in organized pantry idea is what dreams are made of – but we all know this isn’t possible in every home. In a small kitchen, try placing your spices, dry goods, and other kitchen essentials in a pull-out pantry.
All you need to do is find one that will fit inside your chosen cupboard space, and install the shelved organizer into the said cupboard. This keeps your items tucked away, but still provides easy access – and means you can avoid scrambling about in the back of a cupboard for one of your pots or pans.
6. Opt for a freestanding kitchen trolley
If you’re lucky enough to have a bit of space in the middle of your kitchen, you can add extra storage with a small, portable kitchen island or trolley. Instead of committing to a huge, built-in island, it’s worth noting that there are loads of stylish free-standing ones around. They provide heaps of added storage and surface space for food preparation, and can even double up as a kitchen table too.
And if you need extra cooking space you could always station the best portable induction hobs on here too. We love this stainless steel chef-style one as not only does it double up as a storage unit and table surface, but it also has castor wheels so it’s easy to move around the kitchen.
7. Install floating shelves
The beauty of floating shelves is that they can be used anywhere in the kitchen where you have a bit of wall space. Try placing them on either side of a window or over your sink, for easy access to whatever you need.
You can of course use them for whatever you like, but they can be fantastically handy to display clear jars of cereal or pasta that may otherwise be bulking up your organized kitchen cabinets.
You could also store other essentials such as plates, bowls, or your favorite coffee travel mugs on them for super easy access – just make sure to choose your most chic ones!
8. Fix hooks to the walls
This is one of our favorite pan storage ideas, but it’s not just your best induction pans, woks, and skillets you can hang up, store mugs, spatulas, and other kitchen products on hooks too, so that you can keep the countertop free for actual cooking. You can even free up cupboard space with this great kitchen storage idea.
Plus, kitchen hooks – be they on a rail or on their own – can add a warm and stylish feel to your kitchen space. Choose either brightly colored ones to make them really stand out, or, if you have some kitchen pans or utensils that you are particularly proud of, remember that neutral white or black hooks have a charm all of their own.
9. Hang a plate rack
Maximize storage by putting your plates on a hanging rack rather than cluttering up a cupboard or organized kitchen drawer – one of the kitchen storage ideas that will look great and a super functional one too. In a cupboard, they can often take up a huge amount of space due to the size and shape of the plate, when they needn’t do.
A plate rack can also show off your best dining wear and makes your plates super accessible when you need to grab them. Some, like the one to the left, also have handy hooks for mugs too, providing a bit of extra storage space and the chance to clear even more out of your cupboards too.
10. Use baskets for easy-access storage
Maximize any empty space on the top or inside kitchen cupboards, cabinets, or even your fridge, by making use of baskets and storing items in there. Baskets can be great for storing similar items altogether – for example, potatoes and onions could go together in a basket at the top of your fridge.
Or, for items, you use less regularly, pop them in a basket and slide it on the top of your kitchen cupboard. Label it for the extra organization so you can simply pull it down when you need it.
How do I add more storage to my kitchen?
Before you add more storage to your kitchen it’s a good idea to start by decluttering and getting organized. Even if you are lucky enough to have numerous drawers, cabinets, cupboards, and shelves, it may feel like you don’t have enough space because of the way you have organized the area. Bulky saucepans and lids, kitchen accessories such as blenders or food processors, plates, and cutlery can take up more space than needed if not organized and stored properly.
You can add plenty of affordable storage to an existing kitchen by way of freestanding units and wall shelves. These versatile solutions help you add more storage to the space you already have. To seek additional space for storage within cabinets and drawers, try clever designs that elevate items on shelves to ensure the full height of every cabinet is being utilized. Likewise, you can buy smart in-drawer dividers to carve out dedicated extra storage space – because a well-organized space naturally creates more room for storage.
How can I store things in my kitchen without cabinets?
“Open shelving is a great and stylish way of storing items without being concealed by doors,” explains Andy. “This could be used for cookbooks or small appliances that you don’t want cluttering your worktops. Shelving can also be incorporated into a kitchen island – to display your favourite belongings and showcase your personality.”
“For smaller kitchen accessories, such as utensils, chopping boards or small pans, consider wall hooks or a large pegboard which each item can be easily mounted onto. Despite all the items being on show, this can offer a ‘layered’ design feature that creates engagement and warmth.”
“Another stylish storage option without cabinets would be to simply have things displayed on your kitchen countertops. From plants to vases and books – the kitchen work surface doesn’t just need to be all pots and pans!”