30 Extra Kitchen Storage Ideas to Free Up Space

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

We all know how hard it is to find extra storage space and keep it clutter-free. So needless to say, making use of every square inch of space in your home is vital to ensure things are tidy and organized, especially when it comes to the heart of the home, also known as the kitchen.

Advertisement

While open shelving and built-in cabinets are the obvious options when it comes to easy access storage solutions, we've scoured the internet for more ways to corral your trove of cookware, baking sheets, and seemingly never-ending supply of cutlery Let these 30 unexpected kitchen storage ideas whet your appetite.

1. Add a rail.

This kitchen from Ingredients LDN does tiny kitchen storage right. It's time to make use of all that wall space, people! A rail that runs along a backsplash is ideal for hanging cooking gadgets, pots, aprons, and anything else you might need to have at your fingertips when cooking or entertaining. And it will keep precious counter real estate free and clear.

2. Make use of every square inch.

Tight on drawer or counter space? No problem. Try this organized kitchen look from Hearth Studio by carving out a niche to stash olive oil and pinch pots for salt and pepper. This design even made use of the extra space over the stovetop to stash pots and pans.

3. Use retractable or pull-out doors.

Small kitchen cabinets don't really benefit anyone, so why not go all out and incorporate a to-die-for pantry closet like this one from Brayer Design? And then top it off with retractable doors to hide your organized canisters of organic quinoa and steel-cut oats. While you're at it, throw in a few pull-out drawers for extra storage.

Advertisement

4. Go high or go home.

We're all used to seeing a lot of unused space above our cabinets, but this kitchen design by Emily Henderson is a picture-perfect lesson in why we shouldn't take that space for granted. Go the extra mile when it comes to your cabinetry, and build it out from the floor to the ceiling. And you can bet everyone will be drooling over the integrated ladder, too.

5. Free up counter space, and create a coffee station.

Making a cup of joe in the morning can be a messy business, and we don't know about you, but we don't always want to (or have time to) clean it up. However, Athena Calderone has a java station with retractable doors, which means that having spilled coffee grounds everywhere will no longer a thing.

6. Hide your home office behind closed doors.

Your kitchen isn't just for food! In fact, it can be one of the most light-filled areas of a home, so popping an office in the mix actually makes a lot of sense. The team over at 2LG Studio, in collaboration with John Lewis of Hungerford, hid their office space within kitchen cabinetry — and now we're left wondering why we didn't think of it first.

Advertisement

7. Get seating that works.

When you have to squeeze your dining quarters into the kitchen, you have no choice but to get creative with storage like the team over at Haptic Architects did in this cozy setup. They saved space by opting for a custom dining bench with built-in storage instead of two extra chairs. And, now there is plenty of room to stash that ever-growing collection of linens and vintage napkin holders.

8. Hide extra cabinetry in your kitchen island.

Islands take up a lot of room in a kitchen and often harbor a lot of dead space. So make sure you make the most of your kitchen island by creating a multi-functional piece with room to sit, store, and prepare culinary masterpieces — just like this beautiful design by Tom Robertson. Remember, an island is not just for displaying your favorite tomes. It should also provide extra kitchen drawers and cabinet space.

9. Add floating shelves.

Absolutely no one wants messy countertops or overflowing cabinet space. Nip these organizational conundrums in the bud by installing a floating shelf (or four) to accommodate any extra kitchen storage needs. What makes these crisp white ones from Chango & Co. exceptional is the fact that the monochromatic hue helps them blend well with the background, giving the whole space a tidy, pulled-together look.

Advertisement

10. Hack a workbench.

Honestly, whose life hasn't been improved by a trusty DIY project? This IKEA workbench turned kitchen storage shelf from Carrie Waller is one of the most clever ideas we've come across. The time it saves you on searching for that mixing bowl or canister makes it an invaluable addition to any kitchen.

11. Make built-ins your best friend.

This lovely, built-in shelving unit ensures your pantry ingredients are always easily accessible, which is a dream to anyone fumbling around in a dark cabinet for the appropriate spice midway through a new recipe. We appreciate this kitchen storage idea for both its functionality and form. Plus, the shelf material unites the living area and kitchen design.

12. Hang it up.

Put your kitchen wall space to good use by arranging culinary and decorative items on a hanging organizer. The versatile nature means you can use these wall-mounted racks as a sponge holder, a utensil display, or a storage spot. Hang some tiny potted plants to bring in a pop of green.

13. Don't overlook the space above the fridge.

At first glance, you might dismiss the top of the refrigerator as that place you avoid dusting or where expired loaves of bread go to die. But it's actually a great place to squeeze in some extra cabinetry for essential kitchen products if you have the space. You may need a step stool or small ladder to reach your gadgets, but the freedom to move about the lower level of your kitchen is worth it.

Advertisement

14. Use discreet wire bins.

Wire mesh baskets or a good caddy will help keep messes to a minimum in a compact cook space. In addition to utilizing wall-mounted shelves and the stovetop to hold dishes and spices, this simple kitchen has a couple of baskets just above the countertops. They serve as unobtrusive containers neatly storing bags, cooking utensils, recipe books, and more. We just recommend a good declutter before going this route.

15. Go with multipurpose shelving.

In the event that you need to make the most of limited square footage, this scaled-down cook space offers a simple kitchen storage option: Place a multipurpose shelf within arm's reach of, well, everything. Here, we see a pair of wooden shelves pulling double duty as a wine rack, a bookcase, and a display platform.

16. Get creative with kitchen towel storage.

You'll know you've reached peak adulthood when you finally figure out where to place your kitchen towels. Do you drape them over the kitchen sink divider, carelessly stuff them in a drawer, or hang them on a stove door handle where they're guaranteed to slide off at any given moment? We're not saying those ideas are ​wrong​, but The Vignette Blog's paper towel rack-turned-dish towel hanger is clearly a nice alternative.

Advertisement

17. Store fruits and veggies in unused dishware.

This suggestion may not work for all fruits and vegetables, but we absolutely recommend enlisting a spare piece of dishware to hold any produce or other food items that don't require refrigeration, particularly the kinds that tend to roll all over your countertops. It's great to repurpose those pretty platters when they're not in use.

18. Go the experimental route.

It doesn't take a mad scientist to appreciate a test tube spice rack. This is, however, the epitome of a kitchen storage idea that is both unexpected ​and​ exciting.

19. Use a magnetic knife rack.

You could go the basic route and simply toss your kitchen carving tools in a drawer or knife block, or you take on a bolder kitchen storage idea. Try a super smart, wall-mounted magnetic knife rack.

20. Make it pretty.

We're still talking kitchen storage ideas, but how about going for something pretty and unique? These organic ceramic containers are showstopping on their own, but they also easily lend themselves to storing condiments or miscellaneous culinary tools.

Advertisement

21. Bring in the books.

Judging by this striking dark blue kitchen cabinet filled with books, the area best known for food prep and storage isn't only a suitable spot to house cookbooks but tomes of every kind. Bring in your favorite reads for a look that guests will love.

22. Hack a spice rack.

This DIY Scandi-style wooden spice rack started out as an IKEA dollhouse. A few personal touches in the form of green paint and striped wallpaper instantly transformed the original from a child's toy to a sophisticated display and storage accessory that adds flavor to the food ​and​ the kitchen.

23. Use a free-standing metal shelf.

We'd like to think of this metal rack as a pared-down pantry. Instead of trotting back and forth to a separate room to choose the appropriate dishes, dry goods, or ingredients, the shelf allows you to neatly store necessities nearby. In this kitchen, the helpful addition sits conveniently next to the stove.

24. Turn old items into storage options.

Before you toss that old wooden cutting board, consider repurposing it for — you guessed it — kitchen storage. This DIY organizer is made from a cutting board and leather strips. It could hold anything from recipes and bag clips to kitchen shears and measuring utensils.

Advertisement

25. Place a lazy Susan in the kitchen cabinets.

You only need to reach into the abyss of a junky kitchen cabinet once in order to appreciate the genius idea that is installing a lazy Susan. This system ensures that goods are neatly arranged, visible, and accessible with little to no effort.

26. Store every appliance.

There's absolutely no shame in showing off your shiny new stove, but we can't deny the appeal of this sleek, modern cook space spotted on Barnaby Lane. It's full of hidden appliances. Go this route for a surefire way to a kitchen that feels open and inviting.

27. Opt for a peg drawer organizer.

Keep dishes in check (and free of accidental chips and cracks) with a pegged drawer organizer for the kitchen. We also love them for large pots and pans as opposed to the pile-up storage method.

28. Slide a rolling organizer into a slim space.

Certain areas in the kitchen are just tight. We're talking about the narrow space between the fridge and countertop or even next to the kitchen island. That's where this slim storage rolling organizer comes in. Simply fill it up with the culinary goods or cleaning supplies of your choice, and slide it into place.

29. Corral your coffee supplies.

We get it — coffee (or tea) drinkers need to have all of their supplies on hand for the perfect morning cup. But you don't need to leave your mugs, kettles, and sweeteners in a disorganized pile. Instead, corral everything you need on a pretty tray or lazy Susan. Your counters and drawer space will thank you.

30. Don't leave the trash out.

If you're going to cover all the kitchen storage bases, you can't forget about the trash. Listen, it's a messy job but someone's got to separate the recyclables from the garbage, and that's where this tower rolling trash sorter from West Elm comes into play. We love that it's small space-friendly and concealable, helping you keep discarded kitchen items as orderly as possible.

Where to Shop for Kitchen Storage Supplies

Image Credit: Paul Anderson for Hunker

It's not just about the design of your kitchen storage — you have to consider accessories, too. Shop some of our favorite places for storage items below, and give your culinary space a stylish organizational update.

Bed Bath & Beyond:​ From spice racks to potholders to kitchen cabinet and drawer organizers, you're sure to find some valuable storage at Bed Bath & Beyond. There's a whole section that's just as organized as you could wish for any kitchen.

The Container Store:​ This mecca promises space-saving solutions with the added value of everything looking aesthetically pleasing. The kitchen starter kits are a great way to begin tackling your storage woes.

Walmart:​ Organizing your cook space really needn't be expensive, so head to your local Walmart and grab yourself a bargain from the huge selection of kitchen storage supplies. You can add a wine rack, sink accessories, and food storage containers to your cart without breaking the bank.

Advertisement


Kenya is a freelance writer from Dallas. She currently contributes to Apartment Therapy and has written for various online publications, including Playboy, Essence, Bustle and more.

View Work