On a time crunch and need to organize a small kitchen quickly? Maybe you have some unexpected guests coming over or you're moving and just want to speed up your unpacking.
It’s completely possible to fit everything in your kitchen and still have some space left over to prep your food. The trick is knowing where to put everything, how to lay it all out, and what products to buy.
I spoke to organization experts to find the quickest ways to organize your kitchen with the biggest impact in the shortest amount of time. These organizational small kitchen ideas will transform the look of your space in a flash.
How to organize a small kitchen quickly
if you're looking to organize a kitchen quickly, you've come to the right place. No matter if you need to organize cabinets in a small kitchen or make more cosmetic upgrades, we found the simplest way to make a big impact.
1. Store appliances away
Small kitchen appliances can take up a lot of space and many of us struggle with the best way to organize these spaces.
“Should you try to put small appliances in cabinets or out on the counter? What's neater? The age-old question if appliances should be on the counter or not really goes back to how much space you have,” says Leslie Kilgour, founder of organization company Get It Straight.
If you can store the appliances in a cabinet or pantry, Kilgour recommends going that route. “It will ease up the visual clutter and make the kitchen feel bigger, brighter, and more organized.”
Leslie Kilgour is a professional organizer and founder of Get it Straight. She is based in Long Island but also works remotely.
2. Spread out small appliances if you must
If you don’t have enough cabinet space to store small appliances, Kilgour recommends arranging things in as uncluttered a way as possible. Space everything out so the kitchen feels more open. Place your appliances in specific spots and learn where to put your trash can in a small kitchen so it's out of the way.
“If you simply do not have any storage space for the rice cooker, stand mixer, etc — I would suggest keeping them in specific spots around the kitchen, so they each have a home base, and one area of your kitchen doesn't feel overwhelmed with appliances and cluttered.”
Or do a combo of both and keep out what you use most often, like your coffee maker.
3. Use baskets
“Small, 10-inch baskets can help group together similar products within shallow upper cabinets, and prevent items from getting lost at the back of high shelves,” explains Ashley Murphy, professional organizer, co-founder, and CEO of NEAT Method.
Keep in mind you may need smaller or larger baskets depending on the size of your kitchen.
Size: H7.75 x W9.5 x L13.75
Material: 100% seagrass
Size: H7 x W8.25 x D13
Material: Water hyacinth and metal
Size (in.): H7 x W15.75 x L11
Material: Pine and woven rattan
Ashley Murphy is a professional organizer as well as the co-founder and CEO of NEAT Method. She also has a line of beautiful organizing products.
4. Use nesting storage whenever possible
If you do a lot of meal prep or have a family, you probably have lots of the best food storage containers. Ones that can nest are the best choice because they can be stored vertically. This ultimately takes up the least amount of space.
The same rule applies to your best non-stick frying pans, and best non-toxic cookware. “In small kitchens, the best approach is to nest pots with pots and pans with pans. Separate lids and store upright using a lid organizer to prevent toppling piles,” says Murphy.
Size: 8" frying pan, 5 qt. Dutch oven with lid, 10" frying pan, 4 qt. Dutch oven, 2.5 qt. saucepan with lid, and 3 qt. saute pan
Material: Hard anodized aluminum
Size: L19.9 x W10.5 x D2.8
Material: Aluminum, ceramic, and beechwood
Storage accessories included
Size: 10.5" fry pan, 3 qt sauce pan, 4.5 qt saute pan, and 6.5 qt Dutch oven
Material: Ceramic and stainless steel
5. Divide small drawers
In any small space, try to invest in the best drawer dividers you can afford. These tend to get cluttered quickly and picking up a drawer divider is one of the quickest ways to organize your small kitchen.
Pop one into your drawer then simply divide your forks, spoons, and knives into the different compartments available.
Size: H1.89 x W12.99 x D16.73
Size: H6.5 x W5.91 x D9.25
Top rack dishwasher-safe
Size: 2 sizes
Material: High-impact styrene
6. Keep knives in a knife block
If you cook, you know how important knives are. While many people keep knives in drawers, a knife block is a far better option for kitchens that lack drawer space. It also makes it easy to find the knife you’re looking for — curbing mid-cooking stress.
If your knives didn't come with a knife block when you bought them, you can easily pick up a universal one, like the examples we've found.
Size: H9 x W12.5 x D4
Material: Acacia wood
Size: H7.91 x W8.39 x D2.68
Size (in.): H4.3 x W4.3 x L8.7
Material: High carbon stainless steel and resin
7. Use open shelving for dishes and decorating
This one may be a little more time-consuming, but I promise it can be speedy if you know what you're doing.
If you don’t have a lot of cabinetry, try installing floating shelving. This can be fairly inexpensive and it’s easy to do. Then use this space for dishes. Just be sure to keep it tidy as these spaces can become cluttered fairly quickly.
Size (in.): H2 x W24 x D9.25
Material: Manufactured wood
Three colors available
Size (in.): H4 x W17 x D6
Material: Paulownia wood
Mounting hardware included
Size: Three sizes (24", 36", and, 48")
What's the quickest thing way to organize a small kitchen?
One of the speediest ways to organize a small kitchen is to go on a decluttering spree. Get some trash bags and throw out anything broken, expired, or anything you simply don't use. It's important to declutter a small space as these items can build up and make your kitchen harder to use.
Which kitchen organization task takes the longest?
You may want to save a few projects for when you have more time on your hands. Any major changes like installing shelving or setting up new furniture can take too long to do in a hurry.
Once you've organized your space, you'll want to make sure you're cleaning it regularly to keep it looking its best. You wouldn't want all your hard work to go to waste! Once a week, deep-clean your small kitchen to wash the floors, wipe the cabinets, and keep the countertop clear. These small kitchen ideas have plenty to offer, too.