7 ways to organize a small kitchen quickly

Organize a small kitchen quickly with these top-notch tips

This small white kitchen with blue cabinets is the dream outcome if you need to organize a small kitchen quickly
(Image credit: Getty Images)

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

White kitchen with marble island

(Image credit: Getty Images)

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
Leslie Kilgour

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

Metal baskets and rotating trays with condiments across three pantry shelves

(Image credit: NEAT Method)

There is nothing a good storage basket can't accomplish in a small space. You can set up some, like these stackable bins from Amazon, just about anywhere.

“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.

Ashley Murphy, Professional organizer, co-founder and CEO of Neat Method
Ashley Murphy

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.

5. Divide small drawers

drawer dividers

(Image credit: NEAT Method)

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.

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.

7. Use open shelving for dishes and decorating

Floating shelves with nested brown or cream dishes and mugs

(Image credit: Getty Images)

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. 


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.

Amanda Lauren

Hi, I’m Amanda Lauren. I’m a design expert and interior stylist who writes for Real Homes, Forbes, Real Simple among other publications. I live in Los Angeles in the historic neighborhood of Hancock Park with my husband, and two dogs, Lulu and Milo. We also have a baby coming in spring 2023. I’m a big believer in finding beautiful things at all price points. There are so many places to find affordable things, you just have to look for them. If you don't find it at first, look harder!