25 storage ideas for small kitchens – tips, tricks and hacks to organize a tiny space

Small kitchen? Read our guide to storage ideas for small kitchens and create a space that is functional, practical and of course good looking

deVOL storage ideas for small kitchens
(Image credit: deVOL)

Got a small kitchen? Well, you are going to need some handy storage ideas for small kitchens aren't you? Sure, in an ideal world, we would all be cooking in spacious kitchens with beautiful kitchen islands and large pantries. In reality, most kitchens are never quite big enough – you could always do with an extra cupboard or a bit more floor space. 

Luckily, even a very small kitchen can be made an agreeable space to cook in with a little bit of imagination. Follow our guide to storage ideas for small kitchens and enjoy a kitchen that is snug and cozy, not pokey.  From storage cabinets to shelves and jars, we have every size, shape, and style of small kitchen storage ideas covered. 

For more kitchen ideas and inspiration be sure to check out our guide

1. Combine different types of storage

Ikea storage shelves

(Image credit: Ikea)

In a small space, more is always more where it comes to storage, with smaller storage items often more practical than one large piece. This eclectic mix of plate shelves, cabinets, and trolleys from Ikea creates a lived-in but not too busy effect, with everything in its right place. 

2. Hide a wall of shelves behind sliding panels

Ikea kitchen

(Image credit: Ikea kitchen)

Not everyone likes displaying their crockery. Besides, in a busy kitchen used by several people at once, an open shelf can mean an accident waiting to happen. If you prefer a streamlined look, with all your plates and jars protected, choose a wall storage option with sliding panels. This option works particularly well if your kitchen doubles up as a dining room. 

This kitchen diner's wall storage is hidden behind cover panels from Ikea.

3. Add extra small kitchen storage with an island

Neptune small kitchen

(Image credit: Neptune)

We would all love a huge kitchen with a kitchen island in the middle... but if your kitchen diner living space is too small to accommodate an island, or you are renting and there simply isn't one, consider investing in a small, freestanding option that you can position strategically to suit your layout. 

4. Streamline your kitchen with simple wall units

Small kitchen storage ideas

(Image credit: Ikea)

Empty wall space that's perfect for a set of shelves? If you don't feel like spending time putting up individual shelves go for storage cubes that are super easy to put up and use fewer nails too – a big plus if you renting.  

5. Don’t rule out a larder for small kitchen storage 

Chichester 690mm full height larder

(Image credit: Neptune)

A full-height larder is probably the single most efficient item of storage in any kitchen, and can comfortably fit everything from kitchen utensils to a vacuum cleaner. If your kitchen is small, but has even a corner to spare, a larder may well fit in there, freeing up vital space elsewhere. 

The Chichester range of larders from Neptune offers a variety of widths, including a very slim option at just 450mm wide. 

6. Put crockery on display on a long shelf

Small kitchen storage ideas

(Image credit: Ikea)

Storing crockery in a small kitchen can be a bit of a nightmare, especially if you are trying to stuff fragile plates and bowls into tiny cabinets. A neat alternative is putting it all on display – and within easy reach – on long, narrow shelves. Just make sure to put them up low enough to reach the plates easily. 

7. Use the top of the microwave as storage

Microwave top shelving unit

(Image credit: A Place for Everything)

Microwave on the worktop? Why not consider its storage potential, too? Put a small shelving unit or tray on top of the microwave and be impressed by just how much will fit there.

8. Store your china on a plate rack

Stainless steel plate rack

(Image credit: Not On The High Street)

Plate drying racks that sit on the drainer take up way too much space in a small kitchen. A wall mounted plate rack, however, not only frees up precious space, but is a display opportunity not to be missed. 

The Middle Stainless Steel Rack from Stovold & Pogue is sturdy and won't rust, and has a utilitarian look that will add a contemporary twist to your kitchen decor. Available at Not On The High Street. 

9. Accessorise with storage jars

open shelves in kitchen

(Image credit: Kasia Fiszer)

If you can see your storage – which is guaranteed to be the case in a small kitchen – then you want it to be as good-looking as possible. Have fun with storage jars that are colorful and come in a variety of materials and sizes. 

10. Stack boxes for a functional small kitchen storage idea

Ikea small kitchen

(Image credit: Ikea)

Some kitchens are so pared down that that there may not even be an under-the-sink cabinet. If this is the case in your kitchen, create a contemporary look with simple and crisp storage boxes in different sizes. Lidded options are best, but some items will also do well in an open box.

 We like the versatile Tjena range from Ikea.

11. Tidy up your washing-up with a designated caddy

Washing Up Tidy Blue

(Image credit: All Things Brighton Beautiful )

Sponges, scourers, and brushes can create a surprising (and annoying) amount of mess in a small kitchen, leaving unsightly pools of soapy water around the sink area. Keep your surfaces tidy and dry with a handsome and easy-to-clean metal caddy. 

The Washing Up Tidy from Garden Trading has three handy compartments – and is good-looking, too. 

12. Hang up your fruits and veggies

Veg storage in hanging baskets

(Image credit: Ikea)

One of the challenges that can come with a small kitchen is limited fridge space. Some fridges are way too small to fit in all the groceries, and this is especially true of vegetables, which often come in bulk. The good news is that many vegetables do just as well – and sometimes even better – when stored out of the fridge so you can hang them up in bags and baskets instead. 

13. Invest in a multi-purpose wall storage cabinet 

Small kitchen storage ideas

(Image credit: Ikea)

Small kitchens, especially those in rented spaces, often come without any wall cabinet storage. On a budget or don’t feel like bothering with installing kitchen cabinets, but still want a wall storage unit? Invest in a wall cabinet that is well designed and not too kitchen specific. This way, you’ll be able to repurpose it for another room when moving. 

14. Make your shelves work harder 

Small kitchen storage ideas

(Image credit: Ikea)

As you have probably sussed, shelving in a small kitchen is a must – they are practical, yes but they also bring texture and color into a space where there might not be much room for adding say prints or decor. You can make your shelves work harder by adding in shelf inserts which subtly double the room and add in rails underneath too for hanging utensils. 

15. Discover the versatility of a kitchen trolley

Small kitchen storage ideas

(Image credit: Ikea)

We have sung the praises of the humble kitchen trolley many a time, but they are just a great storage idea, especially for a small kitchen. You can move them around the space so they never feel like they are in the way and are filled with handy extra storage space, and you can use the top ads extra counter space too. Oh and they look lovely!

16. Or create instant extra kitchen space with a couple of trollies 

Small kitchen storage ideas

(Image credit: Ikea)

And if you have space for more than one kitchen trolley, putting multiple together can create was is essentially an instant, very budget friendly kitchen workspace. Another great option if you are renting and need more storage but can't go adding anything permanent. 

17. Use the back of your door for extra storage

Small kitchen storage ideas

(Image credit: Ikea)

Always make use of the back our your door in a small kitchen, whether it be just to hang your tea towels, or this genius idea of using it to hang your utensils and store your pan lids. This handy Ikea hack was created by just putting a couple of rails on the back of the door – easy peasy and super handy. 

18. Create whole wall to hang utensils from 

Small kitchen storage ideas

(Image credit: Ikea)

And if the back of the door isn't a practical space for you to store kitchen stuff on, then create a similar set up on a wall. We actually think this looks is stylish as well as being practical, plus it's the perfect solution for filling a wall that you can't fit cabinetry on. Oooh and add in some herbs too in a hanging pot for color and a nice rustic look/

19. DIY some extra storage with crates 

Small kitchen storage ideas

(Image credit: Ikea)

This is a great small kitchen storage hack, especially if you are renting – use old crates to create a handy space for storing your most used crockery, cook books and foods. If you turn them on the side and stack them (be sure not to go too tall) you can use the top as extra surface space too, add a couple of baskets to create even more storage. 

20. Add in some freestanding small kitchen storage

Small kitchen storage ideas

(Image credit: Ikea)

If you small kitchen is in an open plan space, think about how you can use the adjoining rooms to add in some more storage. Look how this dresser is being used to house crockery that might not fit in your kitchen space but looks just as lovely slightly away from the kitchen in the dining area. 

21. Add a rail to keep essentials at hand 

Small deVOL kitchen with storage rails

(Image credit: deVOL)

In case you haven't already seen, we are big fans of using rails to hang pots, pans and utensils from. They look lovely and are great for storing  more bulky cookware that might not fit in slime line cabinets. A nice place to mount one is on to of your splashback – this gorgeous gold one is from deVOL.

22. Hang a slimline spice rack

Small kitchen by Neptune

(Image credit: Neptune)

A lot of smaller kitchens aren't going to have room for a pantry, but you can still find a home for your favorite spices and condiments with a slim spice rack that you can wall mount  but won't stick out into the room. For something similar check out Wayfair.

23. Fit all type of storage in your small kitchen 

deVOL small kitchen

(Image credit: deVOL)

What a small, but perfectly formed kitchen. If you a totally redesigning your kitchen, storage should be top of your list. Make sure you cover all the bases – mix closed and open storage, add glass fronted cabinets and plan from early on where your shelving is going to go. 

24. Squeeze in some wine storage

Small kitchen with wine storage

(Image credit: Naked Kitchens)

Most of us can't fit in a wine cellar, but even in a small kitchen you could add some space for your fave bottles. Here you can see three rows of storage but if you are really tight on space you could just incorporate enough cubby holes for a small selection of bottles. 

25. Don't under estimate a kitchen stool

Small kitchen with wall storage

(Image credit: Ikea)

Yep, something  as small as a kitchen stool can provide that little bit of extra storage. They are also just generally useful to have in the house to reach up to higher cupboards, to perch on while you cook or, as you can see here, to provide more surface space to display your favorite cookbooks.

Anna Cottrell
Anna Cottrell

In 2018 Anna moved into the world of interiors from academic research in the field of literature and urban space and joined Realhomes.com as Staff Writer. She has a longterm interest in space-making and the evolution of interior style. She can also be found looking for the latest innovations in sustainable homewares or buying yet more bedding.