Looking for kitchen storage ideas that will actually make a difference? Because your kitchen needs to work hard at being both a breeze to cook in, and a joy to be in.
No one likes clutter, and modern, multifunctioning kitchens can be confusing to navigate. But fear not, with an army of handy kitchen ideas and space-saving, storage-savvy tips on hand, you can hide and seek your kitchen's best potential - transforming it into a functional, fun, and fashionable heart of the home.
The configuration of your cabinetry – drawers, cupboards, and shelves – is a big consideration when choosing the best kitchen storage solutions to fit your design. Our how to organize kitchen cabinets guide will help with that. And once you've got the interiors right, you can really concentrate on its looks with kitchen cabinet color ideas.
Experts at Magnet Kitchens (opens in new tab), say: 'Functionality is what transforms a kitchen into something spectacular. As well as an aesthetically pleasing space, your kitchen should work for your lifestyle requirements and individual needs.'
'Storage is a significant part of creating a functional space. Even in the smallest of kitchens, the right storage can make it simple to cook meals, socialize, and spend time with your family. It can also make your kitchen feel more spacious, uncluttered, and enjoyable.'
Discover what works for you with achievable and affordable kitchen organization ideas, that will not only save you time finding that game-changer utensil when it's cook-o'-clock, but they will look AMAZING too.
1. Get intelligent with integrated features
Modern kitchen ideas are all about creating less clutter and more calm with cleverly integrated features. Ever popular add-ons to consider include trash pull-outs; pantry cabinets with roll trays, cookie sheet/tray dividers, and corner revolving/swing outs.
Bob Bakes, co-founder and head of design, Bakes & Kropp (opens in new tab), says: 'Intelligent storage is the key to maximizing kitchens of all sizes. We often integrate pull-outs, inserts, and dividers in our cabinetry to create the optimal amount of storage for our clients. For example, if you don’t have the square footage for a walk-in pantry, a pull-out pantry built into the cabinetry will provide a great deal of space for dry goods.'
Stephanie Pierce, director of design and trends at MasterBrand Cabinets (opens in new tab), says: 'Hiding or integrating the appliances in the kitchen allows the space to seamlessly blend into other rooms. The modern home is evolving to maximize multifunctional room uses, so minimizing distinct features of a particular space like the kitchen is certainly growing in preference.'
2. Choose slide-out features for hard to reach spots
To optimize kitchen storage within otherwise wasted areas of your cook zone, include intelligent pull-out corner units and streamlined pantry units to match the depth of the space available. Clever slide-out shelving systems make use of space in those hard-to-reach corner cabinets.
3. Integrate deep drawers
Forget about having to stoop and rummage through a cabinet for that colander/grater/lasagna dish. Pile everything neatly into drawers, instead.
Dig deep when it comes to maxing out drawer storage with generous proportions that can neatly store cumbersome pots and pans, and keep countertops clutter-free.
Suzie, Kitchen designer, Tom Howley (opens in new tab), explains: ‘Deep drawers can be a welcomed feature when the pressure is on in the kitchen. If you’re storing bulky pots and pans, ensure these drawers are positioned accordingly in your cook zone. You can even opt for graduated drawer units next to your cooker, perfect for storing lids at the top and bigger pots at the bottom.’
‘Rather than stacking heavy saucepans, opt for wider drawers to give you one readily accessible space.’
But why stop there? Learn how to organize Tupperware and food storage containers to achieve ultimate organized kitchen goals.
4. Use drawer dividers to organize kitchen essentials
Choose a range of drawer sizes, ranging from slim (for cutlery) to medium (for kitchen linens) and large (for pots and pans). Organize kitchen drawers like the experts, and fit dividers to neatly wrangle pan lids, plastic containers, and cake tins.
Experts at Magnet kitchens explain: 'Drawer storage is the second most crucial factor to consider when designing your new kitchen. Be sure to include plenty of drawers for your cookware, utensils, and other items.'
'You may want to think about including dividers to keep your items efficiently stored. It is also a good idea to include drawers of varying depths for extra flexibility.'
'Again, this is where our good friend pegboard comes in handy as you can line the bottom of the drawer with the board, using dowels to separate items.'
5. Spice things up with a dedicated drawer for flavor changers
Kim Emery, owner, and designer, Clipper City House (opens in new tab), says: ‘Create a magazine-worthy spice drawer that is both beautiful & functional! You can purchase glass jars (opens in new tab) and matching labels (opens in new tab) and easily transform your spices in an afternoon! Find your spices faster by alphabetizing them too.’
6. Utilize the full height of the room
A handy tip in small kitchens especially, free up floor space with cabinets that take storage solutions sky high.
Tom Howley (opens in new tab), design director, says: ‘Utilizing the full height of the room and the depth of the cabinets means every inch serves a purpose. We also use smart hinges to allow the doors to be opened to 180 degrees to allow maximum reach and light, which is great for dark corners.’
What does it cost to install or replace kitchen cabinets? We've got all the answers you're looking for.
7. Utilize every inch of space with door racks
Whether hung externally to create a charming display of spice jars and bits and bobs, or installed inside pantry doors and cabinets if you prefer a more minimalist aesthetic, employ door racks to keep essential ingredients organized. Use racks at varying heights to keep items within easy reach.
8. Consider modern looking clear food bins
Not only will clear food storage boxes for a well-organized pantry or kitchen cupboard be an absolute treat to the eye, but it will also mean that you are less likely to overbuy or let food go to waste.
When you can see – and reach – everything you need, cooking and storing food becomes so much easier.
Clear food jars are a must, but we love the tiered shelves that make the most of a deeper cupboard. And, those lazy Susans are super handy for stowing similar items like spices and sauces.
9. Pick storage with sliding doors to save space in a small kitchen
Looking for small kitchen storage ideas for a compact space? A cabinet with sliding doors provides the perfect place to throw general kitchen clutter when you have guests coming over.
If you have a very small space, you will also find that a sliding door is easier to negotiate than standard cupboard doors when they are flung wide open.
If you like the idea of sliding doors on your cabinets but you want a mix of open and closed kitchen storage why not copy this kitchen cabinet idea and have sliding doors that can slot individually across the entire run?
In this kitchen, designed by Cream & Black (opens in new tab), the cabinet doors run along a rail so you can switch up which areas they cover.
10. Think about the more niche kitchen storage ideas
If you’re investing in a kitchen remodel idea, think about those extra features that will help to keep your worktops clear. Narrow storage for chopping boards or baking trays will keep them out of the way of prep areas, without cluttering cupboards. You might also want to use small nooks for bottle racks or even a bin cupboard.
11. Create a book store above cabinets
Turn what’s often just left as dead space above units, into a DIY bookshelf of recipe book faves. And voila - a neatly assorted color pop library to enhance your overall scheme (and remind you of all those recipes you really must try.)
12. Integrate storage for trays
This kitchen by Olive & Barr (opens in new tab) includes cleverly integrated storage for trays – a savvy alternative to keeping them out on your work surface, collecting dust.
13. Add slide-in crates for fruit and vegetables
Even the most luxurious kitchen needs to be functional. Keen cooks will know that a lot of fruit and veggies do much better when stored out of the fridge, but how do you store your veggies in a sleek and smart kitchen?
Well, Smallbone of Devizes (opens in new tab) has found a practical and good-looking kitchen storage idea – bespoke crates that slide right into the open cabinet shelves.
14. Incorporate a smart corner unit for recipe books
Kitchen cabinets tend to come in standard sizes (unless you go bespoke) meaning you might have a little extra room at the end of the run of cupboards. If this is the case, a slim bookshelf is the perfect kitchen storage idea as it will maximize the space and keep your favorite recipes nearby.
When it comes to clever kitchen storage ideas, multifunctional furniture including book storage should never be overlooked. This Roundhouse (opens in new tab) kitchen does just this, creating a neat shelving unit perfect for showing off those cookery books.
15. Built-in storage to house smaller items
Even large, luxury kitchen design ideas can suffer from clutter, and it's small items such as keys, notes, and magazines are usually responsible for the untidiness.
Keep your kitchen serene and clutter-free with a clever storage solution, such as this brilliant built-in key and magazine rack by Guild Anderson (opens in new tab).
16. Add interest with glass door cabinets
It’s all well and good hiding away your unsightly clutter, but a kitchen made up of just solid walls of cabinetry risks becoming a bit bland.
Incorporate some glass-fronted cabinets too, to break up the rest of the cabinetry and pick out your nicest bits of crockery or glasses to display – it's an easy way to add a load of interest and personality to the space.
17. Blend in a slimline cabinet
What a fab kitchen storage idea – a slimline countertop cabinet that doesn't stick out into the room but still has ample space for glasses, cups, and more.
Painting it to blend into the walls is a nifty trick too as it helps it fit even more seamlessly into the room.
18. Remember to make the most of the space inside your cabinets
The configuration of the inside of your kitchen cabinets can make such a difference to the amount of storage you can squeeze in.
Even if you aren't designing your kitchen from scratch you can still add drawers and shelves to make everything more accessible.
19. Include freestanding kitchen storage
When designing a freestanding kitchen, freestanding furniture is one of the most popular kitchen storage solutions in homes with limited space or wonky walls.
The flexibility of an extra workstation can be a huge help if you’re a little short on worktop space too or could use another place to store heavy cast ironware.
20. Use vintage finds as freestanding kitchen storage
When you are looking for kitchen storage ideas, don't forget that many great storage options are not kitchen specific – some solutions look equally at home in a dining area or living space, making them well suited to open-plan spaces.
Sideboards were popular in Mid-century interiors too and become fashionable again, so you can find some great second-hand versions in charity shops or at auctions.
Check out more vintage furniture ideas with our guide to storage for period homes.
21. Add extra kitchen storage with a kitchen island
What’s not to love about kitchen island ideas? They look great and are one of the most clever kitchen storage ideas going, so if you’ve got the room go for it.
22. Pick out freestanding industrial-style kitchen storage
The industrial-style kitchen is favored by many homeowners as it can work well in both old and new homes.
What's more, it works best when everything doesn't match, meaning you instantly create an eclectic look that can adapt to your kitchen storage needs.
Look for repurposed storage from workshops, greengrocers, or even factories, or hunt down crates and rack shelving to keep everything tidy.
23. Use a kitchen trolley for transportable storage
Something of a chameleon in the kitchen, kitchen trolleys are as suited to life as a butcher's block as they are as a spot for vegetable (or wine) storage.
This Black Metal Kitchen Trolley (opens in new tab) from Not On The High Street is a great example of a piece that packs a punch in terms of functionality – hello, sturdy tabletop and storage space – while working as a beautiful piece of furniture in its own right.
24. Invest in a free-standing pantry
If you love the idea of a walk-in-pantry, but just don't have the space, you can still have somewhere to hoard your ever-expanding collection of chutneys and sauces with kitchen pantry ideas.
A freestanding pantry will provide plenty of kitchen storage, plus they look gorgeous. We are obsessed with this pink one from Neptune (opens in new tab).
You could of course get the look on a budget by turning an old cupboard into a freestanding pantry. See, they do make for very stylish kitchen storage solutions, especially when combined with pantry shelving ideas to max out on valuable storage.
25. Add a sideboard to your kitchen
If you need some extra kitchen storage and a bit more worktop space that's not going to take up a ton of room a slim sideboard can be a great addition.
It is also a great place to add some décor to your space too as a sideboard is begging for a vase of flowers and some cute prints.
Plus note how this one is painted in an accent color to match the pantry – making the blue and red combo feel more cohesive.
If you're looking for an easy DIY weekend project, why not learn how to paint wooden furniture, and upcycle an old sideboard for a unique addition?
26. Squeeze in a butchers block
A butcher's block is a great addition to a kitchen, they look lovely, bringing that rustic vibe, but they also add extra space to prep, plus drawers or shelves for more storage space.
Again, have a look at eBay (opens in new tab) for something second-hand if you are after something authentic that's not extortionate.
27. Think about built-in kitchen storage
Why built-in? Experts at Magnet explain: 'As well as your cupboards and drawers, you may want to look for in-cabinet storage solutions to make your space even more efficient.'
'Items like shelf inserts, dividers, pot organizers, spice racks, carousels, and more can make your kitchen more comfortable to use. These can help when you are looking for ideas on how to organize kitchen storage.'
Doing so won't just create a more streamlined, hygienic kitchen, it'll help you make the most of every inch of space, too – which means it's the perfect option if you are designing a small kitchen in particular.
28. Set-up a snazzy drinks station in a sociable kitchen
If space allows, and you love to entertain, think about adding a wine room or wine cellar with a cozy pantry-style drinks area complete with a wine fridge, sink, drink prep area, and shelves for glassware.
As shown here, a mirrored backsplash idea, not only adds a luxe look but reflects the light to open up the compact space.
29. Design a streamlined kitchen
Concealed kitchens are a big kitchen trend. With living spaces getting smaller and storage getting smarter, clean, minimalist kitchens are getting increasingly popular.
Items that once cluttered worktops – kettles, plug sockets, knife blocks, even taps, and sinks – can now disappear into flush cabinets and uninterrupted surfaces to make the most of all space available. Nifty no?
Perfect for open-plan kitchen diners or for small kitchen designs, they are great for creating a streamlined look in a contemporary kitchen, too.
30. Got the space? Add a pantry
Pantry storage can be a thing of beauty that helps you organize your space to make it feel bigger and neater. If you have got the room, factor in a separate area in your new kitchen's design for a larder – and you can check out our pantry organization piece to show you how to organize your pantry and keep it all super-beautiful.
No room for a dedicated walk-in pantry? No problem - try a mini pantry addition instead, and still reap all the added storage benefits.
31. Zone your workspaces and kitchen storage
We all tend to keep our cleaning products (see our must-have list) under the sink, and maybe have a rack of condiments and oils right next to the oven, but have you zoned your storage to match your workspaces?
Where practical, it can be a great idea to try and give each area of the worktop a dedicated role. Maybe you have a favorite place for food prep near the sink, but you like to bake with a view into the garden? Either way, keep the utensils and ingredients you need in cupboards close to your hand.
If you are entertaining in your kitchen, think about this too. Make sure drawers of spare crockery are close to hand, or glasses are always within easy reach.
32. Make space for a laundry room
Not a kitchen storage idea per se, but if you are in the stages of planning a kitchen extension, you will kick yourself for not including a dedicated space for doing the laundry. A laundry room will not only keep white goods and noisy appliances out of the kitchen but also provides space to hide away all of your cleaning products.
It doesn't need to be huge – enough space for the washing machine and a few shelves will be practical and help declutter your main kitchen. Check our guide to planning and designing a utility room for more tips.
33. Transform an old fireplace into kitchen storage
While not all of us are blessed with a fireplace in our kitchen, you could copy this look in a disused alcove or any awkward space you have in your kitchen.
Anyways, for those of you that do have something similar in your kitchen, install some shelves to create some handy book storage.
34. Add kitchen wall storage
Utilizing your walls to add kitchen storage is a great idea if you are working with a small space.
Even if you have been blessed with a large kitchen, having stuff on the walls (open shelving, spice racks, etc) will add interest, whilst still allowing plenty of extra storage.
35. Show it off with floating shelves
Turn your kitchen storage into a thing of beauty as well as function, with kitchen shelving ideas that feature a personality-fuelled display of kitchenalia and beyond.
And if you're hoping to Insta the situation, Susanna Hawkins from ShNordic shares an open shelving styling secret for the perfect #shelfie.
Stephanie Pierce, director of design and trends at MasterBrand Cabinets (opens in new tab), says: ‘Homeowners often use open or floating shelving for decorative purposes, but they also offer a great solution for organizing items in highly functional ways. For those with busy lifestyles, floating shelves create easy access and allow you to quickly take inventory. It’s the perfect way to personalize your kitchen and reflect your preferences.’
Pierce continues: ‘Closed upper cabinets are still a great option for maximizing storage and keeping mismatched or random items out of sight, but open upper cabinets provide easy accessibility and often fit well within a cabinet layout.’
Including cube open shelving units is a nice way of breaking up walls of cupboards, while providing enough room to offload those cookery books, spare vases, and random ornaments.
36. ‘Wine not’ add a wine rack?
If space is short and you love to host wine-tasting parties, turn wine bottles into an attractive feature with a designer look, a wall-hung wine rack idea.
37. Embrace plate racks for a modern country twist
Country kitchens have always loved a nostalgic plate rack to display treasured china collections. And with the cottagecore ideas still trending, take advantage of this homespun addition with a color-finished design (like the gorgeous design shown) to change up the look of your space, whilst freeing-up cupboard space for those not so pretty utilitarian bits you’d rather keep out of sight.
38. Choose modular shelving systems for an adaptable kitchen storage idea
For minimalist interiors, modular shelving is a nice fit. Customizable and flexible, these storage systems can be dressed up or down to suit any kitchen style. What's more, the shelves can be moved around to adapt with your storage needs.
Scandi brand String (opens in new tab) provide different storage options; the system pictured includes accessible shelves for pots and pans, as well as multiple rails and canisters for stashing utensils. You can also find similar modular shelf systems at Ikea (opens in new tab) and look out for Elfa shelving (opens in new tab).
39. Add shelves above and around your kitchen windows
While a window may mean a break in cabinetry, you can still use the space around the window for shelving ideas. A slim shelf above the window is a great storage option for small items.
Or, if your kitchen happens to feature a generous windowsill, use that for storage too. Colorful utensil containers, potted herbs, and dishwashing accessories can all live here.
Fancy trying your hand at hanging shelves? This how-to should help:
- Find the right spot: Consider the weight of the shelf and what you intend to store on it.
- Use a stud finder to see if there’s stud in the wall you want to hang the shelf which will give the shelf extra support. If you find there are no studs, use drywall anchors.
- Use a level to lightly mark the wall where you want to hang the shelf.
- Position the shelf brackets along the bottom of the shelf and mark inside the holes so you exactly where to drill holes.
- Use a screwdriver or a power drill on low speed mode to drill starter holes for the screws. Don't put screws all the way in.
- Remove the screws and put the bracket in place, using a drywall anchor if needed.
- Insert screws again until bracket is secured to wall, making sure not to overtighten.
- Et voila!
40. Hang utensils to save drawer and cupboard space
Suspending a rail above your worktop is a fast, easy, cost-effective, and one of the most clever ways to organize pots and pans. This is the perfect way to hang those awkward pots, pans, measuring cups, and sieves that often clutter up your cupboards.
The slated shelves in this kitchen have butcher's hooks hanging from them, doubling up the storage. It frees up the kitchen drawers and makes a feature of practical items.
41. Choose a pegboard to keep essentials handy
A simple piece of pegboard makes one of the best kitchen storage solutions as it will save you valuable time in the morning. Use it to store your keys, baking utensils, or those elusive kitchen scissors. What's more, it can be adapted to your changing storage needs as you can not only use it for hooks but also to create shelves.
Pegboard organizers can be bought from a number of retailers, but you can also buy pegboard and dowels from your local DIY store to make your own.
42. Add racks and rails to up your kitchen storage on a budget
Creating a stylish kitchen on a budget? Smaller kitchens need plenty of clever but affordable storage that won't waste valuable floor space. So, look to the walls and see where it might be possible to squeeze in a rail or perhaps a high-up rack where you can hang utensils from.
Ikea (opens in new tab) is, as always, full of smart and thrifty small kitchen storage ideas and produces a number of stainless steel and powder-coated rails than can be simply fixed to walls. You can then add hooks or even small buckets to hold all manner of items.
For example, rather than taking up a valuable countertop, why not hang a washing-up caddy above the sink?
43. Customize your wall shelves to suit your needs
Know exactly where everything is and keep everything at hand with some customized wall shelves.
The owner of this gorgeous kitchen (check out the full tour of this retro kitchen for loads more inspo), built their shelving based on what it was to hold. Knives? Spoons? Tortoise ornaments?
You could actually DIY a couple of these really easy, just drill some holes that are wide enough for spoon handles into some floating shelves, and you are sorted.
44. Turn an awkward corner into something practical
Got an awkward corner of your kitchen that doesn't really work because no kitchen cabinet will fit? Fill it with shelves!
No matter how weirdly shaped the space is, a good carpenter will be able to work to create something that can be used as extra storage – this wall is curved and the wall storage is still going strong.
45. Create a dedicated coffee station with wall shelves
Has your obsession with coffee grown to the point that you need a dedicated coffee bar idea addition?
46. Stock up on kitchen storage accessories
Kitchen storage accessories are important for keeping the small stuff neat. They're a must-have in all kitchens for practical reasons but they need to be good-looking as well as functional if they are to be on display.
Here are a few of our favorite kitchen storage solutions for tiny spaces – but check out our Mason jar DIY storage and display ideas piece, too.
47. Hide the small stuff in jars and tins
For open shelving, invest in attractive pantry storage containers for pulses, grains, teas, and ground coffee. Not only will this eradicate unsightly packaging, but helps keep ingredients fresh.
Choose glass for the likes of pasta, rice, and cereals so you can see when you need to restock. Storage jars are also another way to add pattern and interest to a neutral kitchen scheme.
48. Quickly double your kitchen cupboards' capacity (and have a clear out)
If the shelves in your kitchen cupboards have large gaps between them, use Ikea shelf inserts (opens in new tab) to create extra levels and practically double the space you have.
A clip on basket can also maximize space, similar ones are available from John Lewis (opens in new tab).
Kitchen cupboards can be the place where tins and jars go to die. Bite the bullet and have a sort out of all your cans, spreads, tins, and condiments.
Anything with a label that resembles 'Sarah’s Christmas Chutney 2009', get rid of. Store what’s left of your cull in drawer organizers or a tin dispenser so you can always see clearly what you've got to work with.
49. Add kitchen storage to the back of your door
We’ve said it before and we will say it again, don’t forget to put the back of your kitchen door to good use.
This space is easy to access, so store things like smaller snacks or frequently used spices – you can just grab them and go without having to wrestle with a mountain of tins.
Door storage unit from Elfa (opens in new tab).
What are the best zero waste food storage options for an eco-friendly kitchen?
Choose mindful, planet-friendly storage solutions with the following picks:
*Bamboo storage jars
*Stainless steel containers
*Reusable food wraps
*Organic cloth produce bags
How can you optimize kitchen storage?
Pierce says: 'When it comes to optimizing storage spaces in a permanent home, people tend to prioritize their kitchen. You can’t complete a sleek or modern design with a bunch of clutter on the counter.'
'To minimize the visual disruptions, we have seen homeowners shift toward the inclusion of more drawers versus doors on base cabinets, which offers the same storage space as a typical two-door base cabinet, but with added visibility and an expansion of organization possibilities with the addition of roll-out trays.'
'Additionally, panel-ready appliances are more popular than ever, and we expect to see this trend continue as it provides a sleek and cohesive look across the kitchen.'
'Hiding or integrating the appliances in the kitchen allows the space to seamlessly blend to other rooms. The modern home is evolving to maximize multifunctional room uses, so minimizing distinct features of a particular space like the kitchen is certainly growing in preference.'