The kitchen is so-called ‘hub of the home’ is where we naturally gravitate at both the beginning and end of the day. For this reason, a lot of our stuff gravitates there too – books, car keys, unpaid bills, scarves, handbags – the usual life trappings. So, keeping this room in order with one of our many kitchen storage ideas will not only save time and stress, it’ll be easier to keep clean.
And there are more than enough ways to tackle kitchen clutter, whatever your budget. From kitchen islands to bespoke shelves, utensil containers, under stair storage cupboards, storage solutions for small kitchens, pegboard splash backs and luxurious larders, here are some smart solutions to meet all your kitchen storage requirements.
1. Choose a larder or pantry
Before the days of fridges, homes would have a room that was kept cool and well ventilated for storing perishables. This larder or pantry would adjoin the kitchen and be fitted out with shelves or perhaps crates for fruit and veg. A freestanding, modern pantry allows you to do away with a separate room, but is perfect for storing things like eggs and vegetables that don't need to be kept in the fridge.
Find one with a versatile storage options such as racks for spices and condiments, drawers and baskets for potatoes and onions, and some shelves for miscellaneous store cupboard items. They often have enough room inside for hiding away appliances too – many people use theirs to create a tidy hot drinks station with their coffee machine and mugs in one place.
This tidy, Shaker-style larder is by Naked Kitchens (Raynham kitchen). It features shallow racks in the doors and a mixture of shelves and drawers inside. Price on request.
2. Choose a pegboard to keep essentials handy
A simple piece of pegboard solves many a kitchen storage problem, saving 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 with your changing storage needs as you can not only use it for hooks, but also to create shelves.
Pegboard organisers 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. Kreisdesign provide pegboard for all your storage needs, whether for the kitchen, hallway, office or bedroom.
3. Disguise storage in vintage furniture
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.
If you're designing a vintage kitchen, or for homely farmhouse kitchen style, it doesn’t get much better than a characterful kitchen sideboard to accommodate stacks of plates, glassware and table linens. 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.
This teal sideboard from Rouge is a capacious choice that’ll sit well beside a rustic dining table.
- See more vintage furniture ideas with our guide to storage for period homes
4. Choose modular shelving systems for adaptable kitchen storage
For minimalist interiors, modular shelving is a nice fit. Customisable 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. Finally, they are great if you want to turn your storage into a feature – try placing your favourite tableware in pride of place.
Scandi brand String 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 and look our for Elfa shelving.
5. Display kitchenware on open shelves
If you don't like the look of the modular shelving mentioned above, you can still put your favourite posessions on show by including open shelves or glass doored cabinets. Including cube open shelving units is a nice way of breaking up monotonous cupboards, while providing enough room to offload those cookery books, spare vases and random ornaments.
This kitchen by Tomas beautifully mixes sleek, minimal cabinets with oak box shelves. The natural wood softens the look of the striking white cupboards.
6. Swap cupboards for drawers
Forget about having to stoop and rummage through a cupboard for that colander/grater/lasagne dish. Pile everything neatly into drawers, instead. This makes storage both easier and tidier – especially if your drawers range in size, from slim (for cutlery) to medium (for kitchen linens) and large (for pots and pans).
We love fitting dividers in our kitchen drawers to neatly wrangle pan lids, plastic containers and cake tins. 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.
Lozi’s bespoke kitchen does away with cupboards entirely. Deep drawers are perfect for storing larger items, but always check how much weight drawers can take.
7. Add extra storage with a freestanding unit
Freestanding furniture is a popular kitchen storage idea 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.
There are loads of different types of freestanding kitchen furniture but if you need storage and work space, try a freestanding island or butcher's trolley. Neptune has a great range of kitchen island units and work stations that can easily be added to an existing kitchen.
8. Go for a streamlined kitchen
If you really can’t stand kitchen clutter, an entirely integrated set up probably appeals. This way, you can keep a few of your nicest things on display but sweep everything else into soft-close drawers and kitchen storage cupboards.
Another benefit of a very modern look is that handles and detailing are often minimal making the cabinets super easy to keep clean. Bulthaup (see below) have long been the go-to for this clean, polished look beloved by architects.
9. Add racks and rails to quickly up your storage on a budget
Creating your stylish kitchen on a budget? Smaller kitchens need plenty of clever but affordable storage that won't waste valuable floorspace. So, look to the walls and see where it might be possible to squeeze in a rail or perhaps a high up rack that you can hang utensils from.
Ikea are, as always, full of smart and thrifty kitchen storage ideas and produce 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 valuable worktop, why not hang a washing up caddy above the sink?
10. Use under stair storage to the max
The gap under your stairs is perfectly geared up for whatever you need to store – laundry equipment, shoes – or, in this case, kitchenware. Many joiners will be able to create a bespoke storage system under your stairs including cupboards and drawers, but if you are on a budget, you could build your own using off-the-shelf storage options.
Roundhouse are responsible for this sleek kitchen which uses smart under stair storage. Simple shelves are concealed behind doors designed to match the rest of the kitchen cabinetry.
- Discover more under stair storage options in our dedicated feature.
11. Try out industrial-style kitchen storage ideas
The industrial style is favoured 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 with 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.
A freestanding, narrow mesh unit is a space-saving storage solution. It will also allow light to flow through, avoiding any sense of crowding. This slim cabinet from Out There Interiors will show off favoured kitchenware, plants and mementos. It can be easily squeezed into a kitchen, dining or living room.
12. Zone your workspaces and storage
We all tend to keep our cleaning products 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 worktop a dedicated role. Maybe you have a favourite 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-hand.
If you are entertaining try creating a serving zone where spare crockery is close to hand. Zara Home demonstrates the simple beauty of shelves generously filled with varying bowls, glassware and tea paraphernalia.
13. Make your worktop to double duty
A countertop and splashback that continues up the wall to become a shelf is a neat idea for any small or large kitchen. The continuity of material can create the illusion of space, making the shelf barely perceptible, despite being quite generously sized. Taking advantage of this trick of the eye will max out your storage space without cluttering your walls too much.
H&M Home stylishly fill this marble shelf with stacked plates, bowls and storage containers.
14. Hang utensils to save drawer and cupboard space
Suspending a rail above your worktop is a fast, easy and cost effective way of adding storage to your kitchen. This is the perfect way to hang those awkward pots, pans, measuring cups and sieves that often clutter up your cupboards.
Nest makes this kitchen work harder by fixing a glossy brass rod to the brackets of a shelf. It frees up the kitchen drawers and makes a feature of practical items.
15. Sliding doors save space in a small kitchen
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.
Cuckooland’s rustic pine cabinet has two shelves and four drawers, so plenty of room there to stash tablecloths, candleholders and other knick knacks. The barn-style door would work wonderfully in a country-style kitchen.
16. Store above and around your window
While a window may mean a break in cabinetry, you can still use the space around the window for shelving. 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. Colourful utensil containers, potted herbs and dishwashing accessories can all live here.
House of Fraser has used a windowsill to display vintage books and a very handy storage jar. To the left of the window, simple shelves hold crockery.
17. Store recipe books on a smart corner unit
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 section will maximise the space and keep your favourite recipes nearby.
18. Hide the small stuff in jars
For open shelving, invest in attractive canisters for utensils, and jars 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 canisters are also another way to add pattern and interest to a neutral kitchen scheme. Amara’s colourful LSA pots work equally well for storing kitchen utensils, biscuits or even flowers.
- We've got lots more ideas for storage jars or kitchens.
19. Up accessibility with a lazy Susan
Invest in a ‘lazy Susan’ to make storing condiments and spices that bit easier. No more crawling to the back of the cupboard to find the paprika, or knocking jars of peppercorns flying.
This two-tier kitchen helper will allow you to easily fit three times as many ingredients into that little kitchen cupboard. The Container Store is the place to look for smart kitchen storage solutions. Their stainless steel lazy Susan can be adapted for bathroom cupboards, too.
For larger cupboards and bulkier items, you could also consider a full-size carousel. These will need to be made to fit your cupboard if not bought from your kitchen supplier.
20. Double your cupboards' capacity
Slotting an extra shelf into your cupboards is such a simple but effective way of making the most of your kitchen storage. Not only can you fit in twice as much cookware (or tableware), but this quick fix will keep everything organised too.
Head to Store - A Place for Everything to snap up a foldable mesh stacking shelf. Keep an eye our for baskets or shelves that can hang from the underside of the shelf above too – this makes great use of wasted space in tall cupboards.
21. Work in a niche for trays etc
If you’re investing in a whole new kitchen, 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.
Neptune’s Suffolk kitchen includes clever integrated storage for trays – a savvy alternative to keeping them out on your work surface, collecting dust.
22. Use vertical space
Lacking wall space? Suspend shelves from your kitchen ceiling instead. This is an effective way of storing and displaying glassware, cake stands and so on – as this sleek design by Hub Kitchens demonstrates.
If you can, try and keep storage like this over a workspace. For one, it means everything is near to where you are likely to use it, but it will also keep the rest of the kitchen free from visual clutter.
23. Make space for a utility 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 utility 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. You could even turn your utility into a multipurpose boot room as seen below in this useful space by Lewis Alderson.
- See our laundry room storage ideas