City dwellers in compact studio apartments will know all too well that we’re not all blessed with a walk-in pantry, a vast fridge with French doors and acreage of cupboard spaces. But we can be crafty and make the best use of the small space we have. Here are some sneaky tricks for brilliant kitchen storage in a tiny space.
1. Reach for the top
Make use of the area on top of your cupboards by adding baskets or boxes of items you don’t use very often, such as picnic items, party stuff, wrapping paper, specialty cooking items etc., freeing up the rest of your cupboards.
2. Go square
While most food storage containers are round, a better use of space is to choose square/rectangular ones, which apparently take up 25 percent less room, due to the corners stacking up together with no wasted space between them.
3. Stack your plastic
We’ve all got that annoying draw full of plastic containers of different shapes and sizes that fall on top of you when you open it. The best way to organise it is to store the base of all the containers inside each other and keep the lids stacked vertically in a larger ice cream container so you can choose the correct size quickly and easily.
4. Use the insides of your cabinet doors
The insides of your cabinet doors are prime real estate for attaching a magnetic board or clipboard, or sticking a hook or two for easy access to everyday items like rags or oven mitts.
5. Store it on a pegboard
Placed on the outside or inside of a cabinet or a patch of wall, a pegboard is a great way to store utensils and cooking items.
6. Choose your sides
The outsides of cabinets are also the perfect place to install hooks for items such as tea towels and oven mitts, or even installing small shelves or racks for regularly used items such as salt and pepper shakers and cling wrap.
7. Roll it out
Make the most of your cabinet space with rolling shelves, which mean that every item is within reach and nothing gets lost Narnia-style in the depths of your cupboard.
8. Spice up your fridge
Turn your fridge into a spice rack, with cute magnetic spice jars available from Ikea.
9. Hot pot spot
Hang pots and pans from the ceiling or from a hanging bar – not only will your kitchen look all professional and chef-like, you’ll have so much cupboard space you won’t know what to do with yourself.
10. Rice away
Store your large containers of rice in your rice cooker – it gives you loads of extra cupboard space and is always right where you need it!
11. Corner cupboard corral
Use lazy Susans to make the most of awkward corner cupboards and ensure you’re not wasting the space.
12. Fix that sinking feeling
Make all that under-the-sink space work for you with the help of Command hooks and a little basket, or stacking shelves that you can organise around the drain pipe. A small rack or shelf on the inside of the cupboard doors makes the perfect spot for storing rags and sponges.
13. Shelve your shelves
Put shelves or small stands inside your shelves. It’s a great way to double up on space, or separate different kinds of plates and bowls without lifting up a huge pile each time.
14. Get vertical
File your bakeware and cutting boards. Use racks, magazine racks or plate holders to keep them upright, which takes up less cupboards and avoids the avalanche that inevitably occurs when you’re trying to get something from the bottom of the pile.
15. Cart it off
If you have the space, a kitchen cart can serve multiple purposes. It can serve as an extra counter, an extended storage area, or a temporary bar for entertaining. It’s a great alternative if you haven’t quite got the space or money for an island bench.
16. Chop to it
Add a pull-out cutting board in your tiny kitchen to create extra bench space. If you’re not able to manage that, try placing your chopping board over the sink – this frees up your bench for other stuff.
17. Get magnetic
Stick magnetic racks to the side of your fridge or your splashback for knives and other utensils … it means you can do away with your knife block, freeing up valuable bench or drawer space.
18. Do away with a false front
If you have unopenable, false-fronted drawers that make you cry at the wasted storage opportunity, fix them! A little DIY job is all it takes to have a great little storage spot for sponges and other easy-access items.
19. Fill an empty wall
If you have an empty wall in your kitchen and not enough storage space, install some simple shelving for your crockery. Sometimes open shelving can look a bit messy, but you can do it neatly. Check this out as an example.
20. Use every tiny space you have
Got a bit of space beside your fridge? Create or source a slender, roll-out shelving system for storing all your spices. Got a bit of space between your kitchen cabinets and the window or door? Place some small shelves in there.
21. Basket case
Place large shallow plastic baskets inside deep drawers. Simply roll out when required for getting those hard-to-reach back items, then push back in. Simples!
22. Organise that third drawer down
Place baskets in your ‘muddle’ drawer to separate items, such as measuring spoons, cookie cutters, tongs and wooden spoons. Oh, the rummaging time you’ll save.