Small Space Living

9 Best Small Kitchen Storage Solutions To Help You Hide Eyesores & Make Cooking Great Again

10 October 2023 | BY

Your small kitchen doesn’t have to feel small. These smart storage solutions will help make the space feel larger than life.

9 Best Small Kitchen Storage Solutions To Help You Hide Eyesores & Make Cooking Great Again

We could all do with boatloads of countertop space and kitchen cabinets that stretch from wall to wall, but that’s easier said than done in small kitchens where your oven, sink, cooker hob, and microwave are all packed together like sardines in a can.

For homeowners that can only look on at Martha Stewart’s kitchen in envy, here are 9 smart ways to maximise the space in your cooking area.

1. Install a pull-out spice rack

spice rack small kitchen storage solutions

If you’re an avid cooker with a massive collection of spices and condiments, the best thing you can do for your kitchen is to install a narrow, pull-out spice rack. It doesn’t take up too much space in your kitchen, and you can also get your contractor to customise how tall each section of the spice rack is. We also recommend placing it near your prep area so you can easily grab your cumin or paprika.

Those who aren’t keen on redoing their kitchen just to add a spice rack can opt for a standalone version instead. This rack from Shopee can hold up to 7 bottles of your most-used spices and condiments and can be attached to your shelves, freeing up countertop space for other uses.

Space-saving ability: 8/10
Implementation difficulty: 9/10 (requires professional installation)

2. Use containers instead of boxy packaging

ikea clear containersImage credit: IKEA

Your rice, cereal, pasta, noodles, and more all come in different sizes and packaging materials. Putting them all together – even if they’re in the same drawer – will eventually make your kitchen look cluttered, messy, and mismatched. A simple fix to this problem is to store everything in standardised containers instead of the boxy and bulky packaging your groceries came in.

Containers can be easily procured from places like IKEA or Muji, and their same-ish shapes will fit better next to each other than if you’re trying to put your packs of Nongshim Ramyun next to a 10kg bag of rice. 

Pro tip: Label your containers with their expiry dates so you know when to throw them away.

Get the look with containers from IKEA’s 365+ collection, Kilner jars at Tangs, or Ball Mason Jars at Lazada.

Space-saving ability: 7/10
Implementation difficulty: 2/10

3. Get shelf risers if you are in a rental apartment

Not everyone is a homeowner (yet), and installing custom carpentry like shelves and spice racks might be impossible for someone who rents. To still be space-savvy, this is where shelf risers come in handy.

shelf risers from west elmImage credit: West Elm

These loose pieces make the most of your kitchen’s vertical space by letting you stack things like mugs, oddly-shaped bowls, and other cooking necessities. You can place them on your countertops and within your cabinets too, so no empty space goes unused. They are also available in various designs and styles to seamlessly fit with your kitchen’s aesthetics.

Get this look with shelf risers from IKEA, MUJI, and Amazon.

Space-saving ability: 10/10
Implementation difficulty: 1/10

4. Bring in a Lazy Susan into your fridge and cabinets

lazy susan in fridge

Lazy Susans can do more than bring that plate of delicious grilled fish within arms reach; the useful tool can be used in your kitchen as well. One way is by placing one in your fridge and cabinets, allowing you to pick up those sauces that are often relegated to the back without having to move everything out of the way.

Another option is to get your carpenter to install a lazy susan within your base cabinets. This way, you’re able to make the most out of the corners where you can store pots, pans, and other kitchen appliances you don’t need often.

Get Lazy Susans from Amazon.

Space-saving ability: 7/10
Implementation difficulty: From 6/10

5. Get a magnetic knife strip instead of a block

magnetic knife strip

Knife blocks take up precious countertop space that can otherwise be used for meal prep. One efficient way to store your blades is to hang them from a magnetic knife strip instead.

The strips can be attached to your backsplash, next to your fridge, or below your countertop on your kitchen island. Just make sure your knives are magnetic before trying to stick them on the strip; ceramic knives will definitely fall onto the floor. We’d also caution you to place your knives with the blades facing upwards so that on the off chance that it detaches, it’ll land on the handle.

Get magnetic knife strips from IKEA, Shopee, or Amazon.

Space-saving ability: 8/10
Implementation difficulty: 1/10

6. Use a foldable table that can be hidden when not needed

foldable table

Not all homes can afford the luxury of space for a large dining table. Fortunately, folding tables are always a viable option for those living in shoebox apartments. Lifting up the table extension can be a breeze when you need more space to roll out your bread dough, or even serve as an extra seating area for when guests come over.

You can even crank this space-saving trick up with a cabinet from Taobao that folds down into an extendable table.

Get folding tables from IKEA.

Space-saving ability: 8/10
Implementation difficulty: 3/10

7. Use interior shelves on your cabinet doors

small kitchen storage solutionsImage credit: Family Handyman

While we fuss over how our cabinet doors look on the outside, we often stop short of thinking about how we could make the most out of the insides. If your cabinets have extra depth and space, install a storage shelf to make the most of its vertical space.

This option would only be possible if your cabinets aren’t split up by interior shelving boards that might obstruct your storage shelves.

magnetic shelf on fridge wall

Another way to execute the use of vertical space is by placing magnetic shelves on the walls of your fridge. You can get magnetic shelves from Boomjoy on Shopee and Lazada.

Space-saving ability: 7/10
Implementation difficulty: 7/10

8. Use cutlery trays to keep tidy in your drawers

cutlery trays from ikeaImage credit: IKEA

Seriously though – if you aren’t already using a cutlery tray in your kitchen, this is a sign that you should. They’re inexpensive and can help keep your forks, spoons, knives, and other pieces of cutlery separate and neat. You’ll finally be able to find the metal straw that was lost in the abyss of your utensil drawer all those years ago.

A more customisable solution would be built-in utensil dividers like Blum’s ORGA-LINE offers.

blum utensil dividersImage credit: @thelocalinnterior

They offer both pre-determined container sets as well as individual utensil dividers if you prefer more flexibility. All of Blum’s dividers are dishwasher safe as well which makes cleaning them a lot more effortless.

Space-saving ability: 4/10
Implementation difficulty: 2/10

9. Eek out extra counter space with a sink cover or kitchen cart

kompacplus sink cover

One thing we’ve noticed about savvy homeowners is how they double up the space around their sink to become an “extension” of the countertop. This is done via sink covers that blend seamlessly with the countertop’s material which suppliers like KompacPlus will be able to customise to your liking. If you’re on a budget, you can also get a generic sink cover from sites like Shopee or Lazada.

Alternatively, you can get a kitchen cart that can be pushed around if your space allows it.

kitchen cart small kitchen storage solutionsThe Origami Kitchen Cart.

This way, you can easily bring it into your kitchen when you need it for prep work, and store it somewhere more convenient once you’re done. It can also double up as a storage space for your bulky appliances like your hotpot or KBBQ grill that you only use once in a blue moon.

Get the Origami Kitchen Cart on Amazon.

Space-saving ability: 8/10
Implementation difficulty: 3/10

Best small kitchen storage solutions

small kitchen

We get it – small kitchens can be quite disheartening to those who love to whip up a storm. But size doesn’t matter all that much when you can use these smart storage solutions to make your cosy kitchen feel as big as those in Chinese banquet halls.

Check out more kitchen renovation ideas:

This article was originally published on 26th January 2023, but updated on 4th October 2023.

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