Moving into a smaller home or struggling to keep up with your small kitchen organization? No matter your situation, there are always kitchen space-savers and organization tips to try. Learn how to organize a small kitchen below!

Practice Minimalism

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The best place to start during small kitchen organization is to know what you have and pare down what you don’t need. While organizing your small kitchen, take a cue from minimalists. If you’re downsizing or have a tiny kitchen, it might be time to let go of novelties in order to free up space. Go through your items and declutter your kitchen, getting rid of anything that no longer serves a purpose. Identify and remove any duplicates, single-purpose items, or broken, unusable utensils.

Plan Your Kitchen Layout

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Once you’ve paired down your items, you have a starting point to work from. Now, you can create a plan on how to organize your small kitchen. Take note of what you have and what you use often. Make sure to have an idea of where everything will go before you start organizing your kitchen. If you find you need more kitchen storage or counter space, consider incorporating a moveable island that fits into the unused nooks of your kitchen.

Emphasize Ease of Use

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When organizing a small kitchen, you’ll want to keep items near where they are used. Put the items you use most in easy-to-reach places so you won’t need to move other items every time you grab them, and keep like items together so everything is easy to find. Store spices in a drawer or spice rack, pots and pans near your stove, silverware near plates, dishes near the dishwasher, and soap and towels near the sink. Place items you don’t use frequently in the harder-to-reach cabinets and tucked-away drawers so you’re still making the most of these spaces. Organizing your kitchen according to use will make it easier to keep up with kitchen organization, since your system will be intuitive to your needs.

Keep Drawers Organized

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As you rearrange items to organize your kitchen, take steps to keep your drawers free of clutter. Start by measuring your drawers and purchasing drawer dividers that perfectly fit so no space is wasted. Drawer dividers are great for drawer organization, as they can turn even the messiest drawer into a neat space where everything has its place. You can use them for silverware and utensils, as well as everyday items such as freezer and sandwich bags, twist ties and rubber bands, tape, batteries, and other odd items.

Categorize Cabinets

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Keeping with the rule of placing like items together, move on from the drawers to the kitchen cabinets. Organize your small kitchen by picking logical spots for plates, glasses, and mugs, and place all similar items together. If you aren’t using the full height of your shelves, invest in cupboard organizers like shelf risers, spice racks, or lazy Susans to keep smaller items easy to reach. Or look into pull-out cabinet organizers or plate racks for more organized cupboards.

Power Up Your Shelving

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If you’re missing upper kitchen cabinets, you can easily turn that unused wall space into decorative and functional storage. DIY open shelving creates a sense of light and space and allows you to showcase your everyday dishes when not in use. Mix in items like cookbooks, gourmet olive oils, and flowers for an attractive display. Give these shelves a good wipe-down at least once a month to address dust, grease, or grime issues.

Consider the Countertops

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Your kitchen countertops can greatly affect how you feel in the space. Clutter-free counters make preparing food and cooking meals easier and reduce the possibility of accidents. They also improve the visual appeal of the kitchen. If you don’t have the option of putting everything out of sight, consider keeping as many things off the counter as you can. By mounting these items, the area still appears less cluttered and gives you more space to work when cooking. Or, try keeping the majority of your small appliances off the counter while dedicating certain areas to necessary appliances, like a coffee nook.

Keep Up on Fridge & Pantry Organization

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When storing food in the fridge and planning pantry organization, use the same mindset you used when cleaning out cabinets and drawers. Make it your goal to create an uncluttered food storage space containing only items you’ll use. Store flour, rice, pasta, and other dry goods in air-tight canisters to avoid mess and clutter from their original packaging. If you have a small fridge, you can make the most of your space by using fridge drawer organizers and stackable freezer baskets so all your food is organized and easy to reach.

Get Creative with Alternative Storage

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If you have a tiny kitchen without storage, it will take some creativity to make everything fit just right. For countertop appliances and other large items, you may need to store them outside of the kitchen, such as in a hall closet or basement. Maximize using any space you have, whether it’s wall space or above the refrigerator. If you have the space, consider bringing in additional storage with rolling kitchen carts, freestanding cabinets or shelves, wall hooks for hanging pans, over-the-door storage, and more.

Routinely Tidy Your Kitchen

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Creating a daily routine for tidying your small kitchen is key to maintaining an organized space. Letting small messes sit only leads to bigger messes and a more overwhelming cleaning job later on. In addition to daily cleaning, set aside time every two weeks to deep-clean your refrigerator—including the drawers and shelves—and remove anything you don’t need to make space for new items.

Make a Seasonal Storage Plan

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Leaving seasonal items out when they’re not needed can start the cycle of clutter all over again. When it comes to seasonal storage, try to find a spot that won’t interrupt the rest of your kitchen organization. The large space above your fridge is great for storing kitchen equipment that isn’t regularly used, like large roasting pans, cookie cutters, candy molds, holiday dishes and mugs, and more. You can also keep seasonal items outside the kitchen in a storage closet or even a monthly self storage unit.


Struggling to organize everything in your small kitchen? Life Storage can help bring an affordable storage solution to you, so you can clear up counter space. Find a nearby Life Storage facility today!


This post was originally published Life Storage Blog on 12/15/15 and was revised on 03/06/2024 to provide new information.

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