Kitchen drawers with lots of storage

Super Space-saving Ideas For Small Kitchens

Published: 19/07/2021

‘Dream homes’ come in all shapes and sizes, but you’ll often find you have to sacrifice space in one room in favour of another. For lovers of lazing, it’s all about the mammoth master bedroom; for serial streamers, a large living room is where it’s at; and for social butterflies, that spacious spare bedroom is a must. So where does that leave your kitchen? 

Let’s face it, no one ever really has enough space in their culinary cave, and for many of us, the sizeable open-plan palaces seen on TV remain firmly out of reach. The average size of a newly built kitchen in the UK is under 14m, so that doesn’t give you much to play with. Throw in those all-important yet space-devouring white goods like your oven, hob, dishwasher, and fridge freezer, and you’ve got even less room to use. 

However, with some canny organisational planning and the kitchen storage ideas we’ll give you in this blog, you’ll be able to fit a surprisingly large amount in your small kitchen! We’ll show you a bunch of quick tips for efficiently organising your cupboards and the best kitchen storage products to keep everything tidy and easily accessible. 

Some of these small kitchen ideas assume you’re a homeowner and the freedom to make permanent changes to your kitchen, but many of these tips are useful for renters as well. Whether you’re paying rent or a mortgage, this blog of kitchen storage ideas is a must-read!

Capitalise on cupboard space

Cereal Containers packed in cupboard

Ahh, kitchen cabinets - the life-saving storage units that cleverly conceal clutter behind the comfort of closed doors. Loved by the organisation-obsessed and the more haphazard homeowners, these space-saving staples can be used to store everything from your pans to your plates, your cutlery to your cups, and you’ll usually find a generous amount already built into your kitchen. There’s a whole host of ways you can capitalise on your cupboards to make the most of your smaller space, and we’ve listed some of our favourite ideas below!

A top kitchen storage tip if you have cupboards above and below your kitchen counter is to store cookware and baking trays in the lower cupboards and ingredients in the higher ones. Divide your cupboards up this way and your ingredients will be at head height, always within easy reach when you’re cooking. 

Rather than trying to cram your cooking oil into an already stuffed space, invest in some kitchen cupboard organisers. These racks, trays, and stands give you multiple ways to divide up your kitchen storage units by ingredient type. Not only will this help to keep your cupboards clutter-free, it’ll also allow you to see what you’re running low on, which should make the weekly shop a little easier! In a similar vein, keep your kitchen drawers tidy with a cutlery holder. A mass of mess will take up a bunch of your already limited space, so organisation is key!

If you want to expand the storage space of your units, you can use the cupboard’s doors in creative ways. Hang-on spice racks are a great place to start. Easy stick racks like these ones make organising herbs and spices nice and easy. Just remember to measure how close the front of the shelves are from the door before you start, as this will affect what kind of kitchen storage containers you can fit in your door.

So that’s the inside of your cupboards sorted, but what about the outside? Wall-mounted kitchen cupboards provide a wealth of extra storage opportunities, so use them to your advantage! Unless you have a custom-made kitchen, you’ll likely find a generous gap between the very top of your cupboards and the ceiling - the perfect space for storing rarely used small appliances and large serveware, keeping them off your worktops. The underneath can be used in nifty ways, too. All you need to do is install an under cabinet hanging rack (like this wine glass hanger, for example), and just like that, you’ve got even more storage space to utilise.

Get clever with your countertop

kitchen countertop with pans

Since it’s flat and open, your countertop is the most flexible storage space you have - yes, even in a small kitchen! There are loads of ways you can use this space to your advantage without monopolising the entire area, and they’re even simpler than you’d think. Read below to discover our top countertop storage solutions and prepare to get smart with your surfaces!

One of the best kitchen storage ideas for countertops is buying racks and holders that let you store items vertically because that cuts down on their surface area. Mug trees and kitchen roll holders are the perfect example of this, but you can also find large shelf risers that add another tier of storage space to your countertop. Other storage staples include things like kitchen utensil holders and knife blocks, which are particularly beneficial if you lack drawer space.

Kitchen storage jars are absolutely key when it comes to keeping your counters clutter-free. Not only that, they also help to keep all manner of loose, packetless food fresher for longer - bonus! Many foodstuffs are so jar-friendly that their holders have their own name, like bread bins, biscuit jars and sugar jars, but you can keep all sorts of things in them. 

We’ve already mentioned spice racks built into your cupboard door, but they’re great on the countertop as well. The simplest spice rack is a multi-tiered wireframe rack like this one from Maison and White that will sit nicely on your countertop, but if you want one with a smaller profile, choose a revolving spice rack like this one.

As well as your countertop, your sink offers many opportunities for smart kitchen storage ideas. One example is a special sink-mounted chopping board. With these, you don’t need to worry about clearing tabletop space for your meal prep, as you can do it entirely from your sink. Some even have colander attachments underneath, making it easy to wash raw vegetables and similar ingredients, too. What’s not to love?

Don’t forget about the floor

kitchen modern layout with kitchen trolley

It might not sound very hygienic, but there are a couple of ways you can use unoccupied floor space as clever kitchen storage. A classic example is the sommelier’s favourite, the wine rack, but there are loads of other options available for all manner of kitchen essentials. The trick here is to buy specialist racks that give good ground clearance.

Kitchen trolleys are a great example of this. Depending on the size you go for, you can use this storage staple for absolutely anything and everything, from treats to tableware and beyond! They’re fantastic because their wheeled bases make them easy to reposition, giving you easier access to what you store inside. They can also double as a snazzy serving trolley, giving you that extra edge at dinner parties - nice! 

Pot and pan racks are another wonderful example of freestanding storage units that can help to utilise your floor space. Here’s a secret for all savvy storage buffs: Look for tall racks that reach your waist or higher, as these will utilise the empty space between your floor and ceiling. Looking to really maximise your floor space? Choose a triangular rack that can be tucked neatly away in tight corners that may otherwise be unusable.

Build on blank walls

kitchen rack with pans and pots

So far, most of the space-saving small kitchen ideas we’ve written about don’t involve any permanent alterations to your kitchen, but these next tips will need to be secured with nails, screws, and other permanent fasteners. You don’t need to be a dab hand at DIY to install these ingenious storage solutions, but you may want to check with your landlord first if you live in rented accommodation. 

Your kitchen walls offer plenty of storage locations beyond your bog-standard tea towel holder. All you need to do is install some sturdy wall hooks wherever you have space, and you can store large objects like frying pans and saucepans on them. So long as your pans have a hole at the end of their handle (and you’ve removed the lid!), you can save a lot of space quickly! And if you have extra space, you can even install a kitchen shelf to store jars or appliances. 

You shouldn’t neglect the power of pull-out kitchen storage either. These are usually wireframe racks (although they’re occasionally made from wood) that have rollers built onto the top and bottom. The rollers fit into slide brackets set into the side of a cupboard or part of a wall or cubby hole. They’re surprisingly easy to install, as they typically come with all the required fastenings as standard. They’re also ideal for small kitchens because it doesn’t matter if the rack blocks your path when fully extended - you can just slide it back again!

A kitchen to be proud of

small mordern white corner kitchen

That’s all of our ace space-saving small kitchen storage solutions for now! Follow these tips and you’ll be able to stash, stow, and tuck all of your kitchen essentials no matter how cramped it seems! 

This blog was just a taste of the full menu of home-related blogs and buyer’s guides waiting to be discovered here on OnBuy. Our selection is bursting with ideas and advice for new homeowners, renters, and multiple mortgage holders alike! So, whether you’re looking for interior inspiration to spruce up your space or you’re after a brand new fridge freezer for your first home, we’ve got you covered. Make your dream home a reality today!