Kitchen storage ideas

8 Innovative Kitchen Storage Ideas

If your kitchen is on the small side, it can be hard to think about where to put everything. Without plenty of cupboard and worktop space, cooking, storing and doing just about anything in the kitchen can be a struggle.

However, we have eight storage ideas to help you make the most out of your small kitchen space. Turns out, you don’t necessarily need more kitchen units, just an innovative mind and a bit of DIY.

1. Adding shelving in unexpected places 

As well as creating space for all of your kitchen gadgets and crockery, you want to also create some personality to your kitchen – but how can you, with hardly any space for even your kitchen essentials?!

The answer is, of course, creating shelving space, for either your decorative elements, or to store your crockery. Using above-the-window space is ideal for creating space for plants, decorative plates or dishes, and any elements you want to theme your kitchen with.

If you have no space above your windows, consider using the space above your sink and kitchen cupboard doors – add in glass panels, and store mugs, crockery or glasses to save on cupboard space, and make the most of this usually unused space.

2. Hanging crockery is the way to go

Using empty wall space is a perfect way to create extra storage space, whilst also creating some personality in your kitchen. You can use your wall space to hang pots and pans, spices, or even herbs.

If you’re hanging pots and pans, consider how many you’re hanging and the spacing you use – you don’t want to create a cluttered feeling within your kitchen, so ensure that you only include a couple. To create a more organised space, you can use a range of hanging elements incorporated with shelves – this helps you to create a balanced feel in the kitchen, and also gives you space to place herbs, cups or mugs and kitchen essentials like scales.

Another element which hanging can prove useful for, are things like hanging tea towels and aprons – this brings a homely feel to the kitchen, and gives you more cupboard space for the things that really need to be in there.

3. Retractable cupboards and larder units

Retractable cupboards are the best thing since sliced bread. Made to fit the space you have, these cupboards can pull out to give you a huge amount of storage space for a range of things you need in your kitchen, but may not want on show.

For example, using a pull-out larder unit can help you store dry goods and tins that you don’t necessarily want taking up your cupboard space, and can assist by helping you find things with ease. Using containers (see our next tip below) can help you grab what you need quickly and efficiently, so dinnertime cooking will never seem easier.

Retractable cupboards are also perfect for storing crockery; using an organised separator can help you easily stack plates and dishes, without the fear of them breaking or falling when you open the cupboard. They’re also a quick win for putting dishes away and tidying up – no chance of broken crockery in this kitchen.

You can also incorporate things like cutlery and kitchen utensils – include ‘bin-like’ containers, and you can easily place all of your utensils you want to keep hidden placed in an easy-to-find place.

4. Storing everything in containers

As mentioned above, storing your herbs, spices and dry goods in containers is the best way to make your kitchen look organised, tidy and find things efficiently.

When using clear containers, you can easily stack and label your food on exposed shelves without the fear of a messy-looking kitchen, as your shelves will look organised.

If you’re lucky enough to have a pantry space, using clear containers or themed-containers can be an easy way to make the most of your space, by clearing large boxes or plastics that you buy your food in, to make room for easily stacked containers and boxes.

Using containers is also a perfect way to go zero-waste – by using containers, and buying dry goods and spices in bulk, is the best way to protect the environment from harmful packaging, as well as saving you money – because buying in bulk is much cheaper than buying boxed goods from the local supermarket.

5. Kitchen islands

Using your kitchen island is a perfect way to create extra storage space. Some islands come already prepared for this purpose with drawers, but if you’ve got an island worktop with an empty space underneath, you can create storage space for practically anything.

Whilst drawers seem like the most sensible idea for cooking essentials and cutlery, create shelves to create more space for those kitchen appliances or tools that you don’t wish to have on display.

The best thing about an island in the kitchen, is that it creates extra cooking and prepping space, whilst also providing a little more personality to your kitchen. As well as having all this extra space, you can create an eating and living area (if your kitchen is big enough!) in the kitchen, perfect when you’re having breakfast, or you want to sit and chat about your day with a member of the family! It also proves as a great place to sit and cook at the same time – sometimes, cooking can get tiring!

You can transform just about any piece of furniture into a kitchen island – an old cupboard, a chest of drawers, or even a desk. Simply add a granite or wooden worktop to the top, use a similar finish or paint to the design of your kitchen, and there you have it – extra prepping space, and more space to store your pots, pans and crockery underneath.

You can read more about How to plan a kitchen island with our post.

6. Repurpose unused vases or tins for utensils

Drawers for cutlery and utensils take up so much space for such small additions. Instead of using up precious cupboard space, use old vases, jars or even tins to store your cutlery.

You can place these on window sills or even on the dining room table without fear of creating a jumbled decorative space. Eclectic is truly the best style for your kitchen.

If you want to create a more personal touch, then you can use paints or prints to cover whatever it is you’re using to store your utensils, if you want to replicate a similar design to your kitchen space.

7. Go vertical

Similarly to adding shelf space above your windows, you can also benefit from high ceilings in another way. Using space that’s normally out of reach is the perfect way to create extra storage room for those things that you aren’t using everyday, but still need to put somewhere.

By using the space higher up in your kitchen, you can create a larger feel to the room, as well as innovating more storage space. Another plus is that you can keep things out of reach of your little ones, knowing that they won’t be able to find anything dangerous in arms reach.

To get to this space, you can use a step ladder or stool, which creates a rustic feel in the room, again bringing more personality to your kitchen and home.

8. Be smart about space

When you’re tight on space, and small on ideas, there are a few small additions you can use in the kitchen that won’t break the bank, but will save you some space and some pennies.

Using boxes, such as wicker, baskets or old storage boxes, can come in handy when you’re wanting to create a homely feel and find space to put things. Use your boxes to store chopping boards, tea towels or unsightly tins and boxes you don’t want on display.

Create a commercial feel to your kitchen, by keeping knives and sharp utensils on the wall – similar to a chef’s kitchen. The other plus side to this is that they’ll be out of the way of little one’s hands!

Keeping bins in the kitchen can also waste a lot of moving space – so consider using a built in bin that fits into a cupboard, or hang on the wall. It may sound unsanitary, but if you’re separating your recycling from your food waste, and depositing it every day outside, this method can work really well to save floor space and create an easier method of getting waste out of the way of the countertop.