DIY Kitchen Storage & Organization Ideas For Small Kitchens  (& Big Kitchens Too)

DIY Kitchen Storage & Organization Ideas For Small Kitchens (& Big Kitchens Too)

6 minute read

Looking for DIY kitchen storage hacks? We got 'em! Some people like having everything about their kitchen provided for and mapped out: Designer countertops and cabinets, state-of-the-art appliances, coordinated decor, and more. Indeed, it's easier, more convenient, and requires much less thought than having to invent ways to store all your kitchen stuff. Even if they're not designer grade, IKEA sells pre-packaged kitchens that you can install in a day if you're on a relatively tight budget.

Some of us have small kitchens, which essentially translates to less stuff right? Wrong! A small kitchen doesn't mean you dig nifty kitchen appliances any less than someone with a kitchen palace. Even those living in condos and other notorious small-kitchen spaces need to eat and want a Vitamix, coffee maker, and crock pot. And why shouldn't we?! They certainly make life easier.

Small Places & Creative Spaces

As an experienced apartment dweller, I've had to, on more than one occasion, get very inventive with kitchen storage. Practice makes perfect, doesn't it? Okay, okay, even if that adage doesn't hold true every time, practice certains prevents your creativity from getting rusty.

Many years ago, I rented a second-floor apartment. The kitchen was once a bedroom so it contained no cupboards--not a single one, nada. Once I got past the initial duh-why-didn't-I-notice-that-when-I-signed-the-lease phase, I knew I had to get creative. Luckily, I had an IKEA wardrobe that I couldn't get up to the third-floor-attic bedroom, so it had to remain on the second floor. Voila! I had a pantry! (And just a word of caution--I highly recommend disassembling such furniture before attempting to move it up two flights of stairs!).

I bought some S-hooks and hung all my pots and pans from the rod. Then I dusted off an old steel-framed utility cart I found in a second-hand shop. It had three wire basket drawers and it slid right into the closet as though it were made for it. I housed my non-perishables there, and it was an excellent space for things like spices and oils which are better stored in dark places anyways. Plates and bowls and cups and glasses went on the top shelf above the rod. 

Thankfully, this wardrobe was extra wide and had a third single door with an inner shelving unit for the rest of my items. The pinewood with antique finish added a rustic country-charm feel to the whole kitchen too. Everyone who came to visit admired my industrious kitchen design!

So, with all my experience living in small spaces, here are some DIY kitchen storage hacks that are inexpensive, easy to implement, and will make your kitchen a whole lot more liveable. 

Inbox / Outbox Plant Holder

kitchen plant holder

This super retro hack is ingenious. I love the look of this one. Its minimalist design avoids a crammed and clunky look, and the one required piece can be easily found in most second hand shops. By inbox / outbox, I mean the old school wire-frame kind--not the digital email inbox! 

Mesh wire trays for office desks can be easily transformed into a plant holder. Simply turn it on its side and attach it to an bare wall. Then position small trailing plants or succulents on the side rim. Alternatively, you can also stash your salts, peppers, and spices there too.

Wall-Mounted Dish Rack

Got an old wire-frame utility shelf you're not using anymore? If not, you can find one easily in a second-hand / Salvation Army store. Use one of the shelves as a dish drying rack. Install a couple of brackets if your only option is to free-float it on one wall. If you have a free corner or space between two cupboards, simply position the shelf at the axis points between cupboard and wall, and screw to affix the shelf. Cracked and unusable jars or mugs also make great utensil holders for drying racks too that can be added to this inventive contraption.

Mason Jar Masters

Why reinvent the wheel when mason jars abound? Far too many foods are sold in plastic these days, or perhaps you buy dry food items in bulk and wish to transfer them to a longer-term container. Glass mason jars are masters for such a job. Store lentils, dried chickpeas, quinoa, rice, chia seeds, nuts, pasta, and dried fruit in these jars. They're not only functional, they also lend an attractive country charm feel to your kitchen (even if they have to sit in a dark cupboard, you know how pretty they are!). Use one of those multi-functional pens that you can write on glass with to label the contents, if necessary.

Tin Canister Magic

An awesome choice for the industrial style kitchen. Select a choice and chunky piece of plywood, stain it your preferred hue, and attach empty tin cans with screws. Not only are you saving tin cans from a dire fate (the recycle bin or a landfill), you're also optimizing space and enhancing the stylistic appeal of your kitchen. 

An easier, alternative installment uses S-hooks and a towel rod. Simply drill one hole into each tin can, near the top, and thread an S-hook through. Then, hang it on the towel rod in your kitchen and stash your big utensil items. This is an excellent set-up for the bathroom too for cosmetics and toothbrushes. 

Fast, Cheap, N' Easy…

That's how many people like their food, and that's how we like kitchen design for small kitchens! Those three descriptions shouldn't compromise quality though, and they don't have to. Cutting back a little where you can and getting kitchen-creative with great thrift store finds means you can invest a little more in the things that count, like good kitchen, cooking, and bakeware (which, by the way, you can find here at Priority Chef).

Check out our Facebook page for great ideas on how to make your small kitchen super functional and creative. For more great kitchen tips and awesome deals on exclusive kitchenware, join our Insider's Club.

From our kitchen to yours, enjoy small spaces and creative kitchen projects this spring!

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