Are your kitchen cabinets bursting at the seams? Are the countertops cluttered with gadgets, spices and a miscellaneous pan or two?
If you’re lamenting the lack of space in your small kitchen, keep in mind the answer doesn’t always involve more square footage. The editors at marthastewart.com selected and reviewed a variety of products and ideas for effectively storing kitchen items when you’re shy on space. Try one or two of the following to help solve your storage needs and create a less-cramped kitchen:
Declutter the pantry. The first step to fitting everything neatly into your pantry closet is to conduct a thorough review. Chances are you have more than a couple of items past the expiration date. Toss them in order to free up more space, and refrain from buying more until you’ve used up most of your current stock. Put the items that you have on hand into a recipe search to make meals with your existing stock.
Organize utensils. Do you have utensils stashed in various places throughout your kitchen? Invest in an inexpensive utensil tray that fits inside your drawer, and organize your utensils in one spot. While you’re at it, be sure to discard any rusted or broken items you’ve been hanging on to.
Install open shelving. If you’re short on cabinet space and you’ve got wall space above the sink or stove, consider adding a few shelves. You can use the shelves to neatly stack plates and bowls, showcase serving pieces and arrange glasses. This is an especially good idea if you’ve got pretty dishware or servers that have been hiding in a closet.
Use inexpensive options. With a little creativity, budget-friendly items like dowel rods can turn into a cost-effective storage strategy. Install them to the inside of a cabinet or closet door and use them to hold pot lids, or to hang utensils or dish towels.
Invest in cabinet organizers. With a few pull-out drawers and racks, you can retrofit a kitchen cabinet to neatly store all of your pantry items…within a fraction of the space. Don’t forget to add a couple of hanging shelving units to the inside of cabinet doors as well.
Go beyond the kitchen. Finally, broaden your horizons to think about what you can move out of the kitchen to house in other parts of your home. Barware and liquors, for example, can reside on a living room shelf or bar cart. Infrequently used appliances, like a waffle iron or rice cooker, can be stacked on a shelf in the laundry room. And cleaning supplies can be organized in baskets on the floor of your linen closet.
Approaching your kitchen with a fresh perspective will allow you to see the space and your belongings in a new way. With a good dose of decluttering and a few small moves, you’ll find a home for everything in no time!