5 Clever Ways to Maximize Your Kitchen Space

If you cook, you probably know what it feels like to be cramped in your kitchen—but you don't need to do a complete remodel to open up some space.

Looking for some helpful kitchen organization ideas? No matter how big or small your cooking space is, there are ways to make smart use of it, starting with clearing off countertops for cooking and food prep. It’s the same idea behind taking a microwave off the counter and placing it at eye level above the range—and there are lots of ways to get more out of your kitchen without investing too much time or money.

1. Hang it up

You’ll probably find plenty of storage space overhead, so put it to use! You might start by hanging your pots and pans(opens in a new tab). This will get your cooking tools where you can easily reach them while making them part of your decor. Look for an underused area with enough clearance for the items you use the most. It may be over or below a kitchen island, against the wall or under a shelf.

Hooks can be great for getting other items—like coffee mugs—out of the cabinet, too, but there are other tools at your disposal. For example, you can suspend spray bottles from an inexpensive tension rod under your kitchen sink(opens in a new tab) to save precious space below for heavier items.

2. Magnetize your surroundings

Magnets can be an attractive way to keep items available and organized. Magnetic knife strips are made specifically for hanging knives above your counters. Not only will this free up drawer space, but it also protects your hands when you go searching for a utensil. You can also use these magnetic strips for other metal items, such as measuring cups and spoons.

Look for extra storage space on your appliances as well. Many of us slap notepads, calendars or timers with magnetic backing onto our fridges, but consider storing other items there, like your spice rack, for example.

3. Defy gravity in other ways

If you’re not careful, items will pile up on your counter and clutter the bottom level of your cabinets and pantry. Hooks and magnets are a good start, but consider other kitchen organization ideas to meet your specific needs.

For example, Mason jars affixed to a kitchen overhang(opens in a new tab) can keep flour, sugar, coffee beans, pasta or other bulk foods convenient, yet out of the way. Or, set up a pegboard(opens in a new tab) to hang items in your pantry or on a kitchen wall.

Use racks or other organizers to store things more efficiently in your cabinets. Office organizers can make great additions to your kitchen, too.

4. Find new room in old places

Put unused spaces to good use. For example, hang your dishcloths, sponges and kitchen scrubbers inside your sink's cabinet door for easy access. Elsewhere, hooks inside a cabinet door can hold serving utensils and other items.

Get boxes of plastic wrap, foil and trash bags out of the way by affixing a magazine file inside the door, saving yourself valuable drawer space.

And sometimes an extra storage area is right under your nose. You can stash baking pans and cookie sheets in the oven, for instance. Just remember to remove them before turning on the heat.

5. Free up inaccessible space

Maybe you have plenty of space, but it’s hard to access. Deep cabinets can be great for storage until you need that one item at the back and have to empty the entire thing to get to it! Consider using a Lazy Susan to help rotate items from the back of the cabinet to the front.

Another option is to install a sliding rack or shelf similar to what you find in a dishwasher. That way, you have access to all items, no matter how far back they are.

There are plenty of other possibilities, too. The number of kitchen organization ideas are limited only by your imagination. So, rather than feeling cramped by your kitchen space, start making more of it with easy hacks like these.

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