Tips AU

55 Kitchen storage ideas – pantry organisation, small kitchen storage

By Gianna Huesch

Published: August 9th, 2019

Add storage with style no matter how big or small your kitchen is with these ideas

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We’d all love a massive kitchen with a full walk-in pantry, but sadly we can’t all be Khloe Kardashian who has the ultimate pantry that we all envy (see below). It is simply AMAZING!  Unfortunately for most of us, we’re only blessed with an average kitchen size with minimal storage space to work with. But there are some nifty tips and tricks that you can do… So here are the best kitchen storage ideas that interior designers and professional organisers use to transform and maximise small kitchen spaces.

khloe-kardashian-pantry-the-home-edit
Source: People

Let’s begin with the basics. Are you designing a kitchen from scratch? Or are you wanting to declutter your existing small kitchen and create a more beautiful and functional space?

If you’re building brand new or remodelling, I’m sure you’re already researching your options, but there are some important considerations worth reinforcing. Remember that the more streamlined your little kitchen, the bigger it will seem. In terms of structural design, this means including plenty of built-in storage and clever, hidden storage elements wherever possible.

But perhaps you’re not able to renovate at the moment and that’s why I’ve not only looked at in-built kitchen storage solutions but also kitchen storage containers, DIY options using your existing cupboards and other kitchen pantry storage systems.

Small kitchen storage ideas

If you’re building or renovating, you’ll be making decisions around creating the most efficient system for your family’s cooking needs. This is made ten times harder if you’re restricted by a kitchen that is on the smaller side. Here’s some food for thought when it comes to storing food.

1. Convert a wall space you’re not using

When you’re in a tiny home, every inch of space needs to be utilised. This means if you’re not using a bit of wall space, why not install some cabinetry or an IKEA bookcase and use it as an open pantry. By using uniform containers, it looks extremely organised and sure to impress your guests.

Don’t forget to keep a cute kitchen stool nearby so you can reach everything.

wall pantry
Source: Style Me Pretty

2. Install open shelving

When you have a small kitchen, sometimes you don’t want cabinets from the floor to ceiling as if can make your kitchen seem even smaller. So an alternative to cabinets is open shelving. This also works well to display pretty or frequently used items or foodstuffs.

open shelving

3. Pull out kitchen pantry storage

If you don’t have a butler’s pantry or even the ‘standard’ corner pantry cupboard, the best alternative is to have pull out kitchen pantry storage. It can be within long vertical cupboards or even under-bench cupboards.

This way you’ll never be moving all of your pantry items around to find the self-raising flour, which is hiding at the back.

slide out storage
Source: Pinterest

4. Install deep drawers

But what about drawers? Well, if you can put your plates and cups on a lovely dresser to be out on show, then you can the below-bench drawers for heavy items or for storing taller ingredients in their upright position.

deep drawer
Source: 24architecture

5. Use up odd corners and wasted space

Maybe you use your corner cupboards for platters you rarely use or pots and pans, which could be hung in the kitchen instead, leaving you with an ideal space for some customer corner pantry storage.

corner storage
Source: Hello

Looking for some more inspiration? Check out all of our kitchen ideas for your dream home.

6. Use up under stairs space

Remember when we spoke about dead space before, well the spot under the stairs is often one which can be better used as a great storage spot. Here are a couple of examples of great kitchen storage ideas which are either for foodstuffs or crockery.

under stairs
Source: Pinterest
small kitchen
Source: Breyi

Get the help you need to convert spaces and add shelving by locking in a carpenter to take care of all the heavy lifting (and also make sure it doesn’t collapse).

7. Slim benchtops

A narrower benchtop plays a trick on the eyes and elongates a counter. The latest materials (like pressed-porcelain panels or high-tech ultracompact surfaces) can be as slim as 12mm.

narrow counter
Source: Pinterest

Butlers pantry ideas

If you’ve got the space and budget when renovating (even luckier if you’ve moved into a home already with one), well then a butlers pantry as to be on the top of the list for the cook in the family.

This could be a little nook, a large walk-in pantry complete with another dishwasher and sink or just some extra storage. Either way, there are a number of different kitchen storage ideas that you can do here and I’ve put some of my favourites below.

8. Install open drawers

Not only does it look pretty but it makes it super easy to find what you’re looking for.

kitchen-ideas-modern-pantry
Source: The Local Project

Think about colour

Colour isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when looking at kitchen storage ideas, but it’s something that can really influence your the overall mood in your kitchen.  Paint or just play with colourful soft furnishings and decorative items, or by colour-coding the dry-goods themselves.

9. White

Have a tiny kitchen with floor to ceiling cabinetry? Painting it minimalist white will make it seem much less poky and appear to be larger.

white
Source: Style Me Pretty

10. Soft tones

Using lighter colours and textures from floor to ceiling will make your kitchen appear a lot larger. When looking at above kitchen bench storage get your cabinet colour to match the wall paint colour so that it blends in together.

sleek minimalist
Source: Style Me Pretty

11. Monochrome

A monochrome colour scheme seems to suit kitchens especially well, probably because it always looks good as a backdrop against the ever-changing, kaleidoscopic colours of your fruit and veg.

black
Source: Real Homes

12. Paint your drawer insides

Add little colourful details in unexpected places just for fun. Why not? After all, if you’re going to pick a theme, carry it the whole way through!

coloured drawers
Source: Homes To Love

13. Use the containers for colour scheming

Transform your pantry from mix-matched chaos into an organised colour co-ordinated dream.

black and white
Source: Pinterest

14. Go wild with colour

Or if you want to take it up a notch, cater for every colour of the rainbow.

Today’s mood: #joyous.

colours
Source: House of Harper

15. Or add little pops of colour

Sort your dry goods so every cupboard has a different colour. It may not be all that practical if your flours are in different cupboards, but how pretty it will look when you open the doors every day!

storage with baskets and yellow
Source: Style Me Pretty

Get organised

16. Designate a home for everything

Always begin with clean, empty cupboards and cabinets, whether they are brand new or kitchen cupboards that have been around for quite a while. Cleaning out your cupboards will allow you to sort out items past its ‘best before’ date and anything that is ready for another home.

Next, figure out a plan of where everything should ideally go based on what you need to easily reach, what you use often, what looks appealing, and so on. Once you have a designated spot for it, it is far more likely to find its way back there again.

Plan out how you can make the most of the insides of cupboards and cabinets with some of the wide range of useful shelf risers and maximisers.

pastel storage
Source: West Wing Now

Did you know that there are professional organisers who can take care of all it all for you? Easy right!

17. Work out your container system

Storage is THE big deal in a kitchen. Whether you organise your dry-goods by food type or use or even by colour, store them in clear airtight containers so you can see what you need to add to your shopping list.

canisters
Source: Pinterest

18. Work out your labelling system

Labels are a no-brainer for making life easier and contributing to a look of organised, uncluttered unity. Decide on a style that you love and a labelling system that works for you.

label jars pink
Source: Daily Dream Decor

19. Recycle jars and containers

Sure you can go and buy matching storage plastic containers, or you could do the environment a favour and repurpose glass jars that you’ve bought soup or coffee in for storage.

organized-jars-kitchen-storage-ideas
Source: thegracegatheredhome

20. Work out a system for your spice collection

Here’s a clever, flexible idea utilising a wall painted in chalkboard paint. This means that you can always move jars around or use for different spices.

spice chalk
Source: Comfy Dwelling

21. Utilise wasted space for a spice rack

There are always nooks and crannies in kitchens that are little pockets of underutilised space, so why not use that for spices. This might not be a practical solution with having to go up and down a ladder, but it sure is pretty!

spice racks at ceilingSource: Dwell

22. Use baskets

Extra storage sounds great, but what if you’re renting? Well, this is where baskets become super useful to neaten a space and create pleasing continuity.

baskets
Source: One Kings Lane

23. Have a kid-friendly system

Some people like to label the pantry in a, particularly kid-friendly way to help kids with chores and make them speedy helpers.

Tiny chalkboard labels are genius because when details about the contents change (such as a new expiry date), they can easily be updated.

chalk
Source: Pinterest

24. Display your pretty things

If you have a certain brand of items or patterns you can put these items out on display. Make the most of them by grouping them so they have a common element, such as the same colour, shape or material.

pink items
Source: Bestpins

25. Take advantage of fruit

Nature provides the most perfectly imperfect uniform items to display. Appeal to your senses with implicit “zest” and “freshness” by displaying vases or baskets full of your favourite cooking fruits. Or better yet, set up your very own juice bar!

creative fruit storage
Source: Pinterestitacreadora

26. Group your favourites

Displaying items harmoniously creates a serene, tidy small kitchen ambience.

blue favourites
Source: Pinterest

27. Find a spot for lids

How annoying is it when you can’t find the right lid for the pot or you can only stack a certain way, otherwise the drawer won’t close? Why not efficiently store them in a narrow space using an organiser.

lids black
Source: The Kitchn

28. Put some Lazy Susans to work

No question, they are a great space-saver and have multiple uses. You can even put them in the fridge – just don’t spin too fast or you’ll find the bottles fly everywhere.

lazysusan
Source: Pinterest

29. Find an alternative spot for your cookbooks

The side of a cabinet makes the perfect place to install racks for your favourite recipe books.

cookbook wall
Source: Luvly Decora

30. Get clever with can storage

Alright, it’s time to take it up a notch. I bet you haven’t seen this type of inside-cupboard can organisers to purchase before, but here is a vertical can storage cabinet system.

cans
Source: Pinterest

31. Store baking sheets vertically

You’ll be able to see where everything is and keep it tidier when trays are vertical rather than stacked on top of each other. This is another great DIY kitchen storage idea that can be done by anyone.

baking sheets
Source: Apartment Therapy

Just hanging around…

There are hooks, pegboards and plenty of other ways to set up some vertical storage solutions for almost anything in your kitchen.

32. Get hooked on hooks

Hooks are useful for so many things in a small kitchen but this is a really sweet what to store aprons and tea towels.

teatowels
Source: Domino

33. Hang copper pots

Copper pots are a kitchen classic and give a kitchen an instant foodie flavour.

copperpots
Source: Domino

34. Hey, pretty ladles…

Do you have pretty utensils that you’ve been collecting? Hang them on hooks rather than take up counter space or be banished to the third drawer.

ladles
Source: Unsplash

35. Hang mugs

It’s [erfect in any country home to take advantage of the space to hang mugs on hooks.

mugs
Source: Domino

36. Use a gridboard creatively

Gridboards or pegboards have multiple uses in a small kitchen and keep potentially disorderly items neatly stored.

gridboard
Source: Pinterest

37. Put it on display

Use a variety of racks to hang all your cooking utensils, pots and even some of your foodstuffs.

black
Source: The Design Days

38. Liven up a bland space with something quirky

Add charming details such as oversized knobs to hang things off.

oversized knobs
Source: Homes To Love

39. Or giant wall pegs

I mean, this won’t suit everyone’s interior design but it’s still a very quirky kitsch idea.

giant wall pegs
Source: Domino

40. Add some vintage plate racks

If you love your crockery, openly admire it. Plate racks give a kitchen easy cottage-kitchen vibes. Keep beautiful plates on show or just a nice way to dry them off.

plate rack
Source: Homes To Love

Utensil storage ideas

There are a lot of utensils and if you’re like me, mine are all chucked in one draw with no organisation whatsoever. So in part to also motivate me, I thought I’d share some awesome utensil storage ideas that I’ve found.

41. Use jugs

For wooden spoons and other utensils, keeping things on hand next to the stove in some jugs makes for quick cooking.

utensils in ceramic
Source: BHG

42. Diagonal drawer dividers

This is a really awesome idea when you come to think about it because all utensils come in different shapes and lengths and this application of diagonal drawers allows you to keep it organised by lengths.

Source: decomagz

Kitchen storage ideas for herbs

43. Hang herbs

Have your herbs on display and they will always look and make your kitchen smell gorgeous.

small herbs
Source: Greenhouse Juice

44. If you have space, plant up a wall

It’s just like combining a herb garden and art into one feature wall.

herb-garden-kitchen
herbgardeningtoday

45. Herb island

Or you might prefer this more extravagant implementation…

herb island
Source: Just Add Blog

Kitchen island storage ideas

Speaking of islands, as a way of creating surface space, they are great if you have the room for one.

Make your island earn its keep by being multi-functional, such as incorporating shelving.

46. Open shelving

Things don’t always have to be tucked away. By incorporating some open shelving into your kitchen island design, you can display some of your beautiful items and cook books.

kitchen island open shelving
Source: Domino

47. Island trolley

There are also much smaller islands out there, or you could have a trolley or rolling cart. This way it can easily move around and a perfect option for renters.

rolling cart
Source: Urban Outfitters

48. Or maximise vertical space with a baker’s trolley

Steal from professional bakers and have a vertical trolley on wheels. Instantly create metres of space.

bakers trolley
Source: Fine Cooking

49. Have a Murphy’s island

Bet you didn’t know what a Murphy’s Island was… but now you do, and I think you’ll be wanting one too if you’re in a small kitchen.

murphy trolley
Source: Instagram

Appliance cupboard storage

When it comes to appliances most of us have many. From Kitchen Aids and Nutribullets to Microwaves and Toasters – they all need to live somewhere and not always taking up precious bench space. So here are some excellent appliance kitchen storage ideas.

50. Disguise appliances

Hiding small appliances in a “butler’s cupboard” with retractable doors helps streamline and declutter.

And don’t forget to install power points so that you don’t have to constantly move appliances around.

disguised appliances
Source: BHG

51. Inside the cupboards

The microwave is a really easy one to store away behind the closed doors of a cupboard.

hidden microwave
Source: Southern Living

And now some final ideas…

52. Style up a feature area

This will foreshadow your ideal kitchen style.

pretty setup
Source: Style Me Pretty

53. Bins inside the cupboards

It’s one feature of the kitchen that you’d rather not see, and that is the bin. Most modern kitchen will now incorporate bins into the cabinetry design.

kitchen-bin-storage
Source: Pinterest

54. Add a vintage element

Kitchens and vintage are a match made in heaven. Scour op-shops for a one-of-a-kind vintage conversation piece, such as this vintage wood pocket door – beautiful and, being translucent, functional.

vinatge wood pocket door
Source: Style Me Pretty

55. And don’t forget the top of the fridge

Even if it’s just to create a prettier view whenever you stand in front of the fridge. Curate a few collectibles and make the most of that wasted space.

top of fridge
Source: Domino
P.S. Even Khloe Kardashian outsources her Instragramable pantry to the organisation pros at The Home Edit.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gianna

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