February 7, 2023

My kitchen is small. It’s not the smallest I’ve seen, but space is definitely at a premium. I have friends in New York City with kitchens that don’t even accommodate a refrigerator and some who have lived in places where the bathtub is in the kitchen. At about 76 square feet, mine is a pretty typical sized kitchen for a pre-war city building: one bank of cabinets butts right up to the window; there is space for a 27.5-inch wide refrigerator (no larger), and there is no room for a table (or really more than one person). There is only enough clearance between the two small banks of cabinets to accommodate the open refrigerator door: no more and no less.

Trying to organize this small space so that it’s efficient and neat looking often seems like an ongoing battle. After eight years, though, I’ve finally (almost) achieved optimal small kitchen organization and storage. It’s all about using the space you have as efficiently as possible and, as my mother would constantly remind me, putting things away.

Over the Door Pantry Organizer

Over the Door Pantry Organizer


If your kitchen is equipped with a closet or pantry door, this over-the-door organizer offers a great way to utilize that hanging space either inside the closet or behind the door. Constructed of metal, it comes with six baskets suitable for holding a variety of things including cans, bottles, and boxes. The two over-the-door hooks (with screws) and bottom suction cups provide ample sturdiness. The overall width measures 17.12 inches, which is great if you have a normal-sized door. If, however, your closet door clocks in at a scant 15.75 inches like mine does, you’ll obviously need something a bit narrower, which brings us to the next item on our small kitchen organizing list:

Over-the-Door Organizer (Narrow)

X-cosrack Over The Door Organizer


At only 13.4 inches wide, this metal basket organizer from Cosrack fits narrow pantry doors like mine. Available with four or five tiers, it comes with metal baskets that hold cans, bottles, and spices, freeing up shelf space in other areas of your small kitchen.

Over-the-Sink Dish Drying Rack

SNTD Dish Drying Rack


Oddly, I had no idea such a thing existed until about a couple of months ago while searching for a new dish rack. My kitchen does not have room for a dishwasher (well, technically it does, but I have a washer and dryer combo there) so I clean dishes the old-fashioned way. This adjustable rack fits over your sink and includes drying baskets, knife and cutting board holders, and various hooks. The height of the rack is 20.5 inches so make sure you have enough clearance to actually put dishes in it if you have a cabinet over your sink.

Under-Sink Organizer

Under Sink Organizers and Storage


The space under my kitchen sink has always been a wild nomad’s land. That is until I found these under-sink organizers. They have a sliding drawer on the bottom making it easier to access your stuff, as well as hooks that provide space for brushes and other hangable items.

Heavy Duty Pan Rack

CAXXA Heavy Duty Pan Rack


My usual method for storing pots and pans is to just stack them one inside the other, making it difficult to find what I need when I actually get around to cooking more than one thing at a time. This chrome organizer stores your pots and pans vertically or horizontally, keeping them all separate and easily accessible.

Water Bottle Organizer for Cabinet

X-cosrack Adjustable Water Bottle Organizer


As a person who participates in the occasional organized cycling event, I have an inordinate number of water bottles (they seem to be a standard when it comes to swag gifts). As a person who is also a bit of a packrat with the “you never know when you might need an X” mentality, I tend to have a difficult time throwing them out. Enter this simple, yet brilliant, little storage device designed to hold a plethora of water bottles.

Kitchen Corner Shelf Organizer

BCOZLUX Bathroom Counter Organizer


I love a good corner organizer. This three-shelf unit from Bcozlux works well on a kitchen counter where you don’t have much available space. It comes in brown, gray, or black to match your kitchen décor.

Cabinet or Countertop Corner Rack

Premium Bamboo Kitchen Corner Shelf


This bamboo corner rack fits inside most cabinets and provides an alternative storage solution to just stacking your plates and bowls on top of each other – which then requires you to remove everything to get the platter on the bottom that you inevitably will need the most often. 

Kitchen Counter Baskets

2 Set Kitchen Counter Basket with Bamboo Top


These kitchen counter baskets provide secure storage space for fruits, vegetables, and bread. The flat, smooth, bamboo top makes an excellent shelf as well as doubles as a cutting board (it’s easily removable). It comes with a natural bamboo finish or in white or gray.

Mr. Coffee Small Basic Coffee Maker

Mr. Coffee Coffee Maker


If you’re looking for a space-saving, simple, electric drip coffee maker, this, affordable, 5-cup brewer from Mr. Coffee fits the bill. The compact size is perfect for my small kitchen and it includes a reusable, washable coffee filter so I don’t need to find space to store the paper kind.

Over Cabinet Door Organizers

2PK - SimpleHouseware Over The Cabinet Door Organizer

Simple Houseware

amazon.com

$24.87


Don’t let the hanging space inside your cabinets go to waste! These alloy steel over cabinet door organizers are perfect for storing cutting boards, baking pans, and rolls of cling wrap and aluminum foil. They have an ultra-thin hook padded with foam to fit over cabinet doors.

Unfinished Extra Narrow Table with Shelf

Unfinished 24


I bought one of these extra narrow tables for a spot in my bedroom and love it so much, I’m considering buying a couple more. Beautifully hand-made, it arrives unfinished so you can paint or stain it to fit any décor. The five-inch depth (or width, depending on your perspective) means it slides into super narrow spaces between appliances or a cabinet, door, or wall.

Slim Rolling Storage Cart

SPACEKEEPER Slim Rolling Storage Cart


Speaking of slim spaces, this three-tier, rolling cart from Spacesavers measures a mere 5 inches wide, perfect to shimmy into that space between the refrigerator or cabinet and the wall. The casters mean you can roll it out to easily access all the contents.

Can Rack Organizer

Utopia Kitchen Storage Can Rack Organizer

Utopia Kitchen

amazon.com

$23.99


If you’re someone who likes to keep a well-stocked pantry with non-perishable canned goods, this metal can rack will keep them neat and organized without taking up a lot of space – perfect for storing up for the coming zombie apocalypse.

Bamboo Ziploc Bag Organizer

Bamboo Ziplock Bag Organizer for Kitchen Drawer or Wall Mount


This bamboo Ziploc bag holder can be mounted on a wall or put into a drawer. With six compartments, stock it with sandwich, gallon, quart, and snack bags as well as two rolls of foil, plastic wrap, or the like.

Plastic Bag Holder

TOGETRUE Plastic Bag Holder


Are plastic bags taking over your life (and all available storage space)? I personally think they multiply when left alone with too much room to spread out. These mesh holders keep your plastic bags contained and easily accessible. You deposit bags from the top, then remove them from the bottom via an elasticized opening.

Magnetic Spice Rack

SPPDAG Magnetic Spice Rack


If you have some space available on the side of your refrigerator or dishwasher, consider these magnetic shelves. This set includes four metal shelves with rails that support up to ten pounds: perfect for stashing your spices and non-perishable condiments.