All Organized People Have This in Their Kitchens—Do You?

Updated 06/26/17

As much as we would all want a chef's kitchen complete with multiple islands, sprawling counter space, and endless kitchen supplies, our reality can be quite different. Those living in larger cities, small apartments, or starter homes know all too well the challenges that come with a tiny kitchen: Limited storage, no counter space, and overflowing clutter are all part of the deal. Are we destined to suffer small-kitchen woes for as long as we live in tight quarters? We refuse to believe it. Thanks to a few clever hacks, there are ways to dramatically improve the function of a small kitchen.

Are you using all your vertical space? Can you increase your counter space somehow? Could you free up cupboard space by adopting other storage hacks? We studied our favorite small kitchens to give you the best tools to overhaul your own. Pick up these tricks all organized people have—your dream functional kitchen awaits.

Use A Utensil Rod

Courtesy of Fantastic Frank

We all have a junk drawer or a container filled with cooking utensils. But if your drawer or counter space is limited, take advantage of your vertical space, and hang your tools instead. You'll free up storage space for other essentials.

Schoolhouse Electric Brass Rail $110
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Keep a Bar Cart

Courtesy of Fantastic Frank

Sometimes, no matter how hard we try to keep everything contained in our cupboards and drawers, limited storage space fails us. If you struggle to find cupboard space for large pots and pans or if you have nowhere to keep your spices and oils, consider adding a bar cart to your kitchen arsenal.

Normann Copenhagen Block Table Cart $280
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Use Sleek Containers

Courtesy of Elizabeth Roberts

Some things are best kept close at hand. Keep your oft-used nonperishables in pretty glass canisters, and display them instead of taking up limited pantry space. This works great for breakfast cereals, granola, and sugar.

CB2 3-Piece Coltrane Smoke Grey Canisters $33 $30
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Use Your Vertical Space

Courtesy of Fantastic Frank

You may have high ceilings, but are your cupboards reaching all the way to the top? So many kitchens have cupboards that stop too low, leaving precious vertical space unused. If you're not planning on renovating your kitchen, see if you can have high cupboards built in to match your existing ones, or hang high shelves on unused walls. These are perfect for lesser-used items like vases and special occasion pieces.

CB2 Post Wall Shelf $329
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Corral Essentials in Trays

Courtesy of Fantastic Frank

Any amateur cook knows to keep a few essentials close to the stove. To make it look more organized and less messy, corral these in a pretty tray: olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and other regularly used cooking essentials. Not only will it free up pantry space, but you'll also enjoy having these within reach when cooking.

CB2 Pilar Letter Tray $40
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Showcase Your Kitchenware

Courtesy of Meg Pflug

Make your décor functional. Some kitchenware is too pretty to hide away. If you have beautiful wooden cheese boards, marble mortar and pestles, pretty candleholders, or a collection of wooden spoons, make them a part of your décor instead of hiding them away. 

One Kings Lane Extra Large Round Acacia Board $115
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Get Creative With Glassware Storage

Courtesy of Fantastic Frank

If your cupboard space is limited but your glassware collection is large, try hanging it upside down, bar-style. Glassware racks can be hung on the wall or under cupboards, freeing up space for your other dinnerware and showcasing your wineglass collection all at once.

ESP Metal Products Overhead Bar Glass Rack $400
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Use a Butcher Block

Nicole Franzen

If your counter space is limited, a butcher block is a great way to add storage and surface to your kitchen. Keep knives and prep essentials in the drawers, store larger prep items on shelves underneath, and use the top surface for chopping and cutting. 

Old Wood Butcher Block $1600
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Wondering what else might be cluttering your kitchen? Find out what cooking items you need to toss before turning 30.

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