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No kitchen is too big to run out of storage space or be overwhelmed with clutter. But this problem is far more likely to affect tiny kitchens than large ones. If you have a small kitchen, you’ll inevitably find yourself struggling to find space to keep even the most essential items.

Yet, having a small kitchen doesn’t have to mean you have to live with chaos. There’s actually plenty of space in your kitchen that is unused or underutilized. Here are some practical ideas on maximizing your small kitchen’s storage space.

1.    Harness the Space Between the Refrigerator and the Wall
The kitchen refrigerator won’t always fit snugly into its assigned space. That’s sometimes because refrigerators may be replaced and the space originally intended for it when the kitchen was built may end up being much larger than the fridge.

There’s no need to let this space go to waste, especially in a small kitchen. You could for instance slide a folding step stool between the fridge and the wall. Or if the gap is big enough, you could explore the possibility of fitting a free standing shelf that will form or extend your pantry.

2.    Use the Sides of Cabinets
Like refrigerator space, chances are that not all your cabinets (or at least not all sides of your cabinets) are butted against a wall or another cabinet. Whether your kitchen cabinets are shaker style (see https://www.bestonlinecabinets.com/rta-kitchen-cabinets-shaker-style) or any other design, this is bonus square feet of storage space you can make use of. Add shelves, hang a pot rail and do more.

3.    Use the Space Above Your Stove
This is one of the more overlooked spaces, perhaps because of a legitimate concern about placing anything above the place where you cook your meals. You certainly wouldn’t want anything up there that could ignite easily.

However, it’s space that you can use if your kitchen doesn’t have a hood. You can exploit this space via a pot rail or shelf. This will create room for fire-resistant cooking utensils as well as larger cookware.

4.    Add Shelves All Over

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Speaking of free standing shelves, shelves in general are in fact the dirty little secret of extending storage space in small kitchens. Unlike storage cabinets, you can actually fit shelves in all kinds of places in the room without making the small space feel cramped.

Fit shelves on walls and above your kitchen counter. Fit shelf risers in your kitchen cabinets to further increase the space you have.

5.    Add Toekick Drawers
The toekick is the space between your cabinet and the floor that provides a recess for your feet when you are doing something on the kitchen countertop. It certainly provides comfort but it’s a luxury you can easily do without if you have a small kitchen.

Instead, you should consider installing toekick drawers in this space. It’s a great way to transform a rarely or never used space into somewhere that can hold your linens, pans, cutlery or pantry items.

6.    Use the Inside of All Doors
That plain interior of your pantry or cabinet door is really not living up to its storage potential. The kitchen is teeming with plenty of items that could find a home here. Hang your cutlery, small appliances, measuring cups and bulletin boards. And if there’s sufficient space for it especially in your pantry, you could even fit shelves on the inside of the door.

7.    Use the Undersides of the Cabinets

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This is probably not one of those places that will immediately come to mind when you are thinking about extending storage space but if you have a tiny kitchen, every available opportunity will make a difference.

Just when you thought your cabinets can’t take any more stuff, the underside of them will surprise you. Add hooks to the cabinet bottoms that will hold your small tools and mugs. A magnetic strip could convert the underside into a floating spice rack.

8.    Magnetic Knife Rack
A magnetic knife rack is a handy tool you can use to squeeze out more storage space from thin spaces on your kitchen walls. And it doesn’t have to be horizontal as per assumed convention. A knife rack can run vertically as well proving that no wall space is off limits when it comes to where you can place it.

Maximizing small kitchen storage comes down to a shift in your mindset. You have to stop planning your storage around conventional, big kitchen thinking and start to explore the creative ways you can make the most of the space you have.