7 Satisfying Solutions for Storage for Small Spaces
Over the last 50 years, the average size of an American kitchen has more than doubled from 70 to 150 square feet. If you’re trying to design your dream kitchen but you’re on the lower end of that spectrum, this article is for you.
We’re going to look at some of the ways that you can make the most of storage for small spaces. From behind the door shelves, to under-cabinet storage there are many ways to think outside the box and squeeze more into even the smallest kitchen.
7 Ways to Create Storage for Small Spaces
The kitchen is the hub of most homes, it’s where we make our meals and for some people where we eat them too. There are appliances and food to be stored, and the space still needs to be usable. Here’s how to get the most out of your kitchen storage.
1. Do You Need It?
The first question to ask yourself is whether the items you are looking at storing really need to be in your kitchen.
While you can make a case for saucepans, cutlery etc. what if you have crockery or silverware that only comes at Christmas? That can probably be stored elsewhere.
You could look at storing infrequently used items in a garage or outhouse, like these from Victory Buildings.
One of our favorites is garage ceiling track storage, where plastic bins are secured into the roof. Out of sight until you need them.
2. Behind the Door Shelves
In most homes, the space behind a door is considered wasted space. If you leave your doors open, you may rarely see it.
If you don’t, you may have considered hanging a picture or photograph there.
But you could also add some shallow shelves, which adds a lot of storage capacity. If they’re usually hidden behind the door their appearance doesn’t matter too much, they can be simply made by attaching batons of wood to the wall.
A piece of 1″x2″ can be used to make shelves for small spaces behind doors, but you may also be able to recess your shelf into the wall to add extra space.
3. Pull-Out Storage
If your kitchen design includes some narrow gaps, make the most of those with pull out storage. Adding runners to a slender frame means you can pull out a narrow shelf, or a flat pane which can be used to hang tools, pan lids etc.
You can buy them pre-made from kitchen manufacturers, but if you are the DIY type then they are quite easily made. Depending on the size of the gap, they could be used to store tins & packets of food, utensils, or your spice rack.
4. Over the Doors
Unless your family is particularly tall, you likely have some unused space just above the lintel of your door.
Adding a shelf here can let you store cookery books out of the way, or let your display small appliances that you don’t need on a daily basis.
The only rule of thumb here is not to store anything too heavy up there; you don’t want it falling down onto someone’s head.
This space can be well used in other rooms, too, to store books, objet d’art or useful things like toilet paper.
5. Under-cabinet Storage
The space below your higher cabinets has traditionally only been used for adding in lights. But it could do a lot more.
With a little ingenuity, a storage rack can be placed which can keep knives and other utensils tucked out of sight.
Suitable for replacing knife racks, spice racks or small tools that you don’t use often – think piping nozzles and olive pitters, for example. They’re out of sight, but ready to be used when you need them.
These shelves are available pre-made, where just reaching up and unlatching releases the shelf.
It would also be possible to make these yourself relatively cheaply, using wooden dowels, hinges and a cupboard latch.
6. Double Your Space
There’s quite often wasted space inside kitchen cabinets, towards the top of the shelves.
While we store things down on the bottom, if they don’t reach all the way to the top, you’re not maximizing your storage power.
You can buy shelf inserts to help with this, letting you add another layer of tins or jars – or you could put in a new shelf.
It’s also possible to add a shelf to the inside of the cupboard door, which will pull out as you open the door.
The beauty of pullout shelves, or those on the back of the cupboard door, are that the contents aren’t cluttered together when open. You can easily locate just what you’re looking for.
7. Folding Doors
Don’t think that just because there isn’t space to fully open a door, that you can’t install a cabinet. You don’t need to choose a cabinet with a traditional, outward-opening door, there are alternatives.
You could choose to cover the contents with a piece of fabric, for a low budget option.
If you do prefer a door, then a folding door will only need around half the space to open it. Sliding doors or bead curtains are other alternatives to a regular door.
Another alternative is to look at shoe storage. In these narrow units, the front flap folds down and out, giving access to deep areas to put shoes in.
But these could be used for more than just your old trainers. The same space could store tea towels, table linen or any number of useful kitchen bits and pieces.
When Remodeling, Think Storage
The space that you give over to storage can make a big difference to how you feel about your kitchen space, and what you can achieve in it.
If you’re looking to remodel, then the tips above will help you to think differently about storage for small spaces.
We’ve previously written about kitchen remodeling tips. If you’re about to embark on a refresh of this important room then give those a read too.
You’ll be surprised what you can pack into even the smallest of spaces.