How to Organize Your Small Kitchen on a Budget

Tip: Depending on the size and state of your small kitchen you’ll want to set aside a few hours to an entire day to do this project.

Take an assessment

Begin organizing your small kitchen by focusing on what you have.

Pull everything out of the cupboards and drawers and set it on the table. (If your table is cluttered, just clear a space for these items)

Toss out old, expired spices, containers that don’t have a matching lid, and anything that has a missing part or is rarely used.

For items that you just don’t use but which are still in good shape, set those in a box to be taken to a thrift store after you’re done organizing your kitchen.

Tip: Be thoughtful about the bulk items you buy. For example, if you’re a big coffee drinker, keep those large bags/cans of coffee. However, if rice isn’t a constant staple, forget trying to find room for a 10-pound bag in your tiny kitchen.

Eliminate duplicates

The easiest way to instantly clear up space in your small kitchen is to eliminate duplicates. Do you really need more than one colander?

Rethink storage solutions

If you really don’t have space in your small kitchen, think about other areas of your home that can be used for storage.

Infrequently used items such as roasting pans, wine glasses or pressure cookers can go in an entryway closet or an under bed storage tote.

Re-think packaging

Instead of just chucking a box of cereal (or bag of rice) into your cupboard, think about how much space you can save by eliminating the box or bag. 

Empty cereal(s) and other grains into square or rectangular space saving canisters.

Create zones

If you have room, keep cooking prep items such as measuring cups, mixing bowls, hand-held can openers, etc. together on a moveable cart.

This will free up cupboard space and simplify food prep; simply move the cart next to the sink or countertop where you’re working.

Look for “double duty” solutions

Think about items that can be used for more than one purpose. For example, an intricately designed trivet can serve as both wall decor and as a place to set your hot pans when needed.

Other “double-duty” ideas include:

  • ⬥ Using a wine bottle as a rolling pin
  • ⬥ Cut perfect sliced strawberries with an egg slicer
  • ⬥ Colander as an ice bucket
  • ⬥ Glass as a cookie or biscuit cutter

Think vertical

Store items vertically. For example, muffin tins, cookie sheets and cooling racks take up as much as 50% less space when stacked vertically, like books.

If necessary, use bookends to hold them in place.

Corral loose items

Finally, put loose items (e.g. snack packs, tea bags, bag clips, etc.) into clear, stackable bins to keep them from cluttering up your countertops or drawers.

If you’re like most people, your kitchen table is a catchall for the mail, bookbags, purse, etc.

Use hooks, shelves, and baskets to create an “action” center for these things close to your home’s entry. Put a trash can nearby so you can instantly toss your junk mail before placing bills and other important paperwork in a bin/basket to be dealt with when needed.