9 Ways to Organize a Kitchen Without Many (or Any!) Cabinets

9 Ways to Organize a Kitchen Without Many (or Any!) Cabinets

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Caroline Biggs
Jan 10, 2017

Let's be honest: tiny kitchens can be tough for a lot of reasons. Along with cramped countertops and puny appliances, a small cooking space often means you're stuck with little to no cabinets for storage. Throw in the fact that you're renting (and can't make permanent changes to your place) and things can start to look really dismal.

Thankfully, with a little scheming, you can turn your skimpy kitchen into a stylishly organized (and storage-savvy) place. Forget that you only have two drawers and some under sink space, there are still plenty of ways to carve out more storage room—no contractor necessary! Read on for ten of our favorite ideas for keeping your kitchen organized when you aren't working with a lot of cabinetry.

Make smart use of a rolling cart

If weren't already hip to the magic of mobile storage then now's the time to listen up. Along with being super cute and affordable, rolling carts can carry everything from cleaning supplies to condiments, and squeeze just about anywhere in your kitchen (or anywhere else).

(Image credit: The Container Store)

Double your cabinets with stacking shelves

Funny how something as simple as an extra shelf can make or break your storage situation. Stacking shelves (like the one above from The Container Store) are an easy—and inexpensive—way to create extra room inside your small cabinets without taking up any additional space.

(Image credit: I Heart Organizing)

Divide and conquer your drawers

In addition to keeping your drawers ultra-organized, mini storage bins are a great way to forge extra storage space in a cramped kitchen (the uber-organized pantry drawer above is from I Heart Organizing). Stick—and stack— a few ones inside a deep drawer or pantry and store food, cutlery, and all your other small stuff; no cabinets necessary!

Hang some curtain rods

Who would've guessed that curtain rods could ever be so multi-functional? Hang a few ones above your oven to hold all of your favorite pots and pans or slide a couple of tension rods under your sink for some unexpected storage.

Create a pegboard wall

Resourceful and surprisingly stylish (just check out the blue iteration above from Refinery 29), pegboards are a snazzy way to stay organized when you aren't working with a ton of cabinetry in your kitchen. And though hanging one might leave you with a few unsightly holes in your wall, it's nothing some spackle can't fix before move-out.

(Image credit: Sarita Relis Photography)

Add a (mobile) island

Much like a rolling cart, mobile islands are a cunning approach to creating more storage space in your compact kitchen. On top of being portable, these multifunctional islands moonlight as cutting boards, meaning you get extra countertop space, too!

Use an open shelving unit

While it may seem like a no brainer, open shelving units are a smart (and sturdy way) to forge more kitchen storage when you're lacking cabinet space. Place a sleek one in a tight corner or along a narrow wall, and show off all your cool dishware in style.

Stash dinnerware on a wall shelf

Whether you use one as a drying rack or for additional storage, wall-mounted shelves make awesome dinnerware displays. And if you're worried about leaving behind holes, fret not. They're super easy to patch up in a pinch.

(Image credit: Pablo Enriquez)

Use your oven (really!)

It might sound cliché but ovens are in fact, a clever way to create more room for storage in a tiny kitchen. You can stash your cutting boards and baking sheets without using up any cabinet space and look slightly more cosmopolitan for doing so.

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