If you rent or you're a homeowner on a tight budget that doesn't include a kitchen renovation in the near future, consider making small upgrades instead. Affordable projects — like switching out light fixtures or improving your cabinet storage — can make a huge difference. None of these ideas are revolutionary, but they work and they're relatively easy to do.
Add Wall Shelving
A few wall shelves provide extra storage space and a place to show off your best dishes and cookware. For a full list of resources see: Best Sources for Small Kitchen Organization.
Dress Up Your Kitchen Tiles
If you're stuck with ugly kitchen tiles, try covering them up with removable decals. For more temporary, rental-friendly solutions see: 10 Temporary, Removable Products for Renters.
Double Your Shelf Space
Most rental cabinets are basic boxes that can waste a lot of space if you don't equip them with cabinet inserts. For other ideas on better utilizing available space in your kitchen, see: How to Create More Storage Space in the Kitchen.
Hang a Pot Rack or Pegboard
It's an old idea but a good one — pegboard provides a versatile surface for organizing pots, pans, and kitchen tools. For installation tips see: How to make a Pegboard Wall Organizer.
Upgrade the Lighting
If you can't hard-wire a new fixture, look for plug-in lighting that can be mounted to the wall or ceiling. For a full list of rental-friendly lighting see: Lighting for Renters: 10 Sources for Plug-Ins.
Invest in a Quality Dish Rack
If you don't have a dishwasher, your dish rack is one of the most frequently used items in your home, so it better work well. For a short list of recommended racks see: Best Dish Racks: 10 Sources.
Add Window Treatments
Window treatments are an opportunity to add color and style to any room. For a helpful source list, see: High & Low: Drapes, Curtains, and Windowcoverings.
Add Counter and Storage Space with a Kitchen Cart
Carts are an efficient way to add counter and storage space to your kitchen — a multi-tiered one adds lots of prep surface. For additional good resources see: High & Low: Kitchen Carts.
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