12 Tiny Kitchens with Seriously Big DIY Organization Ideas

updated May 7, 2022
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Just like with teeny bathrooms and small entryways, finding a spot for everything in your tiny kitchen can prove to be quite the challenge. After all, you’ve got to find designated spots for pots and pans, dishes, glasses, utensils, gadgets, appliances, and of course, food. Don’t forget food!

Even the tiniest kitchen can be organized in a way that is both functional for your needs and packed with style. All you need is the right small kitchen organization ideas! Take some inspiration from these DIYers and organizers who took their 15 tiny kitchens and injected them with some seriously big organization solutions.

1. Install a magnetic strip.

There’s no need for all that drawer space when you use a clever magnetic strip to corral your kitchen utensils. We love how this converted school bus uses this small kitchen organization idea.

2. Make a multipurpose corner.

One of the most effective small kitchen organization ideas is to make use of every available inch of space. Kentucky homeowner @sweetiedeervintage makes full use of this space in her small kitchen. It’s a pantry/laundry/storage area that still manages to look somewhat organized with the use of a clever piece of furniture. 

3. Use a cart instead of a pantry.

If you don’t have a pantry, you’ll definitely need some small kitchen organization ideas! We love how @joyful_single_mom used a pretty red cart to corral food items that would otherwise be hidden in a pantry. 

4. DIY a custom pegboard for your space.

If you’re not using a pegboard in your tiny kitchen, you are seriously missing out. These organizing staples can fit into even the weirdest nooks and crannies, as shown here in Jaclyn and Matt’s kitchen (@maclyn_go). Jaclyn says customizing this pegboard to their space was relatively simple — with the right supplies. “The pegboard was easy to cut using a circular saw, but would probably have been a pain without power tools,” Jaclyn says. 

To give the pegboard an extra personal touch, they painted it emerald green (Behr’s Fairy Queen).

5. Create an over-the-door organization system.

Looking for small kitchen organization ideas? Don’t forget that doors can be used for vertical storage. Rebecca Gallop (@adailysomething) says she has used her pegboard station for organizing wrapping paper, winter accessories, and her most-used kitchen and utility items. See a full DIY tutorial here.

6. Install a railing for your most-used kitchen items.

Short on cabinet storage but pegboards aren’t your style?  Em (@the.nordic.nest) used two rails to store her most-used kitchen items. “It was an easy project to do with the limited corner space next to the door frame,” she says. “I’m learning to use height in my home to store and showcase utensils and decor.”

Rails like these are especially handy installed beneath upper cabinets, but Em proves any spare wall space will do.

Credit: Lea Kramer

7. DIY a pantry out of unused space.

Lea Kramer (@fiftyone.living) says this spot used to be just an unused door in their kitchen, so they kept the door frame and built a wall on one side of it.  After installing shelves, they now have a perfect space for pantry items.

8. Use canisters and baskets to corral pantry items.

Louisa Roberts (@nycneat_louisa) and Corrin McCoy (@nycneat_corrin) organized this small pantry to perfection with smart placement of food items and canisters.

“We chose baskets to contain and separate each category of food,” says Louisa. “The groupings will help keep the space organized, and they allow you to see exactly what you have in the pantry.”

Plus, these small kitchen organization ideas allow you to easily take advantage of deep cabinet space that might otherwise be wasted, since you can pull whole baskets out to access everything inside.

9. DIY a custom island with room for seating.

“Having just bought a 1,000 square foot home as a family of three, we’re figuring out ways to maximize every inch of space we can,” says Emma Shoemaker (@shoemakesnew). 

“Our kitchen had a pretty open space in front of the cabinets, so we figured we’d add some more storage with a DIY island (that was actually super easy to do!),” she adds. The totally custom-built island also features room for stools, so it serves as a dining spot, too. You can see Emma’s full tutorial here.

10. Make use of every part of your cabinets.

Measuring cups are a necessary but hard-to-find-a-spot-for kitchen item, especially if you’re short on drawers.  Ashley (@nest.in.birdland) solved this problem by utilizing the inside of her cabinet door to hang her measuring cups. This way they have a designated, labeled spot complete with a conversion chart for cooking made simple. What a great small kitchen organization idea!

11. Show off appliances on open shelves.

If you’re working with a small space, you likely don’t have a ton of cabinet storage to create an appliance garage (also known as hiding all your big appliances), so why not utilize this small kitchen organization idea and put them on display?

Stacy (@farmhousetofrills) says her open shelving unit is not only cute but super functional.  Having her appliances on display allows for easy access, and since they all have a uniform look, they seamlessly blend with her decor.

Credit: @ahousewren

12. Create multi-use storage and display pieces.

Kate (@ahousewren) showcases another small kitchen organization idea with these DIY plate ledges that allow her to store her platters and cutting boards in a way that also doubles as decor. See the full tutorial on this DIY process here.

13. Hack a moveable island with cube shelving.

With another DIY kitchen island (this one on wheels), Aneth Parintosa (@anethparintosa) shows how functional and beautiful a mix of open shelving and cube storage can be.  Baskets can hide a multitude of items or appliances, while the open shelving allows an opportunity for you to showcase some of your more visually appealing items (like cute dishes or serving platters).

14. Make use of drawers to store spices.

“Spices can be tricky in a small space and being able to view them clearly can be an art form of organization,” says Melanie Walker (@melaniewalkerxo). “For this project, a small pull-out shelf next to the stove fit the bill. Custom labels on top of the jars give you a clear view of what’s inside and easy access,” she says.

15. Personalize your setup to your habits and tastes.

Your kitchen should work for you. For example, coffee gets top billing in this kitchen, where a mini coffee station sits atop cube shelving. A rail neatly holds coffee cups, while open shelves put tea — and higher up, cooking utensils and ingredients — on display. Antonia (@adailyplannerblog) also brought in a fun dose of color through her canister lids and kitchen utensils that make this whole assembly look cohesive.