8 Products That Make My Small Kitchen Seem Way More Spacious

updated Apr 15, 2021
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Let’s face it: Every apartment will have something that’s smaller than you’d like. Whether it be the bathrooms or the kitchen, you’ll always wish there was more.

For my partner and me, it’s our small kitchen. It’s in a literal closet. Fridge, oven, microwave, sink, and drawers — in a closet. For the first five months we thought there was no way around it. We planned to make do by shopping for groceries more often, simply because we didn’t have enough room to store all our food for the week. And our dishes went into under-bed storage, because there wasn’t enough cabinet space in the kitchen. It seemed as though no matter how hard we tried to make the apartment seem like a functional home, something got in the way. Pretty soon after we moved in, we contemplated moving again when our lease was up.

One afternoon, I had enough and decided that there had to be a way to make it more livable. So I turned to online shopping. After researching the best tools people with small kitchens had bought, I brought them home to our closet kitchen. And thanks to a few clever solutions, what was first a deal-breaker is now one of our favorite parts of our apartment.

I wanted to pass on the wisdom to anyone struggling with their small kitchen. Here are the eight products that revitalized our kitchen:

1 / 8

This compact kitchen tool set has everything you could need for a casual meal. It comes with a measuring cup, funnel, can opener, and squeezer, to name a few. It’s literally eight tools within a piece that's the size of a wine bottle, and it’s dishwasher safe. During our move to this apartment, we actually lost a lot of our kitchen tools. Even if we had them, though, there was no room. So finding this was a godsend.

My partner uses this almost every day when we want a quick meal before work. It’s incredibly easy to store, so much so that we store it with our wine bottles. We store them at the top of our cabinets, in almost a pyramid-like arrangement (with the tool set on top!)

2 / 8
was $50.00

You might see something like this on friends’ wedding registries, and for good reason. When you’re stocking a kitchen from scratch, one nesting set can save a ton of space compared to a bunch of different mixing bowls from different brands.

This stackable set of mixing bowls and measuring cups has saved our closet-kitchen from being a nightmare. The nine-piece set saves us so much space. Our parents got us a bunch of pots and pans when our kitchen boxes got lost in the move. While we appreciated it incredibly, they underestimated how little space we had. So, we decided to tackle the biggest problem: the little space in our cabinets. We needed a lot of space for food and we found these bowls! And let’s face it, the rainbow pattern is so cute.

3 / 8
was $24.99

When we first moved into this apartment, our families got us a bunch of pots and pans to stock our kitchen, not realizing we had nowhere to put them. (While I can only make cereal, my partner cooks amazing meals daily.) But this organizer helps us so much with saving space, without having to put the pots in our bedroom. We have two: one in our kitchen island and the other on top of our microwave! After we wash them, we actually put them here to dry, so it’s like a 2-in-1 product! Little tip: make sure to put a towel underneath so nothing gets water damage.

4 / 8

If you’re not maximizing the doors in your kitchen, you’re wasting space. We added an adjustable rack to the door of our kitchen, and used it like a pantry, putting everything from Gatorade to dried mangoes on there. With eight tiers, it has room for almost anything you’d need extra space for. With over 19,000 reviews on Amazon, it’ll be the next staple for your kitchen or pantry. 

5 / 8

Along with our closet kitchen, there are spaces in between the sink, oven, and fridge that our kitten loves to sneak right into. With little room we had, there was somehow about eight inches of space for him to crawl into. So in the spirit of saving space and saving myself from a heart attack, we invested in a couple of these slide-out storage racks. Like the door rack, you can put anything in there. For us, on the top shelf we put the spices we normally grab most often. On the second shelf, we put leftover drinks like Gatorade and water. On the final two shelves, we put cooking mixture boxes for cakes, pancakes, and other desserts.

6 / 8
The Container Store

You might have seen shelf organizers before, but under-shelf organizers are a whole new ballgame. We added them to the shelves we currently have. Over our sink, we have two cabinets with three shelves each. For the larger ones on the bottom, we put the shelves there. Typically, we put stuff in there we didn't have much space for before like breakfast bars, spices, and Chia seeds. It doubled our space almost instantly, and we now have somewhere for everything. And if you feel the urge to stock up on them, you’re not alone. We did the same thing.

7 / 8

As a surprise gift to my partner, I got us a kitchen island. Since our living room is larger than we need, we had room for it. Like I said, our kitchen is in a closet, but it’s on the right side of our living room. So we have a lot of room in our living room for other stuff, so we thought we could put a kitchen island up against the wall. It’s about two feet from the kitchen, close enough to cook and far enough to have it as a makeshift bar. However, because we’re natural procrastinators, it took us a little over a month to get it built. But once we finally finished it up, our kitchen felt like an actual kitchen. Beware: it’s a bit of a project so set aside a chill Sunday for it.

8 / 8
was $11.99

Instead of throwing all of your utensils into one drawer and hoping for the best, invest in some smaller organizers, like this Joseph Josph tray. Plus, this tray is so compact and inexpensive that you have room for more than one in each drawer. So I’m going to confess something, we have two in our kitchen: one for metal and one for plastic. Okay, hear me out. We’re both in college and we like to save wherever possible. We have the one for our good utensils, and the one for when we’re lazy. It’s all organized and we don’t have to search under the couch for any strays.