When you have a small kitchen space, it’s important to design it carefully to cultivate an uncluttered look and effective organization. Here are some genius ways to organize a small kitchen and accentuate your space.

Go Vertical

When your kitchen doesn’t allow much space to spread out horizontally, go vertical! Even if you don’t have a transitional kitchen space, you can apply the principles of that type of design, embracing geometric, uncluttered, and practical lines. Think vertical lines: the more of your “up” space you can utilize, the less crowded your counters and drawers will have to be down below. Consider installing higher shelves on available wall space or using the tops of cabinets and fridges as storage if space permits.

Genius Ways to Organize a Small Kitchen

Photo by Fraley and Company

Going vertical doesn’t just mean up the walls; use vertical space any way you can at any level of your kitchen. For example, tiered spice racks let you store various layers of spices on riser stairs, all easy to see and access. Within your cabinets, you can use risers to maximize space. Think vertical, and you’ll be surprised at how much your kitchen can fit in an aesthetic organization you’ll love.

Use Your Wall Space

Of course, you want your kitchen to be a tasteful gathering place since it can be the heart of the home, but especially with a small space, you’ll also want a practical and functional design. Think of the space as a whole, and, in particular, use your wall space. The most obvious way to use your walls is by adding extra shelves, which is a great way to add storage into your small kitchen, but this is not the only method to maximize your wall space.

Genius Ways to Organize a Small Kitchen

Photo by Clark Collins – Collins Design & Development

Be creative. Combine efficient functionality and tasteful decor with unique hardware like decorative hooks that allow you to maximize storage without sacrificing your creative vision for the kitchen space. Hang pots on the wall, assemble a hanging spice rack, or arrange some china in a creative display with utility hardware that lasts and looks great.

Embrace Multipurpose Tools

While it can be tempting to separate out each tool for specific purposes, with a small space, it’s better to multipurpose. Pare down your kitchen tools and gadgets, making sure that every item you have is useful for more than one item. If you have items you don’t need, sell them and get that space back. When you own a few tools that can be used in a variety of ways, you won’t have as many to store in a drawer or storage container, leaving your kitchen less cluttered and more organized. Embracing flat filing organizers and racks can further maximize the storage space in your cabinets.

Genius Ways to Organize a Small Kitchen


It’s not just at the level of individual tools that you can employ multipurpose design. Your counter can be a storage opportunity as well. While you don’t want it to look cluttered, some small, tasteful storage elements, like a utensil holder, mug rack, and knife block can be featured design elements on your countertops that offer good storage while adding style. A color scheme can help make this type of design cohesive: consider matching the types of woods or patterns that you use in your countertop storage elements so that they work together rather than looking like disparate clutter.

Find Nesting Items

While you should keep the tools you use daily unfettered by other items so that they are the most easily accessible, many of your kitchen accessories do not need to be standalone. When you find nesting items or nest some objects inside others, even if they didn’t come together, you can maximize your space. This type of organization can take some getting used to, but once you have established places for each smaller item inside larger ones in a regular pattern, you’ll be surprised how natural it feels and how great it feels — and looks — when you embrace this design technique in your small kitchen.

Genius Ways to Organize a Small Kitchen

Photo by John Kraemer & Sons

Start Small

It can be overwhelming to look at your kitchen with an eye for organizational design to maximize a small space. You might be tempted to do a complete overhaul, but while that can work, it often isn’t necessary. You can start small with incremental steps to organize your kitchen. You could begin as small as one shelf and see how you could maximize it. Do you have a way to go vertical with risers or organizers? Could you pare down so you only have multipurpose tools? Maybe try nesting a few items together and see how it works.

Genius Ways to Organize a Small Kitchen

Photo by Key+Shade Interior Design

Not every tip will apply to every shelf or every space, but by applying small kitchen organization design principles, you’ll be able to get the feel you want in the space you have.