Tiny Kitchen Organizational Tricks


A tiny kitchen is just how it is in NYC. Whether you live in a two-level penthouse or a Williamsburg share, you’l reach a point when you need to figure out how to make the space work better. The following tips can set you on the right path.


Don’t worry, your tiny kitchen is not about you; even multi-million dollar NYC apartments can come with tiny kitchens. The good news is you can organize your kitchen in a way that makes the maximum use of the available space. Once you figure out how and where to store your surplus, you’ll come to fall in love with the little space or at least fall into heavy like.

Get a Pantry

For New Yorkers, pantries are like unicorns; mythical creatures that only exist in faraway lands (the suburbs). It’s true; the last thing a tiny kitchen will have is a pantry. That doesn’t erase the need to store your stuff.

ikea billy kitchen

Image Source: Flickr/Johanna Billingskog

The skinny Billy cabinets from Ikea are 79 1/2 inches tall, 11 inches deep, and 15 3/4 inches wide. If you can find a slot in your kitchen to fit the depth and width, you’ve got yourself a pantry. The shelves are adjustable, so you can make them as tall or as short as you want. You can then store everything from blenders to toasters to food containers, including flour bins, full-sized cereal boxes, and cookie jars. The great thing is that these cabinets are tall, so they can store a lot. Choose one with a glass door and you’ll increase the sense of space in the room.

If the Billy or similar Ikea offerings are still too big for your tiny space, you can have a carpenter build one to spec. “Oh, carpenters are so expensive! A bespoke cabinet? Too expensive!” No they’re not. Carpenters like New York’s Tony Garcia of Barntiques can whip up incredibly beautiful custom-made pieces made out of reclaimed barn wood for a lot less than you’d think.

Shelves and Hooks

hanging storage

Image Source: Flickr/Cheryl

Shelves and hooks are the greatest inventions ever for tiny kitchen spaces. A single shelf can provide plenty of extra storage in two ways. Use the top of the shelf to store things that need to be placed on a flat surface like dishes, stemware, and anything else you choose. Hang hooks on the front of the shelf as well as underneath the shelf so that you can hang things like cutlery, pots, and pretty much anything you choose.

Tension Rods

Use tension rods in your kitchen to create easy-to-reach access to your most frequently used kitchen tools. Spend a couple of bucks and get the lovely stainless steel ones that come with attractive finials (you can buy finials if you’d like to go extra fancy). You can hang one above the stove and use it for your cooking utensils like your wooden spoons and ladles. Hang hooks on the rod, and then hang your items from the hooks. Hang a tension rod in one of your lower cabinets so that you create a space where you can hang your cleaning supplies. Hanging those items frees up the surface of the cabinets.


kitchen peg board

Image Source: Flickr/iris

Yes, pegboards can seem very … utilitarian, but they’re really awesome at creating extra space! They can store everything from pots to cutlery, and they take up nothing but free wall space. Make a dull, ugly pegboard pretty by painting a gorgeous color. A stunning lemon-green, rainbow-themed, or bright orange pegboard looks more like a piece of modern art than something that belongs in a wood shop.

Main Image Source: Flickr/JJ


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