Figuring out how to best display your kitchenware is all fun and games when said kitchenware is a colorful assortment of upscale glassware. But colanders? Mismatched pots and pans? That one random egg slicing tool you impulse bought on Amazon and have never once used? Chic displays take on a whole new meaning when the kitchenware in question is awkwardly shaped or tricky to style.
This rings particularly true for tiny kitchens, where minimal square footage and a lack of cabinet space precludes hoarders from stuffing more unsightly gadgets out of sight. The good news is, we’ve found tons of innovative organization methods to deploy on your kitchens and clean up the room once and for all. Here’s what to do with all your kitchen tools, from microwaves to cheese graters and everything in between.
Kelly Framel’s little black kitchen is a major source of design inspo for both the cool wall color and smart pots and pans storage. Her space is proof that you should never restrict an organizational tool to its intended purpose; in this case, she proves that mug hooks can hold so much more than just mugs. Everything from a cast iron griddle to a rice strainer has a home here—and while, admittedly, her enviable collection of copper kitchenware is far from hideous, the same tactic can be used for hanging mismatched Ikea pans to great success.
One of our all-time favorite small-space organization hacks? Pegboards. Blogger Yvonne Eijkendujin DIY-ed hers out of a cheap perforated hardboard she picked up at a hardware store, but you can skip the manual labor and get a similar style at Ikea for under $20 (Skadis Pegboard, $16.99). Bonus points for breaking up the more utilitarian kitchen tools with fresh greenery, to breathe literal life into a tiny kitchen.
This 450-square-foot San Francisco rental knows a thing or two about mastering small-space living, a fact made abundantly clear by this perfectly styled kitchen nook The slightly run-down microwave fits right in a shelf on the cart (Pro tip for tiny home dwellers short on counter space: get a separate bar cart) and is successfully largely hidden from view. Elsewhere, a towel rack has been repurposed into a hook rack for mugs and measuring equipment.
A gallery wall of pans is always a good idea—hunt down a set of antique hooks at a local vintage market to add some rustic charm, then substitute cookware for artwork as you arrange your pots and pans on an empty wall. It’s a great way to make use of dead wall space and keep everything within easy reach. No more toppling large stacks of frying pans each time you need to reach for the perfect, omelette-sized one.
Look closely or you’ll miss it: Those knives and scissors precariously mounted above the stove are actually held in place by a magnetic strip. Pick up a stainless steel one (Farberware Magnetic Knife Bar, $14.99) or opt for something wooden and more rustic (ArtifactDesign Wood Knife Holder, $19.99) to neatly and safely keep your metal tools out of the way. We never thought to store a cheese grater this way, that’s for sure.
When you run out of kitchen space, use the hallways. We love the genius trick employed in this Massachusetts apartment of installing a series of rods with accompanying hooks to hold larger tools and equipment. Simple, and super effective.
There are myriad ways to use a ladder as storage in your home: as a towel rack in the bathroom, for example, or an accessories case in the bedroom. We now have another use for ladders, and it only requires a set of inexpensive metal S hooks you can pick up at your local hardware store. Prop against a wall and use for anything from oven mitts to saucepans.
Grid walls: Not just for desk organization anymore. Here, this makeshift utensil rack is the ultimate minimalist storage solution—particularly great if you’re low on drawer space and have a bit of extra wall real estate to make use of. A basic metal grid (Black Wire Wall Grid, $15.99+) is all you need to get started.
See more genius ways to organize a tiny kitchen:
Easy Kitchen Swaps That Really Make a Difference
The Anatomy of a Perfectly Styled Kitchen Utility Rack
The Best Products to Organize a Tiny Kitchen
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