When you have limited space to work with, it might seem counterintuitive to add more things to your kitchen to help keep it tidy. But the right tools are a necessity when it comes to small kitchen organizing—they’re the things that can not only make your space look neat but ensure it stays that way. Those drawer dividers aren’t just decorative, after all.
It’s easy to keep a room tidy when you have tons of cabinets where you can arrange your baking equipment, bulk buys, and meal-prep essentials without worrying about running out of space. But when it comes to rooms that aren’t as big, you have to be a little more deliberate about how you’re arranging your drawers, shelves, and countertops. Here, five pros share their go-to small kitchen organizing tools that help them make the most of any space.
That utensil divider isn’t the only organizing helper you should add to your drawers—in fact, Neat Method cofounders Ashley Murphy and Marissa Hagmeyer swear by adjustable wood dividers to divvy up just about everything, from cooking utensils to hand towels. That way everything has its own place—and stays that way.
Absolutely no one enjoys the process of carefully unstacking all their pots and pans just to reach the exact one they need—that’s why Nialya Suarez of Organized Simplicity recommends using a rack to keep them stored horizontally. “It has adjustable arms so it accommodates a variety of sizes, and it saves room,” she says.
If you have exposed shelving of any kind, or need to take up a little counter space to store all your food, clear canisters are key, according to Ese Crossett of Tidylosophy. “Your kitchen will still look organized, because the containers will blend well with your design,” she says. Plus they help you see exactly how much quinoa, popcorn, or Cheez-Its you have left, so you know when to stock back up.
Jen Robin of Life in Jeneral speaks highly of these drawer bins, but she doesn’t use them just for drawers. “They can create containment in a pantry zone and even to store small appliances,” she says. “They make functionality and organization possible anywhere.” Since they come in a variety of sizes, you can customize them to your needs.
Especially helpful in cabinets, but also suitable for exposed shelving and countertops, lazy Susans are Michelle Miller of Ritual Living Co.’s number-one kitchen organizing essential. “They give you quick and easy access to everything at a glance,” she says. “Use one to corral your oil and vinegar, your condiments, or all your sauces to save space.”
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