10 Ideas for Small Kitchen Remodels

Megy Karydes
Written by Megy Karydes
Updated November 29, 2021
Cream cabinets with black countertops in kitchen
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Optimize your kitchen remodel with these chef-inspired, space-saving ideas

Counterspace and cabinets are precious commodities—and when you're planning prep areas and where to store gadgets and appliances—it can often feel like not quite enough. The trick is to find ways to maximize or make the most of your space. When you can't add square footage, you'll need to think vertically and strategically. Here are 10 space-saving ideas to incorporate into your kitchen's remodel.

1. Magnetic Knife Holder

Magnetic knife holder in kitchen
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A stainless steel magnetic knife holder is a simple magnetic strip or bar that safely stores your knives on a wall, freeing up precious real estate on a kitchen countertop but still keeping them within arm’s reach. While most strips aren’t magnetic on both sides, you can use double-sided construction tape and adhere the holder to a refrigerator if kitchen wall space is limited.

2. 3-Tier Shelving Racks

Shelving racks are the workhorse in any storage space, especially kitchen cabinets, open shelving areas, or pantries. The 3-tier racks are like little stair steps for easily lining up your spices or other miscellaneous-sized bottles and small boxes. The benefit of this storage accessory is that you can quickly eyeball your inventory while cooking or making a grocery list.

3. Shelving Dividers

Shelving dividers come in both vertical or horizontal formats, so you can keep everything from storage lids to oversized plates you use for that one holiday dinner under control. Even more convenient, they can be placed in pantries, under the sink, or in almost any kitchen cabinet since they come in various sizes.

4. Turntable Storage Organizer

Similar to a 3-tier shelf or divider, a turntable storage organizer comes in handy in tight spaces where it's not easy to see what's behind unless you move things around. If you're doing a kitchen remodel, a swivel corner kitchen cabinet is a great way to make use of that back space that's hard to reach. If a swivel cabinet isn't an option, or you have to make do with what you have in the kitchen right now, a turntable can be useful beneath a kitchen sink or in a corner cabinet.

5. Hanging Pot Racks

Kitchen with pot rack
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Odd-sized items like pots make storage difficult in a small kitchen space. A hanging pot rack eliminates the need for cabinet storage and can be hung from a ceiling or along a wall, depending on the design. If it's an open-shelf rack installed on a wall, you have the added benefit of another shelf where you can stack additional pots, lids, or mixing bowls.

6. Plastic Organizer Trays

Drawers, especially the junk drawer, have a habit of getting out of control and messy since the items don't have a clear home of their own. Wrangle those wayward batteries, cords, locks, coins, cheese knives, markers, and chip clips by dedicating trays for each item.

7. Clear Containers

Clear jars on kitchen counters
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Investing in uniform clear jars or containers streamlines your food storage and helps you see how much of something you have (such as cereal or coffee) or where things are stored. You can use bins for boxes of dry goods, cans and jars, or bags of chips, so they're not scattered all over the place. Clear containers not only look more organized in your space, but they can stack properly when necessary and provide air-tight storage to keep your pantry items safe from pesky pests.

8. Over-the-Door Hanging Shoe Pocket Organizer

Those 24-pocket organizers meant to hold 12 pairs of shoes can be put to another use. If you're constantly searching for the matching lid to a thermal coffee mug, water bottle, or sippy cup, an over-the-door hanging shoe pocket organizer can keep all of the pairs together and within reach. Hang one on a pantry door and use it to hold up to 24 of your favorite bottles—this might be a good time to purge the other 976 from your collection.

9. Portable Islands

Beautiful white kitchen with butcher block island on wheels
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A kitchen cart can do double-duty if a permanent kitchen island isn't in the cards because of space or cost. A kitchen cart can serve as a portable island or prep space, which can be set aside when not in use and store books, linens, pots, bowls, or other kitchen accessories.

10. Pull-Out Cabinets and Pantries

Not everyone has room in their kitchen for a walk-in pantry, but you can build a pantry with pull-out drawers or in an extra space next to a cabinet. Maximize every nook and cranny; even an area as tiny as 6 inches wide can transform wasted space into practical storage.