12 Ways to Organize a Kitchen Without Cabinets

Alison Kasch
Written by Alison Kasch
Updated August 3, 2022
A white tiled kitchen
Photo: photoguns / Adobe Stock

Cabinets or no cabinets—you’ve got a few kitchen storage tricks up your sleeve

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A kitchen without cabinets can feel a lot like a horse without a saddle: You can work with it, but it’s going to be a challenge. Luckily, you’ve got all the creative kitchen storage solutions and scrappy know-how you need to wrangle that cabinet-less kitchen and make it your own. Here are 12 ways to organize your kitchen without installing cabinets.

1. Get an Overhead Hanging Pot Rack

Who says storage stops at your walls? An overhead hanging pot rack will keep all your shiny pots and pans out of the way but within reach. When you pair this with your magnetic knife strip, you’ll feel like you’re stepping into a snazzy professional kitchen every time you cook.

2. Pick Out a Rolling Kitchen Cart

Kitchen carts not only add extra counter space, but larger models also offer cabinets and drawers for extra storage. Choose one with wheels, and you’ve got the perfect space-saving solution.

3. Use a Pegboard to Hang Tools

A brick kitchen with begboards
Photo: Pixel-Shot / Adobe Stock

Spoons, spatulas, and other kitchen tools take up valuable counter space, so why not take advantage of your wall storage? A pegboard is a simple, no-nonsense way to keep all your essentials within reach while controlling countertop clutter. Best of all, you can take inspiration from Julia Child’s kitchen layout and add or remove pegs to fit your growing collection.

4. Install Floating Shelves

Floating shelves add a modern, luxurious touch to your kitchen while offering extra storage to boot. They’re also a great way to display those gorgeous dishes you splurged on when you moved in. It’s even better than keeping them hidden in cabinets.

5. Hang a Curtain Rod

Do you have a kitchen without wall cabinets but still want to store items out of sight? Create a makeshift cabinet by hanging a small curtain rod and hide your slow cooker and stock pots with a curtain. Coordinate styles and colors with your kitchen decor for extra decorative flair.

6. Repurpose a Bookcase to Display Dinnerware

If DIY floating shelves aren’t for you, a repurposed bookcase is a great way to store and display your dishes. Accessorize with knickknacks and other decorative touches to create a gorgeous yet practical focal point in your kitchen.

7. Measure for Drawer Organizers

Take full advantage of your drawer space in a kitchen with no cabinets. Start by sorting all your tools and other miscellaneous items, like can openers and vegetable peelers, to get a rough idea of how many drawer organizers or bins you’ll need. Then, measure your drawers and do a quick online search to find the right sizes. The options are endless, so you’re sure to find a perfect, oh-so-satisfying fit.

8. Utilize Baskets to Store Food

Two baskets storing potatoes and onions
Photo: New Africa / Adobe Stock

In a kitchen without upper cabinets, finding a place to store your cans, cereals, pasta, and other food items can be tricky. Baskets can help store and contain your food, so it’s easy to find and get out of the way when needed. You can keep baskets on top of your fridge, on the counters, or anywhere you have surface space to spare.

9. Make Room for a Hutch or Dresser

Large furniture comes in the clutch when you don’t have needed built-ins. Hutches and dressers offer tons of hidden storage—in the form of decorative drawers and shelves—and display space to spotlight your favorite dishes or glassware collection.

10. Add a Baker’s Rack

If you’re seeking solutions for a small kitchen that lacks floor space and cabinet space, a baker’s rack is your best friend. These tall, long, and narrow shelving units take up minimal floor space while offering tons of surface area for decorative items and essentials. Organize spatulas, whisks, and wooden spoons in bins or vase-shaped holders, store countertop appliances—like coffee pots and food processors—and customize the unit to fit your storage needs.

11. Hang Knives on a Magnetic Strip

Sharp knives call for their own space, and while drawers and blocks work perfectly fine, they still take up extra room. When faced with this conundrum, look to your wall space for extra storage. A magnetic strip is a sleek yet convenient way to store your knives safely until you need them. It also looks ultra-fancy, so you can’t go wrong (unless you have plastic or non-magnetic knives, of course).

12. Consider Bringing in a Pro

If finding storage solutions has you stumped, a pro can help design the perfect setup for your space. Professional organizers typically charge between $200 and $750 or $55 to $100 per hour. While it’s an extra investment, it’s also a one-and-done way to create a lasting system for your kitchen. Get in touch with a local professional organizer to learn more about what they offer.

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