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10 Kitchen Must-Haves That Are Perfect for Small Spaces

·5-min read
Kitchen utensils on work top in modern kitchen
Kitchen utensils on work top in modern kitchen

Getty Images

While we all wish we had the kitchen of our dreams—double islands with ample cabinet space—sometimes we need to make due with a small kitchen that has a fraction of that space we crave. If that's the case, you typically need to get very creative with the little space you do have.

Luckily, there are several products (many designed especially for small spaces) that can help you make the most of a compact kitchen. Whether you're lacking counter space, cabinet space, or both, these products will help you maximize your space without sacrificing style or function. For example, if you're running low on cabinet space and can't store all of your go-to dry goods, consider purchasing food storage dispensers that you can mount to a nearby wall instead, thus creating room in your crowded cabinets. On the other hand, if counter space is limited, buy a dish drying rack that can rest right above your sink so your counters aren't unusable for hours after every meal.

RELATED: How to Design a Kitchen You'll Never Regret, According to Real Simple Home Designer Delia Kenza

In need of some space-saving solutions for your small kitchen? Scroll down for our top picks!

A drying rack that rests above your sink

If you've got a small kitchen, chances are you don't have a ton of counter space. If that's the case, consider purchasing an expandable drying rack that can rest above your sink once you're done rinsing all of your dishes. This way, you don't take up any additional space and your dishes have plenty of room to dry. Look for a rack that has slits, so any excess water will fall into the sink below.

A compact coffee maker

Coffee is a must for most, but cramming a coffee maker into a tiny kitchen with limited counter space is almost impossible. Look for one that is slim and compact, so you can nestle it among your other appliances without it eating into too much of your free counter space.

A nesting set of mixing bowls

Mixing bowls are essential for any baker or home cook, but finding space for (at least) half a dozen bowls of various sizes is no easy feat if you only have a few cabinets at your disposal. Luckily, you can invest in a set of mixing bowls that nest inside one another and only take up the space of the largest bowl in the set.

A magnetic knife holder

While keeping a knife block on display may make you feel like a professional chef, there's no doubt it eats up some precious counter space. Still, since a quality knife set is a kitchen must, you need to find some way to store your knives. If you've got any free wall space in your kitchen, purchase a magnetic knife holder. While one side is mounted to the wall, the other side (with a magnet in it) easily keeps all of your knives organized and in place.

RELATED: This is the Best Way to Store Your Knives, According to a Chef

Wall-mounted food dispensers

Another wall-mounted item that's great for small kitchens? Food dispensers. Sure, you can stick some food storage containers in your pantry or kitchen cabinets, but if space is at a premium, securing them to a wall is the way to go. Fill them with dry goods you use frequently (think pasta, dried beans, and rice) to make sure they really come in handy. Pro tip: If you've got kids, fill one of the dispensers with cereal so your little ones can help themselves to breakfast.

An expandable cabinet shelf

As is the case with many kitchens (particularly when it comes to kitchen cabinets) you've got just enough vertical space, but could really use more horizontal space. If you're in that boat, pick up an expandable cabinet shelf that goes inside your kitchen cabinets and adds more surface area. This way you've got an extra row to work with and can safely stack your dishes or glasses while freeing up some much-needed cabinet real estate.

RELATED: Our Best Kitchen Organization Tricks of All Time

A set of nesting food storage containers

Mixing bowls aren't the only items that can nest! There are several sets of nesting food storage containers as well, which means you can store roughly six (or more) containers within one large container. If you find yourself with leftovers often, or prefer to prep your meals several days in advance and have a small kitchen, a set like this is crucial.

A floating wine glass rack

Wine glasses are pretty to look at, but (thanks to their wide tops) they often require more storage space than regular glasses. If you don't have room for an array of red and white glasses (not to mention tall Champagne flutes), try purchasing a rack that can adhere to the underside of your cabinets. This way, you can store the glasses upside down without using up any valuable space in your cabinets or on your bar cart. The fact that the glasses are now easily accessible is just a bonus.

RELATED: The Right Glass Can Elevate Any Wine—Here's How to Choose the Best One for Each Varietal

A tiered spice rack

Every kitchen needs at least a dozen spices, and if you cook or bake often you likely have many more than that. Even though most spice jars are pretty small, consider containing your collection with a tiered spice rack that can go in your pantry or kitchen cabinets. This way, not only will all of your spices be in one place, but they'll take up much less room than they did before.

A hanging pot and pan rack

Pots and pans are likely some of the biggest items in your kitchen, but you obviously need them to cook everything from pasta to a veggie stir-fry. If you don't have the cabinet space to store all (or any) of your pots and pans, invest in a hanging rack that can be mounted on a wall near your stove. Most racks come with numerous hooks, and some even have a built-in shelf for additional storage.

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