help! i need small space solutions for this microscopic kitchen!

kitchen 1
kitchen 2

It’s been a couple months since we moved into our new place, and despite a hectic work schedule, it’s finally beginning to feel like home. Yes, I have a few photos to get printed and framed, but for the most part, we’re lookin’ good. Well, except for our microscopic kitchen. Our most major pain point to date, sometimes it feels like there’s no way to make this narrow space with minimal counter tops usable for all the cooking we’d like to do, and it’s a factor that’s keeping my stand mixer dream firmly planted in the future. We’ve traded our dish track and tray combo for this handy dish drying mat, which has helped to clear up counter space, but other than that the next step seems to require the installation of some strategic shelving, but the space is so narrow that I’d love to crowd-source an answer on this one. The ceilings in our apartment are very high, so there’s potential for elevated shelving, but some other complications include that the oven is flush to the wall, so any sort of table or narrow storage console along that wall would prevent the door from opening, which is a deal-breaker. Parallel to the views above is an empty wall, but the walkway is so narrow than any possible shelving would have to be far above our heads. Any helpful tips for me? Care to commiserate? — Sarah C.

From our partners

Oh, do we have the same kitchen?

Mine comes complete with the world’s most useless cabinets – pretty much all I can put in them is plates and glasses, because they are too small (in multiple directions) to fit any pots, most pantry items and any appliances. So basically, anything I need.

We store a few things (like paper towels, napkins) on top of the fridge, but our cat likes to nap up there or on top of the cabinets and tends to knock stuff off.

We ended up getting a kitchen cart. It’s made our kitchen 200% more usable. I use it to store lots of pantry items, all of our pots, the microwave and the toaster. Best of all, it has two whole drawers! (Our kitchen has one 5″ wide drawer. Excuse me while I sob into a kitchen towel.)


If it were my kitchen, I would get everything off the counter that I could. I think it will make for a more usable work surface. Some ideas- a wall mounted soap dispenser, a magnetic knife strip above the stove, a hook to hang the cutting board on. I use magnetic storage bins that attach to the side of the fridge, they work great for storing utensils.

When I lived in a studio apartment, I had a wall mounted table that was great for adding counter space when needed, but folded down when not in use.

Good luck!


I have a studio apartment with a really small kitchen too. It looks similar to yours. I did what liz suggested–got everything that I could off the counter except for a dishrack and a container for large utensils.

At least your cabinets look usable. I’m a short Asian gal and I can’t reach even the lowest shelf of two of my four cabinets! I can’t leave a stepstool out either because there is just no room.

One good thing about a tiny kitchen though–clean up takes 5 minutes. Good luck with yours!


Great suggestions posted already.
I considered this cabinet for my small kitchen:
It’s less than 6 inches depth, but could hold a lot on your blank walls without giving up much of your kitchen width.

If it’s counter space you’re after, how ’bout a kitchen cart? Like this one from IKEA:

You could store it in the back corner by that oven and just wheel it out of the way when you needed to bake. You could even store a stand mixer on it.

I also really like that GODMORGON cabinet suggestion!


Under cabinet shelves.

If you are not into building, something like this is a cute option:


Wow, I thought my kitchen was tiny! I would think a ceiling mounted pot rack would be a good idea since your ceilings are high, plus you can hang large utensils off them if they have the hook. What’s opposite the kitchen? The rack could be used as a division of space.

For the cutting board or is that a dish mat? I would lower the paper towel holder and find a way to mount a shallow wire rack under your cupboards to slide it into when it’s not in use so it gives you more counter space. A magnetic knife wall mount for sure (probably under the microwave would be the safest bet). Without knowing the dimensions, check out purposedesign’s spice racks on etsy ( You could mount them over what looks like a grate, giving you a little more wall space. Plus they’re neat looking.

Other than that, I would go explore someplace like Bed Bath & Beyond for organizational stuff. They have a bamboo over the bottom sink cabinet towel hanger that’s handy. Some tall narrow containers instead of your short round ones. Also, you could use the wall space that’s in a narrow space to put anything substantial on to hang oven mitts on short nails or 3M hooks. Oven mitts are usually colorful, so it’ll add some color, and it’ll be super handy since your oven is against the wall.


The GODMORGEN cabinet is great. If you’ve got six inches to spare, why not mount them as base cabinets (they’re 37+ inches tall) on the empty wall — no danger of hitting your head, space to store canned goods, boxed goods (facing forward, since there’s not enough depth) and glasses, the tops of the cabinets create another shelf, and you free up some space in your deeper cabinets. Over this, hang a cork/chalk/magnetic board, move your fridge photos and papers there, and use the magnetic storage bins liz mentioned on the fridge to hold whatever needs holding. Make sure you’re making the most of your cabinet space by using under shelf baskets and cabinet shelves like this and this Consider an over the sink shelf like this one to hold dishwashing soap, gloves, etc. Get a pretty basket or two to hold whatever you may need to store on top of the fridge.

Other than that, ditto to replacing the nice, but space-eating, round canisters with tall, rectangular ones — and getting them off the counter and into a cabinet (not as convenient if you use their contents often, but they take up soooo much counter space.) I leave my cutting board flat on the countertop all the time, pushed all the way to the back. This leaves me space to work when I don’t need it, I can just pull it forward when I do need it, and I only remove it when I need to roll out dough. Speaking of which — I have a bit more counter space than you do, and still ended up storing my stand mixer in a cabinet, as it takes up a huge amount of space.

Having a small kitchen isn’t fun, why dont you try and look for a smaller fridge to make some space and if possible get smaller worktops so that it’s not too cramped when more than one person is in there.

Or maybe you could use the 3D room planner on to help design the kitchen too, that might help.

Good Luck with making it more open.


I’m currently downsizing from 11 sq ft to 453 … found lots of ideas here … thanks to all. One of my tricks … mount sturdy towel racks and use them for large S hooks to hang almost anything.

JuliA Child even. oy!


i like Jen’s idea of what Julia Child did. Especially with her pot and pans. Hang them off the wall opposite the sink. That way they are almost flush to the wall and you can still walk around.

Other thoughts – definetly something under the cabinets – whether your spice rack or wine glass rack. those are easy to install. 2) maximize your drawers with organizers – especially ones that are double layered (hopefully your drawers are deep).

in my previous apartment i added a skinny table to do extra prep on as well as a short book sheft to keep all non perishible stuff at arms reach (onions, cookbooks, collanders, cake stands, etc).

Best of luck – all of the above advise is wonderful too!

Man, I was hoping I could steal some ideas for my tiny kitchen from this thread but not only is it tiny, there is no usable storage. Tile on the walls, so i can’t mount anything to them, and since it’s a galley style kitchen, the stove is directly across from the sink. The only good thing is a huge window at the end of the galley, but then there’s no wall space to add storage.


What about replacing the paper towel and spice rack with a more complete system — like the ones at IKEA with interchangeable components? You could have a drying rack and wire cups for silverware (freeing up a lower drawer) and a holder for the utensils currently taking up counter space. Move the papertowel holder to the inside of the sink cabinet door or even inside the cabinet. Knives on magnetic bar — tiny plastic covered ones at IKEA or cooler metal ones at the hardware store — check the automotive section.

I think I’d get rid of the microwave. It doesn’t look like it vents so it’s just a big accessory that isn’t that hard to live without. Put an open shelf there for attractive items (maybe need a stainless steel panel on the bottom to protect it from heat from the stove?) and then put a skinny stainless steel shelf under for nonflammable items — salt, pepper, soy sauce, etc. You could move the flour sugar containers to the new open cabinet above the stove but get some compact square ones to conserve space. Cute tins for coffee tea…Good luck!

Pot racks, wall mounted or hanging are a great way to save cabinet storage space. They also look great and add to the decor of your kitchen. There are a wide variety of colors, styles, materials and sizes to choose from. It’s amazing how different your kitchen decor will change with a pot rack. Pot racks will turn a sterile kitchen into a gourmet kitchen! Take a look at the wide variety of pot racks that are available for any kitchen size or style.

Hi! I know this was ages ago, but if you’re dealing with space issues, I would definitely get some magnetic spice holders for the fridge so you can free up some wall space. Anything else that can be magnetized or stuck to the fridge will help with space too.