kitchen containers stock
Find everything you need in its rightful space, when you add these clever products to your kitchen. Image Credit: Shutterstock

With a small kitchen, we might throw up our hands and move on, every time a shiny appliance or cookware catches our eye. After all, there’s barely any counter space. Not to mention, the cabinets are one pot away from overflowing. Still, you deserve a kitchen that allows a stress-free cooking experience.

It's why we’ve drawn up a list of practical storage solutions that will help you maximise the space you already have. From pull-out drawers under the sink to rotating Lazy Susans, here’s what an expert home organiser recommends, from her own catalogue of kitchen hacks.

Tips on decluttering

The first golden rule to organising is decluttering, says Sarah Nassar, a licensed organiser and founder of Dubai-based home organising services So Neat by Sarah. “We start by decluttering, and by that, we mean making sure that the products we have are actually those we use and need.

“First, toss out any expired items – this is a given, but many don’t realise the amount of expired food we have in the kitchen. Second, consider removing all your chipped and broken crockery, if any. And, finally, anything that we don’t put to use on a regular basis, like the set of plates at the back of the cabinet, should be left out, as well. This will help us free up space and organise the things we’re actually going to use,” said Nassar, who has trimmed the homes of over 30 clients in the past two years.

Work with vertical space

When working with a small kitchen, it’s important to utilise your vertical space. “You could bring in stackable bins or add shelf risers – all of which require no drilling – so that you can have more breathing space in your kitchen cabinets. I use a lot of turntables in dead corners to reach for items in the back. You can even hang utensils on hooks at the back of the cabinet doors,” advised Nassar.

Most influencers on social media are also seen decanting their grocery haul into uniform containers. Sometimes the rice will have its own dispenser and the snacks their own labelled glass jars. But, is this necessary? Nassar says it all depends on the person and whether they can keep up with regular decanting. She said: “If it’s too much hassle for our client, we’ll separate like items in bins, still in their original packaging, such as one dedicated to breakfast supplies, lunch, dinner and so on”.

Nassar shares her favourite hacks for the kitchen below, all of which utilise as much vertical space as possible. If you’re a Citibank cardholder, you can get 10 per cent off when you enter the code CB10DEC at checkout. Shop with Prime membership to get some of these items today or tomorrow.

1. Add an under-sink organiser rack

sink kitchen
Make the most of the tall cabinet under the sink. Image Credit: Unsplash/Jon'Nathon Stebbe

Puricon 2-Tier Multi-Purpose Kitchen Under the Sink Organiser, Black

Household Essentials Glidez Under Sink Sliding Organiser

Nassar points out the ample vertical space under the sink, which offers plenty of storage for all your cleaning products. “I use a stackable rack with a pull-out drawer. It can store your sink cleaning items, sponges, dish soap and such,” she added.

Our pick is Puricon’s two-tier under-sink organiser that slides into your cabinet without the need for invasive installation, ready to be stocked and used. The baskets come with four removable hooks and a hanging cup for storing more tools and hanging kitchen towels. Buyers say the bottom drawer slides in and out smoothly, and that the overall rack is compact but surprisingly holds a whole lot of supplies. Make sure to measure your cabinet to ensure a good fit – this rack is 39cm deep. Household Essentials offers a more permanent solution, with a screw-in base, and is 45cm deep.

2. Get turntable trays for dead corners

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Never reach for a seasoning on your tiptoes, with a Lazy Susan in the cabinet. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Lazy Susan Rotating Turntable, 2 Pack

mDesign Fluted Lazy Susan Turntable, 2 Pack

YouCopia Crazy Susan Kitchen Cabinet Turntable, 6 Removable Bins

Lazy Susans can go anywhere, from the fridge to the condiments cabinet. With one of these turntables installed, you’ll never knock bottles down, and every item gets a home to return to. Nassar suggests a Lazy Susan to free up dead corners in the cabinet, where other less frequently used products can go instead. We picked sets of two, with raised edges so that no jar topples over when you spin the turntable tray. The clear design makes it easy for you to quickly locate the right oil or condiment for cooking.

3. Switch to stackable containers

airtight containers
Transfer your teas, coffees, cereals, rice, flour and other dry foods into airtight containers with stackable lids. Image Credit: Unplash/Laura Mitulla

Brabantia Stackable Glass Food Storage Containers, Set Of 3

Oxo Good Grips Pop Container Airtight Food Storage

Chef's Path Airtight Food Storage Containers with Lids, 24 Pieces

Seseno 2-Pack Stackable Plastic Tea Bag Organiser

You can pick and choose to decant certain food items, especially if the original packaging is far too bulky and takes up unnecessary space, says Nassar. Transfer your teas, coffees, cereals, rice, flour and other dry foods into airtight containers with stackable lids. This helps you utilise vertical space without the danger of knocking them out of their stack. Opt for the premium Brabantia glass container set with a small footprint or pick up individual containers by OXO with a push-button airtight seal, to customise your own pantry.

4. Tuck your paper towel under the cabinet

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If you reach out for the paper towel often when cooking, suspend the roller on a closeby surface. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Gewtur Paper Towel Holder Under Kitchen Cabinet 

YJSMO Magnetic Paper Towel Holder for Refrigerator

Vetacsion Magnetic Spice Rack Organiser

Magnetic and adhesive holders free up considerable counter space. Your paper towel can be easily accessed from the bottom of the cabinet or the side of the refrigerator – whichever is the closest to your cooking station. Nassar advises: “Make sure your kitchen orientation makes sense. I will usually see that spices, oils and other essentials are kept far from the stove, which is futile for cooking”.

If you reach out for the paper towel often when meal prepping, stick the roller to a closeby surface that’s not used often. Gewtur’s self-adhesive stainless steel holder comes in charming colours to help you match your existing kitchen hardware. For an even more space-saving solution, get a holder that integrates a spice rack in its design. This magnetic rack goes on your refrigerator, supports 13kgs in weight, and comes with two towel bars and five hooks.

5. Use shelf risers for crockery and spices

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Double up on shelf space with risers. Image Credit: Shutterstock

BTY Cabinet Shelf Organiser, 4-Pack

Seville Classics Bamboo Wood 3-Tier Spice and Seasoning Rack

Our crockery cabinets can definitely fit more bowls, plates and cups than we realise. A simple solution is to add a height-adding shelf riser, which will give you space under the belly and over the plank. Spice bottles, condiments and other seasonings could sit under the riser, while shallow plates can be placed on top. The BTY offers four risers of different heights in its pack. For seasoning bottles you reach for the most, add a multi-step spice rack next to the stove. The Seville Classics bamboo rack is expandable, too, with a pull-out side drawer for adding more oil and vinegar bottles.

6. Give your kitchen appliances a home

kitchen appliances
Your most-used appliances can get shelf risers of their own. Image Credit: Unsplash/Kenny Eliason

Homarket 3-Tier Kitchen Counter Shelf

N/P 3-Tier Foldable Storage Shelf

In-House 4-Tier Kitchen Shelving Storage

What of the bulky, space-occupying appliances that can’t be stored away? A select set of kitchen appliances will always remain on the countertop, such as your toaster, air fryer and microwave oven. Invest in a tiered shelf to make room for each unit – this could either sit on the countertop or be rolled around the kitchen on casters. “The appliances you don’t use as often should be tucked away neatly into a higher cabinet overhead. Make sure you’re shopping appliances with the colours of your kitchen in mind, for a more uniform, aesthetically pleasing look,” said Nassar.

7. Organise your pots and their lids

pan organiser
Get racks to keep your pots and pans in order, with their respective lids. Image Credit: Unsplash/Cooker King

Vdomus Pot Rack Organiser

Cuisinel Heavy Duty Pan Organiser, Extra Large, 5-Tier Rack

VZINO 2-Pack Pot Lid Organiser Rack for Cabinet Door, Black

Finally, re-evaluate the cookware cabinet. Pots and pans with their respective lids result in a cluttered mess after every wash. There are spacious racks that can hold cookware on either side, with the lids still on. If you own a lot of the heavier cast iron skillets, then look for a sturdy organiser that can take the weight, like the Cuisinel rack. You can also store the lids separately – all you have to do is hang them on the inside of the cabinet door, says Nassar. The Vzino adhesive holders stick to the surface and hold up to three glass lids each, even the heaviest ones, note reviewers.

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