When you're apartment hunting, it's almost impossible to find the perfect place: You might like one place's bedroom, but that living room can barely fit a 32-inch TV. Perhaps the most frustrating part is trying to find a pad with a decently large kitchen. A few feet of counter space and an oven is the most you can expect from the average apartment.
But fret not, dear readers: We've compiled a list of awesome space-saving ideas and techniques for your less-than-ideal kitchen. Even better: Many of these solutions are inexpensive. So what are you waiting for? Let's start organizing!
Tall Metal Shelving
In most apartment kitchens, there's a shortage of cabinet space. In order to solve this confounding conundrum, Better Homes and Gardens suggests using more vertical space. Their top tip for doing so? Metal shelving units. In addition to the added storage space, these units give off a masculine, industrial vibe that pairs well with stainless kitchen gear. Does this mean that stainless steel isn't dead?
As an added bonus, some of these products allow you to stack multiple units on top of each other, which basically future-proofs your storage needs. It's great for surprise additions to the family like "pets" and "babies."
Got your metal shelving unit? Great, now it's time to fill it up with food and supplies. While you could just haphazardly toss everything you've got directly onto the rack, it won't look good or make things easy to find.
Over at DIY Network, they suggest using small baskets to organize like items. Once dinner time rolls around, you can quickly find your instant mashed potatoes or a box of pasta, as opposed to digging through a cabinet for these delicious treats. It's like a makeshift pantry!
And if you want to get really OCD, you can purchase a label-maker and create the world's most organized storage system.
Cabinet Paper Towel Holders
Paper towels may be the bread and butter of kitchen cleanup, but why clutter up space meant for a microwave when you could easily store these under a cabinet? Counter space is a precious commodity in every kitchen—not just small ones.
The idea behind these products is that they get your paper towels out of the way, and out of sight. Many of these holders require no installation at all: They simply fit over a cabinet door. The only people who won't like this idea are those who buy fancy paper towels with decorations on them—those are meant to be seen.
Don't hide your beautiful pots and pans in a cabinet—show them off for the world to see!
Okay, so maybe your personal cookware isn't the prettiest in the world, but hanging them up for all the world to see still might be a great way to make some space.
Pot racks are one of the best ways to free up room in your kitchen cabinets. While some of these devices are intended to be hung from the ceiling, many more are easily wall-mounted. We've even seen some clever slide-out pot racks that can fit into narrow, vertical cabinet spaces unfit for other items. Put one of these near your stovetop and score points for aesthetics and ease of use. Spring cleaning is all about multitasking, right?
It's easy to forget that there's valuable storage space under your sink. While you probably don't want to store bread or anything that would prefer a drier environment, your under-the-sink space is perfect for holding cleaning supplies.
Over at the blog Sew Many Ways, they suggest using a curtain rod to hold your countless spray bottles. Say what? Yes, you can use any small curtain rod—along with sockets that screw into the cabinet—in order to hang your spray bottles. This may be the coolest storage idea I've heard all year.
Unfortunately, a tension rod is not going to get the job done alone. If you have any extra small curtain rods lying around, you'll just need to purchase some wall sockets, which you can find for a little over five bucks at Amazon.
Got any other organizational tips for small kitchens? Let us know in the comments.