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6 ways to get more kitchen space

Make a tiny kitchen feel larger with these quick tips.

Alina Bradford CNET Contributor
Alina Bradford has been writing how-tos, tech articles and more for almost two decades. She currently writes for CNET's Smart Home Section, MTVNews' tech section and for Live Science's reference section. Follow her on Twitter.
Alina Bradford
3 min read
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No matter how small your kitchen is, you can always find clever ways to make more room. 

From expanding your counter space, to using overlooked storage opportunities, you can expand the usefulness of your kitchen without a renovation. Here are six easy ideas.

Watch this: 6 ways Google Home helps you cook

Make more counter space

If you need an extra flat surface while preparing meals, look no further than your kitchen drawers. Open the top drawer and lay a cutting board across it for an extra surface in a pinch.

Assuming you aren't actively using your stove, you can also rest a cutting board on top of the burners (making sure they are off and not warm or hot) to gain some extra prep space.

Create an instant island

If you have room, try a permanent solution by adding a small island in the center of your kitchen can give you more counter space and storage space. I made a little island in my kitchen by placing a second-hand dresser that was around waist-high in the middle of my kitchen. I painted it to match my cabinets so it would blend in.

Then, I finished it by adding a wooden cutting board on top to make the surface more durable. Some home improvement stores will cut a piece of butcher block countertop to custom-fit the top of your island.


Under cabinet storage rack.


If you can't find a dresser that is the perfect height to use as an island, there are a couple of options. Consider cutting off or removing the legs to make it shorter or add rolling casters to to the bottom make the dresser taller.

You can also fashion your own kitchen island out of IKEA furniture -- check out these IKEA kitchen island hacks for inspiration.

Use the space under your cabinets

You can add more storage space to your kitchen by utilizing the dead space under your cabinets. 

Adding a hanging wine glasses rack, silverware or knife drawer, mug hooks or a storage rack under your cabinets is an inexpensive and easy way to make more room for your kitchen essentials.

You can find hanging organizers that can be installed without screws (like the one in the photo) -- a great option for rental homes or apartments. They simply hook around the bottom of the cabinet and can be moved as needed.

Use the cabinet doors, too

Cabinet doors are a good place to create storage as well. Purchase some racks that hang on the inside of cabinet doors to store pan lids, cleaning supplies and cutting boards. 

You can also use adhesive plastic hooks to hang foil and plastic wrap boxes on the inside of your cabinet doors.


Use stick-on hooks to hang foil and plastic wrap boxes.

Taylor Martin/CNET

To free up some drawer space, I created a magnetic storage area for my measuring cups on the inside of a cabinet door. If you don't have metal measuring cups, you can use cup hooks instead of magnets. Check out the gallery below to see how I did it:

Make a magnetic cabinet organizer to keep measuring cups tidy

See all photos

Use a tension rod

Adding a tension rod to the space under your sink may sound strange, but it gives you a great new space to organize cleaning supplies.

You can also place a hanging rod between two separated cabinets, such as over your sink. Then, use S-hooks to hang spatulas, mixing spoons and other utensils from the rod. Here are even more tips for adding a tension rod to your cabinet.


A tension rod can add extra storage room under the sink.

Taylor Martin/CNET

Get rid of your cookbooks

If you aren't attached to your cookbooks, give them away. You can replace them with something much more compact, and still have all of the recipes you need. Some options include a Google Home Hub, a tablet with your favorite recipes bookmarked, or an Alexa device with Allrecipes, Food Network or other recipe skills enabled.

If you go with a tablet for your cookbook replacement, you can make a stand for it from adhesive hooks to keep it away from splashes while you cook. Even better, the stand can be placed inside of a cabinet door so it's out of the way when it isn't in use. Here is a quick tutorial for the mount.


Mount a tablet inside your kitchen cabinet.

Taylor Martin/CNET