12 Galley Kitchen Organization Ideas You'll Wish You Thought of Sooner

Transform your tiny kitchen into a functional and clutter-free zone with these solutions fit for small spaces.

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July 15, 2020

When it comes to galley kitchens, there's a fine line between functional and frustrating — and it's almost always a matter of organization. If arranged well, the narrow layout can live larger than its footprint and actually give you all the same features as an open-concept kitchen. (More on that in a sec.) But if arranged inefficiently, the narrow layout plus the lack of counter space and storage can make even the simplest tasks way more challenging.

In the spirit of working smarter, not harder, I've rounded up 12 ingenious solutions that'll help you get the most out of your galley kitchen. Scroll on to see specialty shelves, knife blocks and more you'll wish you knew about sooner.


Every inch of space counts in a small kitchen! Maximize your vertical room with this two-tiered rack, which can corral everything from spices to baking supplies and dinnerware sets. The design is even expandable, so you can make it longer or shorter to fit your space and repurpose it if you end up moving.

Crate & Barrel

Even the thinnest knife block can't compete with this clever, in-drawer solution. Reclaim your countertops and stow your cutlery down below with a block made specifically for the silverware drawer. The wooden knife holder has a low profile and slender silhouette, so it'll fit right against the side of the drawer, as well as seven slots for blades of all sizes.

Crate & Barrel

Who says you can't fit a coffee bar in a galley kitchen? Convert your Keurig or Nespresso into a one-stop-shop for your morning cuppa with this expandable organizer. The clean, white finish is compatible with any and every backsplash, so you can trust that it'll look good in your space, while a shelf and side hooks give you a spot for beans, filters, measuring spoons and more.

$25 - $29 (Set of 3)
West Elm

No counter space for your cookbooks? No problem. Snag a set of these barely-there floating shelves and transform a blank wall into a functional display fit for The Joy of Cooking. Each shelf is made of sturdy steel wire and can easily fit next to the sink or below your cabinets.

The Container Store

Maybe you lack a full-sized pantry or you just love the look of dried ingredients on display. Either way, you'll want to put your supplies inside clear, matching containers to keep your galley kitchen looking light and airy. I suggest snagging this OXO Good Grips 10-Piece set; the identical, stackable canisters will prevent your counters from looking cluttered.


Free up space around your kitchen sink with a drying rack that rises instead of lying flat. The top level contains both a flatware compartment and hooks for utensils, while the bottom boasts a moveable spout that collects and directs water back into the sink. It's also available in black.

$6.99 - $8.99
The Container Store

Give your dish towels a proper place to hang via this cute and convenient under-shelf basket. Two barely-noticeable metal prongs slip right over the shelf for a stable, no-drills-required installation and offer enough support for boxes of cling wrap or aluminum foil. You can also choose from three different sizes and customize your set up by hitching one basket to another.

$64 - $92

Take advantage of the space between your cabinets and countertops with a grid organizer that's good for spices, graters, measuring spoons and more. A sturdy base keeps the unit upright, while the sleek profile keeps it out of the way while you're prepping dinner.


PSA: Paper towels look better when they're not sitting on your kitchen counters. Put yours underneath your open shelves or the side of your lower cabinets with this handy metal holder. The organizer has a smart "S" shape that slips onto your spot of choice, so you don't need to worry about drilling holes.


Create a pantry out of any awkward corner or gap with the help of this sleek storage cart. Four caster wheels make it easy to roll the unit in and out as needed, while three shelves offer room for all your canned goods.

$299 $90
West Elm
70% Off!

If you love the idea of a bar cart but don't have room for the real deal, then you might just benefit from this bar shelf. An oval mirror and gold details give you all the glamour of an Art Deco cart, while two shelves and hooks make room for bottles and glasses. Cheers to that!

Crate & Barrel

A slim trash can is a must in a tiny kitchen. Skip the wide and bulky bins and those under-the-sink receptacles and invest in this slender stunner from simplehuman. It has a flat back, so it'll stand flush against the wall, and a tall body that can hold up to 45 liters of garbage. What's more, a pedal step ensures you never have to touch the lid or accidentally get your hands dirty. (Read our editor's review of the simplehuman trash can here.)

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