Save Space in Your Kitchen With These Brilliant Amazon Finds
Get your kitchen organized for good with these space-saving must-haves we tried and love.
When you live in an apartment, space-saving products are a must-have. In my many years of city dwelling, I have all of the tricks down pat: under-the-bed storage for winter coats when summer comes around, vertical shoe storage for the closet and all of the toiletry organizers for the bathroom. But no other place in the house has so many things that need storage than the kitchen. One thing I’ve learned is that you can downgrade, get rid of clutter and keep things as minimal as you can and you’ll still have lots of stuff lying around that can take up room — from spices, half-empty bags of pasta, cooking oils, gadgets, utensils and more, you need smart ways to organize.
When I moved this past summer, I was tasked with organizing the smallest kitchen I’ve ever had. I’m working with an incredibly small countertop and only a few drawers, which I had sacrificed (somewhat) willingly due to the subway right across the street and the bright, light-filled living room. As someone who loves to cook, however, I knew this would be a challenge: and thankfully, with the right products, it’s been pretty manageable. The secret to organization is focusing on the things you use often and where you tend to use them. For me, keeping kitchen towels close to the sink and cleaning supplies easy to grab was a must-have to keep dish drying simple and easy. So was organizing my most-used kitchen products, which were spices, my chef’s knife and my cutting boards. Finally, utility is important: things that hang, fold flat and could be hung with adhesive in my rented apartment were all incredibly important features. After a lot of trial and error (and returns), I can now say I have a list of the best space-saving kitchen finds from Amazon. These are products I all personally use and have in my apartment, and have turned my small kitchen into a usable space. Shop my picks below:
A magnetic shelf is a must-have for kitchens with small spaces because it provides easy access to your necessities without taking up precious counter space. What I like about these is that they’re fairly wide, so they don’t have to be used for just spices: I store olive oil, balsamic vinegar and honey on one, while the other is filled with two rows of spices (I’d say it fits around eight in total, depending on the size of the bottles). They’re easy to take off and clean, but the magnet is incredibly strong and won’t budge unless you’re actively trying to remove it.
Over-the-door cabinet organizers are another essential for me because the cabinets I do have are small and typically fill up quickly with pans, mixing bowls and other items. These organizers are relatively long in size and comfortably fit aluminum foil, plastic wrap, sandwich bags and other daily-use products. I use one for those, and in the other, I put a roll of garbage bags and my dustpan and dust brush. This also provides easy access to things you use frequently, so you won’t be digging around in your drawers just to find that your garbage bags have fallen behind all those bottles of cleaning products.
I like this particular model of a pots and pans rack because it's expandable. That means you can adjust it to fit your specific drawer, which is amazing if you have awkward or small drawers, and it also means you can use the exact amount of space you need. When you get rid of something, make it smaller. When you add to your collection, you can make it larger. I use this for pot lids which tend to always get stuck behind every other thing in your cabinets, but I also use it to store my cutting boards or baking sheets upright. It also makes things incredibly easy to locate.
This paper towel holder's best attribute is its space-saving abilities, but I actually think I’d keep using it if I had a sizable kitchen anyway. That’s because another problem with paper towels is that they’re always getting wet from the sink, and this keeps them up and away from water and also easy to use with one hand (which, when you’re washing dishes, is an extra bonus). It’s also easy to install, with the option to use the provided adhesive backing or mount it underneath your cabinets. It’s stainless steel and won’t rust over time, and comes in a variety of colorways like black, rose gold and silver.
I have tried so many different drying racks as someone with limited counter space and no dishwasher, and this OXO Fold-Flat option is my favorite one. The biggest reason for that is its ability to fold flat: I can store it underneath my sink, inside my sink or even resting against the kitchen backsplash. It has two layers: place it completely flat to dry a couple of glasses or pop up the aluminum and rust-proof rack to fill even more dishes. I personally place dishes on the top and cups, bowls and pans on the bottom. It also has a utensil holder that can be placed on either side of the rack and elevated ridges for quicker dry times. The one design flaw is that there’s no drain spout, so you have to wipe the rack down after every use, but I find that it doesn’t really inconvenience me or collect a lot of water (and it does have curved edges so that water won’t spill over). However, if you’d rather have a drain spout and don’t mind the lack of a utensil holder, this Joseph Joseph model is my second favorite option.
Space savers in the kitchen don’t apply to organizers or storage products only — sometimes, smartly designed kitchen tools will help make your kitchen more functional, too. Such is the case with collapsible colanders, which were taking up way too much space in my cabinet for a gadget I needed but didn’t use every single day. These collapsible strainers fold down and can be easily stored in the smallest of spaces (I actually store them in the above pots and pans rack), and come in three sizes for everything from pasta, fresh vegetables, fruit and canned beans.
Again, sometimes products take up too much space in the kitchen when you can find space-saving options that take up much less of a footprint, which is why I recommend these thin but mighty cutting boards. They have markings on them so you can use them for different proteins and not worry about cross-contamination, and the easy-grip back keeps them from slipping and sliding around on the counters.
One of my favorite space-saving tips is adhesive hooks. I bought a pack of four and put one on the side of my fridge, two across from the oven and another on one of my cabinet doors. You can hang kitchen towels, oven mitts and even small kitchen tools (I have this dish brush on one of them, which is one of my favorite tools to use when cleaning pans). It’s a smart way to keep things easy to access but off the counter, as sometimes hanging kitchen towels from my oven door would just look like unwanted clutter.
This pack of organizer bins comes in so much use. Of course, I watch TikToks that take organizing to the next level, with immaculately-labeled products in every inch of their kitchen. But honestly, I don’t have the time or patience to put boxes into other boxes unless it’s for a particularly compelling reason. These bins, however, are easy to use, convenient and keep things organized. I have two in the fridge: one for seltzer cans and the other for packets of my dog’s food topper. I also keep one on my kitchen island to store and organize dried goods, and I even use the last one underneath my bathroom sink to keep vitamins organized. They’d be great for pantries, too, as they’d organize things like cans, granola bars or snack-sized chip bags.
These shelves are one of my favorite finds for my particularly small freezer: place one in your freezer and you’ll immediately have a little more room to put things like ice cube trays on the top and more frozen foods underneath. It’s also useful for cabinets and refrigerators, helping to keep things clean and organized; you can balance small dessert plates on top and mugs underneath, for instance.
This sliding cabinet can be stacked up depending on the size of your space underneath the sink: pile two or three up if you have lots of room under there, order one if there’s not a lot of room or place two next to each other if the area is wider than it is high. I like that this has a flat top and a wire basket — the wire basket is perfect to keep sponges, brushes and small accessories, while the top easily accommodates cleaning products that you use frequently. Mine easily holds 5+ bottles, so it’s not hard to find my glass cleaner, and it’s also easy to see how many sponges or Scrub Daddys I have left.
Utilizing every space in your kitchen is essential if you live in a small space, but it’s still useful in any space. One place that always seems to go under-utilized is the space above your fridge. That’s where these wire baskets come in: they’re really high-quality, functional and perfect to put right above the fridge to keep things visible and organized. I put onions, avocados and other produce in one, and the other holds chip bags or dog treats. It’s a great use of space without getting it too cluttered and it will also save you counter space.
A thin, tiered rolling cart is perfect to stick in a small space (like next to the oven, fridge, kitchen island or garbage can) and goes a long way in keeping things organized and allowing your cabinets to be clutter-free. I love this one by Yamazaki Home — yes, there are more affordable options, but the Yamazaki Home brand is one of my personal favorites for its incredibly smart features and quality products. This has wheels, three shelves and even some hooks. Each shelf holds up to 6.6 pounds, so it’s safe for heavier bottles like oil or even wine. I put my OXO containers, hot sauce, oils, vinegars and cooking staples on there and hang small kitchen tools from the hooks. It’s also one of the more aesthetically-pleasing options, too.
These are slightly pricey, but I’ve tried cheaper models and they last longer and are of higher quality, so I’m confident in recommending these OXO pop canisters, which cut down on bulky packaging and prevent food from getting stale. I also like that they help me keep track of everything I have in the kitchen because nothing takes up space more than buying a bunch of products you think you are out of, only to find out you just have unnecessary extras. The smaller containers are perfect for tea bags, sugar, coffee or nuts. The longer, larger ones are perfect for pasta, rice, dried beans and even dog food. For baking necessities, this set is a must-have that works for all your flour and other goods.
This magnetic knife holder can be attached via the included adhesive strip (again, another renter-friendly product!) and is one of those things that I will use no matter the size of my kitchen in the future. Not only does it remove the need for a bulky knife block, but it also provides easy access for knives as I’m cooking and easily keeps them out of reach when not in use.
I have turned on so many of my friends to this compact cutlery organizer. It easily holds all of the utensils I have for six people without taking up much of a footprint in my small drawer. I even have space for larger kitchen tools next to it in one drawer, which I was never able to do with the larger organizers I’ve used in the past. It’s one of my favorite products I’ve found, and they even come with another version that works for steak knives, too.