Simple Apartment Kitchen Ideas to Maximize Your Space

Modern kitchen with appliances included

If your kitchen is the heart of your home, you know how important it is to have a space that matches your needs and aesthetics. The good news? Transforming your apartment kitchen into a functional, organized, and beautiful space is easier than you think! 

In this blog post, we’ll share expert tips and tricks to help you optimize your apartment kitchen, enhancing both its functionality and aesthetic appeal.

Looking for an apartment kitchen you’re sure to love? Schedule a tour with Doud to see why our tenants love our spaces!

How to Organize Your Apartment Kitchen

Before getting started, take the time to understand how you use your kitchen and how you move about the space. Are you someone who doesn’t cook much but often uses the space for drinks? Organize the space like a cafe by prioritizing your glasses, mugs, and instruments. If you’re an avid gourmet, then paying attention to how you move from prep space to stove to fridge can be more important.

Organize your apartment kitchen to work for you, not be a staged space.

Some general rules of thumb: 

  • Prioritize High-Use Items – Place anything that you use often within easy reach. This typically means at eye level. Anything that’s on the counter should earn its place—counter space is precious! Your ice cream maker and other lesser-used items should go on higher shelves or in storage.
  • Move in a Triangle – People usually move in a triangle around their kitchen based on the prep space, stove, and sink. Keep your path of travel clear of clutter to improve efficiency. All Doud apartments include a kitchen island with storage. This creates a natural triangle for prep work.
  • Organize by Function – Group key items near their designated functional space. For example, your prep space might have mixing bowls, measuring instruments, and spatulas within reach. The cabinet near your stove might include spices to flavor during cooking. Your drinkware might be near your fridge for quick access. Designating storage for items also helps you keep tidy!

Start organizing your apartment kitchen with these basic principles in mind. Then, cook in the space to see how it feels! Does it feel like your dishware cabinet is too far from the sink or dishwasher? Move them! Your organization should match your kitchen flow.

10 Effective Apartment Kitchen Storage & Organization Ideas

Efficient kitchen storage solutions are crucial for maximizing your apartment kitchen space. Make the most of your limited space by utilizing current storage effectively and investing in organizational compartments. Our team has compiled a list of kitchen storage hacks to live by, from optimizing cabinet real estate to space-saving stacking tricks.

1. Pot and Pan Organizers

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Rather than stacking your pots and pans, take advantage of vertical space by investing in adjustable pot and pan organizers. Sturdy pot and pan organizers fit easily within cabinets, allowing you to store pans sideways like a filing cabinet and grab what you need without disturbing other pans.

Additionally, storing pans sideways with handles at an upward angle gives you more room to store other items in the cabinet. Don’t stop with pots and pans—we love using these organizers to store bakeware, casserole dishes, pie plates, and more!

2. Plate Stacker

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Stacking plates saves more space than shingling them horizontally, like on a drying rack. But what if you have different types of plates? Plate stackers allow you to organize groups of plates vertically while giving you access to each type.

3. Stackable Cabinet Organizers

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Most cabinet shelves are adjustable, but sometimes you want to store items of varying sizes within a cabinet. Stackable cabinet organizers let you create mini shelves within larger cabinets to leverage your vertical space. (Are you seeing a theme?) Place smaller items below and on top of the shelves. Then, store large items next to them. 

You can also place stackable cabinet organizers on your counter to create new shelves. This is ideal for salt and pepper shakers and other often-used items.

4. Spice Racks

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Whether you prefer storing your spices in a cabinet, drawer, or shelf, a spice organizer is a must-have for any apartment kitchen. They allow you to neatly arrange your spices, herbs, and seasoning blends, making them easily accessible while cooking.

You could go the whole nine yards with labeled spice jar containers for aesthetics, but we suggest prioritizing function first. Look for spice organizers that displace your spice jars and their labels at a glance and allow you to grab individual bottles. 

  • In-Cabinet Spice Racks – These adjustable spice racks come in a tiered staircase. Place them in the cabinet closest to your stove or even on the counter next to it.
  • Spice Drawers – Lay your spices flat for a bird’s eye view. This works great in a drawer for your prep station. However, it doesn’t save much space.
  • Rotating Spice Caddies – These can go in a cabinet or on your countertop to save space. This is best for cooks with only a few spices or a select group of frequently used spices.
  • Magnetic Spice Rack – These thin metal strips allow you to hang your spices along a wall, cabinet edge, or refrigerator. They are aesthetic but require metallic tins for upkeep.

5. Magnetic Knife Holder

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Storing knives in a knife block or drawer can dull the blades if not careful, and they take up a lot of valuable space. A magnetic knife holder allows you to hang your knives on your wall, keeping the blades safe and freeing up your apartment kitchen counter! As a bonus, you can store any lightweight magnetic items on the bar, including scissors, measuring spoons, and bench scrapers.

We recommend placing your magnetic knife holder on a wall beneath a cabinet near your cutting boards. Avoid placing the bar too close to an electrical outlet. Some renter-friendly magnetic knife holders allow you to hang the bar with removable adhesive or command strips.

6. Renter-Friendly Floating Shelves

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Small floating shelves are great for displaying decor items while keeping quick items within reach. Larger floating shelves are great for showcasing dishes and items, though they can be a nuisance to clean and aren’t always renter-friendly.

Renter-friendly floating shelves come in three styles: 

  • Behind-The-Door Wire Shelves – These shelves have hooks that allow you to hang them on cabinet doors to save space. We typically place them under the sink to hold sponges and dish clothes, but you can also put them in cabinets to hold spices.
  • Free-Floating Adhesive Shelves – If you have a small group of often-used spices or items, small adhesive shelves allow you to place them on any smooth surface! Place one next to your stove to hold lightweight utensils, mini-spatulas, and spices.
  • Magnetic Floating Shelves – As the name implies, these shelves work best when placed on a metallic surface. The most creative use we’ve seen: installing a magnetic shelf on your refrigerator to hold ice cream spoons for late-night snacks. The world is your oyster!

7. Drawer Dividers 

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Drawer dividers ensure that each utensil, kitchen item, or ingredient has a designated space to help you stay organized. Clear plastic drawer dividers and adjustable bamboo dividers are some of the more common stylish options.

But you don’t have to shell out more for dividers. Small rectangular dishes, takeout containers, and even cut cardboard boxes can help your apartment kitchen stay organized. Use what you have! Just be sure to add cabinet liners or arrange the dividers snugly so that your items don’t shift too much.

8. Clear Bins Under the Sink 

Using clear plastic bins to store cleaning supplies under the sink ensures that any cleaning spills stay contained. We like to pair clear bins with pull-out cabinet organizers, allowing you to easily reach items at the back of the cabinet. Complete the look with behind-the-door shelves to store dish-washing gloves, washcloths, clean sponges, and any other small item!

9. Under-Shelf Mug Hooks

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Under-shelf mug hooks or wine racks can add a classy café vibe to your apartment kitchen while also freeing up your cabinet space. If you have tall cabinets, you can install them on a middle shelf to protect your drinkware from dust!

10. Apartment Kitchen Bar Carts

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If you need even more space, investing in a versatile bar cart can help you store larger items, loose utensils, and even a microwave. We recommend limiting items on your bar cart to medium to high-use equipment to avoid unnecessarily cluttering your space. Anything that isn’t high use should be stored in an upper cabinet.

Finding the Right Apartment Kitchen

By maximizing your apartment kitchen storage with kitchen organizers, you can make the most of your space. Organize your kitchen by function and flow to match how you actually move through the space. Then, invest in functional (but stylish!) items that improve your quality of life.
Of course, the best organization tip is to start with the right apartment kitchen! Doud Apartment Homes boasts modern kitchen appliances with an easy-to-navigate space. View our floor plans or contact us at 585-647-9286 if you’re interested in leasing!

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