Small Kitchen Ideas: Going Vertical to Gain Storage Space

$15
1 Hour
Easy

Having a tiny studio apartment with a very small kitchen made me look at all the space I had to see what I could use for storage. That space above the kitchen cabinets ended being very useful to store items I didn't need everyday, and by using closed boxes, everything stayed dust and dirt free.
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I recycled paper boxes by "prettying" them up with contact paper (you could also use fabric and mod podge).
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It's easy to have the boxes match whatever your decor is. You can buy these boxes at Staples for $1 if you don't have any on hand or shoe boxes would work well too.
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Using white plastic drawers above the fridge also gave me more space to store knickknacks. I lined the inside of the drawers, which are clear, to "hide" the stuff inside.
This video shows more things I did in my 450 ft2 NYC studio apartment to make it feel bigger and more functional.

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Engineer Your Space

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

4 questions
  • Barbara Drake
    on Jul 7, 2017

    Where can I get a person 7 feet tall to sit outside on my steps, out of my way, until I need him to get one of those boxes down for me?
    • Brayjo12
      on Jul 9, 2017

      Ha ha I found a darling little lightweight foldable stool that holds up to 250 lbs at 6 and Under store (though that 7 footer would definitely be handy too)
    • Jackie
      on Jul 19, 2017

      love your question...haha
    • Sherrie Scott
      on Jul 23, 2017

      Basketball court ;-)
    • Diane Willocks
      on Nov 30, 2017

      I have a foldable step ladder with 3 steps.I’m 73 yrs.old and that littled step ladder is so much help.
    • Gail Freshour Metcalf
      on Sep 3, 2018

      You get a step stool or a strong grabber.

  • Cecelia Winer
    on Jul 27, 2017

    I am 79yrs and find it hard to climb up. My problem is all the oil fumes from frying lands on walls, top of cupboards.. i am on a limited budget so I can't afford to hire some one. I bought a ductless fan over the stove. It does no good and our walls are not compatable to put it to the outside. any suggestions??

    • Lac28560361
      on Aug 4, 2017

      Hullo, Cecelia! I've put a runner of parchment or wax paper on the tops of my cleaned cupboards to catch all the grease and dust . That way, you only have to get someone to climb up there and clean the edges and change the papers once or twice a year. Of course, this depends on how much you fry things. You just scrunch up the paper and throw it out.
    • Diane Willocks
      on Nov 30, 2017

      You could also use painters tape or masking tape for the edges. Painters tape will come off without leaving residue.
    • Steph
      on Dec 21, 2018

      I use plastic wrap on the top of my refrigerator, as the others are mentioning, to keep the refrigerator top grease free. VERY cheap, and no one knows but me! Brand names for plastic wrap are Saran, Cling Free, or store brands. (I do not use PressNSeal as it leaves a residue.)

    • Carroll
      on Jun 29, 2019

      Cecelia do not bother with the top of your cupboards a fall is all you need and end up in the hospital then a nursing home. A artificial plant (ivy) would look nice you can get someone to put it up for you. I am 78 and I do not use my little ladder for the same reason. A lot of these suggestions are not for the elderly. The younger people today do not even think of the elderly so be very wise about your decisions.

  • Lem28805058
    on Aug 5, 2017

    I love the idea of the removable vinyl tiles in the kitchen. Where can I get them? Were they originally sticky-backed and you didn't remove the backing? Please help - love your site - my apartment is 500 sq fee with the CHEAPEST tiles and carpets.
    Thank you.
  • Joanie
    on Jan 14, 2019

    I'm Baaaaa ck..........Is your plant full and traily now???

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