How do I create more storage space and fix my kitchen cabinets?

by Heather

My cabinets are a mess and I don't have enough room to store everything. Plus one cabinet is missing a door because it's in the bottom corner. I feel there's a lot of space in that bottom cabinet that i'm missing out on because I can't figure it how to organize the kitchen cabinets to maximize the space. I don't have the money to have a door custom made to fit so I'd like to DIY something to make it look better and more organized. Not to mention I'm also missing a draw for one as well. I'd love to learn how to DIY my cabinets to maximize my space and to make them look more appealing as well. Thanks!

q create more storage space and fix my kitchen cabinets
q create more storage space and fix my kitchen cabinets
  7 answers
  • Nana of 3 Nana of 3 on Jan 08, 2019

    The door that is missing you can put a metal shelf divider and store your cookbooks on each shelf level. And the cookbooks will look pretty and you don’t have to put a door on there. Or you could put a tension rod and have a pretty decorative dish cloth to cover The area that is missing the door where the cookbooks are at. And the drawer that is missing get a piece of board and cut it to fit in the slide where the pull out drawer was

  • Ann Cherkas Halstead Ann Cherkas Halstead on Jan 08, 2019

    I say “purge” do you really need all the stuff? If you haven’t used it in the past year get rid of it.

  • Mary Ramsey Mary Ramsey on Jan 09, 2019

    i'm having almost all the same issues with my tiny kitchen. I'm almost ready to go to a surplus store and just buy all new stuff. it's so frustrating to only have 3 drawers, and not a single one of them works properly.

  • Pamela Pamela on Jan 09, 2019

    I would re arrange what you have in your cabinets . Keep unsightly things in cabinets with doors and use the cabinet w/o the door to store things like your dishes , stacked nearly and mixing bowls , cookbooks , or even an open pot/pan storage . Go through all your cabinets and weed stuff out , less is more !!! Too much stuff not only clutters your space , but you life , as well. It robs you of time looking for things , causes extra time for cleaning , therefore keeping you from spending more time for doing things you want to do . I have been down sizing for the last couple of years , doing and getting rid of things slowly. It has given me more freedom from stuff ! My kitchen is the hardest because I have less room then you , and I have tons of supplies, because I really like to cook and over the years I've supplied my kitchen well ! But I have stuff to my daughter and donated things , just keeping what I use the most. I took a 3 foot space on my kitchen wall and put up defensiveness to use as a wall pantry . I put my staples in glass jars , put them on my shelves giving my more cabinet storage. Use wire stacking racks to give you more vertical room on your shelves , you can find these at the dollar store. You can use a 2 tiered lazy Susan for condiments and spices . For your missing door front , glue or place a board to the bottom of the area where the drawer would rest , then place a basket in the space to keep utensils , napkins , spices , or dishtowels.Be patient , do a little each day.😊 good luck !

  • Kathy Inman Kathy Inman on Jan 09, 2019

    Hi Heather, I noticed you have 5 boxes of Rice Krispies. I purchased a large plastic cereal container that will hold up to 3 boxes of cereal. (Dollar General) It works great. This would eliminate 3 boxes and create more interior space. You could do this also for your Cheerios. If you stack your storage containers inside each other this will create more space. Save one for all of your lids. For the tall section, I would use wire racks or you could build a small "table" out of scrap plywood that would fit inside the cabinet. This would actually create another "shelf". You could build it to the height of the existing shelf to the left.

    Without a door, you could use this area to store your "pretty" dishes, etc. Treat it as if you had a glass door there. You could paint the inside, only the areas you see, with a pretty color. Or you could put pretty paper on the "wall" of the cabinet. Contact paper from Dollar General might work well. Sherwin Williams often has discontinued wallpaper books for free. You might find 2 coordinating patterns to use there.

    As for the missing drawer. Remove the drawer glides from the cabinet. Nail a strip of wood on either side of the cabinet (called a ledger). You could use a 2x4 for this. You can then insert a piece of plywood cut to size (Lowes can do this for you or a handy neighbor)) You want the top of the plywood level with the bottom of the drawer opening. If you use 3/4" thick plywood, just mount your ledgers 3/4" down from the drawer opening so the plywood would be level once it is in place. To tie this all together you could paint this plywood the same color as the inside of your cabinet. Place a flat basket i this area for storage. To make it look like it's not a "repair" job, just use that same color in some of your accessories. Place them on the opposite side of the kitchen (maybe by your stove) so there is balance to the room

    To upgrade your kitchen, you could pick up some nice handles at HomeGoods if you have one in your area. They are actually a lot less expensive than purchasing from Lowes or Home Depot. Not a whole lot of selection but they have some nice ones. I have used them when I have refinished furniture. Just make a template for drilling the holes in your drawer fronts (you can use cardboard for this) so everything lines up when you are finished. Hope this helps!

  • Rymea Rymea on Jan 09, 2019

    I would look for another space to store extra supplies like maybe a shelving unit in an attached garage right by the door or at the bottom of the basement steps. I've used both of these options.

    I wish we could see inside your upper cabinets. Hopefully you have more than one shelf in each. Usually it's possible to add more shelves just by putting items together by height. Like coffee cups, saucers & bowls together, that would probably be about a 5" high space. Tall glasses about 7", plates another 5" or 6" space. Assuming your cabinets are standard size that would give you about another 7" in so you could have four storage spaces in one cabinet. Sometimes it's possible to clear out one entire cabinet just by moving things together and adding a shelf or two. You could take down the valance and add a shelf up high across the window from cabinet to cabinet.

    It's very easy to add shelves. All you need is ready made shelving boards and the L shape supports for the sides, a drill and a saw.

    If you want to free up some counter space, it looks like your microwave would fit in the cabinet below it where the drawer is missing. You would have add a sturdy shelf for the microwave and figure out how to run electricity to it and also modify the door but it would use space that is empty now. If you did do that then I would move the dish drainer to the other side of the sink and leave the countertop next to the stove empty to make it easier to prepare meals.

  • Pat Pat on Jan 09, 2019

    Could you use a curtain to cover your bottom missing door? Have to have one across and a little one on the left angle. As for the missing it possible to cut a piece of plywood to put inside and put a basket on it? If you want something to just hide it, take a piece of heavy cardboard and cover it with the same fabric you use for the curtain on your lower shelves. As your your counter....I see some plants...since space is at a premium, can you put your plants elsewhere? Can you go to the dollar store and get a plastic tote that the little things on your counter will fit into? That will make it look neat and tidy. A tote would work in the bottom section where your cereal is also.