Tiny kitchen? A designer shares how to make the most of your space

Tiny kitchen? A designer shares how to make the most of your space

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If you're limited in square footage — whether that means you live in a big city, or just happen to have a small kitchen — you likely understand the struggle of sacrificing style for functionality. But, we recently found out you could have both.

Shop TODAY spoke with Natalie Manima, interior designer and owner of Bespoke Binny, about the benefits of keeping your small space tidy. She also has plenty of tips on how to organize a small kitchen to suit your needs.

Manima pointed out that in a home with less square footage, seeing the kitchen is typically unavoidable. "People walk past my kitchen to get to the living room, so it's really important that the kitchen is clean and tidy," she chuckled.

Manima is also a trained cognitive behavioral therapist, so she knows how much home organization can impact the way you feel, too. "You don't have to be a minimalist, but there's always a way to organize a lot of things where it doesn't feel like they are going to pop out of the cupboard," says Manima. "It gives people a certain level of calm."

In addition to keeping the space clean for visitors, research shows that decluttering your kitchen items might also help you feel less stressed.

"People think you can't have style if you don't have space," said Manima. "You just have to be more clever with how you use your [square footage]."

Manima said a great first step in organizing your kitchen is assessing how you move throughout your kitchen. "Think about how you use the space," she said. "Where do I gravitate to if I'm going to cut vegetables? If I'm more likely to cut my vegetables in one area, I'll store the chopping boards in the cupboard above that area." Instead of randomly throwing items in cupboards, try to assess where you do certain tasks and place related items in that area.

Utilizing the wall space for storage can also make a huge difference in a small kitchen, Manima harped. "Take your storage up to make as much use of the wall space as possible," she said. Things like kitchen racks, magnetic knife holders and shelving are great (and stylish) ways to accomplish this.

Adding layers to your countertop and drawers is also a great space-saving organization tactic. "There are organizers [made specifically] for deep drawers. That way, you can separate things and make it look more organized," says Manima. You can add layered shelving to your cabinets, countertops and even in your fridge.

Based on Manima's expert advice and glowing customer reviews, we've gathered the best kitchen organization products to get you started on your next organization project.

If your kitchen doesn't have a dishwasher, you can free up that much-needed counter space with an over the sink dish rack. Featuring a handy paper towel holder, this stainless steel rack organizes all of your cleaning essentials with a mug rack and dish holder.

For a more traditional dish rack, this slim holder is under eight-inches wide and expands to 19-inches long. One Shop TODAY writer loves this for her small studio apartment kitchen and says you can fold it up and store it inside the sink. Not to mention, by just sitting there, it reminds you to do the dishes! There's enough room to store up to nine plates, space for bowls, mugs and more.

When cabinets are full and space is limited, this two-and-half gallon hanging trash can is the perfect hack to free up under-the-sink space. According to the brand, the wall mount fits over most cabinet doors, or there is an option to mount it with adhesives.

To get the most out of your kitchen surfaces, magnetic racks might be a genius, multifunctional hack. These spice racks attach to any metal surface and holds up to five pounds of your favorite kitchen products, from spices to condiments.

To declutter and maximize shelf space, this two-tier shelf is designed to fit any cabinet. Manima explained, "Adding a layer can allow you to put bowls on top and plates underneath." What makes this one different from your usual storage shelf is that it expands up to 27-inches long. Plus it features adjustable panels that make it easy to fit around drain pipes.

This expandable shelf is designed to fit around your stand alone microwave. Whether you're looking to make the ultimate cooking station or need a place to stash spices and oils, the brand says this sturdy shelf can hold up to 55-pounds, so you can store your toaster, air-fryer or other small appliances.

If you always end up throwing paper towel rolls in the most inconvenient spaces, this sleek holder is the perfect solution to keep them accessible without the clutter. Coming with an adhesive sticker for application, this towel holder can be placed under a cabinet, on the wall or fridge. According to the brand it works best when applied to a smooth surface such as wood, glass, steel and ceramic.

Whether you've run out of drawer space or don't have them at all — yes, drawer-less kitchens exist — attachable pullout drawers can store all of your small items in one place. Amazon reviewers said that it's easy to install and one verified reviewer wrote, " I was shocked at the amount of weight it can hold and I've currently got it crammed full of marinade and sauce seasoning packages."

If you have a small kitchen, you probably have very limited cabinet space. To help find spots for your favorite plates and mugs, this basket hooks and slides easily into that wasted under-the-shelf space. You can choose from three different sizes and no longer worry about where to fit your dishes.

Whether you're looking to elevate your kitchen with a bar cart or simply need a place to keep your essentials, this skinny storage cart adds some much needed storage space. One Shop TODAY writer loves that it fits snuggly next to her oven and becomes an instant kitchen island for food prep. It's only six inches wide so you can easily store next to cabinets or between small spaces.

This mini storage drawer allows you to keep all of your coffee pods tucked neatly under the coffee machine. It holds up to 36 pods and has a simple design that blends well with most decor and coffee makers.

For caffeine lovers, coffee makers are a nonnegotiable kitchen must-have. Coming in under five-inches wide, this single-serve Keurig slides perfectly between your other essentials or fits snuggly in a corner. Plus it comes in seven different colors, from neutrals to a pastel pink.

This breakfast staple doesn't have to be a massive counter-space taker, this sleek toaster is about seven inches wide and is able to toast two slices of bread or bagels.

This multifunctional breakfast cart does it all. If your tight on space and can't fit a kitchen table, this cart features a drop-leaf top and two stools to serve as a dining table. Also, it comes with lockable wheels and a place to store the chairs, so you can roll it around as a portable kitchen island. If that wasn't enough, there's additional storage drawers and towel racks on both sides.

Free up some cabinet space by displaying your large knives and other metal kitchen tools on a magnetic strip. This one from Amazon has over 7,000 five-star ratings and is extremely easy to install.

If you're low on cabinet space, you're going to love this spinning spice rack with adjustable heights and enough space for 40 condiments. This product has gone viral on TikTok for good reason!

One simple product, like this rack, can turn your cabinets from drab to fab. Organize pots, pans, baking sheets and other kitchenware vertically or horizontally. You'll be thankful for how much space this frees up!

Manima mentioned taking advantage of deep drawer space, and this cutlery organizer does just that. Its slanted design allows it to take up less space in a long drawer. This organizer is also non-slip, so it won't slide around every time you go to grab a fork.

Increase the surface area of your cabinetry with this compact organizer. It's adjustable, so you can snugly fit it inside virtually any cabinet. Shoppers particularly love this shelf for organizing spices and condiments.

Manima said the best way to save space is to utilize your kitchens walls, and what better way to do that than with clever shelving? These affordable and cute wooden shelves from H&M are not only useful, but they're also aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

Take your pots and pans out of the cabinet and display them out in the open instead! This industrial-style pot rack hangs on the wall and comes with enough hooks to hang 14 items.

Big enough to hold large kitchen items but cute enough to be decor, this shelving unit helps to give a small kitchen more surface area to work with. One Wayfair review mentioned that this unit is the "perfect size."

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