5 ways professional organizers maximize the storage space in your kitchen cabinets

Short on storage space? These clever tricks will ensure your kitchen cabinets are working as hard as they can...

ways to maximize the storage space in your kitchen cabinets; white kitchen with patterned blind by LH Designs
(Image credit: LH. Designs/Lauren Taylor)

If your kitchen's storage real estate is on the slightly smaller side, any tricks to optimize the space are a good idea for a clutter-free finish.

There's a host of expert-approved ways to maximize the storage space in your kitchen cabinets that will make your space more functional and easy to use, as well as satisfyingly organized (no miscellaneous piles of pots and lids falling out onto the floor here).

Whether you're trying to optimize kitchen storage in a small space or simply want to make the most efficient use of your space, our expert reveals her tricks below.

From pull-out shelves to cabinet door storage, professional organizer Michelle Urban, founder of the Organized House, shares her top tips for maximizing the storage space in your kitchen cabinets.

1. Start by decluttering

light green kitchen breakfast pantry with glass doors

(Image credit: Davonport)

If your kitchen cabinets have become a catch-all area for anything and everything, it's time for a declutter to make sure you're using the space efficiently.

There are a number of things you shouldn't keep in your kitchen cabinets, includng cleaning products and duplicate items, so get decluttering for better use of space.

'If you want to free up space, decluttering is the way to go,' confirms Michelle. 'It's amazing how eliminating excess items can make a big difference in the overall organization of your kitchen cabinets.

'Plus, having fewer things means less work when cleaning and keeping everything neat. So, remember that less is more. You'll be able to enjoy a functional kitchen without being bogged down by the things you don't need or use.'

2. Use adjustable shelves

The shelves in your kitchen cabinets can usually be moved up or down to create more or less space on either side, depending on what you're storing in there.

We're often guilty of simply leaving them in the middle, but by moving them to suit what you're storing, you're making better use of the space in the cabinet.

Michelle advises: 'Take advantage of your adjustable shelves - it's a great way to make more room for smaller items and stack taller ones. Adjusting does take a bit of time, but the results of having more cupboard space outweigh the effort. Big time!'

3. Install pull-out shelves

Ensure you can reach and use forgotten items that live at the back of your kitchen cabinets with handy pull-out shelves.

'If you're tired of struggling to reach items at the back of your cabinets, there's an easy solution,' says Michelle. 

'You can add pull-out shelves, making it a breeze to grab what you need without worrying about knocking things over. It's an easy and affordable fix that will make your life much easier.'

They'll also make it easier to reach things in high kitchen cabinets, too. 

White kitchen with glass fronted cabinets and granite countertops

(Image credit: Matthew Williams)

4. Utilize cabinet door storage

The inside of your cabinet door is prime storage real estate, so it's a good idea put it to work, whether in a standard cabinet or for your pantry doors

'Many people overlook the space inside their cabinet doors as a potential storage area,' says Michelle, 'but this space can be put to great use if you add some spice racks, hooks, or organizers to help keep your kitchen items organized and easily accessible. So, don't forget to tap into your vertical space and free up valuable counter or shelf space.'

5. Use stackable containers

'A super helpful tip for how to organize kitchen cabinets is to use stackable, airtight containers for items such as pasta, rice, grains, baking ingredients, and snacks,' suggests Michelle. 'This not only keeps your food fresh but also maximizes shelf space and makes it easier to see what you have. 

'Additionally, using matching containers can enhance the overall aesthetic of your kitchen,' Michelle adds. 'For a more sophisticated and luxurious look, consider labeling your canisters with simple black-and-white labels.'

A kitchen with grey green cabinets

(Image credit: Christopher Dibble. Studio credit Donna DuFresne Interior Design)

Ruth Doherty is a lifestyle journalist based in London. An experienced freelance digital writer and editor, she is known for covering everything from travel and interiors to fashion and beauty. She regularly contributes to Livingetc, Ideal Home and Homes & Gardens, as well as titles like Prima and Red. Outside of work, her biggest loves are endless cups of tea, almond croissants, shopping for clothes she doesn’t need, and booking holidays she does.