Kitchen Storage Ideas for a Small Apartment

I love living in New York. But, as I mentioned before, our apartment is definitely lacking in the storage department.  So it's probably not a big shocker to say that my kitchen doesn't have a lot of options. We have a total of four upper and four lower cabinets. We also have two sets of shelves. There's this weird shelving system that's in kind of a little cubby on one of the walls. And then there are some really deep shelves that make another little cubby by the stove. We actually use that for odds and ends since the lack of closet space in our apartment.

When I first moved in a few years ago, I originally had the food on the exposed shelving system and my dishes in the cabinets. It worked pretty well and it gave me ample storage for all the things that I needed.

The only problem? It looked like total chaos. I wish I had a picture of it to show you. But I'm sure you get the idea.

But, honestly, I'm a weirdo and I like things to look nice and organized. I blame my flair for interior design (and my need for everything to be in its place). And having the food stacked all crazy like that is obviously the opposite of neat and orderly. No matter how hard I tried to organize stuff, it just didn't work. I found myself constantly reorganizing things which is obviously a time waster and it just seemed pointless to worry about the rest of it when I was stuck with the total eye sore.


So one day, when I was cleaning the kitchen, I had a brilliant idea. I wondered what it would look like if I flip flopped the dishes and the food.  Then, the food would be hidden away in the cabinets (and free to be messy and chaotic) and the dishes would be out in the open.

I've seen that concept in a lot of other kitchens and I don't know why I didn't think about it before. I think it's just normal (and logical) to think the dishes should go in the cabinets.


I tried it and liked it right away, but like any good organizer and rearranger (is that a word?), I knew I needed to let it rest for a couple of days to be sure. Well, each day that went by, I liked it more and more.

The dishes don't stick out as much. They flow better and now that area of our kitchen barely looks cluttered at all.

In a weird way, my dishes kind of work as art. They give the kitchen a little something. It's a little more bright and fun. Dishes are pretty awesome when they're out in the open where everyone can see. And now that I have some fun new dishes and serving ware that I received as gifts from my bridal showers, the space will be even better.

My only complaint is the fact that I find the dishes I don't use very often get pretty dusty if left for too long. Usually I try to switch them out or eat on the fancy china here and there so I don't have to wash dishes we haven't used just because of some dust.


Regardless, I think this is a great idea for anyone who needs some clever storage ideas.  It would work for anyone looking to add additional storage or if you're wanting to stretch your cabinet space. If your pad isn't equipped with shelving like mine, you can easily buy some at your local hardware store and hang it yourself.

Next month I'll show you how I made a "coffee bar" to store all or our mugs and coffee accessories. It's pretty awesome too.