How to Organize a Small Kitchen Without Cabinets

By Ryan Leavitt •  Updated: 05/02/21 •  6 min read

You are already aware that a cluttered and disorganized kitchen is a disaster in waiting.

Plus, such a kitchen can be stressful and uncomfortable to work in.

Having a neatly organized and clutter-free kitchen not only makes cooking dinner and even coffee easier but also hygienic.

But, how do you organize your small kitchen if it does not have cabinets?

When there are no cabinets or shelves in the kitchen, you will need to be creative to maximize the available space in the kitchen.

Here are a few tips on organizing your small kitchen without cabinets:

Install floating shelves

Floating shelves are a unique addition to any kitchen whether large and small.

These shelves help you in adding style, personality, and décor to your kitchen.

Floating shelves are stylish as they come in different designs, types, and even dimensions.

Always go minimalist with the designs you settle for so that you do not end up taking too much space in your small kitchen.

The best thing about these shelves is that they do not take up any floor space.

Floating shelves are flexible in their arrangement as they allow you to incorporate your ideas and preferences.

Add a bookshelf

Do you think that the use of a bookshelf is keeping books only? If yes, then you are wrong.

You can use a bookshelf in a small kitchen for storing your utensils, foodstuffs, and appliances.

Using a bookshelf in the kitchen will create additional storage space for extra kitchen items.

You can stack both mugs and matching dinnerware or even add baskets for storing grains, cereals, and other dry food.

Organize your bookshelf in a way that it is aesthetically pleasing and clutter-free to make the kitchen neat and appealing.

Use a bookshelf to store dry foods, canned foods, and any other items that you could have stored in your missing pantry.

Utilize every inch of available cabinet space in the bookshelf.

Organize your drawers

Organizing your drawers well will create more storage space for you to store your foodstuffs and kitchenware.

Avoid throwing items into the drawers anyhow.

Instead, invest in high-end drawer dividers as they will help you maximize the space in the drawers.

You can store your cutlery, dry foods, and even utensils that you use rarely in these drawers.

Consequently, this helps in eliminating cluttering and congestion on the countertop.

Keep items in the same drawer for easy retrieval during meal preparation or cooking.

Hang a pegboard

Pegboards are simply boards that come with drilled and evenly-spaced holes for hanging utensils, cutlery, and other kitchenware.

Mount this board on the wall by screwing it and then use pegboard hangers for hanging anything you want.

A pegboard comes in handy for organizing pots, cooking utensils, pans, and even kitchen knives.

The best thing about a pegboard is that you can customize this board from an old door or even a table.

Ideally, designing and hanging the board on the wall is a simple DIY task.

You also get to design how you want your pegboard to be; in terms of shape and size.

Set up a curtain rod

Another creative way on how you can create more storage space in a small kitchen without cluttering and overcrowding is by using curtain rods.

Screw curtain rod brackets firmly and securely into the wall.

You also need to invest in S-shaped hooks that will hold your utensils.

The fanciest thing about curtain rods as a storage option for small kitchens is that they are economical, practical, and perfect for any kitchen.

Use these rods for hanging mugs, pans, and cooking pots.

It is necessary to note that you can place the rods on any wall, especially for kitchens with limited kitchen options.

Use baskets for storing food on the counter

Rather than spreading your food individually on the countertop, it is advisable to use baskets when storing your food.

These baskets not only save on the minimal space in a small kitchen but also keep the kitchen clean and neatly organized.

Invest in a stylish wicker or wire basket and then use a colorful cloth to cover the interior.

Then fill the baskets with your preferred foods.

You can settle for differently sized baskets depending on the amount of food you want to place in the baskets at once.

Maximize the available wall space

The wall is your best friend when it comes to organizing a small kitchen without cabinets.

As such, the empty walls in the kitchen allow for flexible storage space without cluttering or crowding the kitchen.

Hang magnetic strips on the wall for storing kitchen knives, metal rods, and other kitchen utensils.

Also hang baskets on the walls for holding fruits, dry food, and ingredients that do not require refrigeration.

You can also install wall storage above the sink for storing food items that you use constantly during food preparation.

Use a sideboard

If your kitchen and dining room have an open concept design, then a sideboard is a great storage tool for you.

While these boards are traditionally used for storing dinnerware or table linens, you can easily repurpose these boards to accommodate other kitchenware, food items, utensils, and cutlery.

You can stack a few bins and baskets to make the sideboard more practical and ideal for storing pantry items.

Also, these baskets and bins allow you to keep the sideboard neatly organized so that you can maximize available storage space.

Install an under-sink storage

Another way that you can organize a small kitchen without cabinets is by installing under-sink storage.

This storage will help you keep your cleaning supplies neatly organized for easy retrieval when cleaning the sink and countertop.

However, you should not use this under-sink storage space for storing food items and other edible items.

This is because the storage space may be a breeding ground for bacteria and other harmful microorganisms.

Use rolling carts for additional storage

Rolling carts provide affordable mobile storage options for small kitchens without cabinets.

Since these carts are wheeled, they provide for easy mobility especially when you want to move things around the kitchen during food preparation.

Place these carts in tight corners or even against walls where nothing else can fit.

You can also store these carts in separate rooms such as the dining room and wheel them into the kitchen during food preparation.


There are limitless options and ideas that you can rely on for organizing a small kitchen without cabinets.

With a little bit of creativity, there are lots of ideas that you can incorporate into your small kitchen design to make it spacious and convenient to prepare your meals.

With the right organization, working in your small kitchen becomes a breeze.

Ryan Leavitt

Hi my name is Ryan Leavitt a Marine Corps Veteran and currently an over the road trucker (Long Haul). I am no expert chef but am enjoying preparing my own meals on the road and testing all the different knives.