Need More Storage Space in Your Kitchen? Go Vertical

  • 01 of 04

    In Progress: Cleaning Up a Messy Kitchen With Vertical Storage

    Deirdre Sullivan /

    I have a confession to make. For the last few years, I have been co-existing with a sloppy and poorly organized kitchen. This is despite the fact that living in a tidy environment is very important to me.

    What kept me from neatening thing up? The boyfriend and I have been meaning to move. We currently rent and we have been looking for a place to buy. Unfortunately, sky-high condo prices in our area are squashing our plans. Since we are not moving anytime soon, I figured it is time to show my rental kitchen some love by getting it organized.

    I share what we done so far on the following pages. FYI, all the extra square footage we gained cost less than $200.

    NOTE: Why do the objects in the above photo look bendy and warped? My kitchen is so tiny, I need to use a very wide lens on my camera to take pictures. It tends to squash images.

    Continue to 2 of 4 below.
  • 02 of 04

    How to Make the Most of Vertical Space: Get Trash Off The Floor

    Container Store (left) / Ikea (right)

    Going with vertical kitchen storage not only frees up counter space, but it can also open up floor space. My primary goal for going vertical was the latter.

    A significant problem in my kitchen was finding a home for trash and recycle bins. Since we do not have much floor space, floor standing bins were out of the question. We tried using cabinet door mounted waste cans for trash and recyclables but they ate up too much cabinet space. Also, the cabinet mounted trash receptacle was awkward to use. If you did not scrap pots or plates daintily into the bin, you risked splattering food waste on the cabinet doors.

    I decided wall mounted waste bins would free up cabinet space, without sacrificing floor space. I also figured they would be easier to keep clean.

    For some unknown reason, I could only find one set of wall mounted bins designed exclusively for trash and recyclables. They are called Drop Front Recycle Bins and they are sold at the Container Store. A set of four containers (as shown on the right) cost $200. Unfortunately, I was not comfortable with spending that much money on trash cans so I decided to purchase two sets of Trones from Ikea instead. 

    Just like the bins I spotted at the Container Store, the Trones from Ikea open easily from the front and were designed to mount on walls. They are perfect for storing lightweight household items like towels, cleaning products and office supplies. Even better a set of three cost $39.99.

    Continue to 3 of 4 below.
  • 03 of 04

    How to Make the Most of Vertical Space: Wall Mounted Bins

    Deirdre Sullivan /

    On the left side of the image, you'll see the Ikea Trones we installed. They provide our kitchen with 21-feet of extra storage space.

    The bottom three Trones are used for trash and recyclables. To keep things smelling nice and fresh, I placed a small charcoal air purifying bag in each bin.

    The top three Trones are used for storage. It is where we keep kitchen towels and cleanings supplies.

    Continue to 4 of 4 below.
  • 04 of 04

    How to Make the Most of Vertical Space: Floating Shelves

    Deirdre Sullivan /

    On the right side of the image, you'll see the floating shelves we installed. They are LACK shelves from Ikea. They provide our kitchen with 18-feet of extra storage space. We love their glossy turquoise color and you can't beat their price -- $14.99 each!

    FYI, we left the protective film on three of the shelves' edges. It will be removed when we finish working on the kitchen.

    Each shelf has been assigned a purpose. The bottom shelf will be our dog's dining table. The top shelf is where I plan to display my favorite vintage kitchen clocks (as shown in the first image in this slideshow.) I will be whittling down my clock collection in order to do this. The ones that don't make the cut I plan on selling or donating.

    The second and third shelves are reserved for kitchen appliances. We plan on adding wall brackets to these shelves since they'll need extra support. It is a bit of a bummer because I prefer the look of floating shelves. However, when we purchased the shelves, we did not realize they could only support eleven pounds each. To get around the problem, we thought we could use long wall anchors to beef up the amount of weight each one could carry. Then we discovered we couldn't use long wall anchors because the drywall in this particular spot wasn't very thick and it backs up to a concrete firewall.  C'est la vie, lesson learned!

    I will share photos of the finished project sometime next week.

    Do you have a vertical storage project you want to share on Small Spaces? Shoot me an email: