If your kitchen cupboards are full to the brim and your home just doesn’t seem big enough to accommodate all your possessions, then you’re not alone. British homes are now the smallest in Europe according to a survey from the University of Cambridge published on the BBC, so it’s little wonder that so many of us struggle to find adequate storage space.

But even if you’ve got limited cupboard and crowded countertop space, there are still plenty of ways to make the most of the room you have. A few smart solutions will help you to maximise the space you have, meaning you’ll have a clutter-free kitchen that’s easier to keep clean and cook comfortably in. With that goal in mind, here are 4 IDEAL ways to make the most out of your kitchen.

CHOOSE THE RIGHT APPLIANCES

When choosing a new appliance, consider whether a smaller or multipurpose model will suit your lifestyle, as these can save huge amounts of space. For example, washer-dryers and fridge-freezers are a great option when you’re struggling for floorspace, while slimline dishwashers are just three-quarters of the width of a standard model.

It’s also a good idea to look into integrated rather than freestanding appliances. These are installed within your kitchen units, usually behind a matching cupboard door, helping to create a more streamlined and spacious feel to your kitchen. Consider looking in to built-in fridges, freezers, dishwashers, washing machines and more — these integrated microwaves from Belling are particularly handy if you want to maximise worktop space.

However, when it comes to cooker hoods, you’re better off opting for a visor or canopy design. Although not as stylish, these compact hoods are installed beneath a cabinet, allowing you to maintain the area’s optimum storage space.

MAXIMISE EVERY INCH OF CUPBOARD SPACE

The key to using your kitchen cupboards efficiently is to find ways make the space go further, while still keeping everything you need easily accessible. Small adhesive hooks are a great way to maximise the wall space inside your cupboards, and they’re ideal for storing smaller utensils and mugs. Adding more shelving to your kitchen cupboards will also make it easier to store crockery, pans and tins. This way, you won’t need to stack items on top of one another, meaning they’re still easy to reach when you need them.

If you live in rented accommodation and installing permanent shelving is off the cards, then a shelf insert is a great temporary fix. These cabinet shelving inserts from The Holding Company are expandable, so you can adjust them to suit cupboards of any size.

USE AWKWARD SPACES CLEVERLY

Almost every kitchen has awkward spaces. But if used cleverly, these nooks and crannies can provide valuable storage in a smaller kitchen. If you have any narrow gaps between cupboards or appliances, then these make a great place to install a slim pull-out cupboard or wine rack. Or, if your home is rented, these in-between spaces can be a great place to store long, slim items like tin foil, wrapping paper, cling film or baking parchment.

If you have a difficult to access corner cupboard or unit in your kitchen, then try find ways to make this space more accessible. Hooks mounted to the top of the cupboard will provide a way to hang pots and pans without the need to stack them in piles. Or, if your corner cupboards are particularly deep and spacious, you could consider installing folding pull-out racks, or a lazy Susan. This will make it much easier to access items when you need them – meaning no more rummaging around for an elusive pan or rolling pin at the back of the cupboard.

BUILD STORAGE VERTICALLY

Adding storage space to your walls and ceiling will help you to keep your countertops free, allowing you more room for cooking and food prep. Keeping essential items off your worktop will also help to make your kitchen look clean and tidy.

So, instead of keeping your knives in a wooden block on the worktop, try storing them on a wall-mounted magnetic strip instead. This will not only keep them out of the way, but they’ll stay sharper for longer too. You can even use the same method in place of a countertop spice rack; simply keep your herbs and spices in labelled metal tins, and store these on a magnetic strip when not in use.  

If you’re really short on cupboard space, but have a high ceiling, then a hanging overhead rack could be the solution. This will allow you to store pots, pans and utensils out of the way, and you’ll be able to see what you’re looking for at a glance. Just make sure your rack is securely bracketed to the ceiling, and that your ceiling is strong enough to support the weight when fully loaded.