Spreading Out: 14 Ways to Get More Counter Space

Counter space. No matter how big the kitchen, you hardly ever hear anyone complaining that there's too much of it. Especially in a compact kitchen, clear counters are a precious commodity worth fighting for. Luckily, there are lots of smart storage ideas that can help you reclaim lost counter space. Here are 14 great solutions that are just begging to be a part of your kitchen expansion.

Roll Me Away

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Rolling Kitchen Island

If you're striving to save space, a rolling cart with a butcher-block top does double duty. Use the top for prep when you need it, and give dishes or other supplies a good home on the shelves underneath.

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Get Some Hang Time

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Hang Kitchen Utensils

Most kitchen utensils have a notch on the handle, perfect for perching up high. This way, you can save your limited drawer space for something else.

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Climbing the Ceiling

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Pot Rack

Similar to the elevated utensil concept, hanging your pots and pans from a ceiling-mounted rack keeps them nearby and easy to spot. Even better, the cabinet they used to occupy gets freed up, making room for items that used to live on your counter.

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Sink In

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Over Sink Cutting Board

When you're chopping, you can't be washing, so why not use your kitchen sink as a prep area? Any cutting board slightly wider than your sink will do the trick.

thekitchn.com

Slide Into Home

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Pull Out Cutting Board

If you're lucky enough to be in the design stages, why not sneak a few pull-out surfaces into the mix? It's a great way to gain extra space that appears only when you need it.


Related: Quick Tip—Budget Kitchen Remodeling

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Beyond the Block

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Magnetic Knife Strip

Let's face it, traditional knife blocks are counter hogs. A simple solution is to store knives on the wall with a magnetic holder, but make sure you dry your knives thoroughly before storing and place them carefully on the strip.

specialtytile.com

Top-Shelf Idea

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Kitchen Floating Shelves

Open shelving—whether it's set on the backsplash, mounted on a painted wall, or even free-hanging from the ceiling—can greatly increase your kitchen storage capabilities. Although you'll want to choose eye-pleasing items to house there, the net result will be an increase in space down below.

birchandbird.com

Trash It

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Garbage Bowl

Made famous by Rachael Ray, the "garbage bowl" can help keep peels and trimmings under control as you cook. Scraps go in the bowl until they're all ready for the trash or composting, and the counters stay free of debris.


Related: Bob Vila Radio—Kitchen Composting

potsandpans.com

Another Way to Look At It

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Window Shelves

Having a limited amount of kitchen real estate can inspire creative, and at times beautiful, solutions. Mounting a few shelves inside a window not only gains surface area for storage, but also captures a stunning backdrop for anything placed there.

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Island Idea

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Cookbook Shelves

Make your kitchen island work a bit harder for you by adding shelves for books, or bars for hanging towels or utensils.


Related: 12 Outstanding Kitchen Island Options

homedit.com

Hole in the Wall

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Built-In Storage

Even if your kitchen's footprint is small, you may uncover a treasure trove of storage possibilities between the studs. In many cases, reclaiming this hidden wall space requires remodeling only this one area instead of the whole kitchen.


Related: Storage Where You Least Expected It—10 Sly Spots to Stash Your Stuff

onekindesign.com

Corner Pocket

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Corner Counter Shelf

Freestanding shelves like these from Beyond the Rack give you a clever, efficient way to use that often-neglected corner space.

beyondtherack.com

Have Your Cake and Eat It Too

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Salt and Pepper Storage

Use a simple cake stand to hold high-use items like salt, pepper, and olive oil. If you need more room, you can easily transfer the stand to another spot in the kitchen.

marthastewart.com

Jar Ingenuity

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Mason Jar Storage

Ah, the all-purpose Mason jar. What a great idea: Affix the metal lids to the underside of a cabinet, and screw the jars on and off as you need them.


Related: Storage Sanity—15 Ways to Make Your Pantry Functional and Fabulous

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