The Best Spot In Your Small Kitchen For A Trash Can

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In a small kitchen, it can be difficult to determine the right place to keep everything, including the trash can. While you don't want your garbage bin to be in the way, you also don't want it to be located too far away from where you prepare food and wash dishes. According to experts, the best place to put your trash can in a cramped kitchen is inside a cabinet.

"Ideally, we design your clean-up area to have a waste pullout on one side, your sink in the middle, then your dishwasher on the other side," says residential designer Jackie Schagen, per Homes & Gardens. This will allow you to have easy access to your trash when cooking and cleaning without it taking up any floor space. 

However, because you have a tiny kitchen, you may need to use all your cabinets for dish, gadget, food, and small appliance storage. If so, you could place the bin either at the end of a counter or in a corner of the room.

Other options for trash can placement

Those focused on convenience over aesthetics could put their trash can at the end of a countertop or the kitchen island. This would make cleanup after food preparation extra simple, as the bin would be in the optimal place to discard any scraps. Further, if your countertop has a lip where benches can be pushed underneath, this could be a discreet place to hide your bin. 

If you're worried about aesthetics, however, you may want to decide upon a corner of the room. "It totally depends on the shape of your kitchen, but if you can tuck it into any corner or unused space, this stops it from being the first thing the eye lands on," says Zara Stacey, content editor at Homes & Gardens. Perhaps you have a small, empty area between your kitchen cabinets and an appliance, or maybe there's an unused corner that doesn't draw attention. These could be great opportunities to hide your trash in plain sight.

The best types of trash cans for small kitchens

If you'd like to install a pullout trash can in your cabinet, The Home Depot has a great option. Because this 35-quart bin faces vertically instead of horizontally, it can fit into narrower cabinets, which you may have in your small space. It also comes with a handle that makes it easy to slide the bin in and out. 

Unless you conceal your trash can in a cabinet, though, the most important thing to consider is if it has a tight lid, as you don't want nasty odors to linger. There are a couple of options to choose from that could work in a small kitchen with limited space, including a rectangular 45-quart version from Target that would perfectly fit at the end of a counter. If you need to fit your trash can into a tight nook, a slim 45-quart size with a small step may work best (also sold at Target).