Ditch Expensive Kitchen Cabinets And Use These Affordable Storage Alternatives

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Whether you have a small kitchen or a big cooking hobby that's outgrown your existing kitchen storage space, you might be tempted to rip out your kitchen cabinets and replace them with larger ones. Without sufficient storage, countertops can overflow with appliances and other cooking essentials that don't fit anywhere else. But, kitchen remodels are expensive, even if you decide to build your own cabinets to cut costs. Before you go all in on a set of new kitchen cabinets, you can try some more affordable storage alternatives that increase storage space at a fraction of the price.

No matter how cramped or cluttered your kitchen feels right now, a little creativity can help you tap into unused space like that area above your cabinets or all that open wall space. From upcycling thrift store wardrobes to adding shelving or racks, there are tons of ways you can increase storage space in your kitchen without replacing your cabinets or spending a ton of money.

Alternatives to buying new kitchen cabinets

Even if you're dead set on adding new storage, expensive kitchen cabinets aren't your only option. Two cheaper alternatives that create a surprising amount of new storage space are a pantry or wall-mounted shelves.

If you add a pantry cabinet for all of your canned goods, spices, and other food items, you can free up tons of space in your kitchen cabinets that can go to small appliances and cookware. One of the cheapest ways to do that: Upcycle a wardrobe. Either turn an IKEA wardrobe into a pantry, or find an old wardrobe at a thrift store that you like. You can paint or stain it to create a stylish accent piece for your kitchen. The cool thing about this trick is that you can install as many or as few shelves as you need.

If you already have a pantry or don't have the space to add one, another quick and easy storage solution is to install open shelving. Any open wall space in your kitchen is an opportunity to add storage space in the form of wall-mounted shelves. That spot above your kitchen window? Add a floating shelf. The narrow strip of bare wall between the fridge and the door? Cut the boards to size and create a vertical row of shelves. Open shelving like this is great for small appliances, spices, and decorative storage jars.

Maximizing storage space in your existing cabinets

If you don't have room to add new storage, you might be surprised by just how much unused space there is in your kitchen right now. One of the biggest culprits here is wasted vertical space. Maybe you've got one or two shelves in a cabinet packed to the brim with dishes and inches of empty air above them.

There are a few ways to turn that vertical space into usable storage. The easiest is to use the space above your cabinets. If they don't extend to the ceiling, there may be enough room up there to stash cooking gadgets, serving platters, and anything else that you don't use regularly. Another easy way is to simply install more shelves in your cabinets to make better use of that empty space.

You can also get creative and use a metal file organizer or file boxes to stack dishes and cookware in an upright position rather than lying flat. On your dishware cabinet, try mounting mug hooks or stemware racks to the underside of your shelves. Then, you can hang your mugs and glasses, and reserve shelf space for plates and bowls. Similarly, you might be able to mount racks to the inside of the cabinet door. Door-mounted racks are a great place for your spices, condiments, and other small items that easily clutter up your shelves and drawers. Just make sure it won't bump into shelves when you close the door.