Kitchen Organizing Hacks for Small NYC Apartments

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Kitchen Organizing Hacks for Small NYC Apartments

The kitchen is one of the most difficult rooms to organize, especially when you’re living in a small home. For New York City residents, your cramped layout might mean that your kitchen is also in your living room or bedroom… or even the bathroom like this one crazy apartment. Appliances, counters, and cabinets are probably too small. And if you love to cook, space can fill up fast with accessories, utensils, party hosting supplies, and more. We’re based in NYC, so we understand the unique struggles and clever solutions it takes to keep your space organized. Here are a few kitchen organizing hacks we recommend to help keep your apartment tidy:

Pare Down Your Tupperware Collection

Think about how many food storage containers you really need between washes. Even if you meal prep on the regular, there’s a good chance you’re not using more than 5-10 containers. Get rid of all the miscellaneous containers without a lid and make sure your Tupperware is stackable. If you purchase a matching set for a week’s worth of storage, it makes it so much easier to stack and keep tucked away in a cabinet. 

There are also several things you can buy to help keep the Tupperware mess contained, like this handy adjustable organizer. Add these food storage organizers in cabinets or in deep drawers to corral your plastic containers.

Pots and Pans in Open Storage

Open storage can be a lifesaver for those hard-to-store pots and pans. Try a hanging rack or adding large command hooks in empty wall space. Be sure you check the weight rating before you start using these to avoid falling pans. 

And, when in doubt, you can always use your oven or broiler drawer as an extra storage space when not in use. But, don’t forget to remove these pots and pans from your oven before preheating!

Party Hosting Supplies

If you have a nice set of dishes, cloth napkins, serving utensils, rarely-used appliances, or anything else that you only use for hosting, get these items out of your apartment. Simplify Storage is a New Yorker’s best friend when you’re living in a small home. The company comes directly to your home to pick up and drop off items. There’s no need to lug heavy bins to and from a storage unit on public transportation. We drop off bins, you pack, and we’ll take care of the rest. Simplify Storage can even accommodate bulky items like furniture. 

For more information on hosting a party in your New York apartment, read our blog.

Replace your Knife Block with Magnetic Strips

Instead of taking up the counter with a knife block or using precious drawer space, the wall can create storage without a major renovation. Magnetic strips on the wall can be installed easily, even in a rental unit. With just a few command strips, you can instantly turn your empty wall into a home for these hard-to-store items.

Use Baskets Inside Cabinets

Adding baskets inside or above cabinets can keep smaller items together, like measuring cups, baking accessories, spices, or the “miscellaneous items” taking up your junk drawer. These catch-alls make it easier to pull items out of the cabinet or stack bins to use vertical space. Each item will have a designated place and if you buy stylish baskets, you can add a little personality to your kitchen storage. It’s a win-win.

It’s also important to keep your “junk drawer” tidy at all times. Those extra sauce packets can add up fast and make it difficult to stay organized. Go through your miscellaneous kitchen drawers at least once every three months.

Plastic Bags Be-Gone

Nothing is more annoying than when plastic bags from the grocery store take over your kitchen space. Although these pesky items are soon to be banned for NYC businesses, you likely have a stash hidden away under the sink or in a closet. Here are a few ways to corral them for easier storage that’s not an eyesore: 

  • Ball up your plastic bags and stuff them in a large mason jar, pitcher, Tupperware, or another container. You’d be surprised at how many will fit in a single space. When you have more than the jar allows, take your excess bags to a recycling bin. Target is just one common retailer that will accept these grocery bags for recycling. 
  • Use an old tissue box to hold your grocery bags. This ingenious hack will help you upcycle while adding organization to your life. Just stuff bags into the tissue box as you collect them. 
  • There are other kitchen organizing hacks for plastic bags, like folding into triangles, but these are time-consuming. We’d recommend avoiding these solutions and just recycle the extras instead!

Coffee Hacks

Coffee mugs are collectible and functional items that can accumulate fast. If you have space under an open shelf, try this handy hanging setup. Simply slide the organizer under a sturdy open shelf, and you’ll instantly have extra room for items with a handle. 

One simple kitchen organizing hack is ditching the coffee maker. This appliance, while important for your morning routine, can be bulky and take up valuable counter space. Try a small french press or travel mug instead. You’ll still get your caffeine fix, but these can be tucked away in a cabinet or on a shelf easier. You won’t even have to buy filters!

Stay On Top of Your Pantry

If you often forgetting what food you have at home, try tracking it online with apps like NoWaste. The ultimate kitchen organizing hack is having your fridge at your fingertips. The app helps you keep a running list of what ingredients you already own and the purchase date, avoiding duplication and reducing food waste. Update your app as you shop and when you cook so you always have the most important information. Plus, when you know what you own, it can be easier to make a dinner game-plan on the fly.


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