Corner cabinets are one of the hardest spaces to keep organized, often ending up with items hidden at the back that haven't seen the light of day in years.
Implementing some good kitchen cabinet organization and smooth storage systems will support the day-to-day functioning of the heart of the home, as well as making for far more beautiful cabinets and even reducing food waste.
Lots of lower corner cabinets come with a built-in Lazy Susan, which is a great solution, but still needs baskets and bins, or packets of rice can go flying.
How to organize corner cabinets
Corner cabinets are also a feature in multiple kitchen layouts, from L-shaped to U-shaped. So whether organizing cabinets in a small kitchen or a larger space, it's worth noting these experts, space-saving techniques.
1. Avoid overfilling
The best way to maintain organized corner cabinets is to exercise some restraint with what you put in them, says Kallie Branciforte, a home blogger.
'Make sure not to overfill a corner cabinet. It can be tempting since they are so big, but an overfull corner cabinet actually makes it really hard to get things out, so resist that urge,' she says.
Accessibility is an important part of organizing cabinets anywhere in the home, so try to edit down whatever you're storing in there, from cleaning products to dried food to make things easy to reach. Unless you have recently decluttered your small kitchen, there are always things in your kitchen cabinets to get rid of.
Kallie Branciforte is an online content creator behind But First, Coffee. She shares helpful organization tips and tricks and other video and blog content to save readers time and money.
2. Make it an appliance garage
This might seem a little left-field if your corner cabinet is currently full to the brim of rice, pasta, and kids' snacks, but if you have a sizeable appliance collection, the corner cabinet shelving might just be the ideal new home for them.
If you need to rejig the contents of your cabinetry, look into pantry organizing ideas to free up space for food storage and then store your best appliances for small kitchens in the deep shelves in the corner of your kitchen.
'Usually, corner cabinets have a lot of excess space and they can be great for things like crock pots and air fryers,' agrees Kallie Branciforte. 'One of the disadvantages of corner cabinets can be that getting things in and out is sometimes more cumbersome, so storing a few larger items instead of a ton of smaller pantry items can be the best option.'
3. Stow other bulky items
Dan Mazzarini, creative director of BHDM Design echoes Kallie, noting that smaller pantry items typically get lost in the depths of corner cabinetry, so it can be a headache to reach for them day-to-day.
'Instead, store bulkier, long-term storage items, like serving platters or holiday settings,' he suggests. Dan says the key with more challenging kitchen storage spaces like this is to be clear about what you are storing in there and to keep it simple.
4. Reserve it for lightweight items
Alternatively, dedicate the space to lightweight items, suggests professional organizer Barbara Oldham of The Inspired Home By B. 'Due to the accessibility challenges, it's best to store lightweight items or those that are not frequently used in the corner cabinet. This could include plastic containers, baking molds, or seasonal dishes,' she says.
5. Install pull-out shelves
Barbara Oldham also recommends installing pull-out shelves or drawers that can be extended fully. 'This makes it easier to reach items stored at the back of the cabinet without having to dig through everything in front,' she says.
6. Keep food in stackable bins
Pro organizer Brenda Scott from Tidy My Space says that clear stackable bins, at The Container Store will maintain order if you're using this awkward cabinet to store bagged food. They allow you to see what is inside but also mean you can pull the items out, so it is another handy use of the space.
'It keeps everything vertical and nothing piled in a jumbled mess,' she says. 'Less food is wasted, less buying of duplicates because you didn't know you already had it in stock, is always a good practice. If the upper cabinet is not for food storage, then storing larger bowls, and plastic containers that stack is also a good use of this cabinet.'
Brenda is passionate about home organizing, decluttering and creating a safe home. At Tidy My Space, she helps people to keep their homes tidy when life gets busy. Brenda shares useful tips and gives practical help with sorting and editing her clients' spaces, leading them to feel less stressed and bringing the luxury of time to be spent with family, friends, or on themselves.
7. Maximize Lazy Susans
Professional organizers all recommend Lazy Susans for making the most of this tricky corner, but as we mentioned, they work much more effectively with organizers within them. Plastic pie-shaped Lazy Susan bins, at Amazon, will corral items and help you to categorize, as well as preventing jars from falling over.
8. Try space-saving organizers
Finally, find ways to work with what you have, incorporating in a few space-saving organizers to transform this awkward area into something much more useful. Cabinet dividers and tension rods, at Amazon, can be used to separate different types of item within the cabinet, explains Barbara Oldham. These will keep things organized and prevent them from shifting or toppling over, so at least there's no risk of items falling out and causing a hazard.
Then, find ways to make the most of the cabinet doors, as long as over-the-door organizers will not be obstructed by shelving. Attaching a couple of hooks or a door rack will give you somewhere to store utensils, spoons or small cutting boards. It all adds up and helps you to keep kitchen counters clear.
How can I make more space in my corner cabinet?
'I’d always consider installing pullout shelving if possible,' says Laura Price from The Home Organization. 'This isn’t necessarily a DIY job but can help create easily accessible storage from an otherwise awkward space.
'If this isn’t possible, invest in removable storage solutions such as baskets or clear boxes that you can pull out easily from the back of the cupboard. Turntables are also a great option for corner cupboards as they allow you to access any item without the need for an entire cupboard clear-out.'
Corner cabinet shelves tend to be deeper than standard-sized cabinets, so they can actually be an opportunity to store the larger, awkward items in your kitchen – just avoid overfilling.
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Millie Hurst is the Solved Section Editor at Homes & Gardens. She has six years of experience in digital journalism, having previously worked as Senior SEO Editor at News UK in London and New York. She then gained experience writing for women's magazines before joining Future PLC in January 2021. Millie has written for an array of homes brands including Livingetc and Real Homes and was formerly Senior Content Editor at Ideal Home before taking on the position of Section Editor with Homes & Gardens. She has written and edited countless features on home organization, decluttering and interior design and always hopes to inspire readers with new ways to enjoy their homes. She lives in Sheffield, South Yorkshire and loves to weave nature-inspired decor and nods to time spent in Italy into her own home.
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