Kitchen organization is a challenge for most homeowners. With so many items to store and limited cabinet and countertop space, it’s easy to run out of room. However, before you give up and call a contractor to renovate, consider an often overlooked storage solution: the space at floor level. Whether it’s under the sink, stove, refrigerator or island, there are ways to optimize the lower half of your kitchen by installing functional and space-saving storage options.

Clever Ways to Use That Awkward Empty Space Under the Sink

The space under the kitchen sink is prime real estate for extra storage, yet it often ends up collecting pipes or just goes unused. Take a look under your sink and see if you can implement any of these ideas to maximize the storage potential.

  • Install pull-out shelves – By adding pull-out shelves, you can efficiently use all the vertical space. Keep cleaning supplies, sponges, scrub brushes and more organized yet easily accessible.
  • Use sliding trays or racks – Install sliding trays or racks under the sink to neatly hold spray bottles, cleaning products and extra sponges. Look for waterproof options.
  • Store trash cans – Keep trash and recycling bins tucked away under the sink but within arm’s reach of the preparation area. Use step levers for easy opening.
  • Build a cabinet – For more enclosed storage, have a cabinet built into the space under the sink. Keep items out of sight but easily accessible.
  • Add baskets – Lift the sink up on risers and slide plastic baskets underneath to hold dish towels, cloths, scrub pads and other daily use items.
  • Take advantage of dead corner space – Squared plastic corner lazy susan racks can hold small jars, brushes and cleaners in awkward angled sink corners.

By getting creative with sliding shelves, racks, baskets and other specialized organizers, you can completely transform that empty cavity beneath the kitchen sink into valuable storage territory.

Clever Floor Level Storage Solutions for Under the Stove and Refrigerator

The toe kick area under fixed kitchen appliances is another often underutilized space that has plenty of potential for extra storage. Here are some excellent ways to put that awkward floor-level real estate to good use:

Under the Stove Storage Ideas

  • Keep pots and pans accessible – Install pull-out cabinets with adjustable shelves under the stove to store pots, pans and lids within easy reach while cooking.
  • Hide small appliances – Keep seldom-used small appliances like food processors and panini presses handy but out of sight by storing under the stove.
  • Store baking sheets – Vertical slots or racks allow you to neatly store baking sheets upright and access as needed.
  • Add a spice drawer – Use the unused space under the stove for a dedicated spice drawer to keep seasonings and extracts organized.

Under the Fridge Storage Solutions

  • Maximize drawer storage – Install full extension drawers under the fridge to hold meal prep bowls, plastic containers, foil and plastic wrap.
  • Conceal trash/recycling – Use slide-out bins under the refrigerator for hidden kitchen waste and recycling storage between trips to the curb.
  • Store cleaning tools – Utilize otherwise empty space by keeping brooms, mops and vacuum cleaners readily available but out of sight.
  • Hide bulky bakeware – Store cookie sheets, cooling racks, roasting pans, casserole dishes and other bulky items in pull-out cabinets.

With some DIY carpentry skills or help from a contractor, you can gain functional floor-level storage under both the stove and refrigerator that looks built-in and maximizes every possible inch of space.

Build Pull-Out Storage Into Your Kitchen Island Overhang

Kitchen islands can provide much needed prep and dining space, but they also usually have overhangs that create empty void areas with storage potential. Here are some excellent ways to access that hidden space:

  • Install drawers – Build drawers into the overhang for utensil storage, or for stashing kitchen towels and potholders.
  • Add baskets – Hang baskets for fruit storage or use decorative options for storing herbs and onions.
  • Build a bookshelf – Install a bookshelf into the overhang to store cookbooks within easy reach.
  • Use rolling racks – Add roll-out tiered racks on casters to stash bulk pantry items like flour and sugar.
  • Conceal small appliances – Store stand mixers, air fryers or instant pots in rollout cabinets to free up counter space.

Depending on your kitchen layout and cabinetry, you may be able to DIY these solutions or have them custom built. Either way, you can gain sneaky extra storage without reducing meal prep area.

Solutions for Maxing Out That Awkward Space Behind the Fridge

Trimming out the uneven gap behind the refrigerator with basic lumber can allow you to utilize the formerly wasted space back there. Here are some ideas:

  • Install angled shelves – Cut shelving into the odd angles for storing small appliances, cookbooks or even wine.
  • Build a vertical rack – Make use of vertical space by building a tall, narrow rack for upright storage of cutting boards, trays, pans.
  • Create narrow pull-out cabinet – Affix a narrow, shallow pull-out pantry with shelving using the sliver of space.
  • Hide cleaning tools – Store mops, brooms, buckets and vacuums out of sight but easily accessible behind the fridge.
  • Make a spice rack – Mount a slanted spice rack into the tight wedge of space behind the appliance.

While it requires some carpentry skills, reclaiming the typically unutilized area behind the refrigerator can add a surprising amount of slim yet accessible storage space.

FAQs About Maximizing Kitchen Floor Level Storage

How easy is it to add pull-out cabinets or drawers under existing counters and appliances?

With some basic carpentry skills it is relatively straightforward, however hiring a contractor to custom-fit pull outs is advisable for more complex cabinetry. Pre-fabricated options are also available.

Will adding storage under my sink compromise the plumbing?

As long as the plumbing has proper clearance, access and ventilation, adding shelves, baskets or a cabinet should not impact the pipes. Have a plumber evaluate beforehand.

What kind of clearance do I need under the stove and refrigerator to add storage?

Check the appliance manuals, as the clearance needed for ventilation varies. Typically, storage can be added as long as it doesn’t block airflow. Measure carefully before building.

Are there storage solutions for uneven angled spaces behind appliances?

Yes, with some carpentry creativity you can install angled shelves, vertical racks and other customized options made to fit into irregular areas behind fridges, stoves, etc.

How can I improve airflow if I add enclosed storage under the sink or appliances?

Venting, gaps or slots can be added to cabinets and drawers to allow proper airflow to pipes, motors, etc. Proper clearance for ventilation should always be confirmed.

How much weight can I expect pull-out shelves and cabinets to hold?

Most can hold up to 50 lbs, but for heavy pots and pans, ask your contractor or check the hardware’s weight rating before loading up pull-out storage.

Maximizing Your Kitchen’s Floor-Level Storage Potential

By getting creative with the use of slides, pull-outs, racks and other space-saving DIY options, you can transform the empty caverns and awkward spots at floor level in your kitchen into valuable storage territory. Optimize under the sink, appliances, islands and behind the fridge. Just make sure to measure carefully and leave proper clearance for ventilation and plumbing before building out any storage. With a little effort, those often overlooked spaces can become incredibly useful. No longer will you have to stare at empty voids while searching for space for rolling pins, cookie sheets, cleaning supplies and other kitchen items. You’ll gain storage and organization while maximizing every inch of your kitchen.


Kitchen storage organization is an ongoing challenge, but looking at the overlooked lower level areas of your space can reveal prime real estate for extra capacity. By installing pull-outs, racks, baskets and other specialized options in the awkward empty spaces under sinks, appliances, islands and behind the fridge, you can gain valuable hidden storage. Just be sure to measure carefully and consider clearance needs before building. With some DIY carpentry skills (or help from a contractor), you can transform seemingly useless voids into functional space for pots, pans, baking sheets, small appliances, spices, cleaning items and more – creating a kitchen that maximizes every inch intelligently. Use these hidden floor level spaces to help conquer the kitchen storage wars.