6 Easy IKEA Kitchen Hacks That Will Make Your Life So Much Easier

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As anyone who's trying to make their home as functional as possible while staying within a strict budget knows, shopping at IKEA can be a total game-changer. Not only is the Swedish brand notorious for creating stylish and modern furniture, decorative items, and more home essentials for affordable prices, but it also offers plenty of products that make any space much more efficient, particularly the one in which you do all your cooking. Yes, there are literally a plethora of easy IKEA kitchen hacks that can help make storing, cooking, and cleaning even easier.

During her time as IKEA's U.S. Senior PR Specialist, Janice Simonsen has learned quite a few tips and tricks of the trade when it comes creating a smarter kitchen space — and some of them don't even involve setting foot in the store. Whether it be making the most of a small space, an insider cleaning hack for stuck-on messes, or a covert way of staying organized, this expert has a ton of helpful hints up her sleeve that anyone can use to keep your kitchen as useful as it is beautiful. Ahead, find a few of her favorite insider secrets that you can start putting into practice ASAP.

Keep Like With Like

To keep your kitchen user-friendly, Simonsen proposes keeping frequently used pieces close to the places where they're most frequently utilized. She says, "Store items near where they are used for easy access, such as knives and cooking utensils close to the stove, and plates and glasses close to the dishwasher."

HYVLA Knife Block

$14.99

Ikea

Chalk It Up

For a decorative and functional use of wall space, do as Simonsen suggests and "create a chalk board for shopping lists by painting the inside of a kitchen cabinet door with blackboard paint." Better yet, IKEA offers some chalkboard decals you can stick right on the walls, no paint required.

KLÄTTA Decorative Stickers

$9.99

Ikea

Smartly Sort Your Shelves

To make the most of your shelf space, follow this sage advice courtesy of Simonsen. "Install small tension curtain rods vertically between two shelves to easily organize trays and cutting boards," she offers.

Tension Rods

$16.99

Amazon

Hook It Up

The IKEA expert has an out-of-the-box tip for keeping some of your cooking essentials out of the way, yet handy to grab when you need them. She says, "Attach a simple towel bar on the side of a kitchen cabinet or island and use 'S' hooks to hang pots and pans."

KUNGSFORS S-Hooks

$1.99

Ikea

Keep It Clean

One of Simonsen's hottest tips involves one item you've probably already got on hand: a lemon. "Heat a cup of lemon water in the microwave for five minutes," she suggests. "Baked on food will then wipe off easily." To make this trick even more foolproof, use a gentle sponge, like these ones from IKEA.

SVAMPIG Sponges

$1.49

Ikea

Think Outside The Box For Storage

Curtain rods and towel racks aren't the only alternative storage hacks Simonsen recommends for stashing your kitchen items. "A hanging shoe organizer can be attached to the inside of a pantry door for extra storage space," she advises. This can be an ideal place to store dry goods, extra utensils, small gadgets, or whatever else you need kept out of the way.

STUK Hanging Shoe Organizer

$5.99

Ikea