How to Add Shelves Under Kitchen Cabinets

Are you tired of digging through cluttered cabinets to find that one specific spice or kitchen appliance? Adding shelves under your kitchen cabinets can help you declutter and organize your items, making them more accessible for everyday use.

How to Add Shelves Under Kitchen Cabinets

Adding shelves under your kitchen cabinets is one of the simplest and most effective ways to maximize storage in your kitchen. From foods, spices, dishes, appliances, and utensils to coffee pods, canned goods, and bottles of wine – you can store a lot more than you think! Plus, it’s surprisingly easy to do.

In this blog post, we will cover all the steps necessary for how to add shelves under kitchen cabinets – from choosing materials and tools to installation tips. So, if you’re looking for extra storage options that won’t break the bank or require any significant remodeling work in your kitchen – then read on!

What Will You Need?

  • Measuring tape
  • Drill
  • Screws
  • Shelf brackets (make sure they are the right size for your cabinet)
  • Shelf boards (again, make sure they fit in your cabinets)

Once you have gathered all the necessary materials, it’s time to start your project.

10 Easy Steps on How to Add Shelves Under Kitchen Cabinets

Step 1: Measure and Plan

Before installing shelves under your kitchen cabinets, you need to measure the space. Using a measuring tape, determine the width and depth of your cabinets. This will help you choose the right size for your shelf boards and brackets.

Once you have the measurements, plan where to place the shelves. Keep in mind that you want to leave enough space for any items that may be on the lower shelf and for easy access to them.

Step 2: Mark the Placement

Use a Pencil to Make Light Marks

With your measurements and plan, it’s time to mark where you’ll install your shelves. First, choose the height for your shelf. Refer to the items you’ll store on the shelves for guidance. Use a pencil to make light marks on the underside of your cabinets where the corners of the shelves will be.

Ensure these marks are even and the space is adequate for your needs. Use a level to ensure the lines are straight. This step is crucial as it will dictate the position of your new storage space.

Step 3: Install the Brackets

After marking the placement, it’s time to install the shelf brackets. Align the brackets with the marks you made, and use a pencil to keep where the screw holes will go. Once marked, use your drill to create pilot holes. These holes will guide your screws and prevent your cabinet from splitting when you install the brackets.

Now, place your bracket back over the pilot holes and insert the screws. Use your drill again to secure the screws and hold the bracket firmly in place. Repeat this process for all the brackets. Make sure all brackets are firmly attached and lined up evenly.

Step 4: Place the Shelves

Now that your brackets are securely installed, you can place your shelf boards on them. Ensure that the boards sit evenly on the brackets and the overhang is equal on each side.

Once the boards are positioned correctly, secure them to the brackets by drilling screws through the pre-made holes on the brackets into the shelf boards. Use caution not to drill through the top surface of the shelf. Check the stability of each shelf before moving on to the next one.

Step 5: Final Check and Organize

All the Shelves Are Stable

After successfully installing all the shelves, it’s time to do a final check. Make sure all the shelves are stable, and the screws are tight. Now, you can start organizing your items on the new shelves. Consider categorizing items, such as baking materials on one shelf, spices on another, etc. Remember, the goal is to make items easily accessible and to maximize your kitchen’s functionality.

Be creative and flexible with your organization – you can constantly adjust as you use your new space. Enjoy your new kitchen storage solution!

Step 6: Ongoing Maintenance

Once you have all your items organized on the new shelves under your kitchen cabinets, it’s essential to maintain this organization. Clean and dust off your shelves regularly to ensure they remain visually appealing and hygienic.

Over time, you may need to adjust the items on your shelves due to changes in your kitchen use or purchasing new kitchenware. Always remember to keep heavy items on lower shelves for safety and ease of access. With regular maintenance, your under-cabinet shelves will continue to serve as an effective and practical storage solution in your kitchen.

Step 7: Share Your Success

After everything is set and organized, take a moment to admire your work. You’ve added more storage space to your kitchen without a costly renovation. Feel free to share your success with friends and family. You can also share pictures of your new under-cabinet shelves on social media.

Who knows? You might inspire others to undertake similar home improvement projects! Remember, the key to a successful do-it-yourself project is patience, careful planning, and a willingness to learn.

Step 8: Review and Adjust

After using your new shelves for a while, you might find that specific arrangements aren’t working as well as you thought. The spices are better off on the top shelf, or your dishes would be more convenient on the bottom. Feel free to reorganize your shelves to better suit your needs.

Reviewing and adjusting are all part of making your kitchen more efficient and user-friendly. After a few adjustments, you’ll find the setup that works best for you.

Step 9: Celebrate Your Achievement

Give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back for successfully adding more storage to your kitchen. You’ve not only created a more organized and efficient space for preparing meals but also demonstrated some impressive do-it-yourself skills. Use this accomplishment as a stepping stone for future home improvement projects.

 Enjoy Your Well Organized Kitchen

Remember, every completed task, no matter how small, contributes towards making your house a more comfortable and personalized home. Now, it’s time to enjoy your well-organized kitchen, knowing that everything you need is just under the cabinet!

Step 10: Reflect and Learn

Take a moment to reflect on adding shelves under your kitchen cabinets. What were the challenges you faced? How did you overcome them? What would you do differently next time? Use this reflection as a learning opportunity.

You’ve not only improved your kitchen’s storage capacity but also gained valuable skills and experience that you can apply to future home improvement projects. Remember that every step, every challenge, and every solution contributes to your growth as a DIY enthusiast.

By following these steps, you can easily add shelves under your kitchen cabinets and improve the functionality of your kitchen.

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

Adjustable Shelves Offer Flexibility
  1. Measure Carefully: Before purchasing materials or adding shelves, accurately measure the space under your kitchen cabinets. This will ensure a perfect fit and prevent any unnecessary adjustments.
  2. Choose the Right Material: Depending on the kitchen’s decor and the weight of the items you plan to place on the shelves, choose a material that complements the existing design and can comfortably support the weight.
  3. Consider Adjustable Shelving: Adjustable shelves offer flexibility, allowing you to customize the space according to your storage needs. This can be particularly beneficial when storing items of varying heights.
  4. Use Shelf Liners: Shelf liners can prevent smaller items from falling through the gaps and protect the shelves from scratches and spills. They are also easy to clean, making them a practical choice for kitchen use.
  5. Maintain a Balance: While adding shelves under kitchen cabinets significantly increases storage space, it’s essential to keep the area manageable. Ensure there’s enough room to retrieve and store items to maintain functionality and aesthetics easily.

With these tips and tricks, you can efficiently add shelves under your kitchen cabinets without compromising on style or functionality.

5 Things You Should Avoid

Overloading Shelves Can Lead to Damage
  1. Ignoring Weight Limits: Each shelf material has a weight limit. Overloading shelves can lead to damage or even cause them to collapse, so always be mindful of how much weight you’re adding.
  2. Overlooking Bracket Placement: Be sure to space your brackets for maximum support properly. Incorrectly spaced brackets can lead to instability and potential damage.
  3. Skipping the Level: When installing shelves, always use a level to ensure they are straight. Crooked shelves not only look unattractive but can also affect the functionality.
  4. Choosing the Wrong Size: Shelves that extend too far out can create an obstruction, while those that are too small may need more storage space. Always measure your space before you buy.
  5. Neglecting Maintenance: Once installed, shelves require regular upkeep. Regular dusting and cleaning ensure they remain appealing and hygienic. Avoid using harsh cleaning products that could damage the shelf’s finish.

By avoiding these common pitfalls, you can ensure that your kitchen shelves are not only functional and attractive but also long-lasting.

How Can You Customize Your Shelves?

  • Add decorative brackets to enhance the style of your kitchen.
  • Use lighting under the shelves for added ambiance and functionality.
  • Arrange items in a visually appealing manner, such as grouping similar items or using color coordination.

With these additional tips and tricks, you can personalize your shelves to suit your unique needs and preferences, making them not only functional but also aesthetically pleasing. Remember, the key to successful shelf customization is balance and creativity.


Overall, how to add shelves under kitchen cabinets is a great way to store items and reclaim lost space. With the right plan in place and making sure to double-check measurements for stability, you and your family can enjoy the additional storage with minimal effort. Of course, if you light up DIY projects like this one, don’t forget to take pictures of the space first!

Don’t be daunted: measuring twice, getting all the supplies before you start, and taking it step by step can help make this project more manageable – even if you’re a beginner. It’s time to get out there and start taking control of the clutter so your kitchen can become an efficient hub of productivity again!

Hopefully, with our tips and tricks, you now feel confident to tackle this project and create the perfect shelves for your kitchen. Stay organized, stay safe, and happy DIY-ing!

Photo of author

Adrian Green

Adrian is a woodworking hobbyist and has loved Woodworking since he was 10 years old. Back then in childhood, his father used to have a furniture shop. He used to help his dad and learned a lot from him about how to fix woodworking furniture, basic carpentry knowledge and also about how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others.

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