No room for kitchen bin? Oh the challenges that connect those of us who live in small spaces like a tiny home, a NYC size (shoebox) studio apartment, a DIY camper, or an RV. I feel ya! Luckily, there are a few things that we can do to deal with fitting the necessary trash bin in small kitchens. Or if the trash bin does need to be out in plain sight, we can also get creative on how to make a potential eyesore make you go ahhhh (cue the zen music).
Where Can You Put a Trash Can in a Small Kitchen?
When there’s no space for a kitchen bin we have to consider the size of the bin and what available space we can use to place it. Here are a few practical tips when there’s no space for a kitchen trash can.
- Obvi alert, put your trash bin under the sink (3 ways to consider)
- Hide it away in a multi-purpose cabinet (and gain more counter space)
- Get rolling and put your kitchen bin on wheels (easy to hide in another room)
- Use a hanging collapsible trash bin (easily stows away when you’re done)
- Get creative and decorate your trash bin (go from drab to fab)
- Go DIY to fit into that perfect space
3 Ways to Hide the Trash Bin Under the Kitchen Sink
Hiding the trash bin under the kitchen sink is the most obvious solution for small kitchens and there’s a few ways to consider how you want to go about it based on ease of implementation, cost, and convenience. You can 1) just pop a small bin under the sink, 2) use a sliding trash bin, or 3) try a swing out trash bin for an even more convenient under the sink option.
Pop a Small Bin Under the Sink
The first question most people think about is what size trash bin works best under the sink. As a general measurement, most spaces under the kitchen sink are about 30 inches tall, which means that a trash bin up to 10 gallons will likely fit.
A bin without a lid is convenient when you want to easily toss your trash. These simple 3.5 gallon bins come in over a dozen different colors. And for super tight spaces, you can also go with the 1.5 gallon options.
In saying that, open bins can smell if you cook a lot and don’t take the trash out frequently. A trash bin with a lid can help with containing smells. This Small KaryHome Hanging Trash Can with a Lid is a nice multi-purpose solution because you can stow it under the sink, hang it on the cabinet or wall, and also pull it right onto the counter top for trash or compost. And you can easily grab and go for road trips in a camper or RV.
Use a Sliding Trash Bin for Less Mess
When dealing with trash in the kitchen, I really want as little extra clean up as possible and when I have a trash bin under the sink, I’m sometimes over confident about my aim and the trash will miss the bin. With a rolling trash bin, you don’t have to deal with that because it can effortlessly roll out and make it easier for you to drop your trash in.
These rolling trash bins level up your under the sink game. The Rev-a-Shelf 35-quart (~ 9 gallons) Pull Out Waste Bin should fit most under the sink cabinets, but if you need more space you can also choose something like this 5 gallon Household Essentials Sliding Trash Can or smaller. I like the option with a lid to cover up odors, but if you take the trash out frequently, the open bins make it easier to toss your trash without having to deal with opening a lid with food prep hands that might be messy!
Try a Swing Out Trash Bin for Even More Convenience
Swing out trash bins are a lot like the sliding ones, but even more convenient. With the sliding bins, you have to open the cabinet and then slide the bin. The swing out option does both in one easy swoop since the bin is already attached to the cabinet. When you open the cabinet, you’re also pulling out the bin. That’s a score for one less step in the busy kitchen! This option might require more cleaning of the cabinet though, since trash might accidentally hit the door.
I love the these Rev-a-Shelf Pivot Out Under Sink Bins with lids that open up when you open the cabinet, which makes kitchen prep oh so convenient and useful.
Hide it Away in a Multi-Purpose Cabinet (and gain more counter space)
When you’re short on kitchen space, you could probably use more counter space too. A trash bin is essential, but it’s even better when it’s both hidden AND multi-purpose like this U-Eway Wooden Tilt Out Trash Cabinet with a removable bamboo cutting board.
That cutting board can be put to good use for food prep or as an extra space for kitchen appliances. There’s also a small cabinet to hold cutlery or other prep items.
Get Rolling and Put Your Kitchen Bin on Wheels (easy to hide in another room)
Living in small spaces means that we have to get creative and get the most function out of the things we choose for our house. So what I like about the kitchen bin on wheels is that it’s easily moveable both within the kitchen and in multiple rooms.
When you’re doing food prep, you can roll it right up to the sink or counter. When you need to take back your kitchen space, the bin can move into the living area. And for parties, it can easily roll to the living room, backyard, garage, terrace, or wherever it’s needed. Because really, who needs a separate trash bin in every single room?
This iTouchless 13-Gallon Sensor Trash Can is a fancy and more hygienic option with the touchless feature and a filter that neutralize smells.
Use a Hanging Collapsible Trash Bin (easily stows away when you’re done)
These are just perfect for tiny kitchens and much better than little grocery bags hanging on the corners of the kitchen cabinets, right? You can easily hang them wherever you need to around the kitchen and put a little trash bag inside. When you’re done, the trash bag can be put into the main bin and this tiny bin collapses so that you can easily put it away.
This 2.4 gallon Hanging Collapsible Trash Bin also has a neat feature where you can store the bags at the bottom and easily pull them out. It also happens to be even cheaper than other collapsible trash bins that I’ve researched without this plastic bag storage feature.
Get Creative and Decorate Your Trash Bin (go from drab to fab)
If you can’t hide your kitchen bin in a cabinet, there are a lot of super cute ways to decorate it so that it’s less of a garbage can and more of a statement piece! If you’re tired of all the boring plastic and stainless steel kitchen bins, here’s some inspiration to make your own with flare.
You can make a cute little DIY kitchen bin out of paint sticks! That’s right, painting the paint sticks.
I love this elegant DIY popcorn tin turned kitchen bin. You can let your imagine run wild with the popcorn tin possibilities and fit this in perfectly in small spaces too.
A bit of rope or yarn can also go a long way in softening up the space like this too.
Go DIY to Fit Into That Perfect Space
And lastly, if you’ve caught the DIY bug (or know someone who has who can show you the ropes, like these guys!), you can make your own kitchen bin to fit perfectly in any and every available space that you can find. We love what they did here to Make a Trash Can on Wheels Fit Any Space.
For even more space saving inspiration in the kitchen, check out these articles:
- 22 Incredibly Smart Kitchen Space Savers for Small Kitchens
- How to Dry Dishes Without a Drying Rack (4 Super Useful Tips)
- No Space for Fridge in Kitchen? 5 Cool Ways to Solve It