No one wants their kitchen prep surfaces overtaken by clutter—but no one wants to live without their favorite kitchen appliances, either. Here’s how to have both.
Maximize under-sink storage.
Conquer your under-sink space with an simple, on-a-dime solution. Keep your most frequently used items (dish soap, dishwasher detergent, sponges and scrubbers) on a turntable for quick access.
Streamline the coffee station.
Make mornings easier with an all-in-one coffee station. Dedicate a pullout drawer next to your coffeemaker to holding filters, coffee beans and travel mugs, so brewing a fresh pot is a one-step task.
Have freezer smarts.
Stock your freezer with storage-smart ideas to make use of every inch of shelf space. Use plastic baskets (an affordable organization tool) to store foods by type, and put a labeled tag on each. Keep small adhesive labels and a permanent marker on hand to label individual containers.
Add a command center.
Built-in bins, a bulletin board and a clock turn one side of a fridge cabinet into a household command center. This simple DIY project creates instant organization and utilizes small spaces that are otherwise wasted.
Store stuff on the doors.
Attach racks to the inside of cabinet doors to boost storage options. Be sure to allow enough clearance within your cabinets to allow the door to close completely. A narrow rack is ideal for keeping small jars in order.
Fake a pantry.
Using substantial-size drawers is a smart alternative to a full-size pantry when kitchen space is limited. These drawers keep boxes and bags upright, organized and accessible.
Keep towels close.
Keep dish towels in a cabinet close to the cleanup zone. Use a pullout towel rack with more than one bar to air-dry and store towels.
Add open shelves.
Add open shelving for cookbooks, displays of attractive serving bowls and dishes, stemware, vases or baskets. Here, grouping and stacking pieces on the open shelves keeps items neat and easy to find.
Put walls to work.
Install a wire wall grid to keep kitchen tools handy. Turn a bare section of wall into a hook-and-hang center. For more storage, add accessories such as spice racks and cookbook holders.
Properly store spices.
Store spice bottles on their sides with labels visible; lay them in shallow drawers instead of stacking them. The best location for spice storage is below a cooktop or to the side of a range. The flavor of spices stored above a cooking surface might be adversely affected by the heat.
Neatly stow linens.
Run out of drawer space for towels and cloth napkins? Reach for a basket to neatly stack linens, and tuck the basket onto a shelf or inside a cabinet. A basket will help keep linen sets together and make them easy to find when you want to use them.
Divide your drawer space.
Adjustable inserts help organize flatware and other items inside your drawers. When designing custom drawer space, specify shallow drawers to store utensils one deep for easy viewing.
Try upright storage.
Store shallow items, such as cutting boards and platters, upright. Even narrow spaces next to your range or your sink can be used in this manner. Use dividers to separate items for easier retrieval.
Stow pots and pans.
Fill in the space under a cooktop with a tilt-out tray for spices and rollout trays for pots and pans. Or, slide in a movable cart with shelves to accommodate cooking equipment.
Combine open and closed storage for visual interest and accessibility. An arrangement of cabinets and cubbies makes use of typically wasted space around a refrigerator.
Bring the pantry closer to you.
A pullout pantry system has wire shelf sides that prevent items from falling out and allow easy viewing of the contents. Pullout pantry systems, especially those that extend into toe-kick space near the floor, must be installed perfectly level and plumb to operate smoothly.
Customize your shelves.
If you’re installing open shelving, strategize your plan to accommodate what you’ll be storing. Professional organizers recommend measuring your stacked dishes to determine the shelf height your dishware requires.
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