Hang Those Pots and Pans
Pots and pans can be a pain to store since they’re oddly shaped with handles sticking out. Stacking them in a cupboard is a perfectly fine way to store them, but it’s a hassle to unstack them all when you need that cast-iron skillet on the bottom of the pile. And, if you only have a few cupboards to work with, that’s prime real estate they’re taking up.
Using some of the negative space higher up in your kitchen is the perfect solution for this common situation for those of us with small kitchens. You don’t need to drop several hundred dollars on a hanging rack – all you need is a sturdy bar and some s-hooks. Mount them to the side of a cupboard next to the sink, over a table or counter, or over the sink itself. Using hooks inside your cupboards brings some of the pots and pans off the stack and uses some of that negative space at the top of the cupboard.
Put Lazy Susan to Work
Having limited space means you’ll likely have lots of food and such crammed into your kitchen cabinets. Using a lazy Susan inside a cupboard means you’ll have an easier time accessing your food without having to unpack all the contents every time you need a can of black beans. A one-layer lazy susan is perfect for cans that can stack on top of each other, while a two-layer one is great for keeping spices and other small packages on top.
Shelves on Shelves on Shelves
Using stacking shelves inside your cupboards is yet another way to use all the space wisely, without resorting to precarious stacks of cans or boxes; if you’ve ever experienced the muffled crash after closing a cupboard door, you know what I’m talking about. Stacking shelves are a great option for keeping your food organized, and they’re great for dishes, too. Stack your coffee mugs above your plates to be easily reached while making good use of space.
Under-shelf baskets are a perfect home for canned goods, smaller packages and oddly-shaped items that aren’t easy to stack. Under-shelf baskets are also pretty enough to use on exposed shelving, and make an ideal place for nicely rolled dish towels or napkins.
Customize a Cart
I’m not the first person to wax poetic over the Ikea kitchen cart, and I doubt I’ll be the last. A kitchen cart is a great answer to a storage problem; its chief positive feature is that it’s movable, making it easy to scoot out of the way. Finding one with a small footprint makes it easy to wedge into a corner or under a counter or a table.
Fill the shelves with dishes, glassware or kitchen linens to free up precious cupboard space for other kitchen essentials, and enjoy having an extra work surface on top. If your cart doesn’t have a top work surface, lay a large cutting board over the top basket or shelf for an improvised table!
Don’t Forget the Doors
If you’ve got a laundry room or basement door nearby, put that door to work by hanging an over-the-door shoe organizer out of sight on the back side. The clear pockets are perfect for storing small packets and jars. Lower pockets make perfect snack storage places that are easily reachable for kids. You might have to take a few extra steps to retrieve that taco spice packet, but it’s worth it to free up cupboard space!
Avoid the inevitable avalanche of random aluminum foil or waxed paper boxes showering down on you whenever you open your cupboard doors by storing the boxes upright. On the inside of a cupboard door, screw or nail in a magazine rack to store tall thin boxes, and enjoy that they’ll always be just as you left them.
It’s fun to be creative with kitchen storage, and it’s also nice to remember that a smaller kitchen just means less to clean! Do you have a smaller kitchen space? How do you solve storage problems? Share in the comments!
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