Looking For Kitchen Organization Ideas & Storage Solutions?
Of all the places you need plenty of storage space and cupboard capacity, it’s the kitchen. Small kitchen storage solutions and kitchen organization ideas have become ever more sought after as we cram more and more into the busiest room in the home.
Not everyone reading this will have a tiny kitchen either, often it’s the expanding family and all the baby bottles, bowls, bottle warmers and other bits and pieces which is our final undoing.
If you’re reading this because you’ve reached Armageddon in the kitchen cupboards, you also probably feel like putting your hands on the walls and pushing them out.
You aren’t alone, mine have occasionally got so overcrowded even the spiders have abandoned their cramped quarters for more roomy accommodation.
While I can’t offer you a kitchen extension, there are some simple and inexpensive things you can do to free up space.
It’s a combination of these plus the refreshing task of ruthlessly weeding out of all the old ‘never-worked-properly’ or broken kitchen gadgets languishing in the back of the cupboards, that has made a measurable difference to my own kitchen work space, and it can make a difference to yours too.
Hang Em’ High
One way to create more storage space is to look at the ceiling and consider a hanging pan rack, most people have ceiling space but if not or if you have a low ceiling that won’t give you the height drop, then the same principle applies to the wall racks below.
Country kitchen replica like this Black Iron Kitchen Pots and Pans Rack are readily available and they work brilliantly to free up cupboard space or get pans off shelves – they look very chic as well. There are about 400 different designs on Amazon alone, in every size and shape, and in wood too if you prefer.
Modern look kitchens need a different approach so take a look at stainless steel and clean shiny lines, brushed steel always fits in with everything and won’t show any lack of shine or dusting!
The only disadvantage to hanging pots and pans is they pick up all the greasy deposits in the air which dust then sticks to – no problem if you have a dishwasher you can toss them into every couple weeks.
It’s the same situation with open shelving, it provides excellent extra storage but everything is vulnerable to dust and kitchen grease, plus unless the hooks are fitted properly, they have an unpleasant habit of coming down with the pans, unerringly on one’s head.
Hang Em’ From The Wall
There are some great wall hanging ideas as well, giving you more control over height, most come with a shelf as well. The ones with a mesh shelf give you more places for hanging things, but beware overloading it!
I love this Rack It Up Book Shelf Pot Rack which looks as good in a sleek modern kitchen as it does in a farmhouse.
Kitchen Safety Point
I know, you wouldn’t do this – but a friend’s husband spent a bad tempered morning putting up a gorgeous hanging rail over the cooker to hold all her pots and pans.As it had been sitting in a box for months, you can imagine she was thrilled at finally getting the darned thing up.
But no-one had thought about heat, so when mid-way through cooking a meal, she reached up for a pan, the result was not funny at all.
Mai didn’t go to the emergency room but did spend ten minutes in iced water (swearing over and over under her breath – they have pre teens) and did need to plaster it with Aloe Vera gel for a week (she keeps a plant for just such emergencies). Enough said.
Clutter On The Kitchen Counter
Kitchen canisters sets can clear a counter of cereal boxes and packets in a flash. Many like these airtight Oxo Good Grips Storage Canisters come as sets or to buy separately and they stack beautifully either on open shelves, or in cupboards.
Mine get used for everything from peanuts to pulses and there’s a large one for my bread flour – though I don’t think it matches the set.
Kitchen canisters make great wedding or seasonal gifts – we’ve given them to the kids to take to college kitchens and ceramic decorative ones to friends – especially those with small kitchens!
There’s a whole post on Kitchen Storage Canisters here, if you think they’ll help clear the clutter, go have a read – they did wonders for clearing my food cupboard of stacks of little plastic bags with the remains of sultanas or raisins in and made it much easier to keep stock control!
One girly hint, don’t get ones that are so stiff they break every nail and bruise your fingers every time they get used – you’ll go back to plastic bags stored everywhere in no time.
A Kitchen Island Of Peace And Calm – Well, Almost…
Should you have a bit of space to play with and a lot more money to invest, a Kitchen Island from Home Styles (this is the Americana) will provide a smallish kitchen area with as much storage space as you’ve already got all over again.
Any additional counter space is going to make meal preparation a lot faster, and with these, easier on your legs as everything is to hand. I haven’t got one myself but am very envious of friends who do. These craftsman made models come in at anything from $150 for a smaller island, up to $1000. The Americana shown here is currently just over $450
However, fortunately kitchen islands come in all shapes and sizes and prices, many a lot less wallet hungry – some fixed in position, others are on wheels and mobile like the one below.
You’ll find the kitchen island title has become a kitchen utility cart at the budget price range – a clear enough distinction I guess!
Beautiful Winsome Wood Kitchen Carts
Though this lovely utility ‘cart’ from Winsome Wood has one or two grumbles about the flat pack build being awkward, on the whole this gets great reviews from everyone and from us too.
I have one (though in the garage not the kitchen) It took my husband about an hour and a half to make, no issues but lots of coffee demanded.
Why in the garage? It has care of the slow cooker, which when making a curry can leave your house smelling like an Indian restaurant for days, so anything wiffy like that, out to the garage it goes and sits on one of these – great size for a microwave as well.
They make another enclosed model for just a little more money, which looks much more expensive when it isn’t – and don’t forget you can load it with pots and pans or plates, then wheel it into another room, they look just as cool in the dining area and you can serve off the top.
Again a small safety point, which is not an intended pun but very relevant! If you have toddlers, just be sure to check the edges and corners are safe and rounded, or better still go for a round island. You probably need to be able to push it out of their path when not in use and either keep them out or – safely contained when it is!
Save Space With Collapsible Accessories
You might be surprised at just how little space a fully collapsible colander or set of flat folding measuring spoons takes up, you can even get mixing bowls like this 3 Quart Collapsible From Progressive. that flatten to about half an inch deep to store in a draw.
Probably because there’s such a need for items that don’t take up a lot of room, there’s been an explosion of gadgets for the kitchen which collapse or fold flat when not in use, so you’ve plenty of choice in color and design.
Having done this with half a dozen items, I’ve gotten an entire two shelf kitchen cupboard reclaimed back and freed up to release the pressure on other cupboards, or of course fit another one or two gadgets in…