No matter how amazing a kitchen looks on the outside, that immaculate vision can quickly crumble if you open a cabinet or drawer to see a jumble of cereal boxes or utensils inside. That’s why, in this last installment of our Dream Kitchen Remodeling Guide, we lay out kitchen organization ideas to tame the chaos within.
Measuring is critical, of course.
“When you pick up the groceries you typically buy, measure the widest, tallest ones to be sure the storage you’re ordering will fit these items,” recommends Jamie Novak, author of “Keep This Toss That.”
The most popular solutions, according to David Sipp, owner of a Mr. Handyman franchise, are custom spice drawers, waste basket built-ins, islands with storage capacity, and special wine and glass racks.
Go further than that knife block you inserted when you first moved in, and create spots for all of your everyday items such as the timer, kitchen shears, jiggers, and citrus reamer. Professional organizers love this storage system as it forces homeowners to return each item to its proper place.
“You can also build out drawers for small appliances,” says Catherine Pulcine of CPI Interiors.
Whether installed above the stove or sink or set up as a stand-alone holder, a plate rack often lets you take advantage of previously unused space, notes Novak.
Also, “try a door rack for pot lids and pans, but make sure it’s adjustable in case your life changes and you need to move things around,” she says.
And if you’re going for shelving for plates and bowls, always request peg holes that run the entire vertical length of your cabinets so you can adjust to any level you like, says Michelle Hale, professional organizer and co-founder of Henry & Higby.
Pull-out veggie bins
Certain veggies last longer (and taste better) if they’re stored at room temperature. To this end, consider a couple of pull-out bins to save space in the fridge and free those poor spuds and onions from the cold. Wooden bins made with metal mesh on one end allow the air to circulate. Or go the DIY route and stack baskets or wire containers on an open shelf—they’ll work similarly to keep veggies fresh.
Coffee capsules, corralled
Love those coffee pods, but hate the unsightly boxes they come in? The fix: a custom tray that fits these tiny pods to a T and lets you see if you’re out of Italian roast. Just be sure you’re committed to your particular brew brand so this coffee solution doesn’t become obsolete.
Those of us with a skinny space between the dishwasher or the wall and a tall cabinet know the special pain of having platters escape on their edges, roll away, and then shatter on the floor. You can avoid this mess and the (inevitable) avalanche caused by cookie sheets and trays by putting in an upright organizer.
“This way, you can see all of your items without having to unstack them to find the blue one,” says Novak.
Jamie Gold always includes storage with tray dividers in the kitchens she designs.
“I either put them in the space above the oven if there are a lot of trays and baking sheets to house, or in a narrow base cabinet that pulls out,” says the certified kitchen designer and author of “New Kitchen Ideas That Work.”
A crock on the counter is fine, but why not remove this jar for a more streamlined look? A pull-out cabinet can hold triple the number of spatulas and spoons and allows you to separate your utensils into different sections to suit your cooking needs.
Dog kibble cubby
The animal lover in Novak loves a dedicated drawer for pet food.
“Ones that tip out or pull out for dry pellets, as well as a longer spot that opens to reveal bowls is a clean, organized way to deal with pet supplies,” she says.
Other space-saving custom details might include full-depth cabinets over the fridge and garbage and recycling systems, adds Pulcine.
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