If you can’t add more actual storage cabinets to your living space, you can always increase the capacity of what's already there. This includes kitchen cupboards, free-standing wardrobes, media centers, and medicine cabinets — all of which are silently pleading "make me better, make me better!" Fulfill their organizational destinies, with these nine tips...
1. Go for store-bought inserts that increase the amount of stuff that cabinets hold. Plan for plate racks, lazy susans, drawer inserts, vertical cookie sheet slots inside cabinets, or shelf risers.
2. Place less used items on top of cabinets where they are out of the way. There’s a lot of precious space of there you might not be taking full advantage of.
3. Nothing makes a kitchen feel less usable than poor lighting. Install lights underneath your cabinets to brighten the space and make it easier to find what you need.
4. Utilize the outside surfaces, including the cabinet sides, and store things where they are readily available and easy to grab.
5. On a similar note, don’t forget about the insides of cabinets. Either buy or DIY storage solutions (cork, hooks, etc...) that fit nicely on the backside of doors. This laundry cabinet from Better Homes & Gardens is multi-functional with lots of pegboard, on the outside, and when you open it up as well.
6. Add exterior open shelving to hold plants or dishes. This not only increases your storage, but adds architectural interest and makes your kitchen look more custom.
7. Incorporate useful tools, like magnets or tension rods. They have endless uses, and diverse applications.
8. Take a moment to re-organize. Give your cabinets a fresh eye and ask if everything has a dedicated place, and that place makes sense.
9. Consider cabinet cubbies instead of full open shelving. They force editing, so you're less likely to end up with a messy, mismatched row of kitchen stuff (open shelving's biggest critique).
(Image credits: Marcia Prentice; BHG; Nancy Mitchell; Arthur Garcia-Clemente; Alexis Buryk; Better Homes & Gardens; Natalie Grasso; Cathy Pyle; Bethany Nauert)