Your kitchen is only so big, so if you've run out of storage room, it's time to make the space work harder and be more efficient. It's easy to miss potential, but look closely and you'll find lots more opportunities to store essentials and clutter. Here are five ways we often get it wrong, and how you can quickly remedy your kitchen mistakes.
#1: You Don't Optimize Your Cabinets
Instead of accepting what the cabinet gods gave you, outfit the insides with after-market inserts that dramatically increase the amount of stuff your kitchen can hold. We're talking about tiered shelf risers, lazy Susans, and vertical slots for cookies sheets and cutting boards. It's an inexpensive way to make your storage a lot more efficient.
#2: You Ignore the Empty, Awkward Spots
So many kitchens have some awkwardly-shaped or hard-to-reach space on top of the cabinets and/or fridge, and it's usually completely empty. Stick some stuff up there that you don't use that often, and clear off your cluttered countertops. Done well, the spot can be both functional and visually appealing.
#3: You Don't Think Outside the Box
Have a bunch of items that you use all the time? How about freeing up space inside your cabinets by using the space outside: install hooks or magnetic racks on the sides for things like pots and pans, cutting boards, spices, and oft-used utensils — anything you want to keep readily available and within reach.
#4: You Underutilize Your Cabinet Undersides
The same principle goes for the bottoms of cabinets too. Some well-placed wine glass holders, mug hooks, or magnetic spice racks fit perfectly underneath cabinets. Or, mount a rail from the underside of the cabinet (as seen below in a kitchen from Coco Lapine Design) for hanging utensils and dish towels.
#5: You Overlook the Air Above You
When you've maxed out on storage everywhere else, think of the space above you as the final frontier. Hang a tiered basket near the window for loaves of bread, snacks, and even table linens. A pot rack above the island or stove frees up tons of space below. Unless you're 8 feet tall, they won't be in your way, and that area isn't good for much else.