Order Up: Kitchen Storage & Organization 101
Keen cooks and microwave-meal enthusiasts alike will agree that you can never have too much kitchen storage space. Experts suggest one- and two-person households require at least 2.7 meters of base cabinets and 2.4 meters of overhead cabinets for holding pots and pans, crockery, utensils, foodstuffs, and other kitchen essentials. They also suggest households with three or more people require at least 2.7 meters of base cabinet storage and 3.3 meters of wall cupboards.
However, plenty of apartment dwellers and homeowners with small kitchens simply don’t have the space for all those storage options. If you have a small kitchen or simply want to make the space you have work more efficiently, consider these smart kitchen storage ideas.
Put Storage Above Your Stovetop
All too often, the space above your stovetop gets wasted. However, it’s the ideal spot for adding storage solutions to maximize your kitchen’s efficiency. Add shelves to store items you regularly use while you’re cooking, such as favorite pots and pans and colanders. Hooks underneath the shelf can hold popular utensils such as ladles, spatulas, and large spoons. Adding these storage solutions above your stove helps you make the most of the space you have available, and it also puts the items you use the most at your fingertips when you cook.
Use Baskets to Stay Organized
Baskets are the key to organizing small items in any area of the home. These storage solutions let you group similar items so they don’t spill out in your pantries and cabinets. Wire baskets in different shapes can hold your spice jars, cleaning supplies, and small snack food packs. Deeper baskets can provide storage for potatoes, packs of pasta, and larger pantry goods. Add a few storage baskets to the top of your wall cupboards to organize extra items you don’t regularly use.
Add Portable Kitchen Tool Chests to Industrial-Style Kitchens
Modern industrial chic is one of the hottest design trends of the 21st century. You can embrace it and innovate your kitchen design with steel tool chests. They’re available in various sizes and can stand in for traditional kitchen base cabinets. Unlike regular kitchen fixtures, if you have many people in your kitchen, you can simply wheel the tool chest out to make more space. Alternatively, you can move the tool chest outdoors to provide another food prep area for barbecues or alfresco meals.
Kitchen tool chests are made from high-grade stainless steel, which resists fingerprints and won’t absorb the odors of your herb and spice collection. These chests are also lockable, so they’re ideal for storing kitchen cleaning goods, fragile china, alcohol, and other items you don’t want children getting into.
Add a Magnetic Knife Strip
Knife blocks are a staple of most American kitchens, but they can eat into counter space. If you want to reclaim some of your food preparation areas, consider ditching the knife block and installing a magnetic knife strip instead. This will get your knives off the counter and put them within easy reach while you’re preparing meals. You can also use a knife to hold a recipe card for what you’re making on the strip, further eliminating benchtop clutter.
Hang Storage Solutions on Doors and Cabinets
The space inside cabinet doors and outside these fixtures is rarely used to its potential. Affix shelves or storage baskets to these flat surfaces to increase your available storage space. You might use storage baskets inside your pantry for holding herbs and spices or shelves on the side of a cabinet near the sink for holding dish brushes and sponges.
You could also affix hooks for hanging colanders, pots and pans, tea towels, and oven mitts. Hanging pots and pans is a great way to prevent scratching their non-stick surfaces, which often become damaged when they’re stacked inside one another. A magazine file is the perfect size for holding cling film, aluminum foil, and baking paper. Attach one inside a cabinet door to organize these kitchen essentials. A wall file mounted inside your cabinet door also makes a great space for storing all those lids that invariably find themselves separated from their containers.
Add Mason Jars Underneath Your Shelves
Your shelves have two flat surfaces, so why are you only using the top of storage? You can make your shelves work double-duty by attaching mason jars to the underside of each shelf. Remove each mason jar lid and screw it to the underside of a kitchen shelf. Then fill each mason jar with rice, lentils, beans, or other small kitchen items. Screw each jar into its matching lid and step back to admire your handiwork.
Add Double Shelves to Your Cabinets
Kitchen fixtures often contain large compartments with space that can’t be completely utilized. Double shelves solve this problem, ensuring every square inch of your fixtures is usable. These inexpensive storage solutions sit inside your cabinets, pantry, and even on your countertop to create more vertical space. They work well for plates and bowls, which would become inaccessible if they were all stacked together, as well as canned goods and other foodstuffs. Double shelves are typically made from long-lasting steel that is coated with a smooth epoxy to prevent scratching fragile crockery.
Compartmentalize Your Drawers
Compartmentalized drawer inserts can turn a cluttered mess into a functional drawer space. Many people use these inserts to bring order to their cutlery collection, but they also work well for cooking utensils. Consider adding labels to your insert to make sure your family members put the right items in the right sections.
No matter how much space you have to work with, these storage tips can help your kitchen operate more efficiently.