When the kitchen, heart of your home, starts to feel more like a crowded closet than your culinary haven it’s time to take a closer look at your personal situation. It’s easy for this central spot in the household to become a dumping ground for projects, coupons, mail, shopping bag, recyclables and more. Since it’s in use more than many other rooms in the household it can also be hard to find an opportunity for a deep clean or to step back and evaluate just what’s causing all the clutter. One thing we tend to forget is that the kitchen, of all spaces in the house, is the one space full of storage in even the smallest homes. You can almost think of this space as a closet with appliances.
From overhead cupboards to countertops and down through the lower cabinets it’s a treasure trove of storage. Not to mention the extras like a built-in pantry, bookshelves, desks, center islands, and even hanging pot racks for additional storage. The question to ask when you get frustrated with the clutter, is whether you’re making the most of each of these spaces.
Kitchen storage can be a little tricky –standard cabinets are built to hold the largest items the average homeowners are likely to want to store in that space. That could be stand mixer, the extra-large box of dry cereal, or even cabinets deep enough to hold a full size roaster pan. One cabinet like that is great if you own those items, but five or six can result in a lot of wasted space when you’re wanting to store canned food items or mixing bowls in a space sized for those large appliances. A roll out drawer or lazy susan allows you to use all that depth of storage and still reach the items at the back…without replacing the cabinets.
The same goes for upper cabinets – they’re built much too deep for standard plates and bowls and the space between shelves might be the ideal height to accommodate an iced tea pitcher or a spaghetti box. Even if the shelves adjust for height, you might find you want to put your pitcher on the same shelf as the salad plates and ice cream bowls. Time to customize – by adding a variety of extending shelves or tiered storage you can make the most of that space without requiring custom cabinetry. Best of all – when you want to re-arrange or you get new dishware it’s easy to reconfigure any way you’d like.
Walking into a kitchen with clean and tidy countertops can be a stress buster after a long day – but it’s a challenge to keep them that way when you use your space day to day. If you don’t have a space to hide everything out of site, then it’s time to make it pleasant to look at. Choosing countertop accessories to store produce or often used tools allows you to work these things into your décor rather than having them fight against it. Blending in is almost as good as hiding away – plus they’re right at hand when you need to use them.
The perspective of kitchen as a giant walk in closet may have seemed odd at first, but are you able to envision it? Use the skills you use to organize your clothing closets to bring order and efficiency to the kitchen (or maybe you feel like you’re got it down in the kitchen and need to do the reverse?) When you make the most of every space in your kitchen you’ll find it really is a lot bigger than you initially thought.