Whether your kitchen is a tiny room that you share with housemates or the bright, airy space of your Cooking Channel dreams, you could probably use a little extra storage space. Sometimes it might seem like you don’t have enough room in your cupboards for all of your glasses (Seriously, how did you end up with so many champagne flutes?). Other times you find yourself struggling to locate ingredients in your bursting-at-the-seams pantry.
If want to free up some storage space in your kitchen in order to make cooking, dining and entertaining easier, here are 9 genius ways to do it.
If you’re already using all of the shelving and cupboard storage space in your kitchen, it might be time to create more of it.
But wait, you ask, where am I supposed to find room for that?
Look up! Install shelving high up (as in, touching the ceiling) and dedicate it to storing those seldom used items like the crock pot that only comes out for stews in the winter, the cake stand that only gets utilized on birthdays and the jello mold your aunt gave you that gets used...well...never.
Get the Hang of It
In addition to installing shelves high up, get even more use out of wall space by hanging utensils, kitchen aprons, oven mitts and anything else with a hook on it. If you have room, you can even use this vertical space to hang pots and pans. This strategy frees up cabinet storage space and places essential items at your fingertips.
Take a Seat
If your love of throwing dinner parties has caused you to sacrifice valuable kitchen storage space in favor of a larger table and more chairs, you might want to think about scaling back. Reclaim kitchen space by getting a smaller table (or one with an expandable leaf) and by trading out bulky extra chairs for folding chairs that can be stored somewhere else in your house or in your storage unit.
In Your Corner
The most overlooked storage areas in our kitchens are those awkwardly shaped spaces that we don’t know what to do with. Prime example: corner space. If you can’t install more cabinets or shelving on your kitchen walls, take a look at your available corners. Invest in a corner cabinet (it doesn’t have to be kitchen specific) and enjoy more storage space.
Form and Function
Look for decorations that are also utilitarian. That gorgeous vase can be used to store spatulas. Those antique jars can be used to display spices. That rustic and chic shelving unit from a yard sale can become a stunning conversation piece that also happens to hold plates. In other words, don’t add a decoration to your kitchen if it can’t also be used for storage.
When moving into a new home, it’s natural to try to work with the kitchen storage space that already exists. After all, installing cabinets and closets is so much work! But here’s a simple DIY kitchen storage solution that anyone can add to their home: open shelving. If you’ve got a free wall, adding open shelving for kitchen storage is the perfect fit.
No More Junk
Everyone has a junk drawer in their kitchen. Is yours so disorganized that you can barely open it? Not only is it a nuisance; it’s taking up storage space. Start by organizing your junk drawer. If you’re feeling really bold, eliminate it entirely and use the storage space for actual kitchen stuff.
You’re reading novels, magazines and newspapers on a tablet, laptop or phone, so why not recipes? You don’t even have to sacrifice your cherished recipe books. Digitize your recipes by using a website or app like Eat Your Books. The free service allows you to add cookbooks you own along with cooking blogs and magazines to a digital space. You can then search all of the cookbooks and publications when you need to pull up a recipe.
You’ve been putting it off, but the truth is, you have to declutter if you want to create storage space in your kitchen.
Here’s what you’ve gotta do. Go through each drawer, cabinet, cupboard and pantry shelf and pull out items that you don’t use often or don’t use at all. Items that are in good shape can be donated to thrift stores or offered up to friends. Items that you rarely use but can’t bear to part with can go to your storage unit.
Keep in mind that most damaged cookware should be thrown out, as some items are actually dangerous when in a state of disrepair. Stainless steel and cast iron is typically safe, even when damaged, but non-stick cookware is a health hazard. If you’ve got non-stick pots and pans that are scratched, you’re running the risk of adding flakes of teflon to your food—and nobody likes to eat teflon.
With these kitchen storage tips and the help of a trusty storage unit, you should be freeing up space in no time. And in the meantime, if you need advice on storing and moving kitchen items, be sure to check out our blog for more tips.