With tiny cupboards and even tinier workspace areas, it's tough for some of us to wrangle enough space to make our kitchens comfortable for cooking. For others, it's not space trouble so much as organizational woes, what with slippery piles of stacked pans in the cupboard and a packed pantry.
So when you find a product or organizer that makes things just a little (or in some cases, a lot) neater and more organized, it can feel like the sun just bathed you in a warm light of goodness, complete with singing choir. Here are 10 budget-friendly kitchen helpers and organizers that make life better, from a smart wall-mounted dish drainer to a life-changing plastic-wrap dispenser.
Anything that frees up countertop space wins in my book. This wall-mounted paper-towel holder can be installed horizontally or vertically. You can even put it on the side of a cabinet, like Jeanee did above!
Is your sink area a mess of dish soap, wash rags, and drippy sponges? I like the neatness and simplicity of this sink basket from OXO. It's big enough to hold a couple sponges, and drain holes in the bottom ensure everything dries out properly.
3. Single Turntable, $5.99 from The Container Store
Turntable platforms like these are a lifesaver in small, tight cupboards. Instead of reaching and rummaging around for the sherry vinegar, just give this a spin and there it is! A non-slip surface also helps to keep everything in place.
For the truly space-conscious, IKEA's wall-mounted dish drainer is great. Just look at how Becca worked it into her kitchen in the top photo of this post: It hangs right over her sink and folds up when not in use. So smart and efficient. (I love how she uses the rail to hang her scrub brushes as well!)
You can find these wire shelves at almost any home store, and basic versions start around $5. I like this two-tier version. A few of these will make your cabinet space feel like it's doubled.
6. 4 Sort Dividers, $3.99 - $4.99 from The Container Store
Great for organizing pans or lids in narrow lower cabinets.
As I've said before, magnetic knife racks are surprisingly versatile. Besides knives, you can use them to store stainless steel pot lids or kitchen tools — another must-have organizer you can put on the wall!
Anne uncovered her Chicwrap dispenser last fall during The Kitchn Cure, and can't stop raving about it. Yes, it's a little flashy, and no, not totally necessary, but when a product gets you this excited, there's something to be said for its value.
"No more crumpled plastic wrap that sticks to itself before it makes it onto a dish. The zip cutter on top of the box and the four non-skid rubber feet on the bottom make this the best darn plastic-wrap dispenser I've ever had," Anne says. Praise indeed!
This isn't an organizing product, per se, but it is a small detail that'll improve your life in the kitchen! With this you can forget unscrewing those olive oil bottle tops, and wiping away the drips. Plus, you have more control over the pour!
Good-looking and functional? That's what we're talking about here. Again, I appreciate anything that hangs on the wall and frees up closet and counter space. Consider hanging it low to the floor near your trash can.
What are your favorite inexpensive kitchen organizers?
Originally published 1.22.2014
(Image credits: Gina Eykemans; The Container Store; OrganizeIt.com; OXO; IKEA; Red Stick Spice Co; ChicWrap; World Market; Amy Herr; Tara Austen Weaver; Leela Cyd; Amy Herr and Tracey Brower )