Kitchen Cure Tip: Stand Back and Reevaluate Storage

The Kitchen Cure Spring 2009

As you are clearing out extra tools and pans in your cupboards, you may also be confronted afresh with a state of disorganization. We don't all have custom-built drawers and shelves, crafted carefully to hold our perfectly-selected kitchen stuff. Instead we have patched-together collections of pots, pans, and knives that don't seem to fit just right in rental-kitchen cabinets.

Take mine, for instance. You've already caught a glimpse in this week's Cure assignment. I moved into this kitchen about seven months ago, and while I've organized and optimized a little, I still feel like I live in a temporary state of affairs. Time to stand back and look freshly at the cabinets. Here's how I'm doing it. My kitchen actually has quite a lot of cupboards and drawers, which I'm grateful for, but many of them are also narrow, shallow, and small. This is almost more frustrating than having no cupboards at all! But I am hoping to use the Kitchen Cure to push towards a more efficient storage strategy.

Here's how I'm reevaulating the current situation:

1. Open all the cupboards, stand back, and just look - Literally look at everything. What cupboards are bursting open? Which look disorganized? Which do you dread reaching into? Where are your problem areas?

For me, it's these two spots above: two drawers under the stove, and a corner cupboard with a lazy Susan.

2. Reevaluate why you have the things you do in the problem areas - For instance, why are all my pots and pans crammed into these two shallow drawers under the stove. I wanted them close to the stove, but they don't fit very well, and there is no good way to keep the lids from falling all over each other.

The lazy Susan ought to be a great storage area, since it makes great use out of an otherwise hard-to-reach cupboard. But it's a little skewed on its axis and so it bangs loudly and fearsomely when it's turned. I hate this, so I've tried to ignore it by throwing in a very disorganized and messy pile of plastic food-keepers.

3. See if there is a better solution - For me, a solution is clear. My pots and pans will fit much better on the lazy Susan, and I will try again to find some way to fix it. If I can't, it's better to have a little creaking and banging than pots that are always falling out of the cupboard!

I am going to move my Tupperware and food-keepers to a drawer under the stove, and add an in-drawer pot lid holder for the lids, too.

Don't take any of your storage choices for granted in your kitchen. Keep rethinking them, especially if you've been in your kitchen less than a year; as you use your kitchen more and more you may realize that things need to be moved around.

Are you finding any new storage or organization ideas to make your kitchen more healthy and efficient as you go through the Cure?

More Kitchen Cure: The Kitchen Cure Spring 2009

(Images: Faith Durand)

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