How to Find More Space in the Kitchen

The Spring 2010 Kitchen Cure

[Today organizing expert Stacey Platt shares a few tips on finding more space in the kitchen. Stacey is the most organized person I know, but understands with great compassion how unorganized many people can be. Here are some ideas from her new book, What's a Disorganized Person to Do?. Welcome, Stacey!]

Now, thanks to The Kitchen Cure's Week #2 assignment, your kitchen de-cluttered and you've probably freed up a lot of space. But if you still wish you had more (and who doesn't?), then look around your kitchen. Extra space abounds.

How To Create More Space in the Kitchen



  1. Look for unused wall space to hang shelves for additional storage.

  2. Mount a stainless steel bar with S-hooks to hang a spice rack and/or utensils.

  3. Mount a knife strip on the wall

  4. Even empty corners can be put to use; equip them with slim cabinetry that takes advantage of vertical space.

  5. Use wooden boxes to store things you don't use regularly that might otherwise gather dust or be in the way.

  6. Adjustable shelving can be customized to store taller items such as vases and jugs.

  7. A butcher-block surface does double-duty as a top for an island and a cutting board. Add shelving underneath.

  8. Use matching baskets to hold non-refrigerated produce such as garlic, onions and ginger.

  9. Put the kitchen table to use. Free up drawer space by keeping flatware in a caddy in the center of the table.

  10. Save counter space by mounting small appliances, like a microwave, coffeemaker, or toaster, under upper cabinets.

MORE COUNTER SPACE
One of the most important components of an organized kitchen is clutter-free surfaces. Counter top real estate is a hot commodity and should be reserved for items used frequently, if not daily. To get stuff off the counters, the top of the fridge or your particular problem spot, think up (to walls and ceiling), in (behind closed cabinet doors and drawers) and out (of the kitchen all together).

  • Replace the bottle of dish washing soap with a soap-dispensing dish wand.
  • Substitute a dish drainer for an over-the-sink or wall-mounted variety.
  • Replace a counter top water filter or pitcher with one that mounts on a faucet.
  • Hang narrow shelves between counter and cabinets to hold everyday items such as salt, pepper, coffee fixings, teas and vitamins.
  • Relocate the fruit bowl to the center of the kitchen table.
  • Hang a three-tiered wire basket from a plant hook that extends from the wall to contain non-refrigerated produce such as potatoes, tomatoes, garlic and onions.

MORE CABINET SPACE
Find more space in cabinets by looking for unused space on shelves and doors and by literally thinking outside the box. What cabinet items can you store creatively outside the cabinet?

  • Use shelf helpers and under-shelf drawers to make use of unused vertical space.
  • Put the inside of cabinet doors to use. (see photo with foil/wrap holder and bulletin board)
  • Look to the underside of upper cabinets to mount either a stemware rack, utility hooks for coffee mugs or a narrow hanging shelf to hold place mats and linen napkins.
  • The space between upper cabinets and the ceiling is an often-overlooked storage place. Keep attractive serving dishes here or line with matching boxes or baskets to contain other seldom-used items.
  • Pots and pans are cabinet space hogs. A ceiling or wall rack is a great use of otherwise unused air space. Or hang peg board to display cookware on the walls.

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Touted by Daily Candy as being "well-versed in aiding the most cluttered, confused, and disorganized," Stacey Platt runs DwellWell, a New York-based organizing and coaching firm, and is author of the book, What's a Disorganized Person to Do? (Artisan Books).

(Images: Clockwise from top left, Getty Images, Corbis, Getty Images, Getty Images)

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