A 3-Point Plan for Storing Small Appliances

published Mar 10, 2016
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(Image credit: Urban Outfitters)

If you’re an enthusiastic home cook, you undoubtedly have a few small appliances kicking around the kitchen. If you already have a storage system for those appliances, yay for you! But if your storage setup feels wonky — i.e., if you don’t know why your (oft-used) blender is in the cupboard while your (neglected) toaster is on the countertop — then you need this plan to help you find the perfect storage spot for your small appliance. Here’s what to ask yourself.

(Image credit: Gina Eykemans)

1. Do you use it every day? Store it on the counter.

I know, I know … countertop space is sacred space. (Especially if you have a tiny kitchen and are committed to a frustration-free cooking experience.) But if having that small appliance readily accessible makes your day just a little bit easier, and the task at hand that much quicker, it’s worth it.

Maybe you should keep your waffle iron out because you are a waffle fiend. Maybe your three-cup food processor deserves a prime spot, because while your love for that little machine means you’d sleep with it if you could, the countertop is more practical. Or maybe you need to carve out a spot on the counter for your pressure cooker, because seeing it out reminds you that it is possible to have perfect brown rice in only 20 minutes, thus saving you from ordering in.

Whatever your beloved small appliance, if you use it every single day, let it be loud, proud, and out on the counter!

2. Is it really heavy? Store it on a low shelf. (Or don’t.)

If there’s one kitchen design decision that drives our readers crazy (and in fact, there are five), it’s when people store heavy small appliances on top shelves. It’ll fall on your head and knock you out! It’ll fall on your foot and break it! These are truthful scenarios, which is why it’s probably a good idea in general to store heavier small appliances — stand mixers, food processors — on lower shelves.

But then again — maybe not! If you don’t use that particular small appliance often, it makes sense to store it somewhere out of the way, and if that’s on the top shelf of your pantry, so be it. I think you (and your small appliance) will survive the occasional cautious climb up a step stool.

3. Does it have a lot of attachments? Store them together.

If you have a small appliance that comes with a lot of parts — stand mixer attachments, or food processor blades, for example — you may be tempted to pop those parts in a container and store them apart from the appliance (in a hall closet, perhaps.)

Resist! Unless, that is, you want to completely forget the full potential of your small appliance, and you want to grate all that cheese by hand because you forgot the food processor came with a cheese blade. You think you’ll remember, and you think you’ll take the time to swap out blades and swap in special tools for the task, but you won’t. And then those attachments will die a lonely life in the closet.

If, however, you’d rather let your small appliance do all the work it was intended to do, then store the appliance and its pieces as close together as possible. As we saw earlier this week, there are plenty of smart ideas out there for storing appliance parts. Hang them on the cabinet door that houses the appliance, or hang them on the wall behind the appliance — just try to keep them together.

How and where do you store your small appliances?