17 Things You’re Storing the Wrong Way — And What to Do Instead
I spend a lot of time thinking about where my various kitchen appliances, pots and pans, and gadgets go. This is especially true right now as I’m getting ready to move. A new kitchen brings with it all sorts of new possibilities. Can my kitchen be even more efficient? Can I find new ways to bring organization into chaos? Turns out, those answers are yes and yes! I’m always surprised by how many things I’m doing the wrong way — and what a big difference doing it the right way can make. I’m going to generalize and say that this is probably true for you.
Here are 17 things you could be storing in a smarter, more optimized way. Whether you’re moving, too, or you’re staying put in your Forever Kitchen.
1. Pot Lids
2. Baking Pans, Sheet Pans, and Platters
Those oversized platters and trays and pans? Instead of stacking them (more opportunity for avalanches!), add tension rods to a cabinet to create a filing system. This way, you can pull out what you need without disturbing everything else.
3. Cutting Boards
Similarly, wooden cutting boards can be stood up and filed like cookbooks. Better yet, file them with your cookbooks!
4. Stand Mixer Attachments
I firmly believe that stand mixer attachments belong in the mixer bowl. If you’re storing them anywhere else, try this: Put a dish towel in the bottom of your mixer bowl to protect it from scratching, then tuck the attachments inside. The next time you go to use that mixer, you’ll have no trouble finding the right attachment, and you’ll have a fresh dish towel, which always comes in handy.
5. Food Processor Attachments
So many small appliances with so many attachments! While some newer food processors come with storage cases, that might not be, um, the case for yours. If you need a place to stash all the extra blades, consider adding a magnetic knife strip to the inside of a cabinet. The blades can be hung up and accessed when you need them.
6. Aluminum Foil
7. Water Bottles
I know very few people with a manageable collection of water bottles and travel mugs. They just have a way of multiplying! Get them in order by storing them in an over-the-door shoe holder. Hang it on your pantry door or in a nearby closet.
8. Kiddie Plates
I don’t have little kids, but I know how hard their various plates and bowls and utensils can be to store. (How is it that they never see to stack neatly?) Put a wire dish drainer in a cabinet and you can use it as an organizer.
Forget the spice cabinet: I’m all about the spice drawer. If you can dedicate a drawer to spices, do it. Lay them on their sides or stand them up (just label the tops), and you’ll always be able to see what you need.
10. Baking Mats
How to store a floppy baking mat? Roll it up and slide it through a portion of a paper towel tube! Brilliant!
11. Little Condiment Packets
All those condiment packets you get with your takeout? Put a sponge holder on the inside of your fridge (or your cabinet), and load it up with whatever you’ve got.
Instead of storing your utensils straight in a drawer, consider working on a diagonal. This gives you much more flexibility in terms of how you use the space inside your drawers. And while you can buy a diagonal organizer, making one is relatively simple and is guaranteed to fit, no matter what size or shape your drawer is.
13. Cast Iron Pans
If you have multiple cast iron pans and you are nesting them one on top of the other, here’s a smart trick: Use a paper towel (or two!) to separate each piece of cookware. This prevents scratches or damage to the inside of your cookware — and can absorb any moisture that might lead to rusting. Just swap out the paper towel whenever it starts to look dirty.
14. Your in-Use Slow Cooker
I know more and more of us are relying on our slow cookers to make dinner while we work from home. The best to place set up that slow cooker while it works? On the stovetop, actually. Here’s why.
15. Your Instant Pot
Turns out, Target makes a cart that’s practically perfect for storing an Instant Pot.
16. Spray Bottles
Cleaning supplies stashed under the kitchen sink can get messy, quickly. Rather than trying to jam stuff in there, hang a tension rod across the top and hook spray bottles over the bar. The triggers act as built-in hooks and you’ll free up space on the bottom of the cabinet. (Note: You’ll want to get a more sturdy tension rod for this project. Like this $5 two-pack.)
17. Kitchen Linens
Kitchen linens are the bane of my existence. They almost always end up in some sort of disheveled stack that started out neat and tidy, but then fall over immediately. Right now, they are jumbled in my IKEA Raskog Cart, my napkins and my aprons with my dish towels with my ratty dish rags. The right way to store those linens? The Marie Kondo way. Kondo’s towel-storage method involves standing the towels up in a drawer, basket, or organizer, side by side. This allows you to see each towel at a glance and avoid the leaning tower-of-linens.
Got any other smart ideas to add to this list? Leave them in the comments below!