Need more space in your kitchen? No problem at all! All you have to do is tear down some walls and add more cabinets.
Easier said than done, especially if you don’t have thousands of dollars stuffed in those cabinets just waiting to be spent on a kitchen renovation. Even if money isn’t an issue, there are probably plenty of other ways you’d rather use your hard-earned cash.
So, in an effort to avoid the contractors and unrest that accompanies a home renovation project in the heart of the house, here are some ways to get the most out of your current kitchen space:
1. Purge Away
Clutter fuels the fire for enormous messes, so it’s important to pull out the trash bag and get to purging once a month at the least. (I prefer to do so at the end of each week in an effort to tackle any small messes before they spiral out of control.)
Don’t know where to start? Here are a few items that are perfect candidates for the purging session:
- Pantry: outdated spices, cereal, rice, sauces, canned goods
- Cabinets: old sponges that haven’t been disinfected, worn storage containers
- Freezer: expired meats, ice cream, desserts
- Fridge: old leftovers, open or expired items including canned goods (since they tend to taste like metal after a while) and condiments
Once these items are out of the way, you’ll have plenty of space for new arrivals from your next shopping trip. And, you won’t find yourself spending money on an item you thought you needed, but was hiding in a shelf corner all along. (I’ve been guilty of this on several occasions.)
Most importantly, only buy what you need. For bulk purchases, store the extras in the garage or some other unoccupied space in your home.
2. Hide Seating
If you have an island or bar area in your kitchen, purchase seating that is low to the ground and can easily be stored underneath these fixtures to create room for other storage and shelving.
We have a rather large kitchen, so a portion of the open space is used for a dining area. And under the bar, there are two stools ready to pull out when we have guests over. This creates more space in the living area, and keeps the kids from making messes on the wood floors out there.
3. Stow Away Small Appliances
Counter tops are much more visually appealing when they’re free of messes. But when you’re crunched for space, it’s not always easy to keep them clear.
You can purge old papers and gadgets lying around, but what about the small appliances? Are you to give away your George Foreman grill, toaster, blender, coffeemaker, food processor, waffle maker, juicer, or any other mini-appliance taking up counter space?
Absolutely not! But you can use one of the larger cabinets to store them until they need to be used again for meal prep. They’ll no longer be an eyesore when you enter the kitchen, but you’ll also clear up counter space to store items that don’t look so bad when organized. (When we’re running low on pantry shelving, we sometimes use a small portion of our counter to house bottled water, cereal, or crackers).
4. Drawer Organizers
My mother was adamant about using drawer organizers. There was one in each drawer, and she mandated that they remain intact and that accompanying items be stored in their proper places.
I didn’t quite understand what the big deal was until I moved into my first apartment. Tossing items in drawers and forcing them shut wasn’t working out for me, and I could never find the perfect spoon for my bowl of grits or cereal. Long story short, I gave in and now I can’t live without them.
These cheap plastic organizers maintain order in an environment prone to chaos, and create extra space for things like large cooking utensils and spices. And for the larger drawers, dividers are ideal for pots and pans or stacks of glass plates.
If possible, purchase stackable sets when it comes to kitchen items — glassware, mugs, pots, tupperware, you name it — to minimize the amount of storage space required.
5. Multipurpose Baskets
Baskets are one of the cheaper and better-looking storage solutions out there, and they’re ideal for storing fruits, vegetables, dish cloths, spices, or other items you regularly want access to in pantries, cabinets, or on countertops. No room for baskets? You can try storing these items on top of the refrigerator or even inside the microwave when it’s not in use.
Most recently, such a basket came in handy for all the Halloween candy I don’t plan on letting the boys eat at any point in the near future. (Of course, the special basket is stored in a cabinet so far out of reach that I almost need to stand on a chair to reach it).
I’ve also found that baskets are useful in many other areas of the home, including the bathroom for fragrances and other toiletries that are often stored under the sink area.
Get more tips here, http://www.thesimpledollar.com/tips-to-maximize-kitchen-storage-space