3 More Storage Solutions for the Kitchen | From Overwhelmed to Organized: 3 More Storage Solutions for the Kitchen

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

3 More Storage Solutions for the Kitchen

How is your kitchen organizing going?  Have you been applying lots of the tips I've shared in this series? Along the way, I've showed you lots of storage solutions for your kitchen, and today I want to show you 3 more items I used in my kitchen. 

Kitchen Organizing Tips

First, as a refresher, or in case you missed any, here's a list of all the tips I've shared already (with links to the corresponding post).
  1. Use drawer dividers
  2. Measure before you buy
  3. Determine the purpose of each drawer
  4. Purge before organizing
  5. Store like with like
  6. Keep items where you use them
  7. Store items you don't regularly use in "out-of-the-way" spots
  8. Maximize the vertical space in deep drawers
  9. Create zones in your kitchen
  10. Use boxes and baskets to contain like items
  11. Use clear containers for baking ingredients
  12. Label your containers
  13. Done is better than perfect
  14. Store dishes in a cupboard you can easily reach when you empty the dishwasher
  15. Maximize the vertical space in cabinets using wire shelves 
  16. Store all your hot beverage supplies together
  17. Use under-the-shelf baskets to maximize vertical space in cabinets 
  18. Store all your breakfast supplies together
  19. Use the top shelf of a food cabinet to store extra foods
  20. Hang paper towels on the back of a cabinet door to keep them off your counters
  21. Keep as many items in drawers or cabinets as possible, instead of on counters
  22. Rearrange or relocate items on counters for a less cluttered look
  23. Wash dishes frequently and put them away quickly  
  24. Relocate items that you rarely use so they don't clutter your kitchen
  25. Use narrow spaces under the sink for tall, narrow items
  26. Use plastic bins to contain cleaning supplies under the sink 
  27. Use short stacks as much as possible so you don't have to move items to access others
  28. Only store shallow pans in a shallow drawer
  29. Only keep as many food storage containers as you actually need and use regularly 
  30. Only use matching food storage containers
  31. Remove frozen foods from boxes to conserve space in the freezer
  32. Use a small container in the freezer door to hold small items
  33. Use tall bins in the fridge to maximize vertical space when grouping like items
  34. Store raw meat in a plastic container or at the bottom of your fridge
  35. For a less cluttered kitchen, reduce or eliminate items on the front or sides of your fridge  
  36. Use a tall and thin shelf unit to maximize vertical space in your kitchen and keep clutter off flat surfaces

So many great tips!  How many of these can you spot in today's post?  {You know... kind of like a "Where's Waldo" game!}

Kitchen Organizing Tip #37:  Think outside the box to find furniture you can use for extra storage

I have one more space in my kitchen that I haven't shown you.  It's a really old microwave stand that we have in our eating area.  We don't use it for a microwave.  I don't think I ever have.  And I've had it for over 20 years. It's been in my office, entry way, basement, and probably several other places, but since we've been in this house it's been in our kitchen.  It's seen better days, and if we move to a home with a bigger kitchen, this baby will not be moving with us.  But it works for now. 

This old microwave stand is perfect for extra storage in our kitchen.  It's fairly tall, so we can take advantage of that to fit a lot of stuff in a small space.  Just like the tall shelves I showed you last week.  They're just across the breakfast nook from this microwave stand.  

Currently the microwave stand is a drop zone for my hubby's wallet, change, and other small work-related stuff, as well as a storage area for the kids' dishes, a few small appliances, and an overflow area for beverages.  Quite a mish mash of purposes, but it works for us because of where we have it.

We have a very small entry area and there's no room there for my hubby's "in-the-door-out-the-door" stuff.  But our breakfast nook is just around the corner from our front hallway so this surface is the best option.  It used to be a total disaster... you may remember this picture from last year... before I created our command centre.

What a mess!  I'm happy to say that it doesn't get that bad anymore.  Once in awhile I have to do some purging or putting things away, but for the most part this area stays pretty organized now.  Having our command centre so close by has really helped keep the paperwork under control. 

Here's a close-up of my hubby's drop zone now.

He was at work when I took these pictures but his wallet is usually just in front of the basket.

Kitchen Organizing Tip #38: Use small mason jars to contain small, like items

You can see I've used a basket to collect lots of loose items and there are small jars inside the basket to contain things even more.  This helps keep that basket from becoming a big jumbled mess.  Items can stand up better too so it's easier to find them.

Beside the basket are a few coin banks, a tissue box, and another jar with pens and pencils.  Everything my hubby needs to dump out of his pockets when he gets home has a spot here.  And everything he needs to put back in those pockets on his way out the door in the morning is right here.  {Except keys... they're kept on hooks in the entry way.}

Kitchen Organizing Tip #39: Use stacking bins to maximize vertical space

I've got two different sized stacking bins on this stand.

These stacking bins hold the kids' plastic bowls, plates, cups, and utensils.  It's super easy for my son or my daughter to be independent and get what they need for a drink or a snack by having these at their level.  And this stand is right beside our kitchen table so it makes it easy for them to set the table too.

That little space in front of the bins was often a drop zone for the kids' homework supplies.  It just made the area feel even more cluttered, but now their supplies are on the shelves close by so this area can be just for dishes.

Oh and a few place mats and hot plates.  Keeping them vertical makes it easy to grab what we need.  I decluttered a few old place mats recently so now it's easier to access what we need.

OK, on to the rest of this unit.  I store cookie sheets and baking pans in the drawer. 

You can't really see it in the picture, but there are 4 cookie sheets underneath that top pan.  These are mainly used for baking, and when we bake we usually use the kitchen table so this is right where we need them.  They don't fit vertically in my deep drawers, and we don't use them as often as the muffin tins and pizza pans in the drawer under my stove, so this is a great spot to keep them.  Close by, but not in our way. 

And on the bottom, I store our stand mixer, hand mixer, surplus beverages and our big bottle of vinegar.  Quite an assortment, but most of these things don't fit anywhere else so they have a home here together :)

Here's how the whole breakfast nook looks.

My pantry is just to the right of this storage unit, beside the window.  You can just see the corner of our table in front of the window in this picture too.  And to the left you can see a bit of the hall closet (the front of the house is to the right).

On the other side of the doorway, is my command centre.  The kids were at school when I took these pictures so the backpack bins are empty. 

And then continuing around to the other side of the doorway, you see the shelves and part of our kitchen.

And a little further over and you see the kitchen table in front of the window.

I love our breakfast nook!  It was one of the key features that influenced our decision to buy this home.  It is a small room but we make the most of every inch of space here, to help keep the rest of the kitchen as functional and clutter-free as possible.

Ready to implement these kitchen organizing tips?

You can always find more kitchen organizing ideas on my Kitchen Organizing board on Pinterest. 


Have you used any "outside-the-box" furniture in your kitchen for extra storage?  What ways have you used stacking bins?  What are your favourite things to use mason jars for?

Happy organizing!

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Here are all the posts from the kitchen organizing tips series: