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Do you feel exasperated when you can’t find what you’re looking for in your kitchen?
Home design pros and psychologists know that uncontrolled clutter can negatively impact your emotions, so finding home organization tools and ideas is something that most people crave. If you’ve ever felt a sense of relief after you’ve cleaned up a pile of stuff that’s been nagging at you for months, you’ll know that this is more than a touchy-feelie, airy-fairy notion by people who go around waving energy sicks and mood rings to clear the “sickness” from a room.
Many people are able to turn a blind eye to mess and clutter for only so long before they can’t stand it any more and spend a weekend throwing things away. That’s why the home organization and Feng Shui businesses have become more acceptable and less apt to be considered a fringe concept.
The kitchen is where most people spend the bulk of their time at home when they’re not in front of the TV or sleeping, so these ideas are sure to keep the clutter out of sight and make the kitchen a place that inspires you to actually make a meal rather than just consume your fast-food from the containers.
1. Pop up receptacle
Being able to plug in a few small appliances without running from one side of the kitchen to the other, cuts down on meal time prep stress. It also disappears when not in use, so you don’t have to mess up that beautiful back splash tile pattern with a nasty ol’ receptacle.
2. Microwave drawer
Mounting a conventional microwave under the counter is problematic because of the door swing. But installing a microwave DRAWER means you access the contents from the top just like a deep pot drawer, so it makes the installation space efficient, particularly if you have limited counter space or wall space on which to mount it under a wall cabinet.
3. Appliance garage
A door lift mechanism makes a counter top alcove an easily accessible location for counter top appliances
4. Recessed appliance garage
If you have a room behind your kitchen that you can use as a storage area or a walk-in pantry like the kitchen I designed above, you can mount shelving behind the kitchen that provides the recess for the appliance garage on the kitchen side. This keeps the counter completely clear of small appliances like blenders and coffee makers that create visual clutter and working obstructions.
5. Tray dividers
Fitting a base cabinet or a deep cabinet over a fridge with tray dividers keeps serving trays, baking pans, muffin tins and roasting pans from being in a jumble in a drawer. Being able to slip them in and out of their own slot keeps them blissfully organized.
6. Built-in pet bed
The kitchen is often where the dog crate lives and is often inconveniently located and in the way. By building in the pet bed into a cabinet with vented, retractable doors under an island, it doubles as a counter top support and gives Charlie a cozy place to hang out with the family.
7. Pull out pantry
Starting at only 12″ wide, a pull out pantry can store tons of dry goods in a very tight space.
8. Shallow drawer under the cooktop
When the drawers are closed, the shallow drawer is hidden within the deep one. This hidden drawer keeps utensils and pot holders handy to the cooktop without the visual clutter of another drawer line.
9. Double cutlery tray
A double cutlery tray invisibly doubles the drawer capacity. But you must have the height so forks don’t get caught on the underside of the counter when opening and closing the drawer.
10. Pull out trash and re-cycling bin
Having both the trash and re-cycling bins in one pull out drawer with a roll out shelf above for trash bags and deoderizer spray, keeps everything organized and in one place.
11. Food processor lift with roll out accessory shelf
The weight of a food processor can make it difficult to lug it in and out of a cabinet every time you need to use it. So having it on a lift mechanism which bears all the weight means it’s easy to use and the base never has to be lifted off the shelf. When you’re ready to use it, swing and click it into place, and when you’re done, unlock and swing it back in the cabinet. The roll out shelf below holds all the blades and related accessories.
12. Pull out spice storage
Little spice bottles are notoriously difficult to keep organized. They often end up in a jumble in a cabinet or drawer so that digging for the right spice during meal preparation becomes an ordeal. This pull out unit keeps everything close at hand and easily accessible and accommodates containers of various sizes.
13. Corner drawer system
Kitchen corners are incredibly awkward spaces to use efficiently, and this corner drawer system makes the most of a tight, otherwise inaccessible space.
14. Toe kick step ladder
For those who are vertically challenged and don’t have a closet where they can hide a step ladder, this collapsible step ladder gets a piece of matching cabinet toe kick material and a knob attached to it, so it easily rolls and hides under the cabinet when not in use.
15. Pantry work cabinet
This work space is concealed in a pantry cabinet with doors that slide to the side so they don’t stand in the way of the floor space when the cabinet is in use. The interior of this cabinet could easily be designed to accommodate a kitchen desk instead.
16. Deep pantry organizer
If you’ve ever had a deep pantry with plain shelving, you know that there are often boxes and cans that get lost in the back and grow legs before you are able to fight your way in to retrieve them. This double pull out hardware keeps the contents of a deep pantry organized and easily accessible.
17. Pull out shelving
Base cabinets without drawers or pull out shelves are extremely difficult to access, particularly for an aging population. Having everything pull out, makes everything accessible without mental or physical stress.
18. Shallow cabinet door storage
Many people like to keep their vitamins and medicines in the kitchen where they are easily accessible to take with a meal. Having shallow storage on the inside of a cabinet door keeps little bottles and spice containers organized and within easy reach.
19. Spice drawer organizer tray
Keeping spice bottles organized in a drawer with a spice organizer tray, makes it easy to read the labels of small bottles.
20. Built-in table
A free-standing table and chairs can be problematic in a small kitchen since it requires a lot of floor space for clearance. Building a counter top extension to be used as a dining area adds extra working counter top and requires clearance on only three sides rather than four, saving precious inches of floor space.
21. Extra tall cabinets with a rolling ladder
Some urban condos and townhouses have a very small footprint but try to make up for it with higher than normal ceilings. Building in cabinetry to the ceiling provides extra storage space that is difficult to access. A rolling ladder can make it possible to use the space effectively, and having a bracket at the end of the run means the ladder can be stored out of the way when not in use.
Do you have a favorite kitchen organization gadget or idea that you can’t live without? Please share in the comments below! I’m always looking for new ideas I haven’t yet seen!
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I’ll be a regular column contributor to RENO & DECOR magazine starting with the Dec/Jan ’15 issue! There’s no title for the column yet, so stay tuned on that, but it will be mainly about the design/renovation mistakes to avoid. I hope you’ll check it out and I’d love to have your feed back as the columns roll out. The magazine is available on news stands in Canada or online. You can have a look at the current issue here.