3 DIY Storage Upgrades for Your Kitchen

It is a well-known fact that kitchens sell homes, and it is no secret what most of us are looking for in a kitchen. The list includes updated appliances, new countertops, and beautiful flooring. Perhaps top of the list, however, is cabinets and lots of them. No matter what the size of the kitchen is, there is never enough space for all of the pots, pans, dishes, gadgets and gizmos. You may not even use them all. Nevertheless, they need a home so that they don’t get parked on the countertop or lost forever in the infamous junk drawer.

3 DIY Storage Upgrades for Your Kitchen

(Pixabay / jeanvdmeulen)

If you shop around, there are many home storage systems available to purchase in the Seattle area. If you prefer to tackle the project yourself, there are many do-it-yourself options to organize the clutter.

Redesign lower cabinet space

Have you ever noticed that lower cabinets have a lot of empty space? In many cases, these lower cabinets only have two shelves. The upper shelf is often only half the depth of the cabinet. This shallow shelf is not visible when standing in the kitchen. To retrieve items, you may find yourself fishing around in the dark or getting down on the floor to reach something at the back. These cabinets are not ideal storage spaces for large items either. Tall items block access to the top shelf, and shorter items leave a lot of wasted space above. It is a problem to be sure, but one that can be mitigated with a few small changes.

  1. Add a vertical divider – By adding a shelf positioned vertically in the lower cabinet, you can create a tall, thin area on one side of the cabinet in which to store platters, cookie sheets, or cutting boards. Keep in mind that you will have to cut the current shelf to create this space. Don’t forget to add supports for the shelf in your new cabinet divider.
  2. Install pull out shelving – Pull out shelves increase the useable storage space of the cupboard. By adding two rolling shelves, you regain the full depth of each shelf for storage. Additionally, your ability to access everything stored in the cabinet is significantly improved. No more fishing blindly or crawling around on the floor. You can pull the shelves out to see and reach everything with ease. This type of shelving can also be installed under the kitchen sink in many cases. You will have to work around the shape and placement of the plumbing fixtures, but it can help organize this catch-all space for cleaning products.
  3. Create flat storage behind toe kicks – Removing the toe kick beneath the cabinets and replacing it with a simple drawer creates ample room for awkward size kitchen items such as pizza pans, muffin tins, and large baking sheets. Be careful when removing the toe kicks as you may want to reuse them as your drawer fronts. These wood pieces will match the cabinets and keep a consistent look in your kitchen.

Spice up your spices

Keeping the spices organized can be a challenge. Unless you buy the same brand and size every time you go to the store, there is a good chance that you have a wide assortment of bottles.
Does this sound familiar? No matter how you try to organize them, the little ones get buried, and something ends up falling out while you are digging through the rest. When you finally clean out the spice cupboard, you find that you have three nutmegs and no pepper. While a proper built-in spice rack is ideal, there are several different ways that you can create an organized space for your spices.

  1. Go magnetic – Baby food jars are the perfect size for storing spices. If you don’t have baby in your home, ask friends who do to save them for you. You can mount a magnetic strip underneath a cabinet and stick the spice jars to it. Be sure to label each one with what is inside. Another option is to purchase magnetic tins to store your spices. These tins will stick to the side of your refrigerator, clearing out cabinet space and keeping your spices accessible while you cook. The added bonus is that you can see them all at once.
  2. Put them into a drawer – By building the proper support to fit one of your kitchen drawers, you can store all your spices horizontally. Cut strips of plywood whose length matches the width of the inside of the drawer. Nail the pieces together so that they make a staircase-like structure. When you lay this form down in the drawer, it will form the perfect support for spice jars. You can even vary the size of each step in the “staircase” to accommodate different size and shape containers.
  3. Think outside the ordinary – Consider using unique containers for your spices. One such idea would be using glass test tubes plugged with a cork. Or perhaps a homemade lattice structure that resembles a wine rack would be a better fit for your personality and tastes.

Reclaim under-cabinet space

Counter space is always at a premium in the kitchen. Save space for chopping, cooking and serving food by installing storage spaces below your upper cabinets.

  1. Dropdown drawers – Build a simple box and attach the back of the box to the bottom of the cabinet using a hinge. Install magnets at the front of the box to hold it up and out of the way when not in use. Be sure to extend the side supports for the box beyond the back of the box and cut them at an angle. These pieces will allow the box to extend down but keep it from dumping its contents on the counter. This box can be used as a message center for storing paper, pens, and pencils. You could also use it to hold a recipe card or tablet up out of the way while you are cooking.
  2. Add horizontal wine storage – With two 1×4’s and some plywood, you can create space-saving storage for wines. Cut two 1×4 pieces of wood to the desired length for your rack. Make sure they will fit under the cabinets where you intend to hang them. Cut the plywood the same length and eight inches wide. Using a 3 1/8” hole saw, cut out evenly spaced holes in the 1×4’s for the bottles. Mount the 1×4’s to the plywood piece so that the holes line up. Paint or stain the wood to complement your décor and mount the rack to the bottom of a cabinet

The storage possibilities in the kitchen are endless if you know where to look. Whether you decide to hire our experienced professionals at Washington State Closets to install custom home storage systems or tackle the chaos with some DIY projects of your own, you will be making your kitchen far more functional and welcoming for years to come.