/ Organization

Little Storage Accessories Make a Big Difference

Open drawer showing cutlery tidy.

Even the simplest of storage solutions make big differences in your cabinets.

Don't be content with just adding rollout shelves in your base cabinets. Check out the growing number of options for how to make drawers give you more storage space. They're being used now to store plates, pots and pans, and snacks; and replacing base cabinet shelving in many instances.

And remember that the standard dimensions for cabinets are becoming less and less so. Find out from your designer or cabinetmaker how much you can push it. Maybe you can add 6 inches of storage to your base cabinets, making them 30 inches instead of the standard 24 inches deep. Or you could make your upper cabinets a foot taller and add 3 to 4 inches to their standard 12- to 13-inch depth.

Keep aesthetics in mind. To avoid turning your kitchen into an overwhelming collection of floor-to-ceiling cabinetry, add contrast. Screened or frosted cabinet doors hide clutter while breaking up the monotony of wood. Juxtapose your cabinetry with open shelving. Or, stick with three walls of closed cabinetry but opt for an open floor plan; let the fourth wall open into an adjacent living or dining room.

Your options for storage solutions include:


  • Look to different interior shelving options for easy-access in hard-to reach places:

o Rollout shelves

o Foldout banks of shelves

o Swingout shelves

  • Gain storage space with the narrow, 4-inch-to-10-inch wide slide-in shelves that look like posts when they're pushed in. They can give you extra room without taking up whole sections of the cabinets, holding spices, soups, and more.

  • Put away plates with ease with open shelving-a great way to add color and personality to your kitchen. Also, since upper cabinet open shelving tends to be more recessed than low-hanging boxes, you'll end up with a more open workspace.

  • Turn an awkward corner into a valuable storage spot with a lazy Susan. Many shelving manufacturers offer accessories to make access even easier, like pie-shaped bins and slideouts.


  • Add visual depth and interest with pullout wicker baskets and under-the sink pullout wire baskets; ideal ways to store linens and more.


  • Make cleanup a breeze with pullout trash and recycling bins.

  • Add style and practicality with grain storage bins.


  • Use dividers for simplified retrieval:

o Cutlery compartments

o Spice drawers

o Utensil dividers

  • Consider using drawers instead of shelving for your base cabinets.

  • Don't equate drawer storage only with cabinetry. Many appliances, including refrigerators, wine chillers, and dishwashers, now come as drawer units. Store milk and juice next to your breakfast nook or place frequently used items in a refrigerator drawer beneath your workspace.

  • Keep what you use where you use it. A large drawer under a cooktop is an ideal place for pots and pans.


  • Buy in bulk and store with ease with a pantry unit, complete with your choice of shelving:

o Fixed shelf pantry

o Pullout pantry

o Foldout pantry

o Rollout pantry


  • Opt for long cabinet pulls; they double as dishtowel hangers.

  • Store sponges and small cleaning items in a tiltout panel in front of the sink.

  • Consolidate spices on an inner door rack. To simplify further, alphabetize them for easy retrieval.

  • Save space by storing trays and baking sheets in vertical dividers.

  • Display dishware in a plate rack above the sink to add color and clean-up convenience.

  • Free up valuable cabinet space by storing infrequently used items (like holiday dishes or juicers) in a pantry or closet space.

  • Keep what you do use at easy reach-22 to 72 inches above the floor is recommended.



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