Maximising Your Kitchen Storage Part 1
by Sam Shaw
Kitchen Storage Part 1 – Rethinking Your Current Storage
Whether you live in a studio apartment or a Beverley Hills Mansion, maximising kitchen storage space is a must. Particularly of interest to those who are in shared living or just have a kitchen that is challenged in the size department, these tips will help you to store your items more efficiently.
First things first, the scary part – comb through the ‘stuff’ hiding in the back of those corner cupboards, do you ever use it? Will you ever use it? If the answer is no, donate it to someone who will use it or recycle it. However, If you can’t bare to part with that 5 year old coffee machine you begged your other half for and used for all of two weeks, then store it elsewhere until the time you feel the urge to use it again. Just because it is technically a kitchen appliance doesn’t mean it can’t live perfectly happily in that under stair cupboard if never being used. Once de-cluttered and you are left with just the appliances and equipment needed it will be much easier to identify where the best space saving tactics can be put into practice.
To begin to think about what to store in each cupboard it can be easier to begin with what not to store in the cupboards. Don’t waste space storing big appliances that you use on a daily basis, chances are that they will be left on the work surface most days anyway, so find them a home there. That bone china teapot that you only use when grandma comes, or those serving trays that only appear when the whole family are round, can be stored elsewhere. Storage boxes on the top of cupboards can be particularly useful here if you wish to keep them in the kitchen but want to save cupboard space for the things you use daily.
Food storage can be minimised massively by recycling any unneeded packaging. Excess packaging clings onto the UK like a bad smell, generally it is bulky, unnecessary and just gets in the way. Do your metal tins really need to be in an additional cardboard wrapping? When was the last time you read the nutritional information on your cereal box? Perhaps instead consider plastic food boxes that can be stacked and stored one on top of the other. Particularly useful for storing items that can be easily crushed such as crisps, pop them into a plastic storage box, and suddenly they are stackable and can hold other items on top of them.
When it comes to your equipment such as glasses and crockery, they are difficult to stack and take up endless amounts of room because of this. Many of us have more mugs than we actually use, you may have 20 mugs but only ever use half of those, and on a day-to-day cycle of use-dishwasher-cupboard-use, you may find you use half of those again. Try cleaning out the ones you really never use, keep a few extra for when that unexpected party of 10 pop round for tea and cake, but allow the others to go to a new home. Consider moving mugs and wine glasses out of the cupboard, take inspiration from these images, which show wine glasses stored under cupboards in metal frames. Likewise, metal frames can make stacking mugs of the same kind much more efficient.
Pots and pans are another difficult one to store as the handles on most prevent them from fitting easily one inside the other. If you have a spare wall in your kitchen, try hanging them up, meat hooks hanging from a rail work perfectly, and the result is your saucepans are easy to get to when needed but up and out of the way when not in use. Likewise this hanging technique can work for mugs as well! If space is so tight that not even a spare section of wall is available, consider storing pans inside the oven, remember to remove them when the oven is in use but when the majority of time it is sitting there stone cold, make use of it’s space – an extra cupboard!
Having a clear out of the stuff you never use, and rethinking the way you store the stuff you do use can really help in clearing up your kitchen space and using it to its maximum efficiency.
Keep an eye out for Maximising Kitchen Storage Part 2, which will be taking a look at the best space saving gadgets out there for those installing new kitchens!