Entries Tagged 'Kitchen Shelves' ↓

Use Pull Out Cabinet Shelves to Maximize Storage

renovated-kitchen

With modern kitchen gadgets, appliances, and other cooking essentials, space comes at a premium in any household kitchen. Even if you have a huge and fully renovated kitchen, are you using your deep cabinets to their full potential? Or do you lose items in the back of your cupboard for so long you forget you have them in the first place?

Maximize the storage potential in your lower kitchen cabinets with the use of sliding cabinet shelves and drawers. This allows you to pull the entire contents of your kitchen cupboard out so you access the items stored inside, and it slides smoothly back in place to keep the stored items effectively organized yet stowed away.

easy-glider-shelves

The easy-glider pull-out drawers come with ball-bearing full-extension slides and mounting hardware so you can install them to the bottom of the cabinet. Widths are available from 8 to 34 inches to fit perfectly in any cabinet space, and the raised sides help keep stored supplies in place. The soft-close hardware ensures the wooden drawer slides smoothly back into the cabinet without making a noise. These drawers come with a protective clear finish, but you can stain or paint them in order to match your current kitchen cabinets.

wire-shelves-cabinet

As an alternative to wooden shelves, you can add wire shelves to the inside of your cabinet to provide a more functional layout. Two-tier designs are available in order to take advantage of the vertical space in your cupboard as well as the depth. Some of the two tier designs are easily adjustable in order to customize the storage system in the kitchen cabinet. For example, u-shaped designed baskets avoid built-in pipes in order to work underneath the kitchen or bathroom sink.

Adding more cabinets to your kitchen is not always an option, but by maximizing the storage space you already have you can keep all of your supplies effectively stored.

Kitchen Storage Shelving Acheived with a Kitchen Cart

This year we hosted the family holidays at our house for the first time ever. My wife had to work the day after Christmas so there was no way we could make it all the way up to Northern California and back to Los Angeles with enough time to really enjoy the holidays. So instead we had the family come on down and stay with us in our two bedroom apartment. While it was a great time, we were pretty cramped on space. This was especially apparent when we were preparing Christmas Eve dinner. We really could have used some additional kitchen storage shelving to store the extra food, and some more counter space to prepare our food.

Luckily there is an easy way to add both kitchen storage shelving and counter space to a cramped kitchen! All you need is a spacious and sturdy kitchen cart. There are a wide variety of kitchen carts available, from those that fold down to those that have elegant marble countertops, to simple wood carts that are perfect for storage.

No matter what kind of kitchen cart you are looking for, it is important to be sure they are set on casters or wheels. This makes it easy to move your kitchen storage shelving all over the kitchen, eliminating the need to walk all over the kitchen when you are preparing meals. If you have “too many cooks in the kitchen”, as they say, this can be a lifesaver (literally – my father in law is a maniac with the carving knife).

What worked best for my kitchen was the Baxton Studio Quebec Black Kitchen Cart with Granite Top. This kitchen cart provided excellent kitchen storage shelving to store some extra pots and pans, a catch-all drawer and the all-important wine storage racks. And like I said it is set on casters so it is easy to move around the kitchen. The granite top is stylish and also a functional touch.

Kitchen Storage Shelving

Kitchen Shelving Prepares You For A Holiday Feast

With the holidays fast approaching, the time is nigh to evaluate your kitchen shelving situation. This is especially important for those that are hosting the holiday meals this year. But if you are just going to be a guest, you are not quite off of the hook. A good guest always brings something to share with the party, and if you do not have the appropriate kitchen shelving space, making these treats is going to be quite an arduous task.

So the first rule of thumb when selecting kitchen shelving is to find something that is versatile. Most kitchens do not have a ton of extra space, so getting something that has a 2-in-1 feature (or even better, a 3-in-1 feature) is extremely desirable. So that means something that provides storage areas as well as organizational tools, and of course a food preparation surface at the top.

So what kind of kitchen shelving should I get?

What kind of kitchen shelving fits this definition, nearly to a “T”? Well of course this kitchen shelving is known as a kitchen cart! Most of these carts, such as the Dolly Madison Prep n Serve Kitchen Cart, are made from solid wood, giving excellent strength and durability. The top of the kitchen cart features a butcher block that makes it ideal for chopping and dicing.

kitchen Shelving

Another great feature of kitchen carts such as the Dolly Madison is the fact that they are set on casters. Casters are also known as wheels, and they make it super easy to move the cart around the kitchen. This comes in handy when you have made a very heavy dish that needs to be moved to the kitchen table. Instead of risking a 20 foot walk through the hallway, just wheel the cart to the table and make it a 1-foot journey.

With a small footprint this kitchen cart doesn’t take up very much floor space, which is highly desirable for most kitchen shelving. So be ready for your next big holiday meal with this kitchen shelving cart!

Kitchen Shelves Can Lead You to Healthy Eating

As mentioned in the previous post, this week we will be exploring the various ways kitchen shelves can be a productive “first step” before you begin cooking more at home and preparing your own meals. Cooking food at home is a great way to save money and be sure you know exactly what you are putting into your body.

For a few decades pre-prepared meals and other convenience-geared food items were all the rage. People were getting used to more fast-paced lives and demanding quicker and quicker options for dining. Unfortunately this lead to complacency on nutrition and we see ourselves in the health / obesity crisis we face today.

So what do kitchen shelves have to do with this?

The other day I was reading Comida Libre, my favorite blog for healthy lifestyle and eating idea. It gave the inspiration to cook up a healthy meal with local ingredients. It was vegan to boot, something that I have never even considered!

The problem with this meal is that it requires a lot of counter space for chopping and other food preparation. Right now my counters are full of items like my spice rack, chopping board and coffee pot. With all that stuff on my counters, kitchen shelves would really go a long way to get the space cleared.

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Using Shelves to Increase Kitchen Storage

The last four years or so have been pretty tough economical times for Americans.  However, one positive that can be taken away from this difficult time is many people have learned to simplify their lives and live within their means. Even as we slowly but surely pull out of the recession and folks find themselves with a little bit of extra spending money compared to the last few years, sustaining these new-found principles is a very healthy thing.

One of the easiest ways to simplify your life is to have a renewed focus on preparing meals at home. There are several great reasons to make a point of eating at home instead of out at a restaurant:

  1. It saves money. The dollar menu at your fast-food joint may seem like it is a good deal on paper, but comparing it the amount of money you spend per-person, per-meal when you cook at home shows just how wasteful it can be
  2. It is often very difficult to register just what kind of nutritional value meals at restaurants contain. While many large chains are now required to label meals with their caloric count, one-off restaurants and fancier restaurants do not. When you cook at home you know exactly what is going into your meal, and how much of it.

The problem many people face when it comes to cooking food in the kitchen is that there simply is not enough space to cook a proper meal. Often this comes down to a lack of counter space – I know I struggle with it often in my one-bedroom apartment.

One great way to clear up counter space (and pantry space) is to install a slide-out storage tower in the kitchen. This unique shelf is able to fit into areas of the kitchen you never imagined could be used for storage! With a pull-out design you can store spices, canned food and other items that normally would take up valuable counter space in the kitchen.

Slide Out Kitchen Shelf

This week and next I will explore a variety of ways that shelves (yes, shelves and yes, there are a variety of ways) can increase the storage space in your kitchen, making it easier to cook meals for yourself.

Fixin’ It Up with Wall Shelves

Last month I was able to achieve one of my biggest goals in life – I finally joined the ranks of so many proud Americans and became a homeowner. It took a long time to save enough money to be able to responsibly afford a nice home here in Southern California (definitely did not want to end up like so many of my fellow citizens and go underwater on my mortgage), but now that I finally was able to pull the trigger on my home I could not be more excited.

One reason I had grown tired of bouncing from apartment to apartment was simply that – I was tired of gathering all of my stuff up and piling it into a moving van year after year. The life of an apartment dweller can be pretty exhausting, especially dealing with rent increases. Another reason I am really glad to not have to answer to a management company, which almost always has ulterior motives and is just looking to get as much money out of me as possible. Similar to being your own boss, I can finally say that I am my own landlord.

But despite these nice conveniences of being a homeowner, the biggest reason I wanted to buy my own home is that I am a bit of a fixer-upper nut. I love being out in the yard or on the roof fixing up my home or giving it an added modification. With an apartment, if you so much as paint some trim or baseboards, you undoubtedly are headed down the road towards a vanished security deposit.

One of the first improvements I made to my home was increasing the storage and display space around the home. As a first-time home buyer I went the fixer-upper route and saved myself some money. Unfortunately this means the house is also as bare bones as it gets. Adding wall shelves to my home was the first step I took to add storage and display space to the walls. With a variety of materials and sizes available, I really went to town throughout the house.

My next few posts will deal specifically with the new improvements I made on my fixer-upper home and maybe you can learn a thing or two from my experience!

Cramped Kitchens Can Be Conquered

For the most part, my apartment is pretty spacious – I have not one, but two walk-in closets (which somehow manage to still not be enough storage). The bedroom in my home is fairly large as are the hallways and living room. But there is one area of my apartment that is significantly lacking: kitchen storage space.

What passes for a “kitchen” in my apartment is really just a single skinny closet-like room that has a row of wood shelves, a small oven and some sort of mini-fridge / refrigerator blend that I had never seen before in my life. There is hardly enough room for a microwave oven, let alone any extraneous storage. Moving into this apartment really made us make some difficult decisions and pare down to what we really needed in the room.

Part of getting organized in our new micro-kitchen was utilizing any and all kitchen shelf organizers we could find. There are a variety of different organizers for your shelves in the kitchen, all providing a unique and helpful function.

Some options for kitchen storage and organization are extremely easy to install and require no tools. Items such as a wire cabinet organizer are very inexpensive and provide an instant increase in shelf space. I use these for my bowls and plates in my wall-mounted kitchen shelves.

Other items such as a slide-out storage tower provide unique storage for food or cleaning supplies (I would not recommend storing both in the same place!). This innovative shelf fits in-between a major appliance such as the dishwasher and the counter, providing a retractable storage area. Even this kitchen storage shelf is easy to install and requires little use of tools.

The slide out kitchen shelf is a great way to make the most of unused kitchen space.

These are just two examples of how we were able to make our small kitchen space work. Of course, some of the battle was deciding which kitchen items were truly essential and which were just a waste of space.

Making the Best Use of Shelves

Yes, we would all love to have tons and tons of extra shelf space around our home, everywhere from the closet to the pantry and garage and beyond!  But just because a home is graced with loads of shelving, doesn’t instantly make it an organized home.  Shelves can be great to have, but you have to use them right if you want to stay organized, as opposed to just getting organized.

Vegetable Bin - Slide Out

Vegetable Bin – Slide Out

Here are some tips on making the best use of shelves in every area of the home:
Kitchen:  Cupboards, cabinets and pantry shelves are wonderful for food and dish storage, but only if you can see and reach all of the items that are in there.  Tiered cabinet organizers and lazy susans are two great ways to gain access to the backs of your pantry shelves.  Another are sliding baskets, like these wire organizer baskets – slide out, which sit right on top of the cabinet shelf and allow you to easily access items at the back.  In lower cabinets and even under the sink, a vegetable bin – slide out can do wonders.

Wire Organizer Baskets - Slide Out

Wire Organizer Baskets – Slide Out

Bathroom: Use baskets and sliding baskets to hold makeup and other toiletries.  This way you can simply pull out the basket you need (say, for tooth grooming), and easily stash it back on the shelf when you are finished.
Closet:  Most closets come with a built in shelf above the closet rod, and, in most homes, this area is a jumbled mess of clothing and boxes that are just waiting to topple over onto your head!  Shelf dividers work by sliding onto the existing shelf and keeping sweaters, stacks of pants and other items separated for easy access without a big mess.
Garage:  Garage shelves can benefit from various sizes of plastic bins.  Smaller ones for hardware, larger ones for tools.  Just make sure to label each bin for easy organizing and storage.

Making the Most Out of Kitchen Shelves

China Storage/ set 6 - Crimson Quilted Canvas

China Storage/ set 6 - Crimson Quilted Canvas

When there are extra shelves in the pantry or even in the cabinets, I’m often asked, what should I do with that space?  If you already have all of your dishes, pots, pans and food staples organized, the next step is to make sure you are properly storing your “nice dishes” to keep them safe.  An easy way to do this is with specially designed china storage bags.  There are a variety of them on the market.  Here are my tips for storing fine dinnerware the right way.
Cups and Mugs – It is imperative that cups and mugs are properly divided by cardboard or another substantial material, as with the China Cup Storage Chest – Deluxe Quilted Microfiber.  This one has a soft body which is fine, as long as the sides are protected and each mug has its own space.  There are also hard case versions, like the Coffee Cup Storage Chest.
Plates – For plates, it is not as crucial to have them divided side by side.  Since the weight of the plates will keep them from bouncing into one another, all you need is something in between each plate to reduce the risk of cracking.  This China Dinnerware Storage – Deluxe Quilted Microfiber is perfect for that and it has a variety of sizes.
Champagne and Wine Glasses – Just as with mugs, each piece of stemware needs its own compartment since they will be standing up right, as with the Stemware Storage Chest – Light Gray – Deluxe Quilted Microfiber set.  For a version that is easier to clean, this Stemware Chest – Set of 2 is made of vinyl which can be wiped very easily clean.
Sets – Even easier is to look for an all in one china storage set, like this China Storage – Padded Cotton 6 Piece Set which has everything you need.  If you are storing your dishes on shelves behind glass doors where they will be seen, there are great, new stylish sets like the Dinnerware Storage 8 pc Set in Chocolate Brown Micro Fiber which has an elegant appearance.
Bonus Tip: For Christmas dishes, look for a set colored red, like the China Storage/ set 6 – Crimson Quilted Canvas so that you can easily spot them when you are ready to set up for the holidays!

A Simple Shelf Can Work Wonders!

Deluxe Adjustable Shelf - by Panacea

Deluxe Adjustable Shelf - by Panacea

Not all of the important shelves are large bookcases!  There are plenty of little shelves that will do wonders for organizing your home, office and garage!  A great example of these is the Panacea Deluxe Adjustable Shelf.  This handy wire shelf is great for dividing up any space vertically to get you the maximum storage you need so badly around the home.  This model adjusts in width, great for really using up all available space in your cabinets, cupboards or closet.  Small wire shelves are great for any room of the home.  Use them in the kitchen pantry for keeping plates, cups and even food separated.  They are great for stacking cans below and above, reducing the need for you to dig through stacks of canned goods to get to the right one.  In the bathroom, they can be used in the cabinet under the sink for storing and organizing makeup, toiletries, cleaning supplies and even towels.  In the closet, use a small wire shelf on the existing closet shelf above the rod to separate stacks of folded shirts, sweaters and even shoes!
Here are some things to think about when shopping for a shelf:
·         Where are you going to use it?  If you are using it somewhere with moisture, you may want to go with plastic that won’t rust or rot.  On the other hand, if you are using it somewhere in plain view of all to see, an attractive wood or metal shelf may be a better choice!  The deluxe adjustable shelf features wire covered with vinyl – easy to clean and moisture resistant!
·         What are you storing on it?  Size obviously is very important.  You want the items to fit on it in the best way possible, without taking up anymore room than is necessary.
Before you go shopping, don’t forget to thoroughly measure your space so there are no surprises when the item arrives at your door!