5 Kitchen Organizers for Functionality and Space Optimization

After we renovated our small kitchen, we were worried about getting the most out of our limited storage space.

A few changes in the layout meant that our available cabinet space was likely decreasing ever-so-slightly, and we were already at near capacity even before the renovation.

To help with this, we looked at novel storage options to help better serve our space, and a few have been game changers. Some of this has been for the storage issue, and others have been for ease of access as well!

So, in this one, we thought we'd share a few kitchen organizer purchases that we truly love having in our limited space!

Lazy Susan for the Pantry

Pantry Lazy Susan

One of our biggest problems with our pantry is that it is fairly deep. The pantry's space is great, but without a good organization setup, it was hard to pull big and/or bulky items out from the very back.

After finding a Lazy Susan that fit our pantry's dimensions perfectly, it was a game changer.

Instead of having bottles and bottles of oils, vinegar, and other cooking liquids organized haphazardly in our pantry, the Lazy Susan made them all able to be within grabbing distance with a simple spin- never more than two deep away from us at any given time.

While we will admit that a Lazy Susan does eat up into available storage space slightly since it is round and sits inside a square space, the small amount of loss of available storage area is more than acceptable to us simply for the ease of accessibility- we're now using all of our oils and condiments over just whatever was easiest to reach.

Slide-Out Shelves and Racks

Slide Out Shelves

After our renovation, a new feature in our kitchen was adding cabinets above our refrigerator. Previously, we simply stacked cookie sheets and wire racks on top of our refrigerator and would have to use a stepstool to get up and grab them.

Slide-out racks that are permanently installed on these cabinets have made storage here so much better.

Not only do the racks allow for all of the bulky pans and racks to be stored vertically (thus utilizing the space better over stacking), the ability to slide them makes accessing them without a stepstool a breeze.

Going beyond slide out racks for cookie sheets and pans, we also installed a few other slide out shelves at key cabinet locations around our kitchen. Our narrow, one-foot wide cabinet next to our stove has slide out shelves for our spices, making for easy access while cooking, and a multi-tier slide-out shelf by our coffee station helped utilize otherwise dead space for slim items like a kitchen scale.

Angled Silverware Storage

Silverware Storage

One of the primary drawers we had allocated for silverware and knife storage had an interesting limitation- we had far too many utensils for the available space.

We could have fit them in, but it would have been a jumble of measuring spoons, flatware, and the like.

As this particular drawer wasn't too deep, we could not use stackable storage bins as in other drawers (more on that below). Instead, we found a unique silverware storage system that is designed with angled bins to allow one-half of the silverware to nest below another set, all while providing easy access to each.

We found a similar knife unit with two tiers, which allowed bigger and smaller knives to nest around each other with easy access. 

The only downside with this particular one is that since we put our silverware in the bins with the handles facing out, it took us a great deal of time to remember which one was for forks and which one was for spoons- but that was a minor concern in the grand scheme of things because the organization of it is excellent.

Stackable Storage Bins

Stackable Bins

Another issue we realized we had with our kitchen layout was that a few of our drawers also had an awkward width and depth, particularly in our one-foot wide cabinets between our oven and refrigerator.

The narrow width limited what items we could put in these drawers, and the larger-than-average depth meant that the items we did store here only took up a fraction of the vertical space.

As a compromise, we found stackable storage bins that fit inside the drawers and nested on top of each other perfectly. While you could easily stack several of the same size one upon the other, we bought storage bins that were progressively smaller (lengthwise) to have part of the next lower organizer visible to make accessing items just a bit easier.

Regular Storage Bins Everywhere, Too

Plastic Storage Bins

Finally, we would be remiss if we didn't mention that we went a little crazy buying plastic storage bins of various dimensions for storing many items- particularly in our pantry.

As mentioned previously, the depth of our pantry was awkward and made for accessing items in the back somewhat tricky when a half-dozen or so other products were in front of it. 

By using plastic storage bins and grouping items together by theme (baking products in one, Asian products in another, Mexican products in another, and so on), accessing these items became a breeze. Yes, we still had to take out a bin and rummage through it to find what we were looking for, but it is a whole lot easier to grab one or two when needed than our previous, unorganized setup.

Overall, while our kitchen is still small, many of these unique organization and storage items really helped us utilize our space nicely. In fact, it now feels like we have more room than when we started because of how well some of these items work. As such, they're now staples in our kitchen!

Do you have a favorite kitchen organization tool or storage device? Comment below to share!

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