When we first acquired our house, the kitchen had very little counter space, and only four drawers. The Husband and I had two kitchens worth of stuff (most of his didn’t make the cut, if you can imagine) plus wedding gifts to try to fit into the limited space. I thought I’d show you some of the ways we’ve used vertical space to make a home for all of the things that we use in the kitchen (even though there is a lot more counter and cabinet space than there used to be).
*I hate digging through drawers (I also hate scraping paint, in case you couldn’t tell), so one of the first things we installed was a pair of utensil bars next to the stove. They’ve been working for over 8 years now.
*I’m not a big fan of knife blocks (limited counter space, and also, who knows what might be lurking in the slots?), so The Husband installed a magnetic knife holder on the back splash. My free-range toddlers couldn’t reach them, and by the time they were tall enough, they were also trustworthy enough to not try (your mileage, and your children, may vary).
*Since The Husband has an illogical attachment to cheap knives, and I am not willing to give up my good ones to make room, we eventually needed a second knife holder for the steak knives.
*More recently, I got tired of my measuring cups and spoons disappearing, so I installed some Command hooks on the inside of the cabinet door next to the stove. Now they’re always either where they belong, or in the dishwasher.
*My toaster oven has a handy little tool that is supposed to be used to remove hot pans. That handy little tool, much like my measuring spoons, had a bad habit of disappearing. Now it lives on a command hook next to the toaster oven.
*I do use potholders when cooking at the stove, and a little over-the-door hook keeps them within reach at all times.
*Another over-the-door tool keeps all of my cleaning brushes and rubber gloves tucked under the sink.
Speaking of the sink, we screwed cup hooks into one cabinet above the sink to hold coffee cups. On the other side, The Husband installed some small shelves to hold tea stuff. Being the king of overkill, he used carriage bolts for this. Remind me to tell you about our basement stairs sometime.
*On the near end of the new-ish cabinets, I have a nice tall pantry that other than a dry-erase calendar which I’ve never once used, is empty. I’ve contemplated using that space for one of the kitchen command centers that are ubiquitous across Blogland right now, but I haven’t come up with a configuration that I think we might actually use.
*We hang our trivets (and fly swatters, ick) on the far side of the upper and lower cabinets. The cabinets end right next to the dining room table, so they’re within easy reach when needed, and nearly invisible the rest of the time.
*We purchased a rolling work table from Sam’s Club to give us more versatile counter space. Since our ceilings are too low to use a pot rack, we hung S-hooks from the rolled edge of the work surface to give us a bunch of hanging storage for pots and pans. Aside from The Taterbug’s S-hook obsession phase, these have worked out great. I’ve always intended to go back and drill a hole in the edge so the hooks can’t wiggle off and give me a heart attack, but in over 6 years, I’ve never gotten around to it. Apparently it doesn’t bother me too much.
When I began wearing aprons in an effort to save my clothing, the girls decided they wanted aprons too. Enter the apron hooks. The white board above contains The Husband’s Honey-Do List (he likes to pretend that he is outraged by it, but his poor memory is legendary). On the back of the door is a homework organizer that we use to keep The Taterbug’s workbooks and pencils from getting lost on a daily basis. I love it.
There are a few other things we’ve done in the kitchen, but this post is getting long, and I’ve been up since 3am, so if you’re interested, you can see more here.