With the holidays right around the corner, your kitchen might be groaning from the memory of last year. Too many “cooks” with too little counter space for all of the food being made, warmed, and snacked on. The size of your kitchen hasn’t changed since then, but maybe there’s something else you can do before the holidays to get some more space.

Invest in a Lazy-Susan or Pull-Out Drawers

Use a Lazy-Susan to maximize the space in corner cabinets.
Use a Lazy-Susan to maximize the space in corner cabinets. Source: James White

It’s amazing how much space you have when you can get easy access to them.

Corner cabinets are notorious for wasting space that can’t be reached. Make your cabinets work for you by installing a corner or folding door and Lazy-Susan shelving that can spin, allowing you to hide appliances that don’t get used on a daily basis, or to keep spices and pantry items close at hand and easy to find.

For skinny cabinets with deep shelves, consider purchasing roll-out shelves to make it easier to store and find what you’re looking for.

Shelving for Your Shelving

Portable shelves with adjusted width to make sure they fit a variety of cabinets are inexpensive purchases to help you organize plates, Tupperware, and spices.

Live Simple

You use glass pots for some recipes, metal pans for others, and then put it in plastic containers to store the leftovers in the freezer or refrigerator. It’s no wonder cabinet space is prime real estate in your kitchen!

There are certain pots and pans that are more versatile than others. For example, glass and ceramic cookware can be used in the oven, stovetop (certain glass), microwave and then also in the fridge to store leftovers. Choosing to buy just a few nice quality kitchen cookware pieces will help cut down on wasted space. Check out this cookware comparison chart to see how different types of cookware stack up against each other.

Rolling Around

Add a butcher block countertop to a rolling island or small desk to create more storage and prep space.
Add a butcher block countertop to a rolling island or small desk to create more storage and prep space. Source: James White

Kitchen islands are a great way to get more workspace in the kitchen, but if you don’t have space for one, you can add a butcher block top to a rolling bar cart or even an small desk that you can move from along a wall to wherever you need it. You can also use it to hold appliances or your new cookware, or to hold dishes and flatware for a buffet line.

Living in a tiny house with an even tinier kitchen? Buy or make a cutting board that will sit over your sink to give yourself more work space, or use as a cutting and prep board.

Alternative Storing Options

You may have to go outside the kitchen to find extra storage space.
You may have to go outside the kitchen to find extra storage space. Source: James White

Another alternative for storing your pots and pans is to hang them from a ceiling-mounted rack will keep them up where they can be easily seen and accessed, giving you more cabinet space to hold appliances that aren’t used on a daily basis.

You may even be able to find areas that you can fit a few additional shelves, such as in the garage to store bulky kitchen items you don’t use often. You can also place cookbooks in the library instead of the kitchen or get rid of them and just download recipes on your phone or tablet.

Make it Look Nice

Get rid of all those bags and place nuts, seeds, flour, and sugar in labelled jars. You can also help organize items by place them in baskets that can stake neatly and labelled on the outside to help you remember what’s in them.

Taking Advantage of Hidden Spaces

If you don’t have an open kitchen, but you do have a door that hides unused wall space behind it, consider adding narrow shelves between the wall studs to hold your spices or your cookbook collection. Got a narrow space between your refrigerator and the cabinet? Add a door and a raised floor, and use it to store your cookie sheets and cooling racks. A short wall at the end of a breakfast bar that runs floor to ceiling? This is another space that can be cut in between the studs to hold spices or even dowels that can be used to hold a roll of aluminum foil, plastic wrap or parchment paper.

With a little creative ingenuity, you won’t be bumping elbows in your kitchen for the holidays this year!

James White is a kombucha tea-sipping blogger who focuses on green building and sustainable living via his family blog Homey Improvements. He also enjoys sharing his recent discoveries with DIY projects, home tips and organic gardening. James is “Alaska Grown” but now resides in PA. Connect with him on Twitter at @DIYfolks or on Facebook.

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