Cabinet organizers can add a remarkable amount of storage to your kitchen, and an uncluttered space will leave you feeling confident and refreshed. But if the mere thought of installing a lazy susan or tackling that infamous junk drawer makes you shutter, our pro-backed tips can help.
The first step is to identify your problem areas. Is getting out a pan an insurmountable task? Are your spices in difficult-to-navigate stacks? Are drawers so cluttered you haven't seen your wine opener in years? Once you've decided what area needs the most help, look to these smart solutions.
First: Frame Face vs. Frameless Cabinets
Frame face and frameless cabinets differ in where cabinet doors are hinged, and how drawer faces rest on the front of the cabinet. A frameless design features doors that are hinged directly onto the side panel, while in a frame face design features a front facing panel on which doors are hinged. A frameless design can only feature hinges behind the door face while a frameface design is free to use exterior hinges as a stylistic element, though they can also feature interior hinges. A frameless design requires that all doors and drawer faces fill in the entirety of the front facing portion of the cabinet , while a face frame can allow for gaps between drawer faces and doors. The added design freedom that a frame face designs allows has caused them to be recognized as aesthetically superior and sturdier. Frameless cabinet drawers are recognized as more space efficient, as there is no face frame between them which takes up space.
Wasted Space: Blind Corner Systems
Corner cabinets typically have ample room, but unless you have super-long arms or are handy with a grabber tool, you are probably loosing a lot of space in the hard-to-reach cabinet depths. A corner system features pullout shelves that are activated when the door is opened or a lever is pulled, bringing your shelving within reach.
The first task is to determine your minimum cabinet size. For the minimum opening, measure the door space inside the face frame from left to right. The minimum depth is from the front face frame to the back wall. Also note the height, top to bottom, within the face frame.
Swing out systems from Hafele and Vauth-Sagel provide maximum space but require very accurate measurements. Slide-out units by Knape & Vogt or Rev-A-Shelf, for example, are typically easier to measure. Plus they offer deeper baskets with squared edges, perfect for stashing non-perishables and cookware.
Cluttered Spices: Door Organizers and Lazy Susans
Door-mounted spice racks free up a ton of cabinet space. Simply measure the width and height of your cabinet frame's inset (not the door itself). To stash spices, a fixed option may be perfect. For storing an assortment of items (spices, foil, cooking spray, etc.), choose an adjustable rack so that you can select the distance between shelves.
Lazy Susans are another great option to organize spices and condiments in an accessible way. You will need the width and height you just measured, but with an adjustable shaft, most standard cabinets will fit. See the full guide here.
Cleaning Chaos: Under Sink Organizers
Slide-out baskets, pull-out storage shelves and door-mounted organizers are great options for storing cleaning solutions, paper towels, sponges, dish gloves and so on. First, measure cabinet opening: left to right, front to back, and top to bottom within the face frame. When sink plumbing or a garbage disposal is hogging most of the room, try a wrap-around organizer like
this option from Rev-A-Shelf or a
door storage organizer. For a wider opening,
pull out baskets feature one deep basin or several stacked holders. Add a handy
towel organizer to hang several dish towels right where you always use them.
Free up more under-sink space by installing a trash can within cabinetry (again, be sure to note cabinet opening measurements).
Built-in trash cans feature single or double options that slide smoothly on a track, with soft-close hardware available.
Pan-demic: Cookware Organizers
Nothing is a bigger pain than needing to grab a pan from the bottom of a huge stack. Instead of piling pots and pans, handy
cookware organizers feature racks to hold your items side by side. Built-in racks like Rev-A-Shelf's
two-tier pans and lids organizer has independently operating shelves that slide out when you need them. Or, a
vinyl peg board drawer organizer can be easily placed into existing drawer-space. As with your other in-cabinet installations, measure minimum cabinet opening before you start!
Crowded Counters: Pull-Out Tables
Pull-out tables add instant prep space. Measure your minimum drawer opening by pulling out the existing drawer and noting the distance left-to-right and top-to-bottom within the face frame. For plain cabinetry, choose a model with an existing front panel. If your cabinetry is more complex, opt for one like
this table by Rev-A-Shelf, and mount on your own drawer front.
Another great option is an innovative
appliance lift. These cutting-edge installations mount within cabinetry with an easy pull-out shelf that lifts to counter level when you need it. To choose a size, note the product's suggested cabinet widths.