Want to maximize the space you have in your kitchen and bathroom? Stop digging around and dropping things on your foot as you struggle to pull out the one item you need? Follow these simple tips:
If cabinet space is really at a premium (mine is) and you don’t want to clutter up your countertops, consider an extra freestanding cupboard or cabinet that goes in another room to hold big, bulky items, appliances and platters, etc that you use infrequently. Even a set of open shelves in the basement or garage can take on these cabinet hogs and free up a great deal of space for the things you use daily.
Thin the ranks. Do you have duplicates, odd kitchen gadgets or containers that you really never use? Give them away or sell them at a garage sale.
Shop for options. Creative kitchen storage units are widely available and they come in all price ranges. Consider, for example, easily installed vertical racks that mount inside your cabinets for storing cookies sheets, griddles, cooling racks and lids for pots and pans. They make everything easy to see and pull out.
Try to store canned goods in lines, with duplicates stored behind each other, stacking when possible. That way you know what you have at a glance and avoid moving cans around every time you open the door. If you don’t stock up on several cans of each item, another option is a stepped up unit you can place inside a cupboard, which takes up space but also reveals the contents of your cabinet at a glance.
Two-tiered lazy Susans do take up extra room, but they are worth it for avoiding the search for seasoning bottles. For super efficiency, take five minutes one day to alphabetize your herb and spice bottles. You only have to do it once, and you’ll be amazed at how much time you save.
Keep infrequently used pots or specialty items, i.e. fondue set, extra crock pot, and holiday serving dishes, in that hard-to-access deep cupboard above the refrigerator.
Use plastic dividers for drawers that hold utensils or small objects. If you have a junk drawer, use recycled plastic tubs or lids to hold the tiny items like paper clips, batteries and other miscellaneous stuff that collects there.
Most bathrooms are short on storage. If several people are sharing a bathroom, consider giving each of them a small plastic carryall with a handle that they can use to store their toiletries and tote back and forth from their bedrooms.
Sometimes just cleaning out everything you have in the bathroom cabinets is a good start. Throw away expired medicines, bottles with a tiny amount of unused product that’s been sitting there for months, and things no one ever uses at all.
Buy plastic bins for keeping together like items: first aid items, shampoos and conditioners, brushes and combs, deodorants and soaps.
Consider an over-the-toilet unit for towels and pretty baskets that can store toiletries without looking like clutter.
Over-the-door hanging units with clear pockets are handy for storing the cosmetics and necessities of several members of the household.
Keep duplicates of products you stock up on in a different room, like the basement.
Buy a pretty vertical toilet paper rod that can sit discreetly in a corner by the toilet and hold several rolls of toilet paper.