The kitchen is one of the most used places in our home. According to the USDA, we spend almost 40 minutes a day preparing meals and cleaning up. As much time as we spend in the kitchen, it should be a functional place that serves our specific needs.
Think about all the activities we do in our kitchens. We make our coffee, we’re in and out of the food pantry and refrigerator, we store our cleaning supplies, and we’re constantly discarding trash and garbage.
Are you ready to transform your kitchen into a useful space?
In this post, I’ll cover simple ways for you to quickly add permanent solutions to get your kitchen organized!
These 10 ideas involve installing pull out organizers within your cabinetry. Most will come pre-assembled and ready-to-install. They’re easy enough for any DIY’er to manage.
Unless we’re doing a remodel or a completely new build, we can’t always pick and choose our dream cabinets, floors, lights, appliances and hardware. We can however, make it way more operational with certain key products.
Let’s take a look ways to optimize your kitchen.
1. Add a Trash Pull Out System
Trash pull outs are one of the most functional items you can add to your kitchen. It’s one of those products that you and your family use each and every day.
This type of pull out system uses a frame that sits on slide. The frame then glides in and out of your cabinet, allowing you to quickly dispose of garbage.
Companies like Rev-A-Shelf, Knape and Vogt, and SimpleHuman make some of the best trash pull outs for kitchens. You can add a trash pull out for as little as $50 or you can go ultra high-end with wood drawer box versions as well.
Trash pull out frames can mount to bottom of you cabinet with just a few screws. Various pull outs can accommodate either one waste bin or two waste bins. They can also mount to your existing cabinet door with door mount kits.
This way, you can use your existing handle knob or pull to open the trash pull out when it is hidden inside your cabinet.
The trick to adding a trash pull out is to find one that will work with your specific cabinet dimensions. Many manufacturers design their trash pull outs to work within standard cabinet opening. These are often 12″, 15″ 18″ and 21″ widths. You can easily find trash pull outs that can work with these dimensions.
Trash pull outs in a nutshell…
- Great solution to something you use everyday
- Trash pull outs consist of a frame, slides, and waste bin(s)
- Some can mount to your existing cabinet door
- There’s a wide variety of trash pull outs
- Find one that works with your cabinet dimensions
2. Organizing Pots and Pans...The Right Way
Once you get some pull out baskets installed you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of this solution before.
Getting easier access to pots and pans, Tupperware, bowls or large plates makes all the difference in the world.
The sophistication of some of these products will blow you away. They are heavy duty, feature smooth gliding slides, come in various sizes and are even easy to install.
Check out my other post where I round up the best pot and pan organizers. It does a good job of explaining all of the benefits of the most popular pull out baskets. I note the overall functionality and highlight the chrome wire adjustability that is crucial for pot and pans.
Pull out shelves, just like trash pull outs, often come pre-assembled and ready to install.
Many manufacturers note the product dimensions and also the minimum cabinet opening you need to have in order for it to work correctly inside the cabinet.
Pull out baskets in a nutshell…
- Perfect for any base cabinet
- Easily access hard to reach items in back of cabinet
- Often come pre-assembled
- Easy to install
3. Utilizing Under-Sink Pull Out Shelves
This is one of those areas in the kitchen and bathroom that’s always messy. We keep cleaners, sponges, soaps, towels and tons more under the sink.
Believe it or not, there are slide out storage products that are geared specifically for the under sink area.
These organizer pull outs are easy to install and often times help you avoid intrusive plumbing and pipes.
There are two types of organizers I recommend. One, a sliding wire basket that glides out toward you to access hard-to-reach items. Two, a cabinet door mounted organizer that rotates out as you open the door and a third, is to add a trash pull out that fits under the sink. However, that may be more of a in-depth DIY project.
My all-time favorite product for the under-sink area are pull out caddies like the one below.
It has a wire frame that sits on slides which makes it easy to access items. The two-tier version accommodates plumbing that can sometimes interfere with larger pull outs.
Under sink storage in a nutshell...
- Great area for organization
- Try dividing areas for certain tasks with most used items up front
- Use a pull out basket or a cabinet door mounted organizer
- Other options include a hidden trash pull out
Works around plumbing pipes, get access to most-used items and 11.5″ wide size.
4. Getting the Most Out of Corner Cabinets
Corner cabinets or “blind corners” are a bit more complicated than other areas of the kitchen. They can be hard to find organization products for.
It can also be a head scratcher to determine if you have a blind right cabinet or a blind left cabinet!
Don’t let that deter you from improving this area of your kitchen though.
One quick method to figure this out is to stand in front of the cabinet, whatever side the dead space is, that is the “blind” section of the cabinet. So if the dead space, or hard to reach area, is in the back left, you have a blind left cabinet. If the dead space is in the right, you have a blind right cabinet.
I may have made that more complicated than needed, but hopefully you get the idea.
Now, on to the fun part. In order to utilize this space, I would use an organizer that’s made specifically for blind corner cabinets. One of my all-time favorites are the large basket pull outs. They use the space extremely well.
Another idea, is to use a lazy susan with a “kidney shape” to it. These are large plastic or wooden trays that rotate inside the cabinet. They use a swivel bearing to do this. If you have a pre-fixed shelf inside the base cabinet. This would mount right on top of that shelf.
Blind corner storage in a nutshell…
- Determine if you have a blind right or blind left
- Do you have a shelf in the cabinet? Try using a lazy susan swivel
- This cabinet space is easier to work with in new cabinetry installs or remodels
- With no shelf inside the cabinet, try a large pull out organizer
Can remove baskets that sit on hooks, 15lb. per shelf, easy to install and works for right or left handed blind cabinets.
5. Clear Up Counter Space by Hiding Appliances
This is a fun one and always a favorite among homeowners. It’s called a mixer lift. It’s designed to lift out of the cabinet when in use and slide back down into the cabinet once done.
Two arm mechanisms, one on the left and one on the right, mount to the inside cabinet walls. A wood shelf is then secured onto both arms. This allows the appliance to sit on the shelf and lift up and down.
I know what your’e thinking…how the heck can I install this thing? Although it may seem super complicated, don’t let it scare you away. Here’s a YouTube video of the installation. If you have a frameless cabinet style it is very simple to install. Ideally you will have a full height cabinet with no drawer in it.
The overall functionality is great. Look for the Rev-A-Shelf or Hafele mixer lift with soft close arms. If you have a small kitchen or are just looking to declutter your countertop, using something like an in-cabinet appliance lift is a great start.
In-cabinet appliance lifts in a nutshell…
- Great for small kitchens that need more space
- Use an appliance lift mechanism that mounts inside the cabinet
- Appliance lift mechanisms work great in full height cabinets (with no drawer)
- An easy DIY project or perfect for a kitchen remodel or rehab
6. Adding a Slide Out Pantry System in Tall Cabinets
If you have a tall cabinet in your kitchen you can add a pull out pantry organizer within it.
Many manufacturers design products specifically for this space in mind.
If you want complete access to items in the back of a dark cabinet, adding a pull out pantry can really add tons of benefits.
Many pull out pantry organizers come as a kit that will need to be assembled and then installed inside the cabinet. They will come with a frame, shelves or baskets, and slide.
Like most of the items on this list and for organization and storage pull outs, the dimensions are important. Both the product dimensions and the cabinet dimensions will need to be determined beforehand.
Pull out pantry systems in a nutshell…
- Be prepared for more in-depth installation
- Pull out pantry organizers are usually kits containing all items needed
- Get full access to your pantry contents
7. Use Dividers, Separators and Baskets for Deep Drawer Organization
These drawers are common in kitchens. Wide drawers get stuffed with random items that can’t find a home anywhere else. This can often lead to extra clutter and disorganized drawers.
Organizing deep drawers is an easy way to kick off your organization journey. There are lots of great drop in storage solutions that you can do quickly.
You can use adjustable or expandable drawer dividers to sort the chaos. There’s deep plastic bins that are great for smaller items.
One of my favorites is using a peg board organizers for dishes. The peg board (with pegs) can be trimmed to fit your specific drawer size too. If you have softer items like linens or towels, using large cloth storage bins could be a simple solution.
Deep drawer storage ideas in a nutshell…
- These drawers are a great starting point for overall organization
- Use small bins within the drawer
- Try using expandable dividers to separate items
- Use a peg board organizer to protect and separate plates/dishes
8. Wine Bottle Storage Rack for In-Cabinet
Are you renovating a wet bar area or perhaps have a dedicated cabinet for wine bottles?
One of the best ways to store wine bottles is to keep it in a dark area. This makes it ideal to keep it on an easy-to-access storage rack inside a cabinet.
There are lots of wine bottle storage options out there, but to find something for inside the cabinet can be a little more challenging. One of my favorites is this solid maple slide out storage rack for wine bottles.
Wine Logic makes them in different configurations for 12 bottles, 18 bottles, 24 bottles and 30 bottles.
This wine bottle storage pull out features full extension slides to easily get to the back of the rack. The spacing between slats is about 2-1/8″.
Wine bottle storage racks in a nutshell…
- Complete and easy access to wine bottles
- Helps to store wine in a dark space
- Various pull outs can hold different bottle amounts
- Independently operating shelves
9. Organize Spices with Cabinet Door Mounted Storage
There are so many great products that can mount to your inner cabinet door. This includes options for wall cabinets and base cabinets.
Typically we see door mounted storage used for spices, towel holders, garbage bag dispensers, cutting boards or even magazine storage.
The best part about this type of storage solution is that it’s easy to install. Usually it’s just a few screws to get one of these mounted. One thing to watch out for is your shelves already inside the cabinet. Be sure that the door storage won’t interfere with or hit a pre-existing shelf.
If you are needing to utilize every inch of your cabinetry space and need a stylish way of achieving it, using door mounted storage is the way to go. Need extra spice storage in your drawers? There’s also some great drop-in solutions that can make all the difference.
Door mounted storage organizers in a nutshell…
- Easy to install
- Great for spices, towel holders, bag dispensers, cutting boards or foil holders
- Watch out for existing shelves inside
- Be sure to hit to thickest part of your door when screwing on
10. Add an In-Cabinet Recycling Pull Out
If you are looking for a way to easily separate your recyclables from your regular waste, you can use a dual-bin pull out trash system.
These pull outs come as complete kits that mount to the inside floor of your kitchen cabinetry. Once the slides are mounted, you can pull a handle or your cabinet door out to access the bins.
The trick to this type of pull out organizer is to know the measurements. Both cabinet dimensions and the pull out trash product size will need to be accurate.
You will have to have a cabinet that is a bit wider than the actual size of the trash system pull out. You can always check out my other trash pull out suggestions too!
There’s lots of ways to not only add pull out storage products, but all sorts of unique ways to add more functional ideas.
Your specific space and size of kitchen will provide numerous obstacles. Figure out the problem areas or areas where you spend most of your time.
Focusing on the area you and your family use most is a great starting point.
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