Home magazines and Pinterest boards may be full of spotless, clutter-free kitchen counters but how is that actually achieved? Doing a ruthless clear-out of your kitchen cupboards and cutting back to the bare minimum is a good option for the modern, minimalist look. A second option is investing in clever, kitchen storage solutions and designs that make the most of your space without the hassle of having to contort yourself to reach what you need.
You can listen to this article in Afrikaans in our June DigiMag.
Storage and Organisation
If the shouts of “Where is [insert food item or appliance], I don’t see it” are a regular occurrence in your home, it’s time to rethink your organisation. There’s still a chance that perfectly labelled shelves and containers won’t be enough for your partner or kids to see the object in front of them or put it back where they found it but it will make cooking and storage so much easier.
Storage and organisation options are a matter of personal preference. Options range from woven baskets to recycled jars. Clear storage bins and containers in different sizes are a great modern and practical option as you can easily see everything that is inside without having to unpack the whole bin.
A simple tip is to categorise and pack like–items together in a bin e.g., breakfast/cereals, tinned food, snacks, beverages, pasta, baking, spices, etc.
Once the items are categorised and packed, organise them with the most commonly used items at eye-level and in the front. For a uniformed look, decant what you can into matching, labelled containers of your choice. Cut out the cooking instructions and stick to the inside lid or back of the container for reference.
If you buy in bulk, pack a daily or weekly supply out on the shelf and use larger “overflow” bins that can be stored in lower or higher shelves or cupboards. Restock the main shelf as needed.
Buying tip: Measure the inside of your shelves, cupboard or fridge and take the measurements with you when you shop for containers to make sure whatever you buy is a functional fit.
Turning a Corner
Having to stick half your torso into an awkward corner cupboard and desperately reach for the thing you need wedged in the corner is a thing of the past. Transform an annoying corner cupboard into a functional feature with smarter storage solutions such as a “lazy Susan” turnstile unit that helps you find things easily by rotating the shelf, a bracketed basket that you can slide out to find what you’re looking for or “magic” half-moon shelving attached to the cupboard door for easy access.
Vertical space is your friend, especially in a small kitchen. Extra storage space can easily be created by using all your available wall space. Whether it’s around your fridge, above your extractor fan or in the open space between your existing cupboards and the ceiling, make sure to use all the space available.
For clear counter tops and a seamless finish, make use of shelves for appliances such as microwaves and store other appliances like toasters and kettles in counter-level or easy to access cupboards. Dishwashers, washing machines and fridges can also be hidden behind custom-fitted cupboard doors.
Drawer it Out
Make finding the right sized pot, pan or tray by converting below-counter cupboards to drawers. The ease of immediately seeing what you need, without having to play crouching pot-Tetris will make life that much easier. The trick is to invest in heavy duty runners or drawer systems that can effectively handle the weight and make sure the drawer is deep enough to fit your pots and pans.
Seeking expert advice is always best. If you are an experienced DIYer, watch the video for some inspiration from DIY with Elle for a quick kitchen makeover using professionally made cupboard doors, DIY cabinet frames and a clever coat of wall paint.
Find more inspiration here.