Monday, May 11, 2009

Mission: Organization!

Kitchen Organizers are a great way to maximize the space in your kitchen. Your kitchen is the one room in your house where organization is critical. In some cases, it takes more time to dig through drawers and cupboards to find all of the utensils and supplies that you need for your meal than it does to actually cook the meal. If you could save, say 15 minutes a day, what would you do with that time? I think I'd use it for a cat nap. My point, I bet with a completely functional kitchen you could save at least 15 minutes a day just by not searching for stuff.

So, what kind of organization am I talking about? Since an effective kitchen utilizes the "Work Triangle", I'll focus on each station. A work triangle is basically the three major areas that are used (the sink, the stove/range, and the refrigerator) most kitchens have what is essentially a triangle shape where these are placed.

The Sink area: I don't know a single person that likes to have their sponge out on display. For this there are Sink Front Tip Out Trays. These are great because they use the space right below your countertop in front of the sink where most people have "fake drawers." Why not take that tiny space and use it up. I have two in my kitchen, one is for my sponges and the other is for a bottle brush and for my jewelry when I'm washing the dishes. These are an inexpensive way to move some items off the counter and out of sight. Also, for the under the sink there's usually pipes or a garbage disposal down there, and that doesn't leave a lot of room for anything with height. There is a really cool product that's specifically made to go in this space.
Pull Out Basket!

This is nice because you've got the larger basket on the bottom to hold some of the cleaners, and bottles and the smaller basket on top that goes around the pipes that can hold extra sponges and smaller cleaners.

The Stove area: There are a ton of really great products such as Spice Racks that can be mounted to the back of your doors so that they're all in view and you don't have to dig in the back of the cupboard to find the one you need. There are also a number of different types of pull out baskets for you lower cabinets. These come in chrome, or white, and even wood and they're available in a variety of different sizes to fit different cabinet dimensions. This one is one of my personal favorites:
Pull Out Basket!

It's a double basket that you can store your pots, pans, lids or what ever you want in. Both baskets pull completely out of the cabinet so you have access to everything without having to un-stack or dig around in the back of the cabinet. In most cabinets, you've either got a bunch of stuff stacked on the bottom or one shelf that runs through the middle of the cabinet. I've been on my knees more than once in my kitchen trying to dig a lid out from the back of the top shelf. Not anymore! Both of the baskets on this unit work independently of each other too. One last product for the stove area is a pull down shelving system.

This is what I like to call the "Shorty Shelf." For those of us who are vertically challenged, this is another way to maximize space that just doesn't get used very much. This is made to go into upper cabinets that are just too hard to reach unless you're a pro basketballer or you use a step stool. These spaces usually end up getting filled with stuff that doesn't get used very often. This leaves all your other cabinet space cramped with the stuff that you do use a lot. The general idea of the pull down shelf is that it's mounted inside the cabinet, and when you pull down on the bar at the bottom it actually pulls out and down at the same time, bringing items down to eye level.
Pull Down Basket!

The Refrigerator area: Since I don't know exactly how your kitchen is configured and what type of cabinets are around your refrigerator I can't really say for sure that these products will be good for this area in your kitchen. In my kitchen I have a single cabinet next to my fridge and that's where my Pull Out Waste Container is. These are some of the best products and are not used enough. I think every kitchen in the world should have one of these. Who wants an ugly garbage can in the corner of their room? I'd like to meet the person that says "yes" to that. What's great about pull out waste containers is that they come in a bunch of sizes to fit almost any cabinet. They come with two containers or one, with or without lids, door mountable or not, and you can even get multi colored bins for recycling. There's no reason Not to have one of these.
There are still a ton of other organizers that you could put in your kitchen to make it much more effective. Hidden Towel Holders, Lazy Susans, Mixer Lifts, Pantry Systems, and Silverware & Cutlery Organizers for your drawers. I'm pretty sure we've got a product for every nook and cranny in a kitchen. So the next time you're digging around for your favorite chopping knife or you threw away that pop can because you didn't want to walk out to the recycle bin you might want to think about getting organized.

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