Embrace the Openness
Cupboards are so passé; the latest trend in kitchen storage is to embrace the openness of basic shelving. This puts your pretty dishes on display and instantly invokes a sense of coziness to your kitchen. Note that you don't need to fill every shelf with plates, bowls, and coffee mugs. Rather, you can integrate a little greenery here and there with potted plants and succulents.
Make space in your kitchen by installing a stainless steel rail from which you can hang kitchen utensils, pots, pans, and more. This is a great storage solution if you have unclaimed wall real estate. It doubles as a great place to arrange and/or dry dishtowels and oven mitts. If you're keen on this idea, you'll probably love the design for this ceiling-mounted pots and pans organizer, too.
Instant Knife Rack
You can size this knife rack to suit any cabinet door and any number of knives. To build it, you just need a table saw and wood scraps. Run the scraps across the saw on edge to cut kerfs. Adjust the blade height to suit the width of the knife blades. You have to remove the saw's blade guard for these cuts, so be extra careful. Also cut a thin strip to act as an end cap. Glue and clamp the kerfed scraps together and sand the knife rack until the joints are flush. To mount it, use two 1-1/4-in. screws and finish washers. Plus: check out these great cabinet door storage ideas.
Chalk It Up
If you're someone who likes to keep a running grocery list or piles of clipped recipes and coupons in your kitchen, then you might want to consider adding a coat of chalkboard paint to one of your walls. This idea allows you to get rid of the paper and pen clutter by utilizing wall space and chalk as your new canvas. If you're nervous about committing to painting an entire wall, try just painting a small section of it. Or, simply hang a chalkboard for notes and ideas.
Don't file away the manuals for your kitchen and bath fixtures. Instead, slip them into a locking plastic bag and hang the bag in the cabinet under the sink. They'll always be right where you need them. Toss in paint samples and spare cabinet hardware too.
Better in a Basket
Stop Drawers from Falling Out
To keep a drawer in the cabinet where it belongs, drill a hole in the side of the box and make this stop with a dowel, a screw and a fender washer. It's easy to make and to remove. Got a sticky drawer? Here's how to loosen it.
Drop-Down Tablet Tray
Keep your tablet handy?and safe. Follow recipes online without worrying about spills frying your expensive tablet.This tray will keep your tablet computer off the countertop. As it swings down, it also swings forward, so the tablet isn't hidden under the cabinet. The mechanism is simple; just make and position the arms exactly as shown here and it will work smoothly. We cut the aluminum parts and rounded the corners with a grinder. When closed, small cabinet door magnets hold up the tray. We clipped the plastic ears off the magnets and glued the magnets into place with epoxy. The liner in the tray is a foam placemat cut to fit. The shelf folds up against a plywood top. Aluminum arms hold the tray in position. Don't worry, small magnets won't harm your tablet; it actually contains magnets. Get more ideas for kitchen cabinet storage.
If your spices are jammed into a drawer with only the tops visible, this nifty rack that slips neatly into the drawer will solve the problem. And it only takes an hour to build. Make it with scraps of 1/4-in. and 1/2-in. plywood. Or build a two-tier drawer spice rack.
Cutting Board Storage
To store cutting boards, mount a rack on a cabinet door (Check out these other inside-cabinet door storage ideas, too). Use a sheet of 1/4-in.-thick acrylic plastic; plywood would also work. You can cut acrylic with a table saw or circular saw as long as you cut slowly. Knock off the sharp edges with sandpaper. Round the lower corners with a belt sander. For spacers, use No. 14-8 crimp sleeves (in the electrical aisle at home centers), or any type of tube or even blocks of wood would work.
If you happen to have inherited your grandma's rolling pins, knotty wooden utensils, and/or well-worn cutting boards, you have a design opportunity waiting. Consider storing these beloved kitchen wares out in the open as authentic décor elements by hanging them on available wall space. Just make sure you mount them in such a way that you can easily take them down for use.
Add a Shelf
This project provides more space for plates and bowls in crowded kitchen cabinets. Most cabinets come with only one or two shelves, leaving a lot of wasted space. So we added one (and sometimes two) shelves to most of our cabinets. All it takes is 3/4-in. plywood and a bag of shelf supports. The supports come in two diameters, so take an existing one to the store to make sure you get the right size. Here's another place to add shelves in your kitchen.
From Office to Kitchen
You see an empty file holder, we see an opportunity for some clever kitchen storage. If you have an orphan file holder lying around, try converting it to the upright storage space where you arrange your aluminum foil, your parchment paper, your plastic bags, and more.
Measuring Cup Hang-Up
Free up drawer space by hanging measuring cups inside a kitchen cabinet. Position and mount a wood strip so that the cups will hang between the shelves and allow the door to close completely. Mount a second strip for your measuring spoons, then screw in cup hooks on both strips. Learn how to build your own measuring cup storage rack.
Plastic Bag Holder
Drawer in a Drawer
Deep drawers often contain a jumbled pile of interlocking utensils. Our solution is a sliding tray that creates two shallower spaces. Make it 1/8 in. narrower than the drawer box, about half the length and any depth you want (ours is 1-3/4 in. deep). When you position the holes for the adjustable shelf supports, don't rely on measurements and arithmetic. Instead, position the tray inside the drawer box at least 1/8 in. lower than the cabinet opening and make a mark on the tray. Our shelf supports fit tightly into the holes, but yours may require a little super glue. This simple drawer rests on shelf supports.
Spice Up Your Life
Surely you've heard of this revolutionary thing called a spice rack. Embrace it. When it comes to kitchen storage, all those little containers of cumin, oregano, and cinnamon can quickly overwhelm and confuse you. Stacking them in a cupboard without any logical order will only lead to chaos. The solution: spice rack. If you're extremely organized, you can transfer your spices to uniform jars and add printed labels. Depends on how often you find yourself reaching for these flavorings.
Rollout Storage Panel
Keep small stuff from getting lost in deep base cabinets. If you know how to mount a slab of plywood on drawer slides, you can take advantage of all the nifty shelves, hooks and holders sold at home centers. It's easy as long as you remember two critical things: First, make sure the drawer slides are parallel. Place a plywood spacer between the drawer members as you screw them to the panel. Screw the cabinet members to cleats. Second, make your cleats thick enough so that the slides will clear the cabinet door hinges. (We glued 1/2-in. plywood to 3/4-in. plywood to make my cleats.)
To install the panel in the cabinet, reassemble the slides. Hold the whole assembly against the cabinet wall and slide the panel out about 4 in. Drive screws through the cleats at the rear, then slide the panel out completely and drive screws at the front.
What, no wine rack? No wine cellar either? No problem! You can just as easily store your wine collection in a deep kitchen drawer, if there's one that's vacant. Just be sure to alternate the direction of the bottle so that they nest well together. If you're feeling ambitious, you could try making your own roll-out drawers to house your wine supply within a more spacious cupboard instead.
Flip-Down Paper Tray
This tray is perfect for pens and paper. When closed, it's mostly hidden by the cabinet face frame. Hinges and magnets hold this tray in place under an upper cabinet. To install the tray, screw on the hinges first. Then open the cabinet door above and clamp the tray to the underside of the cabinet while you screw the hinges to the cabinet. Need a more robust command center? Here's how to build a message center in your kitchen instead.
Racks for Canned Goods
Rollout Drawer for Lids
You can mount a drawer for pot lids under your pot shelf—or under any other cabinet shelf. Before you remove the shelf, put some pencil marks on it to indicate the width of the cabinet opening at its narrowest point (usually at the hinges). Your drawer front and slides can't extend beyond those marks (or you'll spend hours building a drawer that won't open). Then remove the shelf. If it's made from particleboard, I recommend that you replace it with 3/4-in. plywood and transfer the marks to the new shelf. If you can build a simple drawer box, the rest will be easy. Mount the drawer on cleats screwed to the cabinet sides. Here are more ideas for cabinet rollouts you can build.
Hidden Cutting Board
The secret to this project is 'rare earth' magnets. The ones we used are just 5/32 in. in diameter and 1/8 in. tall. Browse online to find lots of shapes and sizes. Implant magnets at the corners of your cutting board and add more if needed.
Make the metal plate under the cabinet larger than the cutting board so the board will be easy to put away. Glue the sheet metal to plywood with spray adhesive. Drill holes near the corners and screw it to the underside of a cabinet. Drill holes sized for the magnets and drop in a dab of super glue. Insert the magnets with a nail head. Slide the nail sideways to release the magnet. The metal plate grabs the magnets. Make sure you use galvanized steel, not aluminum. Plus, learn how to make your own cutting board!