Use these 29 creative organization ideas when designing a kitchen to improve functionality and maximize your space.
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I love designing a kitchen. When someone asks me to help them plan a kitchen remodel it feels like Christmas. I love the challenge of stepping out a space and finding creative ways to make that area work FOR you. I am a firm believer in quality over quantity square footage and a large part of designing a quality kitchen is to be intentional about the design, specifically as it concerns organization and storage.
Our last fixer-upper kitchen was very small as you can see below; cramped, outdated, and not an efficient use of the space..
So in order to create a more efficient space we knocked out the wall between the family room and the kitchen, tore out the old cabinets, and added a kitchen island with the amazing wholesale cabinets from Lilyann Cabinets. (Click HERE to get a discount on your order with LilyAnnCabinets!). Be sure to read all my kitchen layout design tips in How To Design An Efficient Kitchen Around 4 Work Zones.
All of these organization ideas are directly from this kitchen renovation. Whether you are designing a kitchen from scratch or simply want to rearrange the kitchen you have, use these ideas to improve functionality and maximize your space.
29 Organization Ideas When Designing A Kitchen
1. Repurpose glass bottles.
I repurpose any quality glass jar whether it be an empty jar of sauce, olive oil, jelly, vinegar, etc.
That large glass decanter in the back is holding apple cider vinegar that I use to clean the scum off the bottom of my frying pan while they are hot. Keep your face away from the heat when you do it.
This was originally a large glass jar that contained vegetable oil. I now use it for hemp hearts which I put on eggs and casseroles. I use a smaller glass similar to the one above for chocolate chips that I sprinkle on my kids’ chocolate chip quick oats in the morning.
2. Vinegar Cruet
I got two of these gorgeous white cruets from Williams and Sonoma several years ago. One has balsamic vinegar and one has olive oil that I use all of the time while cooking on the stove.
3. Old-Fashioned Pepper Grinder
This old-fashioned pepper grinder makes me feel like a real chef when I garnish my dish with freshly ground pepper Not to mention it looks adorable.
4. Vintage Butter Crock
This old-fashioned butter crock is super cute and all you need is a little water in the bottom and it keeps for weeks.
5. Honey Dispenser
How cute is this honey dispenser? Keep it near your breakfast bar to drizzle on peanut butter toast or freshly baked oatmeal.
6. Cookbook Stand
One of these days I would love to publish my recipes into a cookbook because I take every opportunity I can to stay off of my phone, and right now I look them up on my blog every night. For now, however, Joanna Gaines’ cookbook sits prettily on a wooden stand that contrasted beautifully with the reclaimed brick backsplash and the white quartz countertop.
29 Organization Ideas When Designing A Kitchen
7. Sink Wire Rack
A wire rack at the bottom of a sink is great if you have a porcelain sink that gets a lot of wear and tear as did my farmhouse sink. It helps to protect the bottom from a heavy pot chipping the finish or hot pans staining the enamel.
8. Chalkboard Kitchen Cabinets
This chalkboard kitchen cabinet door DIY is such a cheap easy way to add an inspirational quote or even functional information to the inside of your kitchen cabinets. Ideas include coffee conversion, typical baking substitutions, measurement conversations, medicine schedules, or simply a favorite quote to make you smile.
9. Double Oven
As I am typing this we are currently living in a rental house waiting to buy our forever house/property, and I would be lying if I didn’t say how much I mourn the loss of my double stove. I cannot imagine designing my forever kitchen without two stoves again. I haven’t decided exactly which brand I want to put in my next kitchen, but I can truly say that this GE Cafe Series would be on my top 3 list.
10. Bamboo Utensil Organizer
I loved this kitchen utensil organizer tray from Rev A Shelf because it could be trimmed to fit the size you need. It had extra wood on two sides so that the length and width could be customized to your drawer.
11. Drawer Peg Organizer For Bowls
This pegboard organizer is fabulous for dishes, bowls, bakeware, etc.
Just set out the bakeware, dishes, bowls, or plates in the drawer, and then set the pegs around them. The goal is to keep them from clanging against each other when the door is opened and closed.
12. Pull Out Pots And Pans Organizer
This heavy-duty wire rack pullout works perfectly for pots and pans. Use this pot lid organizer for added organization! The pot lid organizer can also be used to organize baking sheets, muffin tins, cutting boards, and more.
13. Corner Lazy Susan For Dry Goods And Crock Pots
A corner lazy Susan is a great place to put dry goods in the upper turn table and then did you know that you can fit 3 crock pots in the bottom? This is valuable information for someone who hoards slow cookers like me.
29 Organization Ideas When Designing A Kitchen
14. Clear OXO Storage Containers
Of course when we are talking stored dry goods, then I would remiss to neglect the fact that these clear OXO pop air-tight containers are a must.
15. Full-Length Pantry Pullouts
When I redesigned the kitchen the most difficult part of the remodel was without a doubt answering this question – where do I put the fridge? I ended up recessing the fridge into a nook that extended into the front entry creating a mini-foyer with a seating bench, but the biggest challenge to the new kitchen design was storage. When I knocked out the wall I lost my fridge and all the surrounding storage. So I moved the kitchen wall forward a foot and recessed a full-length pullout pantry behind the stove that used to be a hall closet.
16. Built In Removable Cutting Board and Tray
We eat a lot of fresh food in our house which unfortunately requires a lot of prep. It is my least favorite part of fresh salads, as much as I enjoy them, the amount of time I have to spend slicing and dicing is annoying. I realized that it was more efficient to keep the cutting board out all of the time because of the frequency with which we used it. So in this house, I tried a built-in cutting board that also acted like a tray with handles. I loved the fact that it didn’t move when I cut food on it, but I could remove it to use as a tray or to dump the remaining food into the sink or trash. I bought the cutting board prior to our countertop installation, added the handles myself, and then made sure the countertop was cut and designed to fit.
I liked the aesthetic of this option. There are other cutting board options like a pullout or even a butcher block countertop. I am not sure which I will go with when we build.
17. Vintage Refillable Glass Hand Soap Dispenser
We have to have hand soap by our sink so why not make it a cute, vintage refillable soap dispenser? The one pictured abo is actually from Costco, but this cute glass hand soap dispenser would be a perfect addition to your kitchen.
18. Repurposed Glass Jars As Drinking Glasses
Remember how I mentioned that I repurpose glass jars for everything? Our drinking glasses are old pizza sauce jars, jelly jars pickle jars, you name it. If it is a high-quality glass jar, then you better believe it gets reused somewhere. Be sure to read these 9 Ways to repurpose glass jars.
19. Pullout Trash Can
If you still have not converted a base cabinet to a trash can pullout with this pull-out rev a shelf system, then come to the light my friend They are so lovely.
29 Organization Ideas When Designing A Kitchen
20. Under The Cabinet Paper Towel Dispenser
This paper towel dispenser can be mounted to a wall, but I decided to mount it under my kitchen cabinets instead to keep the wall appearing more open.
21. Under Cabinet Lighting
Under cabinet lighting is such an easy, budget-friendly way to add ambient and task lighting to your kitchen. This under-cabinet lighting system can be dimmed and extended across the entire base of your upper cabinets in only 20 minutes. No wiring needed.
22. Over The Stove Pot Rack
I loved, loved, loved my pot rack. I will definitely do this again, and in fact, would like to design a recess behind the stove with a rack that would include a shelf on top for the lids.
23. Tiered Tray Table Centerpiece
This 2 tiered tray centerpiece idea may work better on an island if you have a rectangular kitchen table, but on a round or square table, it is the perfect place to put napkins, a candle, salt and paper shaker, coasters, etc.
24. Built-In Table Benches
One of the most efficient design choices to maximize your space is building benches for a breakfast nook. This eliminates the unnecessary dead space around a kitchen table. The added space is well worth the effort of moving the chandelier. Use this tutorial to build your own breakfast nook benches!
25. Coffee Bar
In the post How To Design A Kitchen Around Work Zones I talk about the coffee ar or beverage area. It is no secret I love coffee, and this space is a must for me. In this kitchen, I designed an open shelf built-in area that I was able to make room for because of the built-in benches. See the before and after pictures HERE.
26. Pallet Mug Rack
One of the easiest DIY projects and perhaps one of the most functional, this pallet mug rack got used every day and made for a fun design element to switch up the mugs based on the season.
27. Wall-Mounted Plate Rack
I was really excited to try a wall-mounted plate rack in this kitchen to see if I liked it. The end verdict? I loved it. It will definitely get incorporated into our forever kitchen. A design tip is to mount it near or above your dishwasher and sink.
28. Countertop Sized Microwave
Have you ever considered how unnecessarily large and expensive an over-the-stove microwave is? Did you realize you can spend a third of the cost and save space with a countertop microwave? These countertop microwaves fit a normal-sized dinner plate which is all the space I need.
29. Door Organization Station
Most kitchens have a door somewhere nearby. More often than not it is the basement door or the door that leads out into the garage. Consider turning it into an organization station. On this door, I painted the surface with chalkboard paint and magnetic paint and added a chore chart, baskets, and mason jar holder at the bottom with chalk for the kids to draw. You can see all the products used in this DIY organization station tutorial.
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If you hoard Crockpots like I do, then you know how difficult they are to store. They’re annoying to get in and get out cuz they’re so big. I discovered three crockpots fit perfectly in the bottom of a corner. Lazy Susan. And they’re so easy to get in and out cuz you just turn it. You’re welcome. Welcome to the Imperfectly Empowered Podcast with DIY healthy Lifestyle blogger on a former empowering you to transform your. One imperfect day at a time. This November, we are celebrating all month long an anticipation of the 100th episode of the Imperfectly Empowered Podcast that will air on Tuesday, December 6th with a $100 Amazon gift card giveaway just in time for you to splurge this Christmas guilt. Free. You can enter all month long by visiting this month’s. Show notes on the firstname.lastname@example.org. Or if you are watching on YouTube, click on the giveaway link in the description below. On the giveaway page, you’ll see the opportunity to enter one of the ways is by reviewing the podcast on Apple and mentioning your favorite episode from this year over the last 100. Episodes if it involved a guest, please be sure to give them a shout out in the review, and I will screenshot your review and send it to the guest directly. I know how much it will mean to them. Shirley says, Exceptionally good interviews. This podcast is incredible and really motivating. I enjoy hearing about people who are pursuing their ambitions on improving their life and what it takes to make them a reality from a lifestyle. Standpoint, Shirley, Thank you for listening to the podcast. Libby Burling says, I have found my new favorite podcast. I listen while I’m working on our latest renovations and always find myself jotting something down for later. This is. A gem. Thank you, Libby, and thank you for listening. I would not be here without you. Naomi Bullock three says, So motivating. I eagerly anticipate more episodes of this podcast. Each episode contains a wealth of information and hearing honest tips always motivate me. Naomi, thank you again for listening. Those of us in this business value your kind words and positive feedback more than you could know, and this $100. Amazon giveaway is just a small thank you from me to you, my listeners, for supporting the Imperfectly Empowered Podcast. I would not be here without you. Be sure to enter the giveaway, click on the link, and I would love to hear your thoughts on your favorite episode. Hello, and welcome back to another episode of the Imperfectly Empowered Podcast. I am your host, Anna Fullmer. Today we’re gonna talk about 29 organization ideas when designing a kitchen. I love designing kitchens. This is no secret, . When somebody asked me to help them plan a kitchen remodel, it feels like Christmas. I love the challenge of stepping out a space and finding creative ways to make that area. For you. I am a firm believer in quality over quantity, square footage, and a large part of designing a quality kitchen is to be intentional about the design, specifically as it concerns organization and storage. Our last fixed upper kitchen was very small. It was cramped. Outdated. There was walls on all sides, It was a small home. This was our third fixer. The one that we just sold, it was not an efficient use of this space. I did include some pictures on the show notes as well. So the bottom line is in order to create a more efficient space, we knocked out the wall between the family room and the kitchen. Tore out the old cabinets. I added a kitchen island with the amazing wholesale cabinets from Lillian Cabinetry. And if you wanna learn more about actually designing the layout of your kitchen, You want to be sure to check out the podcast episode on how to design an Efficient Kitchen around four work zones? Be sure to check that out. There are so many amazing tips there, and the bottom line is this, all of these organization ideas come directly from that kitchen and whether you are designing a kitchen from. Or you simply want to rearrange the kitchen you currently have. You can use these ideas to improve functionality and maximize your space. Idea number one, this is a smaller storage issue that you may not even think about, but this is a great budget friendly idea, is repurpose your. Jars. So many of our groceries come in glass jars, whether they be jams, sauces, olive oil, et cetera. Especially when you buy organically and all naturally. Interestingly, a lot of the stuff ends up coming in glass containers. So I repurpose any quality glass jar that I have, and I often end up using it for a variety of different. I have a large glass decanter that holds apple cider vinegar, just like the cheapo stuff that I use on my pots and pans, like if there’s like kind of the scraps at the bottom that get stuck to the pan. A trick that I learned, I don’t know if this is bad for pans or not. I was told this is a great way to clean the bottom, but. Tell me if this is a bad idea. I don’t know. But basically, while the pot is still, or why the pan or frying pan’s really, really hot, you pour vinegar on top of it and it just like lifts the stuff right off of the bottom. But you have to do it while it’s hot. Keep your face away from the steam. PS , it will put up a lot of steam, and then you just like scrape it off, scrape it off the. So I have a large glass decanter that sits beside my stove for that one day. Hopefully I’ll have pretty open shelves for these in our forever kitchen. I have another container. A big thing of vegetable oil came in this beautiful large glass container and I filled it with hemp parts. He parts are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. They also have a little bit of protein in them. We like to sprinkle them in our eggs, which we eat on the regular over here. It’s also great for savory casserole or egg casserole, so I use a smaller glass similar to the one that I have the hemp parts in for chocolate chips that I sprinkle over my kids quick oats in the morning. Another thing that sits beside my stove is a vinegar crut. The one that I have is a really nice one from Williams, Williams and Sonoma, but again, you could repurpose a lot of glass jars that you have laying around. Just find an old cork and cap it with a cork. Balsamic vinegar is another one that you might benefit from having close to your stove, depending on what you cook regularly. I also have one with vegetable oil and one with olive oil. So again, ideally you’d have like a cute little open shelf that you’d have all these sitting on, but I feel like a professional chef when I have these things sitting right by my stove, I’m acting like I’m, you know, making it up as I go. I’m not, but it looks like it and feels like it. Three, an old fashioned pepper grinder. This is something I also have sitting beside the stove. It’s a really cute, It’s got a crank turn, but you could also do the kind that you twist. I would love to get one for salt. It’s a really cute addition and they can also sit on the table if you don’t want them right beside your stove. A health tip is I encourage people to salt your dish, not your. So when you are making the food, add salt and pepper to taste, but then when it goes onto the table, do not keep salt on the table to prevent unnecessary addition of salt. Salt your dish, not your plate. Four is this really cute vintage butter crock keeping butter. Just sitting out, depending on what your routine looks like, is kind of a nice way to maintain butter for longer. The old fashioned Crocs, you put a little bit of water in the bottom and then you can put one stick in what looks like a cup on the other side, and then you just flip it over the water and it keeps for a pretty long, keeps for a pretty long time. If you’re frequently using butter for toast or whatever you’re doing. In the morning. Another really cute accessory idea when, uh, trying to store these ingredients is a honey dispenser. Don’t worry, we’re gonna get into like bigger stuff, like cabinets. Hang in. There is a super cute honey dispenser. A lot of these would be great Christmas gift ideas as well, By the way. This one’s also nice if you like. Wanna drizzle it on your peanut butter toast or freshly baked oatmeal. If you use honey a lot, this is a really cute way to store it and it just drizzles over and then you kind of like set it back into the glass cup. Six, a cookbook stand. Maybe you love a million cookbooks. I do not. I, one of these days would love to publish all of my recipes into a cookbook because I love taking every opportunity I can to stay off of my phone. And as it is currently, I end up looking them up on my blog every night. So again, my phone is out. I would love to just create my own cookbook, but for now, again, sits piddly on my wood stand. It’s just a really nice way to be able to add a little bit of dimension to your countertop without overly cluttering it. So find a cute one. Of course, all of my sources are linked as always, and finding one that you can keep open. Maybe you use an iPad. There is also great, like just keep like a cheap device on this stand. That is sort of your cookbook stand, if you will. Number seven, a sink wire rack. These are a really great idea, especially if you have porcelain sinks. I had a wire rack in this kitchen because we had a really big porcelain farmhouse sink, and this wire rack did a great job at protecting the enamel. So sometimes you accidentally drop like a heavy pot and it might chip the enamel a little bit, depending on how heavy it is. If it’s really hot, it’s possible it could stain the enamel, and so the wires, this wire rack just really helps protect the base of the sink. It’s a little bit of a pain to like rinse around, but if you are like a really heavy duty chef and you’re doing a lot of cooking, you’re cooking for a lot of people and you have big pots and pans, this might be a great addition to you. Protect your sink. You can buy them for the one bowls. You can buy individual for like two bowls if you have a split sink. Again, the link is included, but that might be something you’ve not thought of that could pay off down the road. Number eight. Chalkboard. Kitchen cabinets. I have shared this before, but in this kitchen I added chalkboard paint to the inside of all of the kitchen cabinets, and I actually used these more than I thought I would. I just initially like put inspirational quotes on the inside, on the glasses cabinet. On the inside I wrote, grab a glass, and then when we have guests over, I would just open it. So people question, Where do you keep your glasses? Well, in this case, they could. It was right there. Grab a glass. Make yourself at home. The cabinet in which we kept our medicines, I wrote the kids’ dosages, so kids are weight based. So I wrote down their weight and how much Tylenol, ibuprofen they were able to get the coffee cabinet. I had typical coffee conversions, like especially for my big coffee maker, like how many water with how many scoops of coffee. You can also do typical baking measurements. Write them out on the inside of cabinets. I included the link to the DIY. Super, super easy. It can be really cute, inspirational, but it can also be quite functional. So consider that really easy upgrade to your kitchen that you can do today. You don’t have to build a new kitchen to, uh, add that little touch. Number nine, a double oven. When people are asking me when they remodel, like what are my top recommendations? Unless you don’t ever cook, which is true for some people and you never cook for large groups, then maybe you don’t wanna double oven, but you are gonna be in the minority. I loved my double oven. I will never go back. When we build a double oven is essential. I used it all of the time, and the one that I had was just a standard 30 inch stove. It was by ge. It’s called their Cafe series. I highly, highly recommend this series. All of our appliances in this kitchen were from GE Cafe and I loved them. I loved them. They were a beautiful matte white with a, I did a copper accent finish. They, you could control them by wifi. There were so many different accessories on these, and for a high end look. They really were pretty budget friendly now compared to just like a normal stove. It’s expense. But if you want a high end look with a double oven and the extra features, this one’s actually a pretty budget friendly option all things considered. So again, that’s the GE Cafe series, and I included the link to the stove. I absolutely loved it. It’s very highly reviewed as well. I don’t think I was the only one. It’s highly rated, so I do really recommend that if you want to upgrade your. You don’t even have to remodel your kitchen. This is a 30 inch stove and it looks so much bigger. I just think because of the double oven, highly, highly recommend it. Number 10, a bamboo utensil organizer. Now this is, I’m sorry, I say bamboo. That is incorrect. This one is not bamboo. This was wood. I think it was made out of maple. That’s a misspoke. So this is not like your normal, when I say I shouldn’t have said bamboo, cuz now you’re instantly thinking like the little compartments that you piece together. No, this is one piece. It’s a wooden tray. It’s by rev, a shelf. It is excellent, super, super heavy duty, but what I love about it is you can customize the fit to your drawer. It has extra wood on two sides so that you can trim it to fit the length and the width of your desired drawer. Rev a shelf. You’re gonna hear me mention them several times. If you are looking to add accessories, pullouts, organizers to your existing cabinet, I would not recommend going cheap here because what happens is the pullout mechanisms fail or they bend cuz they’re not made of heavy duty, like the metals, not heavy duty. I highly recommend Rahel. I have never had a bad product from them. So this is also from Rev Shelf. It is made out of Maple Wood and it is an excellent, excellent utensil organizer that can be customized to your drawer. PS I am all about drawer. Drawers are so much more efficient than cabinets because you leverage the entire depth. When I design, when we actually like have our forever kitchen, one day. One day , hopefully one day soon. The base cabinets will be mostly drawers. Highly recommend drawers as your base cabinetry to really maximize all of your space. Also from Rev, a shelf number 11, draw PEG organizer boards. Number 11 is specifically for bowl. This pegboard organizer also can be cut down to whatever size drawer you have, and they are fabulous for dishes, bowls, bakeware. I gave examples of how I organized all of our bowls and the small salad plates. With the Pegboards, the way to do it is you want to actually set out the dishes or the bakeware before you put the pegs in. So you’re gonna lay the board, what ha that has all the holes in it in the bottom of the drawer, and then you arrange your bowls, dishes, et cetera, however you want them in the. And then you put in the pegs. You want to try to keep the pegs as close to the dishes or bowls as possible while still being able to get them in and out because the goal of these pegs. Is to not just keep them organized, but to keep the dishes and the bakeware from clanging against each other when you open and close the drawers. This isn’t as huge of a deal if you have soft closed drawers. But for those of you who might have older cabinetry and you want to organize them better, that’s really essential because right when you pull and push, you’re gonna have these dishes clanging against each other. So use the pegs to keep them as tight as possible. Loved my pegboard organizers. I loved them. They’re a great way to make use of those drawers, especially if you can afford base cabinetry that has the full pullout. We’ll pull out. By the way, this entire kitchen was Lil Ann Cabinetry. Again, reminder, if you have not listened to how to design an efficient kitchen around work zones and 10 mistakes to avoid when renovating your kitchen, check out those podcasts. I also share the links to Lilly Ann, you can also get a discount using my link. Be sure to click on that and look at those. Love, love, love. The wholesale cabinetry. New kitchen for half, half the. Number 12, pull out pots and pans organizer. This is also from Rev. A shelf links are included. So what I did with this is I had my big pots, the ones that would be like large, large sauce pans, and the bigger ones that I used for larger, larger dishes sat in one half. And then on the other half I had. The lids in a lid organizer. This could have probably been more efficiently designed. I could have had the lids on a pullout above the large pots and pans. There’s a lot of things that you could do with a drawer like this. I will say though, a very cheap cost effective way of organizing your cabinets better is that very lit organizer. I think this thing’s like 15. And you can probably picture it, It almost looks like a magazine rack organizer, but you can not only organize lids with these, you can organize baking sheets, muffin tins, cutting boards, pie pans, like all those tins fit beautifully in between these slots. So you may have not thought about that, but that’s a great way to use an empty base cabinet to drill in this super cheap pot lit organizer and then organize all of your. All the things that I just mentioned in this base, in a base cabinet, number 13 is a corner lazy Susan for dry goods and crock pots. You’re probably thinking that is the most random combination, but if you hoard crock pots like I do, then you know how difficult they are to store, and if you don’t have a ton of storage. Here’s the other annoying thing. Let’s say you put them in a closet or a base cabinet. They’re so annoying to get. Right. I’m not the only one that has had this very first world problem in life. They’re annoying to get in and get out cuz they’re so big. I discovered three crack pots fit perfectly in the bottom of a lazy Susan. Yes, I own three crack pots. I would probably own more when I host big parties. I basically. Cook three different types of meatballs in three different crock pots. And then I usually have another one for mac and cheese and a crockpot mall about crockpots love them, but three fit in the bottom of a corner. Lazy Susan. And they’re so easy to get in and out cuz you just turn it. You’re welcome. Also, Corner Lazy Susans, I have found to be a great way to access your dried baking goods. So I’m talking flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and not shockingly, of course. Then number 14 for storage is the clear Oxo storage containers. I love these. I’ve tried other containers, but I love the pop air. Containers, and then I just used little like sticker chalk labels to label them. It offers a clean look. Make sure that you are buying a big enough container for the bags that you buy. So for example, for flour, you’re probably going to want to get one of the big containers for a five pound bag, sugar, et cetera. Just be thoughtful of, okay, like how big are the bags that I buy of flour? Don’t buy a small container that will not fit the bag of flour, right? Cuz now you’re not helping yourself . It looks cute, but it’s totally inefficient. So make sure that the container you buy fits the typical bag that you buy of the dried ingredient you’re putting in. Right, think ahead. But the upper tray of lazy Susan is fabulous. And here’s your prep zone again. Make sure you listen to that podcast. You want your prep zone stuff to all be within arms reach. So this corner is fabulous for the prep zone. That normal corner that every kitchen has, most kitchens have is a great spot for your prep zone. Oats is another thing that I put in. I was just looking at this picture. Brown sugar. Here’s another storage tip. Number 15 is a full length. Pantry pullout. When I redesigned our third fixer upper, or the French country cottage, when I redesigned that kitchen pans down, the most difficult part of the remodel was answering this question, Where do I put the fridge? The fridge and all the surrounding storage cabinetry was against the wall that we knocked out between the family room and the kitchen. So the que I spent hours, Actually, this. Without a doubt. The design element between the last 10 years of home renovations that I have done, this took me, this issue took me the longest of everything. It took me so long. So what I did is I knocked, I actually recessed the fridge into the front entry, creating a foyer. Originally it was a hallway that went straight from the front door, right into the kitchen. So I basically, Recessed the fridge into that doorway, closed it off and created a foyer when you first walked in that way, it opened up the entire space between the kitchen and the family room. So I figured out the fridge, but I still lost all that storage. Now I had an island. I added an island, which was great storage, but I basically had no pantry now because originally all the space around the cabinetry, around the fridge wall was pantry. So what I did was I took out the hallway closet that was behind the stove and I made it more shallow to be like an open concept coat rack coat and backpack rack. I think it was only eight inches deep. And then I actually brought in the stove wall several inches to give myself enough room for a 15 inch pullout pantry. So we recessed this full length pullout pantry. So it was a, um, I got the biggest one that I possibly could, and then above it I put a base cabinet, which are 24 inches deep, and then I just simply added the knob to the bottom. You can see the pictures here on the show notes. So I basically created a full length pantry behind the stove where a hallway closet used to. So if you are desperate for more space, look at your current setup and figure out, especially if your kids are out of the house or they’re almost out of the house, is there a way that you could reuse the space you currently have in a more efficient manner? In this case, I made the hall closet significantly more shallow and created an open concept coat rack idea. So on the wall, I just basically had a ton of hooks, so, Quality over quantity, square footage. A lot of these ideas could be implemented even in your kitchen, current kitchen. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to remodel it. You could probably make it better just with these tips. Number 16, a built-in removable cutting board and tray. This one on the other hand, needs to be done along with your countertop. So what I wanted to trial in this kitchen before we build is this idea of a. Cutting board. We eat a lot of fresh food in our house, which unfortunately requires a lot of prep. I love salads. I hate prepping salads. It’s my least favorite part. of eating healthily, right? Is the prep work. Let’s be really honest. So I realize the amount of time that I spend slicing and dicing on our cutting board, I ended up just leaving the cutting board on the counter, all the. Again, first world problems here, but because we also used it so much, like the cutting board would often spin on the countertop and I’d have to hold down, like press hard enough to hold down the cutting board so it wasn’t spinning on the countertop with all the cutting that I was doing. Um, so I thought, what if I in the next house created a cutout in the counter and then I put wood almost like I framed out wood slat. Above the base cabinetry in between that and the countertop so that the cutting board wouldn’t fall through. But I had the countertop guys in the designs create a cutout for a really nice high quality cutting board that I had already owned. And then what I did is I attached handles to the sides of the cutting board to also make it like a tray so I could just easily lift it right out of the countertop. Would I recommend it? I’ve gotten this question, my cleaning lady member asked me one time like, What do you think of this? Like, would you actually re. I absolutely preferred it to just having a loose cutting board sitting on my countertop. It was a little challenging because no matter, there’s like no way around it. Some food bits get down in between that space, between the wood, above the base cabinet and the countertop. That was kind of inevitable. I did like the tray option. I liked the fact that I could remove it. Um, I could even like cut up cheese and then remove it and set it out on the island if I wanted to. I did like that element to it. Other options I would consider are like the pullout cutting boards that you can pull out over a trash can that have a hole in them. So you like cut on the cutting board, slide all the remains right into the trash can from the cutting board, and then you can actually push the cutting board back under the countertop. I would consider that one. I would also just consider. A straight up like butcher block countertop in the prep zone of my kitchen. I would also consider that, again, I want to find the balance between a pretty kitchen that I like to look at, cuz it is where I spend the majority of my waking hours in my home with functionality. So, I did really like this. I actually did. I would recommend it, but I would also consider these other options. I would love to hear your thoughts. Please, if you have any of those other cutting board options, like let me know. Are you like, Oh my gosh, 100%. You need the pool out over your trash can and. Tell me about that. Tell me in the comments on the blog post, write it in the comments. If you’re watching on YouTube, please like share. I would love, love to hear. Or do you have a butcher block that you do prep work, share. We all need to hear each other’s experiences. You have tried it all. Worried you will never lose the extra weight or reclaim the energy you once enjoyed. Want to achieve fat loss without spending hours in a gym or eliminating entire food groups from your diet? 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Head to www.hammersandhugs.com and sign up for my free seven day fat loss accelerator course today and start your own transformation story number 17. This is aesthetic, but it’s a great way to store things. So a vintage, refillable glass hand soap. This is an aesthetic thing. It’s still storage, but I, We have to have hand soap buyer sinks anyway. So I have found several really cute glass vintage looking, cuz that’s my style. But you could also go clean and modern, like whatever, whatever style that you like. Glass, refillable, soap dispenser. The one pictured is actually from Costco. Costco often has really, really cute hand soap options or like sets, but you’re also gonna pay a little bit more for it. So to save money, I would recommend buying a glass one, and then whatever your favorite hand soap. Buy, buy it in bulk and then just refill it. I mentioned my passion for glass jars. Number 18 is repurposing any high quality glass jar as a drinking glass. Here’s an interesting side note. Over the last 10 years, very nearly every single one of our drinking glasses, like the normal kind that we got for our registry. Have broken. They’ve been dropped on the ground by our lovely dear precious children. and Shattered. When I repurpose sauce glasses, so like we bought pizza sauce, it came in a glass jar. They are much more break resistant. I maybe that’s just simply because. It’s coming with a product and the company is trying to prevent any issues. If you like drop it and I have no idea, but this is just an interesting sign note because this is all we use now. Again, I like the farmhouse vintage look, so this fits my look. We have a whole mix and match of glass jars that we just give to people for drinking glasses, all different size. Um, so anyway, that is a budget friendly. You’re buying the glass jar anyway, it’s a great way to repurpose it. And I’ve also found they are hardier, they are less prone to cracking. I did include a link in the notes, nine ways to repurpose glass jars because people are like, Oh my gosh, what would I do with all those glass jars? Well, I’m sharing some of the ways that I have repurposed many glass jars. I have so many glass jar. I use them. Number 19, a pullout trash can. If you are still using and hold fashion trashcan, come to the light. Oh my goodness. This is so easy to convert a base cabinet to a pullout trashcan. It just, it like cleans up the floor space of your kitchen is what it does. It cleans up the floor space and then you slide it closed and the trash is out of the way, out of sight. You can get double pullouts. The one that we had in our last house was a single, and then I actually was able to fit the trash bags right behind. Um, the question that I get is right. If I convert a base cabinet to a pullout trash can, then I’ve just lost storage space. But remember some of these other tips that I’m giving you to create more storage space? Let’s work smarter, not harder. Create quality square footage in our existing kitchens. Pullout trash can, I love them. The system I included is, again, rev, a shelf. They are such high quality. They hold a lot of weight. Rahel is the way, is the way to go. 20 under the cabinet paper towel dispenser. So this was really interesting. I have had several people over the last, oh my goodness. Well a lot of years now, cuz I’ve been doing this in like every house that we buy is instead of a wall mounted paper towel holder, I just flip it and I screw it into the base of our cabinets. Any wall mount. Paper towel holder. This can be done too. You just flip it and put it underneath. It just keeps the wall space a little bit more open and it keeps it tighter to the base of the cabinet. I just think it creates a nicer, less cluttered looking, cluttered looking space if you are designing from scratch. A popular space that I’ve seen now for paper towels is actually above a base cabinet underneath the counter. This is also a really great idea. My only tip is this, Don’t hide your paper towels. I have seen some people design it so that you have to flip open like a cabinet door to access your paper towels. Maybe you don’t have a lot of messes. In my kitchen, we go through paper towels like crazy cuz I have young kids that school stuff all of the time. So just keep them readily accessible. That’s my only tip is I feel like paper towels are one of those. Don’t, don’t hide it. Again, that would be an aesthetic I’m willing to sacrifice for the functionality. Maybe that’s not your cup of tea, but I would suggest keeping it access. 21 under cabinet lighting. Oh, I have several budget friendly DIYs for you. So I talk all about lighting in 10 mistakes to avoid when renovating your kitchen. Lighting is so crucial and it can make all the difference in giving your home that slightly more elevated look. And you guys, you can do it on a budget. You can do it on a budget. Lighting is like one of the greatest hacks for making a home look nicer. Really is from a money standpoint. Under cabinet lighting, I included a link to my DIY here, but it is such a great way to add ambient and task lighting to your kitchen. What do I mean by that? Ambient lighting is literally where it’s just for the ambience. It’s to add that atmosphere. You can dim it, you can, um, turn it up. Low lighting, by the way, is one of the secrets to actually giving a higher end. So anything that you can put on a dimmer is gonna give you more flexibility. Also, side note, you wanna sleep better at night. Be sure to listen to that podcast episode. Lighting is crucial. Turn down your lights when it’s bedtime because light stimulates your brain. So make sure all those lights get turned down. So many reasons to convert your lights to dimmers, but this under cabinet lighting system is dimmable. It does not require any wiring. You do have to plug it in, but there’s ways to sort of hide that and manipulate that. I, I shared that on this diy, no wiring needed. There’s a lot of DIY lighting options on my blog. You definitely wanna check those out. No hard wiring needed, and it makes such a huge difference. It can also make your kitchen look bigger. 22 over the stove pot rack. Now if you have a microwave over your pot rack, you or over your stove, you can actually get rid of that, by the way, if you want to. But the pot rack could also go on the side of your refrigerator. If you’ve got a refrigerator panel, if you have any open side panel, whether it be a base cabinet or an upper cabinet, you can install a pot rack on any open surface. I loved it over the stove. This was something I was really excited to trial. This was the first time I had done that in a kitchen, and then I used a countertop microwave, which I will actually talk about in a second. Again, French country is my style, and it is all about functionality, warm, friendly, welcoming, classy functionality. In design and a pot rack just like screams, welcome to my kitchen. In my mind, this means like a woman works here. You know what I mean? We’re a man, but this kitchen is for eating. I don’t know. I just, I love the open, the open on pot rack idea. I really enjoyed mine over the stove, especially. I would love in my future kitchen to design a recessed area where I could actually put more and then have the lids above it like a little shelf, but I would recess it so it’s not like the shelf isn’t. Directly over my stove. Loved my pot rack. Again, it can be put on any open wall space or on the side of a cabinet, 23, a tiered tray table centerpiece. So if you have a square table or a round table, this is a great centerpiece idea that looks really gorgeous and is very, very functional. You probably know what I mean by like a round tiered tray table. It’s like a big tray on the bottom than a smaller one on the top. They often have kind of a farmhouse look. You can get a modern looking one too. What I did is I actually set mine on a round turntable so that we could actually spin it, and then the turntable was big enough. There was enough space along the side that I can perfectly fit a wreath for it to change out seasonally. Anyway, aesthetically pleasing and functional. Welcome to the Imperfectly Empowered Podcast, . That’s what I’m all about. Just because it works well does not mean it needs to look terrible and vice versa. Okay, so basically the bottom line with these is if you have a a like really long rectangular table, this may not work as well. You would want to get a rectangular centerpiece or rectangular double tray, which I’m sure those are out there. Otherwise you could put this on a island. But this was a really great way of creating a functional centerpiece that. Held our coasters, salt and pepper shakers, if you want those on the table, A candle napkin holder, again, it can look really, really pretty. You can seasonally decorate it, but it also is functional because it is creating that space for the things that you use regularly at your table. 24 built. Benches. Oh, this is hands down one of my top organization storage Hacks to make your space work better for you in your kitchen. For many of you listening right now, you are still using a dining room table that requires space around it, meaning there’s dead space all around your kitchen table. Because you have to be able to walk the whole way around it, because where the light is and where the light directly shines down on is right in this like little zone between your family room and your kitchen. Y’all are like, Yep, yep, that’s my house. Okay. Here’s the secret to using more space and making your kitchen feel bigger. Build in a breakfast nook bench. I would argue almost every single one of your houses, this could be. I have done it in two of my houses now. I actually created even this rental house, you guys, all I did was I shoved our rectangular table up against the wall. The bench is up against the wall. I didn’t even build a bench in. I just used like a freestanding bench. And then I took the chandelier and I added a hook so that it holds the chandelier directly over the table that we move. And I just moved the light. I didn’t rewire anything. This is a great hack. If you don’t feel like actually rewiring your light, just simply drape the wiring and use the chains, the link chains for the light and hook it right above the table that you have now pushed up against a wall to create more space. It will open up your kitchen. Immensely. This is what we did in this tiny, tiny little kitchen and fixer upper is, um, originally it was basically like a little dining room area that you had to be able to walk the whole way around. That’s dead space. It’s dead space. So we shoved it up against the wall and created, built in table benches. I also did that in our second fixer upper. You can see all those pictures on the blog, but. If you want to know an easy hack to building breakfast, no benches, be sure to click on the link in the show notes for the tutorial. But two here is what doing that in this last fixer upper kitchen enabled me to do. And you can see the before and afters on the blog. I created a full floor to ceiling breakfast bar or coffee station. The base were base cabinetry that I basically put all of my, like nice dishes. I put my, like, my pretty decorative plates that I would use seasonally. I put wine glasses and then it was open shelving on the top that had a lot of my coffee storage, um, with a skinny upper cabinetry on either side with clear glass cabinets along the top. But you can see how I fit this. And it’s all because I created more space by creating breakfast nook benches. Look at your kitchen. Just think about how, how could you maximize the space that you currently have? This is such a great way to do it. You might be saying, Yeah, but there’s no wall between my family room and my kitchen. So how would I create? So what you do is you create a faux half wall. I shouldn’t say a fo, It’s not fo, it’s a legit half wall. It’s not fo it’s a half wall that you just create. You know, It basically comes up to like a normal half wall height, which you can Google. It’s, I, I wanna say it’s like 36 inches. Maybe don’t quote me on that. But basically you build a half wall and then you would build the benches against that. Our second fixer upper kitchen, we did this second fixer upper kitchen. We did that. You can see that there’s a half wall where the breakfast nook was. So that would be a thought if you do not. A wall between those spaces. 26, a pallet mug rack. This will open up space in one of your cabinets somewhere and it looks adorable. I loved my palette mug rack. Here’s the really cool thing, the tutorial that I have for this. Super, super easy. Y’all just find a pallet along the side of the road. Any pallet will do because you’re not gonna make these very. Any pallet, there’s free pallets all over the place. Go to a business or a shipping yard or anywhere. Your kid’s school will probably have pallets. Ask them if they have any that you can have. The tutorial that I have works for any upper cabinet. Upper cabinets in a kitchen are 12 inches deep. They’re actually more like 11 and three quarters, but whatever. But the tutorial will work to install. Pallet mug rack on the side of any exposed upper kitchen cabinet, which most kitchens have, at least one, not all. Most kitchens have one exposed side to an upper cabinet. This tutorial will work for that upper cabinet, and what you do is you basically just put little pallet wood, you drill it into the side of the cabinet. And then you put hooks. So I think the one I’m counting actually, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. So the one that I did in our last one, held 10, held 10 mugs, and I have all of that. It’s a super easy diy, really like you can do it. You can do it. Don’t be afraid of power tools. You guys don’t be afraid. They always come with instruction manuals. I promise they’re not. You feel so proud of yourself. And here’s the fun thing. Those mugs then can be switched out seasonally. They can even be used sort of decoratively in the fall. Put your favorite fall mugs. Put them in between like all your cute white ones. Or maybe you just like collecting mugs from all your travels. Such a fun way to display. I love coffee mugs. Well, I just love coffee everything. Coffee. Jesus family coffee. All right. 27 wall mounted plate rack. I was super pumped to trial this design element in this last kitchen, this is also a very French country concept of open shelving in general, is very French design. Cause the kitchens are, are such a hard used room, which I love. What it is, is basically an upper cabinet that has a plate rack on it. That is quite literally what it sounds like. It’s just a rack that you slide your plates into. I have often gotten asked, so the verdict. Recommend, not recommend. I loved it. In fact, I’d almost consider a, in my like next kitchen, I would almost consider a double plate rack. I just, I loved having such easy access to what we used every day. The plates and a design tip is to keep your plate rack in very close proximity to your. And or your dishwasher. So in this kitchen, I basically had the plate rack was directly above the dishwasher and beside the sink, at least keep it in close proximity cuz again, work smarter, not harder. Your clean zone, you want to make sure that you are not having to walk across your kitchen to empty your dishwasher of the most frequently used products, which would be plates, dishes, glasses. Especially like your plates and dishes, utensils. Loved my plate rack. We’ll do that again. 28, A countertop size microwave. Okay, you guys, this is one of my favorite space saving tips and budget friendly tips. Have you ever stopped and thought about how unnecessarily large and consequently expensive and over the stove microwave? They’re huge. These are big microwaves. Now they also have the fan in the bottom. So I understand like if you are going to remove, if you’re not gonna have an over the stove microwave, then you need to have some sort of fan. But you guys, they’re not that expensive and they’re not that hard to install. They really aren’t. So what I did in this kitchen, because I wanted an over the stove, pot rack, I researched it and I realized I do not need anything bigger than a countertop sized m. They hold one normal size dinner plate, you will not be able to put much else in there. One normal size dinner plate. But how often do you need something bigger than that? I mean, I never did for three years . So here’s a way to take this a step further. Instead of putting a counter size microwave onto your countertop, build a section If you’re doing this from scratch. Just basically take a counter size microwave and custom build a recess in your base cabinetry for the microwave. You can also do it in your upper cabinetry because they’re tiny. They’re not much deeper than 12 inches, so that takes a little bit more planning, a little bit more customization because a normal microwave cabinet will be. But this is a great space saving hack. In our case, we just left it on our countertop and it really did not take up that much space. It was very tiny. Or put it in your coffee bar. You can even put it inside a cabinet if you really want to. If you don’t use it a lot, countertop sized microwave. And then give yourself that space above your stove. I do think it makes kitchens look bigger. I will add that to do event hood instead of a m. 29 door organization station. This is the last idea, and this is like major organization in one spot. Here is what you can do. Most kitchens have a door somewhere nearby. You may not have thought about it, but I guarantee you within several steps of your kitchen is a door either to the basement or to your garage. Maybe even a bathroom. More likely than not, there is a door somewhere near your kitchen. What I did in this last house is I took the door to the basement and I turned it into an organization station. I painted it with a magnetic and chalkboard paint. The magnet did work. I will say in the future, I wouldn’t bother with the magnetic paint. I would just use chalkboard paint. And then on the top of it I put a chore chart, one of the whiteboard marker tour charts that also had like little corkboard section that I could pin, like stuff from the kids. Or if they got like a really sweet award for something, like we’d pin it there and highlight it for a couple weeks, and that was at the top, at the middle. The kids each had a basket. This is where we would put library books from our local library or things that just were floating around. We even had like little tiny mailbox like bins that I screwed onto the door, but you could put a basket for each kid there, maybe for each person in the family. And then on the bottom, I made a hanging mason jar with a pallet piece of pallet. I love me some pallet. What do you guys, If you want pallet projects, budget-friendly pallet projects, you need to head to my blog , just search pallet in the search bar, and there’ll be all kinds of things that come up. This was a really, really easy idea why you can totally do this, but basically I use leftover glass jars. There’s one of the ways that I used them leftover glass jars, and then I attached them to this pallet wood, and then I screwed the pallet wood onto the. With these hanging glass jars, and then I put chalk in them so that the kids had a fun little chalkboard, and the rule was they could not write above the palette. Their little chalkboard was just the door below it. Now, I’ve had people ask, they’re like, I love this idea, but what about the door that has paneling on it? Because this really works best on a flat surface. Here’s a couple tips to make that door flat. The easiest one that I can tell. Is to take mud. So it’s like what you would use for drywall that you would like basically finish drywall with, but you want mud that you basically take a really, really large scraper. And then you scrape it over the door to create a flat surface. So you take this large scraper, you scoop up the dry wall mud, you scrape it over the door to level out the paneling, especially if it’s like recessed paneling, right, where it’s going into the door and you create a flat surface, and then once it dries, you’re gonna sand it down really, really well. It’s just like finishing drywall. You want to be as. Skim it as lightly as possible to minimize the, like the beating up on the side so that you have less sanding to do, and then you can literally paint it like you would anything. You would paint it with a primer first, and then you could put your chalkboard paint on the entire thing. So that’s my hack for you. If you have a paneled door to turn it into an organization station and you guys, you can do it. Even if it’s paneled, you can make it look super cute, even if it’s paneled or just create one little panel into a chalkboard. There’s a lot of ways to do it, but if you want the entire door to be like a chalkboard station or to make it look more uniform, that would be the way to make it flat, but you don’t have to do that. There’s also tutorial on my blog for. As well. I really hope that you have gotten some ideas from this list of organizational hacks when designing a kitchen to help your space work better for you. Even if you’re on a budget, even if you are not tearing apart your kitchen and remodeling, use these tips to enjoy quality square footage in your kitchen today. Thanks for listening to this episode of the Imperfectly Empowered Podcast. I would love to hear your thoughts from today, Head to your preferred podcasting platform, and give the show an honest review and let me know what you think. Remember, you cannot be redefined, only redeveloped, one imperfect day at a time. Your story matters and. Are loved.