Kitchen

  1. Clever Ways To Turn Your Doors Into Storage

    When was the last time you took a look around a room and said to yourself “I wish I just had a little extra space in here”?

    Was it within the last few days (or, if you’re reading this at home, the last few hours)? It’s a common issue that many households face, but there’s frequently an easy solution that gets overlooked: over-the-door storage!

    From racks to hanging baskets to entire shelves, the backside of doors is a great solution to a number of storage issues that smaller rooms can experience. Below, we’ve collected a few of our favorite uses for over-the-door storage, where they can be used, and how it can make your storage problems easier than ever:

     

    Extra pantry space: Pantries have a history of getting cluttered, especially if none of your ingredients are old enough to throw out and you just know you’re going to need them soon enough. Instead of finally having to purge all those spices, get some over-the-door baskets for some of your bigger items like boxes of pasta and canned goods to free up space and make everything that much easier to reach.

     

    Towel storage: By installing either a towel bar, a shelf, or a wire basket on the inside of one of your bathroom doors (either the door leading into it or the door leading to your towel closet, if you have one) you can greatly expand the space you have for clean towels and prevent any awkward situations on your way out of the bath next time.

     

    Accessories—scarves, hats, etc: With a little imagination, the back of your closet door can become an excellent place for accessories like hats, gloves, and scarves. Take some coat hooks or rails of some kind (long handles, curtain rods, etc) and mount them inside the door of the closet to provide easy, hanging access for things that don’t quite work on either shelves or hangers.

     

    Extra shelves: Whatever the room, whatever you use it for, a lot of spaces could benefit from some extra wall shelves to hold things, but sometimes the walls themselves just don’t have the space. Instead, mount these to the inside of a nearby door (the door to the room, the door on the closet, etc) to provide that much extra storage room.

     

    Magnetize it: For the particularly crafty out there, we’ve seen many good examples of people using magnets to hold things like kitchen supplies. Take a thin sheet of metal with some trng magnets and mount them to the inside of a door—it quickly becomes a great way to hold pots and pans, makeup tools, and much more.

     

    Has your house benefitted from over the door shelving? Let us know in the comments!

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  2. Tips for Organizing with Open Shelving

    “Openness” has been an increasingly popular trend in home & apartment design lately, and that goes from the floor plan to the closet and all the way to the home shelving you use.

    Open shelving has been popping up in living spaces of all sizes thanks to its ease of installation and even greater ease of use—but is it right for your home?

    Above and beyond the decorative aspects of it, open wall shelves can actually do a lot to help keep the various rooms of your home better organized while providing a nice visual enhancement, even if you’re just using them to help keep your rooms cleaner.

    Check out a few ways that open shelving can help around your house:

     

    The Kitchen

    Open shelves, especially more durable ones like metal wall shelves, are always a good decision inside kitchens due to their ease of access—and let’s face it, you probably have a good amount of stuff in your kitchen that could use a more organized home. Depending on where they’re placed, open shelves are perfect for storing dry ingredients (spices, herbs, sugar, etc), serving trays or mixing bowls, or utensils (but try not to keep them too close to the oven to prevent heat issues!) right where you need them most without having to fight through the old junk drawer.

     

    Living Rooms

    In the living room, open shelves are a great way to reduce clutter while also giving you more opportunity to decorate a little bit. Unless you need them to support a ton of weight, more ‘decorative’ shelving options like glass wall shelves and wood wall shelves can match a variety of previously-existing living room decorations (so you never have to fret about it matching your mom’s couch that you were gifted). These can be a good spot for books you want to display (either old favorites or something you’ve been meaning to read), family photos or knicknacks you’re particularly fond of, or just some small succulents or cacti. A good tip is to remember what you’re stacking on them, though—areas prone to bad windstorms or earthquakes might not want to put your old porcelain that high off the ground.

     

    Dining Rooms

    Most dining rooms seem to be full of a ton of stuff you use all the time, and almost as much stuff that you don’t. While your everyday-use dishes, silverware, and the like are better off kept accessible at ground level, open shelving can be a great way to store things like stemware and those fancy plates you got on your wedding day that you’re saving for just the right time and place. Pair it with a wall mounted wine rack to help keep all your entertaining wine right at the dinner table where you need it.

     

    Bathrooms

    Bathrooms tend to be harder to organize than you’d expect—there’s already closets and cabinets, but those can fill up quickly and, well, there’s a lot of stuff we need to keep in bathrooms isn’t there? Open shelves can solve a lot of those problems. Try putting some up on the wall closest to your shower to help organize towels and keep them right at hand where you need them, or hang one up over the toilet (ideally high enough and far enough back to prevent bumping into it with your head) to keep paper towels, toilet paper, and any other needed bathroom supply where you can quickly get to it.

     

    We’ll be back soon with more open shelving organization tips, but in the meantime leave a comment below if you’ve recently put wall shelving up in your home and tell us what you think!

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  3. Open vs. Closed Floor Plans: Pros, Cons, & Organization Ideas

    Whether you’re doing some serious remodeling to your own floor plan or looking to move into a home that offers a different one than your own, the choice between open and closed floor plans can be a tough one.

    They both offer their own advantages and disadvantages, and to speak more practically they can both require vastly different ways of organizing and re-arranging to make sure all your stuff can fit safely in them. Whatever way you go with the layout of your home, you might need a little extra help getting everything organized, and even that’s after you decide which one to go with. If you’re looking for some different home layout options, we’ve got the skinny on what each one can offer and how you can make it work for you:

     

    Open Floor Plans

    An open floor plan is, to put it simply, a type of floor plan that involves fewer rooms with less separation between them and less closed-off areas. For example, imagine your dining room and kitchen becoming one big room without a lot of walls or strict delineation to separate them.

    The Pros: The biggest advantage of open floor plans is that they feel a lot more spacious. Without anything to disconnect or close off a room, you can get a lot more workable space than with closed floor plans, resulting in more layout and furniture options. It can also create a more social atmosphere by allowing easier communication between rooms in the event of a big dinner or party.

    The Cons: Open floor plans tend to be a little costlier when it comes to heat, as you’re trying to warm up a much wider space as opposed to a closed-off area like a bedroom or bathroom. It can also be more difficult to control noise, as the open space and solid walls will reflect sound throughout the house, which can make it hard if someone is trying to watch TV while others cook in the kitchen.

    How to Organize: With open floor plans, the trick is to use whatever home organization you have to divide the space up as you need. For example, if your open plan includes a kitchen and a dining room, you can use kitchen islands to better mark off where the kitchen is, and use them to double as serving trays when dinner is ready. For open living rooms that connect to other spaces, lining the walls with bookcases can be a good way to indicate the ‘use’ of a space without putting up more walls.

     

    Closed Floor Plans

    On the other hand, closed floor plans are almost a more ‘traditional’ type of home layout. Closed floor plans separate rooms via walls and doorways, and provide more clearly indicated spaces than open plans would by use of cordoned-off sections.

    The Pros: One of the biggest advantages of closed floor plans is the ability to control the design of your home better. Each room can offer its own layout, look, and feel without having to worry about the living room across from the kitchen, and cozier rooms can offer much more privacy and a better at-home feeling.

    The Cons: Closed floor plans can start to feel a little cramped if you’re not careful. Stuff will have a way of building up between each room, and may lead to things looking messier than they are. It also reduces line of sight across the house and makes some rooms less accessible, which could lead to issues if you have pets, kids, or elderly relatives to keep an eye on and/or help get around the house.

    How to Organize: With closed floor plans, every little bit of space counts. Make sure to use all your available vertical space by installing wall shelves or cabinets wherever possible, and try to pick the best storage option for each room—focus on the sort of tables and shelves that each room would benefit from best, as you need to create more ‘assigned’ spaces that reflect their individual uses moreso than you would with open floor plans.

     

    Got any other tips or advice for either type of floor plan? Drop a comment below!

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  4. Let's Organize Those Baking Supplies

    Maybe you’re the friend that loves making cakes and baked goods for their friends’ birthdays, maybe you look forward to breaking out Grandma’s old cornbread recipe for picnics, maybe you just have a ton of stuff in your kitchen, but whatever the reason one thing is always true about that room: it’s a big pain to organize all those baking supplies.

    From the easily-lost small items like measuring spoons and cups, to all the various sizes and shapes of tins and pans that can start to clutter up your cabinets, organizing baking supplies can be an adventure all on its own, even above and beyond the constant effort it takes to keep the regular dinnertime mess clean.

    Is this all starting to sound a little familiar? Fear not! We’ve got just what you need: tips on getting your baking supplies organized, out of the way, and easier to get to next time:

     

    Measuring spoons: As helpful as they are for getting just the right amount of flour into that European sponge cake you love, measuring spoons have a nasty habit of either cluttering up your drawers or vanishing into thin air right when you need them. A great way to prevent both of these problems is to utilize the doors and flat spaces around you— get some shelving hooks and mount them on the inside of cabinet doors, up against the wall, off the side of wire wall shelves or against the back of the cabinet to keep them organized and out of the way. If you’re feeling especially crafty, pegboards are a great solution for this and other utensils.

     

    Baking sheets: Muffin tins, baking sheets, and other oven implements are often the biggest consumers of space in the kitchen, but with a little imagination you can get them tidied up and make room for the other stuff your kitchen needs! Take some pantry organizers to hold onto your canned goods and baking ingredients, and then slide your baking sheets in sideways next to them to take advantage of the space you freed up. Barring that, try to take an unused shelf or space in a cabinet and make sure they’re stacked as neatly as possible—one of the leading causes of baking sheet clutter is letting them fall everywhere in a pile.

     

    Cookie cutters: Cookie cutters, like measuring spoons, should be hung or stacked wherever possible to free up space elsewhere, but special care should be taken to organize them where possible. Sort them either by shape or by occasion, like those holiday-themed ones, to make sure you can access them more easily when the time comes.

     

    Casserole dishes: Sweets and treats aren’t the only things that get baked in that kitchen—casserole dishes are also often found in this space. These tend to be a little heavier than most, so keeping them on the lowest shelf of your pantry (or even on some wire shelves in another room) will be a good shortcut to keeping them safe and accessible.

     

    Cookbooks: Of course, after the dishes and utensils are taken care of, if you don’t have your favorite recipes handy you might never have a reason to take them back out! Sort your favorite cookbooks according to how often you use them and what they are (desserts, main courses, that one book that’s just mac & cheese, etc) and figure out what can go where. The big favorites could go on some wall shelves above the kitchen, and the rest can get kept on shelves or in bookcases in another room to free up space.

     

    Have you recently had to organize your favorite baking supplies? Drop a comment with your tips and tricks below!

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  5. Ideas & Uses for Floating Shelves

    Named for their ability to mount seamlessly to the wall and look like they’re, well, floating, floating shelves have been a staple in home decoration for decades.

    Different from standard wall shelves thanks to their lighter profile and range of materials, floating shelves can make a big difference in home organization and storage when used properly.

    Have you been thinking about some floating shelves but just aren’t sure where they will go? Or are you just looking to see how other people use them to see if you want to try them out yourself? Check out a few of these ideas we’ve found and see what one works best for your home or apartment:

     

    DIY nightstands: Some floating shelves, such as floating ledge shelves are dense enough to be installed low near the bed and used as nightstands! These shelves take up way less space than your average end table and are great for low-profile storage of things like glasses and lamps in areas where there’s not enough room for a whole end table or nightstand.

     

    Filling in corners: With both standard floating shelves and floating corner shelves, these shelves are a great way to utilize corners for storage needs. Line up two floating shelves in an L-shape to bridge any corner gaps and keep things neatly arranged where you can get to them.

     

    Open vertical storage: Of course, the goal of any shelf is to let you store things better, and in smaller apartments or homes that lack in closets or shelving, floating shelves are a great low-profile way to add storage space. Particularly in rooms where you need easy access to a lot of small things, like the laundry room, the home office, or even that corner of the basement where your toolboxes all wind up, floating shelves can provide unobstructed access to whatever you need to declutter.

     

    Opening up the kitchen: Speaking of which, a lot of kitchens are moving towards a more open, ‘door-less’ design using floating shelves to store things like dishes and cooking utensils without the claustrophobic look that cabinets can sometimes provide. Floating shelves can easily replace cabinets, particularly over the oven or the sink, and provide a more dynamic look while keeping everything even easier to reach.

     

    Converting tight spaces: Small spaces like removed cabinets, gaps in the walls, or even disused medicine cabinets in bathrooms and bedrooms can be easily filled in with floating shelves to provide extra storage in areas that might not have been too useful before. Take some time to find those hard, out-of-the-way spots in your house and put them to work with shelves.

    Do you have floating shelves in your home? Let us know how you use them in a comment below!

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