New year, new you? There’s always room for improvement, but sometimes it doesn’t have to hurt. Making just a few, or even all, of the changes on this list can provide you with a simpler, easier way to use your kitchen. After all, it’s a room where you spend a lot of time, and if a small change can make your life easier? You’ll spend the new year thanking yourself.
1) Make the most of what you’ve got
Take a couple minutes to think through what you use most in your kitchen. The kitchen scissors? That one pot that’s the perfect size? Choosing a specific spot for them, as close as possible to where you usually use them, can save you hours of time over the coming months. Hanging utensil rods are one solution that can be a useful, attractive way to display the tools that are in constant use. Having them close at hand when you need them, and not having to go very far to put them back where you found them, can make such a difference.
2) Make sure everything is within reach
It sounds obvious, but you’d be amazed how many people keep their children’s cups in a high cupboard where short people can’t reach them. Making sure that heavy items are down below will save time and worry- we all know the pain of lifting something heavy back into its high spot. Custom pull-out shelves for smaller appliances are another great solution that allow you to store what you need in a way that’s easily accessible, and mean you’re never hunting through the back corner of the cabinet for the right tool. Make it so any heavy lifting is a thing of the past for you- and your back will thank you.
3) Make your kids self-sufficient
Moving things so that your kids can do it themselves saves you time, and makes it easy for them to help you out in the future. If they can reach the plates, silverware, cups, and placemats, they can easily set the table for you. And if you set up a snack drawer at their level, or even a shelf in the fridge they can easily reach, then they can do it alone instead of needing you to help them each and every time. It’s even possible to integrate an expandable work area into your kitchen that provides them with space at their level, that you can then slide away when you’re finished. They’ll be proud of how much they can do themselves!
4) Make managing allergies easier
We all know how difficult it can be when one person in the house is dealing with allergies. The kitchen is ground zero for concern about food allergies, but a tiny bit of effort can provide some help. Setting up a specifically dedicated cabinet just for the person who is allergic can give you (or a caregiver) a safe zone – the only things that go into that cabinet are things they can have, and you know that they haven’t touched any of the other foods. It can also help prevent the “why is there nothing I can eat??” cry that parents of children with allergies are all too familiar with. If they have a specific cabinet, they always know there is something for them.
5) Make your storage space the right size
We’ve all been there- you’ve put the leftovers into the Tupperware, but there is no lid. Or you try to pull one container out, and end up with a floor covered in plastic. But just putting in one extra-deep drawer can mean that you have space for all of your Tupperware in one place, and a place where it actually fits. The same goes for wine – bottles of wine and wine glasses take up a very specific type of space, and one you need protected from dust.
Putting in a dedicated space can make all the difference – when you need a glass, you know where to find it, and it won’t be dusty.
6) Make a charging station
Charging cabinets can also revolutionize the way you handle electronics – no more worrying over coffee spills, or wiping flour off your device. Rather than putting your phone in another room to charge, having a charging station means everything you need is there at hand, but protected and discreet, while still leaving counter outlets available.
7) Make that dead space into a something useful
Got a funny wall? A narrow gap between two other cabinets? A space where you can’t open a door outwards without impacting something? Luckily, there are still ways to use all of those spaces, you just have to think a little creatively. Shallow pantries can be amazing – you can see everything at once, so you know exactly what you have. They’re an excellent way to use that dead wall or tight space. Narrow spaces can be turned into pull-out cabinets easily, which let you store things like oil and utensils, and see everything in them with ease. Another easy answer for additional storage is just to extend your cabinets all the way to the ceiling. Barn doors and pocket doors can be great solutions for pantries in spaces where it would be difficult for a door to swing open.
Now that you’re more inspired to make your kitchen work for you, we hope you’ll visit our Stamford and New Canaan showrooms to see how we can help – as well as the latest in kitchen design trends.