Every kitchen has certain essential utensils that are used so frequently, you hate to put them away.
The ones with long handles–spatulas, strainers, wooden spoons, slotted spoons, tongs, whisks–often end up jumbled together in countertop crocks. A better option is to hang them up. (That’s probably why so many long-handled utensils have an aperture at the end.)
Hanging up kitchen utensils makes it easier to see what you need and also easier to access each tool while you’re cooking. But how should you hang them? You could just hammer some nails or hooks into your kitchen walls–or, if you prefer a classier look, opt for one of these handy hanging kitchen utensil organizers:
- The ultra-sleek Umbra Under Cabinet Utensil Holder is designed to be installed along the underside of your kitchen cabinet or directly to a kitchen wall. It features flexible rubber grippers under the utensil rail that securely suspend up to four long-handled utensils. The grippers instantly “grab” and hold kitchen tools of almost any size, releasing each one easily whenever you need to use a specific utensil.
- Wall-mount pot racks can be used for holding a variety of long-handled utensils. For small kitchens, the space-maximizing Large Corner Bookshelf Pot Rack is especially useful–it includes 12 angled hooks that hang down from a metal grid shelf capable of holding cookbooks or cooking supplies.
- The 32-Inch Kitchen Utensil Holder is simply a wall-mounted heavy-duty steel bar with 12 sliding hooks. There are six straight pot hooks plus six angled pot hooks that let you angle your utensils to save space. For smaller walls, the Utensil Holder for Kitchen is very similar but only 22 inches wide and includes eight sliding hooks.
More types of kitchen utensil organizers can be found here. And for more ideas on organizing cooking implements, read my post on cookware storage solutions.
Do you have “everything but the kitchen sink” around your kitchen sink? I’m talking about dish wands, bottle brushes, sponges, scrubbers, dish soap, hand soap and lotion…all those necessities that unfortunately tend to make the sink area look cluttered.
Whatever is in regular use at the kitchen sink deserves its own home. But it can be challenging to find a storage solution that fits in such a limited space. Luckily there are several well-designed caddies that make it easy to keep your sink looking tidy. Here are three outstanding and affordable kitchen sink organization helpers:
- Alongside the sink–the Kitchen Sink Organizer ($7.99) has an exceptionally thoughtful space-saving design. The main storage compartment provides ample space for holding a dishwand, a dish soap dispenser and a scrubbie, with a ventilated base and removable drip tray underneath; a pullout sponge-holder hangs over the sink to allow mess-free drainage. Plus there are two hooks (one on each side of the main compartment) for holding your rings safely, minimizing the risk of losing your jewelry down the drain. A nonslip base keeps the organizer safely in place.
- Over the sink–the Bamboo Over the Sink Shelf ($17.99) lets you utilize the vertical space above the faucet area, keeping all your dish washing supplies handy yet out of the way.
- Inside the sink–the Clear Blumz Divided Sink Organizer ($8.99) is a type of organizer known as a “sink saddle”; it’s designed to straddle the center of a divided kitchen sink, with two self-draining clear plastic holders for sponges and scrubbies. If you don’t have a double sink, the Adjustable Dish Brush and Sponge Holder ($5.99) features an adjustable strap that fits neatly around most kitchen sink faucets; hanging from the strap are two self-draining compartments sized to hold a dish wand and scrubber or sponge.
For more kitchen sink organization ideas, see my post on kitchen sink organizers.
Wall-mount pot racks can be put to good use in closets (especially walk-ins), utilizing wall space for storing accessories such as scarves, belts and purses. You can even hang clothing on hangers from the hooks, or hang night clothes or exercise gear directly on the hooks. Some wall-mount pot racks also include a shelf for storage of non-hangable items.
The bathroom is another area where insufficient storage space can be supplemented with a wall-mount pot rack for hanging towels, robes, hair dryers, curing irons and anything else hangable that otherwise ends up on the floor or next to the sink.
In some homes, it also may be possible to use ceiling-mounted hanging pot racks for various storage purposes. However, when installing a ceiling-mounted pot rack, it’s important to choose a place where what hangs from it will be accessible yet not obstructive. It should be hung low enough so you can put things on the hooks easily, but not so low as to be in your way when all the hooks are occupied. If that’s not possible, you’re probably better off using a wall-mounted pot rack instead.
Both hanging and wall mount pot racks now come in an ever-widening variety of styles and materials.
Here’s a trick to minimizing paper clutter. Certain office products can make life less cluttered when used in unlikely places such as the kitchen.
For example, setting up a “mini-file” (a small file holder that holds about a dozen hanging files) on a kitchen counter makes it easier to deal with papers that tend to pile up there, such as coupons, recipes, shopping lists, takeout menus, receipts and appliance instructions.
To save counter space, a mini-file can also be set up in a magnetic file holder on the side of your fridge.
Likewise, stocking a small basket or magnetic bin with frequently used office supplies (scissors, pen, pencil, highlighter, note pad, Post-its) and putting it near a mini-file makes it easier to clip coupons, mark catalogs and make quick reminder notes.
This can help in minimizing paper clutter by limiting those piles of newspapers, magazines and catalogs that get saved because they contain items to be harvested “later.”