Kitchen Storage

Kitchens come in all shapes and sizes. Some have plenty of storage – and some don’t. If you can’t fit all your pots, pans, small appliances and pantry items in yours, don’t worry. You don’t have to remodel or move. The key to a well-stocked kitchen is makeshift storage combined with organizational strategies that keep items neat and right where you need them.

Basement shelving is an easy solution for bulk items like canned goods and paper products as well as low-use appliances and infrequently used pots and pans. Keep frequently used items in your kitchen and rarely used items in the basement.

Garage storage functions the same way as basement shelving, but be mindful of temperature-sensitive items. If you’re using open shelving, expect items to collect dirt and dust. This might not matter for packaged paper products, but you don’t want to wash pots and pans before each use.

Rolling islands with open shelves are useful for extra counter space and stowing pots and pans. If you’re not a fan of exposed items, purchase large baskets for holding pasta, canned goods and just about anything else you can relocate to create space in cupboards and drawers.

Open wall shelving is trendy right now, and filling canisters with grains, legumes, pasta and cereal is functional as well as decorative. Mix with baskets, a few pots or cute dishes to make the trend work. Keeping containers stocked can be a challenge. If you find yourself sticking a bag of beans in a cupboard instead of replenishing the canister, consider storing only dishes on those open shelves. (If using everyday dishes, install shelving close to the dishwasher for quick and easy unloading.)

Armoires and buffets offer countless storage solutions – behind closed doors. These pieces of furniture are ideal for small food items that look cluttered on open shelving.

Group like items together. Quick categories include dinner food, breakfast food, snacks, baking goods, drinks and extra condiments. If these items are together, you’ll spend less time searching for what you need.

Revamp the way you shop. Buy fresh and only what you eat between trips to the store. Maintain a running list so you buy only what you need and nothing more. Keeping a list eliminates storing over-purchased items.

Give yourself a reality check. If you need something urgently, how far away is the store? If it’s close, you don’t need a high food inventory. Plus, if you’re anything like me, what you’re missing isn’t the item you typically overstock.


Amy Tokos is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Freshly Organized. You can find more organizing tips at


The original version of this article appeared in the January 2016 issue of Momaha Magazine.

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