Deciding which accessories to install inside your new cabinets can be overwhelming when there are so many options to choose from. What you choose is strictly a matter of preference. You may need a storage solution for a particularly large pot or an expansive collection of spices. Whatever it is, your new kitchen should include solutions that eliminate the issues you have in your current kitchen.
Our cabinetry lines offer an award-winning collection of storage products. Allowing us to create remarkably organized spaces with greater accessibility and flexibility. You can see some of these products in the video below.
There are five main storage and organization accessories I automatically include in (almost) every new kitchen I design. These have become my go to accessories over the years because they do some or all of the following: serve a useful function, expand storage or provide a solution to a common kitchen issue.Here are my recommendations in no particular order:
1. DRAWER BASE
This might seem basic but you would be surprised by how many existing kitchens I have walked into that only have standard door and drawer base cabinets. A stack of drawers will corral flatware, cooking utensils, gadgets, towels and dish rags, boxes of aluminum foil, wax paper and plastic wrap. Most common are drawer bases with either three or four drawers. I prefer an 18”-21” wide cabinet but recommend a 15” minimum width. The narrowest width drawer base available varies by cabinet manufacture but is typically 12" wide and after accounting for the cabinet face frame and drawer box thickness the useable space inside the drawer box is very narrow and will have limited use. In a tiny kitchen with limited cabinet space you may be better served with a base cabinet with a door and drawer but that will need to be determined by what will be stored in that cabinet.
2. TRASH PULLOUT / RECYCLING CENTER
Everyone has garbage but that doesn’t mean we want or need to see it. Even if you have a fancy stainless steel can with a motion activated lid and special garbage bags. Not only does no one want to see your garbage, that can is taking up valuable real estate in your kitchen. Get rid of your unsightly can and install a trash pullout.
Trash pullouts come with single and double cans. Larger trash cans are taller and accommodated by a cabinet with a full height door and no drawer. Can sizes typically range from 35-50 quarts. A double trash pullout is perfect for sorting trash and recycling.
Recycling centers have up to four cans allowing you to sort recyclables. No more trekking to the garage or mudroom with an arm full of plastic bottles. Most cabinet manufactures build trash cabinets with fully enclosed drawers. This means there is a floor below the drawer closing it off from any smells. You may also have the option of a paper towel holder in place of a drawer. This can be exposed or hidden behind a full height door.
3. CUTLERY ORGANIZER / COOKING UTENSIL ORGANIZER
Is your flatware drawer sorted with a plastic cutlery organizer? While functional, it's not always the right size for the drawer. Cooking utensil drawers tend to be the worst. They hold a jumbled pile of cooking spoons and spatulas and every time you cook you have to dig out the one you need.
Decide which cabinet(s) you will keep your flatware and cooking utensils in and have cutlery and utensil organizers installed by the factory or your cabinet installer. I prefer a natural wood drawer organizer. It matches the finish of the drawer and will fit the dimensions of the drawer box snugly, giving you more usable space. You will have a clean, built-in look for not much more than the cost of your current plastic insert.
4. SINK MAT
If you have ever had a leak under your sink or spilled a bottle of liquid cleaner you know what a mess it can make. Protect the bottom of your cabinet from mess and moisture with a Sink Mat. The mats are designed with a sloped edge to capture spills and are removable for quick and easy clean up. The first time you have a leak or spill you will thank me.
5. TRAY DIVIDERS
There are more uses for these than just dividing trays. Use them to separate cookie sheets, muffin tins, cooling racks, cutting boards, pizza stones and large serving platters. Install a few above your refrigerator or in a pantry cabinet to keep extra paper towels neatly stacked. Group together items that can be stored vertically and install a few tray dividers to organize your collection. It saves space but more importantly it allows you to simply pull out the single item you need without having to dig it out from a pile of clutter.
6. KNIFE ORGANIZER / KNIFE BLOCK
#6 is a bonus and a sharp idea! (...anybody? haha) I don't include this in every kitchen depending on the budget and because some folks like to keep a knife block out on display. I feel less is more when it comes to what's on our countertops so keeping knives in a drawer or base pullout cabinet is a great way to protect your knife blades while keeping counter surfaces clean. Some knives are purchased individually and therefore do not have a knife block so this is a necessity. Protecting the blades is so important to keep them sharp and cutting like new. Knife organizers come as a wood or cork drawer insert with slits for knives to rest in or as an insert in a base pantry pull out cabinet. I love the base pantry pull out knife blocks because the movable rods adjust to your knives and both the block and utensil canisters are easily removed for cleaning.
There are so many inserts and organizers to choose from and you will need to select the ones that solve your individual storage issues. These are what I use without hesitation in almost every kitchen because the problems they solve are common to most of us. What cabinet accessory can you not live without?
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