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Store more in your kitchen with shelves and cabinets

Are you tired of trying to find your pots and pans in cluttered cabinets or having your piles of Tupperware fall on top of you each time you try to grab a lid? Instead of living with a cluttered kitchen mess, free up your space, and your time, by tackling one of these DIY kitchen projects.

Open kitchen cabinets

Photo credit: Bev Weidner

Not only do open, add-on shelves, like the ones in the photo above, make storage a breeze, they also make it that much easier to grab what you need, saving you time in the kitchen! If you’re in desperate need of some de-clutter tactics for your kitchen, check out these DIY makeovers, some of which don’t require many tools or handymen!

Add on a spice cabinetcabinet

If your kitchen has limited counter space, a spice rack is out of the question. If you’re also lacking in cabinet storage, you don’t have room for those necessary spices in there either. Instead of shoving them in a drawer or squeezing them in next to the plates, add your own spice cabinet by simply refurbishing an old cabinet! Blair, of The Ellwood Avenue Chronicles, sanded and painted an old thift store cabinet and then attached it to the wall!

What you’ll need: 

  • Old cabinet
  • Grit paper (to sand)
  • Drill with screws
  • Paint color of choice
  • Dark stain

For the step-by-step tutorial, check out this post on Blair’s DIY blog!

Install wall nichesniches

If you have the open wall space and a few hours to remodel, try making in-wall cubbies! These cubbies don’t stick out of the walls (like shelves or cabinets) and are perfect for storing smaller items, like little bowls, spices, mugs, cups or measuring utensils. Kitchen cubbies are perfect if you have a smaller kitchen with a low ceiling, since protruding cabinets or shelves would take up too much space and create an even more cluttered look. This project can take anywhere from two to four hours. Photo by Bev Weidner.

What you’ll need: 

  • Drywall saw
  • Drill
  • Measuring tape
  • In-wall niche shelves (like this one) or 2 x 4 pieces of wood and bolts
  • Urethane adhesive
  • Paint

To create a cubby or niche, check out this step-by-step tutorial by This Old House. You can tailor the sizes and parameters to meet the size and shape of your own niches.

Create open shelvesshelves

Open shelves are one of the easiest, and most inexpensive, ways to quickly add storage space without doing much remodeling (or much carpentry). The only constraint with this project is that it requires open wall space, which may not work for smaller kitchens. Bev Weidner, of the popular food blog Bev Cooks, recently remodeled her kitchen, which was cluttered and very space constrained.

“Having more open storage room is seriously making such a difference. Being a food blogger I have a ton of small plates, bowls and boards, so when it comes time for a shoot or time to cook, I can just grab it (without having to dig around).”

Even if you aren’t a food blogger, open shelves make it easier to store, view and grab what you need without having to dig through musty cupboards.

What you’ll need: 

  • Plywood
  • Grit paper (to sand)
  • Paint
  • Drill and screws
  • Brackets
  • Storage brackets
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil/marker
  • Stud finder
  • Wall anchors

For a step-by-step process on how to install open shelves, check out this tutorial on HGTV.

More kitchen organization tips

10 Favorite home organization products
7 Steps to an organized kitchen
Organizing tips: De-cluttering for a healthy home

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