Kitchen cabinet organizers run the gamut from simple drawer dividers to full blown pantries complete with multiple pivot-out shelving units. In between there's a legion of gadgets and fixtures to help you store your stuff away as well as make it more convenient to get to.
The primary benefit of investing in some cabinet organizational equipment is an increase in your kitchen's efficiency. In other words, you can maximize the space you have and cut down on some of the 'time-to-access' for the items you typically use.
Think about your current cabinets. Do you really make the best use out of the space they provide? If you're like most, you have places in your cabinets that aren't used or easily accessible.
If you've ever had a deep cabinet, you know that you always have to move the stuff in the front out of the way to get to the items in the back (that is, if you even use that space at all). Efficient kitchen cabinet organizers and accessories can help make these scenarios obsolete.
In essence, what cabinet organizers and accessories do is provide places to put things within your cabinets that otherwise can't be efficiently housed without them. In addition (and not to be minimized) is that they bring the items to you, instead of you having to crouch, bend and reach like a Cirque du Soleil performer to get at what you need.
Kitchen cabinet organizers come in a wide variety of forms but there are some common functions that they collectively perform. To give you an idea about the types of tools that are available and how they can help, take a look at the following table. Once you get familiar with their names and purpose, you'll be better prepared to start thinking about which ones might provide benefit in your kitchen.
|Type/Name of Organizer||Description & Function|
|Recycling & wastebasket stations||Pullout trays that incorporate bins for recycling and/or waste. Typical units have 1 to 4 bins per pullout.|
|Cookbook pulldown rack||Trays or racks that pull down from underneath wall cabinets to support cookbooks so they're kept off the counter, freeing up counter space and keeping the book clean.|
|Spice drawer insert||Organizing inserts that go inside a drawer to house spice jars in an orderly and easily accessible way.|
|Drawer partition kits||Sectioned trays that keep the drawer contents from becoming a jumbled pile. Some trays are adjustable to the size of your drawer.|
|Knife pulldown rack||Under-cabinet rack that stores cutlery that's easily pulled down for access and then pushed back up under the wall cabinet for storage.|
|Message center pulldown rack||A device that houses note pads, pens, etc. that's fitted to the underneath of a wall cabinet that can be pulled down for use and easily tucked back away.|
|Horizontal and vertical base cabinet pullouts||These are combinations of rollout trays and vertical rollout storage towers that fit inside a base cabinet. They alleviate the problem of having to perform deep-dives into the recesses of your cabinets by providing full access via the rollout feature.|
|Multi-level pot/pan pullouts||Tiered or stepped rollout trays that fit in base cabinets that allow easy access to pots and pans.|
|Tall cabinet and pantry systems||These are tall pantry organizing systems that make use of several swing-out sections of shelves that can hold numerous items.|
|Baking mixer lift-outs||Small but strong platforms that hold a baking mixer. They typically reside in a base cabinet and swing out and up to working height on a hinge system that assists in lifting, holding and re-storing the mixer. This alleviates having to store the mixer on your countertop or carry it from some other storage location.|
|Tall cabinet spice rack||Racks that attach to the cabinet door that provide neat storage for spice containers.|
|Lazy Susans||Multi-tiered turntables that are typically used in corner cabinets to allow the greatest access in an area that's hard to reach. Variations on this idea include half-moon pullouts that are semi-circular trays which swing out of corner cabinets to provide easy access.|
|Base cabinet filler strip pullout||Stock cabinets sometimes have filler strips that take up space between the end of a cabinet and an oven or some other appliance. Filler strip pullouts have a multi-tiered rack behind them that's good for storing spice jars and anything else that will fit. They're usually several inches wide and as high as the base cabinet height.|
|Large base cabinet vertical pullouts||Similar to the filler strip pullouts, the larger pullouts accommodate larger items such as bigger canned goods and 2-liter bottles.|
|Base cabinet pullout organizers||These are base cabinets that have multiple shelves attached to the back of the base cabinet door. They pull out and allow you to reach all the items stacked on each of the shelves.|
|Plate racks||Racks that house plates inside a base cabinet drawer for easier handling than if they're stored in stacks in an upper cabinet.|
|Cooking sheet and baking pan dividers||Pullout racks with taller partitions forming slots that allow you to store cooking sheets and similar flat items on their side instead of on top of each other in a big pile (making it hard to get the ones on the bottom).|
|Wire bins||Multi-purpose containers which usually roll out that can be located virtually anywhere in base cabinets to hold produce, kitchen cleaning items or whatever else you need them to do.|
|Pegboard drawer organizers||A similar concept to the plate rack except it keeps your plates in stacks and in a drawer (instead of in overhead cabinets).|
|Counter-mount waste containers||These are containers that fit inside a hole cut in the top of the countertop allowing you to scrape waste products directly into it and out of your way. A sealed top is used to cover it to seal out odors (it's basically like a little wastebasket suspended from the countertop surface, located at some convenient place on your countertop -- obviously your countertop requires this special hole cut in it for access).|
|Pulldown shelving for wall cabinets||This unit for wall cabinets incorporates several shelves that are fixed to a pulldown hinge system. It affords you the ability to easily reach items that might normally require a foot stool to get at by pulling the shelves down toward you.|
If you're remodeling your kitchen or building anew and are buying new cabinets you'll find that the availability of kitchen cabinet organizers varies with cabinet manufacturer. Some offer more than others.
Some cabinet manufacturers develop trade names for their storage and organizing features. Within each 'system' you'll find a menu of various cabinet organizers and other features to make storage more efficient and easier to get at.The terms used to describe cabinet organizer features vary among cabinet makers such as 'storage solutions', 'organizers', 'accessories' and 'options' so keep that in mind if you're searching manufacturer websites or product literature. The bottom line on kitchen cabinet organizers with respect to new cabinet manufacturers is that you have a choice: purchase these options from the cabinet maker or buy the organizers separately on your own. Keep in mind however that some of these options are built-in features and aren't available from places that sell organizers separately. You also may need to do some homework to determine what's more cost effective - buying the options with the cabinets or buying on your own. Just remember that if you buy them separately, you'll have to install them yourself. Simple roll-out trays and waste centers may be fairly easy to install but more complex pantry and/or corner cabinet swing-out systems can be challenging depending on your do-it-yourself skills.
You don't need to buy new cabinets in order to take advantage of these cabinet organizing solutions. If you're just looking to make better use out of the cabinet space you have, you can purchase these accessories separately and install them yourself. There are numerous sources for purchasing kitchen cabinet organizers.
The first step in this process is determining what your specific storage and accessibility needs are. Consider the following points in order to drill down to what cabinet organizers you should prioritize.
The only drawback to working with existing cabinetry is the fact that you're limited by your cabinet's style and construction. Things like built-in plate racks or lower-cabinet drawers (instead of standard base cabinets) are either there or they're not. Despite some of these limitations however you'd be surprised at how many different kinds organizing accessories you can take advantage of.
Here are several resources for finding kitchen cabinet organizing accessories:
The price range on kitchen cabinet organizers varies based on the size and complexity of the unit. For example, simple under-sink rollout wire storage baskets run from $25.00 to $35.00. Wood rollout shelves for wide base cabinets cost in the $30.00 to $50.00 range depending on actual size and depth. A standard kidney-shaped lazy susan will cost about $65.00.
More complex and substantial organizing and storage units will be more expensive. An Elfa® walk-in pantry system sized for a 5 x 6 foot space will cost approximately $850.00. A premier blind corner swing-out system with 4 chrome wire baskets costs about $650.
As you can probably see, you can spend anywhere from less than a hundred dollars to several thousand depending on how far you wish to outfit your kitchen. If you're on a budget, like most of us are, a few targeted cabinet organizing units that add more efficiency and functionality to your kitchen can be had for a reasonable price.
As a final thought on cost, keep in mind that these organizing and storage systems will be with you potentially as long as you and your cabinets are together. Every day you'll use these components as you reach for food items and cooking utensils. Whatever you end up spending initially for these items, think of them as an investment in your long term satisfaction with your kitchen. The right tools make any job easier so if these items make your kitchen less cumbersome, they're probably worth their initial cost.
Blum Space Corner
The first is from Blum, Inc., makers of functional hardware and storage solutions for kitchen cabinets. Blum has introduced the Space Corner, an innovative corner drawer that utilizes the awkward corner cabinet space.
While most traditional storage solutions for corner cabinets involve things like lazy susans and half-moon swing out shelves, the Space Corner takes a different approach by incorporating a drawer in this space instead.
The drawer is made so that it slides in and out in line with the corner of your cabinets. The drawer front is actually V-shaped, as if two standard drawers at the corner of the cabinets are connected.
Blum also makes the Orga-Line of adjustable drawer and rollout shelf dividers. They're made out of stainless steel so they're dishwasher safe and their adjustability makes it easy to change things around as your needs change.
Another creative idea comes from the Diamond Cabinet company. While not a cabinet organizer in the traditional sense, this storage solution is worth mentioning.
Diamond's Logix™ organizing system includes a Toekick drawer option in their base cabinets. The toekick is that space at the bottom of the cabinets that meets the floor. It's indented to give room for your feet when your standing next to the cabinets.
While this drawer may not be in the most convenient or readily-accessible place, it still offers an additional space to store items, in a place that was traditionally just dead space. It might be a good spot for less frequently used items like holiday table linens, placemats or just about anything else that you don't need (or want to bend down to get) very often.
Finally, a web page on kitchen cabinet organizers wouldn't be complete without the mention of Rev-A-Shelf® products. This company specializes in making functional cabinet organizing and storage products. You can purchase Rev-A-Shelf® products at various retailers that specialize in cabinet organization systems but checking out their website might be worthwhile just to get an idea of the types of products that are available.