If your kitchen is on the cramped side, your countertops can start to look like a middle school dance floor: it’s crowded, but most of the stuff is just awkwardly milling around. But clearing space can be tough. What to toss? What to keep? And can you really live without your Soda Stream? Don’t worry – maximizing your countertop space doesn’t have to involve a massive appliance purge. Instead, think beyond the counter.
Here are five of our favorite countertop-storage alternatives:
Who needs a built-in kitchen island when you can have a drink cart? These awesomely versatile pieces can hold a lot more than a martini shaker. Store your kitchen appliances on the cart, and then roll it out to a pluggable spot when you need to use an appliance. When you’re not using the cart, slide it to an out-of-the-way place or even another room. Tip: This works best for appliances that you don’t use often throughout the day, like a toaster or blender.
So, your counters are overcrowded. What about your walls? If your walls are underused, consider elevating some of your space offenders. Hooks and shelves make wall storage easy – just make sure that your shelf can handle the weight of your appliances. Tip: Our favorite on-the-wall storage idea is a magnetic strip for knives. A knife block is a serious space stealer, so this change can really open things up.
Lazy Susans were a kitchen table mainstay for most of the ‘90s, but most people have set them aside along with hammer pants. We say, bring the lazy lady back (hammer pants…not so much). Place a large Lazy Susan in your pantry or a large cabinet and then use it like an appliance carousal. You’ll be able to reach any appliance you need in a matter of seconds without sacrificing precious countertop real estate.
This is unorthodox, so bear with us. What if your Keurig coffee maker lived in your bedroom? Or your mini-fridge was in the living room, where you enjoy 90 percent of your cold beverages anyway? Just because it was bought in the kitchen section doesn’t mean it has to stay in the kitchen. If an appliance in another room makes sense for you, go for it! Because really, who doesn’t love coffee in bed?
Sometimes less really is more. When you’re rearranging your appliances, be honest with yourself – do you really need everything? If you run into some items that haven’t been used for six months (or more), it may be time to toss or donate.