Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Storage Ideas for Little Upper Cabinets

Today I am sharing a quick and simple storage solution idea. This has been working so well in our kitchen for over a year or so now, that I felt like I road tested it enough to finally snap some pictures and share it with you guys!

It's about these little mini cabinets we have above our kitchen sink. Do you have any of these in your kitchen?

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What do you have in yours'? In previous homes, these cabinets were either stuffed with miscellaneous, unimportant, and forgotten items...or left completely empty due to their awkward size and location. When trying to figure out how best to use these cabinets, I came across THESE Target baskets and they were a PEEEEEEFECT fit. Wanna see?

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These baskets fit into the cabinet cubbies so perfectly that I now feel like I better use every inch of these shelves. And better yet? Things don't get stuffed up in there, all the way in the back where I can't see or reach them!

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As a result, these baskets come down almost daily (if not several times a day) and are our most organized and useful nook in the kitchen! I would have never said that about these little cabinets before, that's for sure!
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So what all do I have stored in these wide and long but short baskets? Let me show you!!!!

First up, one of my favorite storage solutions in our entire house: Sippy Cups! No more of these cups rolling around, with mis-matched (or lost!) lids, within the ranks of our regular cups and glasses Now, all the sippy and snack cups are stored in one easy-to-grab basket. Positioned above the sink and dishwasher, this basket is easily grabbed half a dozen times a day!

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Two other baskets store our plastic tubs and lids for leftovers. I'm pretty excited about this one; truth be told, this is the main reason I am sharing this whole post with you today. I had a "eureka!" moment while figuring out how to store my tupperware. Instead of storing matching tops and bottoms together, I store the containers in one basket and the lids in the other. "Eureka!!!" right?

Upper Kitchen Cabinet-006
Upper Kitchen Cabinet-007

Okay, maybe you're not nearly as excited as I was. But hear me out! While this system does require me to pull down both baskets anytime I want to pack up leftovers, I no longer have mountains of containers that fall over every time I remove one.  More so, empting the dishwasher and loading these baskets back up takes no time, rather than matching up and (precariously) placing stacks of tupperware onto shelves.

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One more disclaimer here. We don't have tons of plastic containers, so this might not work for you if you have a large collection. AND, I don't keep really large containers, as I choose to store larger things either 1) in plastic bags that freeze flat or 2) glass dishes that can go right into the oven. I genuinely love having my containers stored like this. If you have a mountain of plasticware giving you a headache, give this method a try!

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My last basket stores our spices. And you better believe that I spent months trying to come up with a better (and prettier!) spice storage solution than this one. 

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Here's the thing though. I stopped trying to figure out a better spice solution months ago when....this was working so well. Admittedly, I could use some labels on the tops of the jars to prevent me from having to search through each bottle just to find the paprika; but otherwise, having all my spices in one easy-to-grab basket has been an awesome solution for our family. Again, I don't have un-sturdy towers of spices toppling over each time I need one; they aren't taking up precious shelf or cabinet space; and they are all in one, tidy location. This is just another one of those "give it a try" ideas if your current spice solution isn't working. It's working really, really well for us. However, just looking at these pictures is making me crazy for a prettier presentation. I haven't given up yet - I might keep thinking on that one!

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For a long time, these baskets weren't labeled and I didn't really have any trouble keeping them straght. But it has been easier for guests (and my  husband!) to have them labeled. I took a cue from Jenn and used some book plates, washi tape, and a label maker to give each basket a simple little descriptor!

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It's like the baskets were made to fit these cabinets! Love!

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What do you think? Do you have these kind of cabinets in your kitchen? How do you keep them organized? Think you might give the basket idea a try?

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  1. Great use of space Megan! I have cabinets like this above my stove but unfortunately, there is a stove pipe going through the middle of it. It makes it completely unusable! You've inspired me to keep looking for a solution. :-)

  2. How ingenius!! I live in a condo and unfortunately I don't have a lot of kitchen and cabinet space,. I like the idea of having two separate locations for lids and containers. x

  3. Great idea, my husband made me a huge spice rack holds 44 spices in my walk in pantry. I have one of these cupboards above yhe stove. It is very narrow and tall. Will have to try this. Thanks for a brilliant idea

  4. Ahhh!! I saw those baskets at Target too, and loved them!! Unfortunately I didn't pick any up, but I might have to now to solve my spice storage problem. Thank you, and they look beautiful!!

  5. Great idea! I didn't know those baskets would fit perfectly in those little cabinets. I put all my vases in the little cabinet.

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  7. I have a stove pipe going through my cabinets. My cabinets are larger so I stuff baskets and stuff like that. What I really want is a Microwave with a built in vent to go over the cook top. The oven is separate. Now I'm trying to figure out how this will work with out taking apart all my cabinets. Our microwave broke down and I really miss it. I will probably get another free standing one and eventually get the vented one. I have my lids and containers separate too. I matched them up and got rid of the extras.

  8. Yay Megan! I have a couple of cupboards like that. Hubbie solved the dilemma in one by making an elevated thin shelf that wraps around the sides in one so my spices weren't toppling out and chipping the enemel off the stove. We put the smaller ones up on the wrap around shelf, and the bigger ones just sit in the cupboard. I am so going to try the tray thing with my candles and another with the placemats/trivets. Thanks for the idea! (Does a little happy dance) :)

  9. First time stopping by your blog...nice job! Can you tell me where your prints above the sink are from? Thanks!

  10. We store our spices in the same way. I've found small round stickers (they usually come in a pack with red, blue, and yellow) at office supply stores that fit perfectly in the dimple on top of the spices lids. I used them to label all my spices!

    1. I was going to suggest labels on the top of the jars too. That way you can find what you need quickly. My mum keeps hers in a basket too, and we typed the spices on the computer, and printed them on regular white mailing labels. We then cut out the name and stuck them on the lid. It's a big time saver.

  11. I've written right on the top of spice jars with a sharpie. I line my like spices together in rows - Italian, all purpose, Mexican, salts, all-the-time/freq used, baking, etc. You could use different color sharpies for different categories. Since you have a lot of darker tops, you could use small circle dot stickers too/instead.

    Love the baskets - they are perfect in there!


  12. I saw these at Target the other day and loved them, but I couldn't think of anything to use them for. I'm definitely getting some for our kitchen...our tupperware situation is out of control!! Thank you for the great idea!

  13. That is the best idea I have heard in a long time! I have two pair of those cabinets (although each has only one shelf). One is over the refrigerator, the other over the stove hood. They are pretty much useless, but I think adding baskets would make them useful. Thank for the idea!

  14. I have that same label maker . . . how did you use the washi tape in it without gumming it up?

    1. Hi Karen! I did not use the washi tape inside the label maker. I secured the washi tape to the paper inserts that came with the book plates. I then printed off labels onto the clear tape that works with my label maker and placed them onto the washi-tape-covered-paper inserts. Sorry for the confusion, but I hope that helps!


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