When it comes to kitchen organization, we at Kitchen Design Concepts have a few suggestions. For small appliance storage space to that needed junk drawer, everything is important. But, over the years we’ve seen the industry grow and begin to offer tons of new, and smarter, solutions. So, where to begin? We’ve identified so many common asks by our clients, but there are three major standouts. Therefore, here are the kitchen organization tools that we think should be standard in every kitchen design.
Waste Bin Pull-outs
Honestly, this should be number one on your list. Sure, there may be some scenarios that need something more industrial-sized, but that’s uncommon in residential design. Stuffing a small can under your sink isn’t cutting it anymore, and typically you’re seeing two bins per kitchen. If you recycle, a double bin may be the best bet, or a double trash pull-out with a separate recycle pull-out elsewhere. Some cabinet lines even have a corner “Susan” solution with three bins. The most common waste location is going to be next to your main sink. The waste/sink/dishwasher combo is what comprises your main prep/wash space, so having waste easily accessible here is important! Have an auxiliary sink? Consider a single pull-out, or the less common swing door mount, there. Leave those obnoxious and unsightly freestanding waste bins – well, not to be punny or anything – in the trash.
Left: double waste bin pull-outs | Right: single waste bin pull-outs
For a lot of scenarios – like utensils, cookware, pots & pans, etc. – we are typically going to recommend drawers. Why? Single hand, single movement usage. All you have to do is open the drawer in order to look down on your items. However, there are certain scenarios where drawers don’t always work, or there is an aesthetic choice to have doors, or the cabinet line you’re working with isn’t able to fully customize something. Enter roll-out trays. These bad boys can sit in open cabinets or behind closed doors, and function just as drawers do! Not only are they going to eliminate the need to unload the front of a shelf to get to the items in the back, but they help alleviate having to sit, squat, or bend over to get to the bottom row of base cabinets.
And want to know the benefits of roll-out trays over drawers? Adjustability. So essentially, anywhere where you may not know for certain what you’re going to store, or how big or small those items may get, the ability to adjust is necessary. Roll-out trays are most commonly found, and specified, in pantry spaces, but don’t stop there. They are also perfect on lower levels of cabinets covered by countertop overhang, where drawers are impossible to use. And they can sit perfectly above/below other internal cabinet add-ons, like above waste bins, or below mixer lifts. You can even have roll-outs inside of drawers! Mind. Blown. Roll-out trays may just become your new favorite kitchen organization item.
Top left: roll-out tray below mixer lift | Bottom left: roll-out tray inside drawer | Center: 4 roll-out trays in pantry cabinets | Top right: 2 roll-out trays behind double doors | Bottom right: 2 roll-out trays under countertop overhang
How many times have you had your cutting boards fall over? Or have your muffin tins and baking trays made an unnecessary amount of noise? Or have no idea where to store that one oversized platter only used for the Super Bowl? You are not alone, and we have the answer: tray dividers. Such a simple thing once you think about it, but instead of stacking things on top of one another (like a ream of paper) you just turn everything 90-degrees and save yourself a headache! Tray divider solutions can be fixed or adjustable, metal or cabinet matching, and some cabinet lines can even make tray divider roll-outs. Magical! But seriously, you should always try to dedicate at least one cabinet for what we deem “vertical storage” and use tray dividers to help ensure your items don’t fall over when sliding that one cookie sheet out. Think about using the space above your oven for baking items, a skinny cabinet near the sink for cutting boards, or even in an auxiliary space (like under the island) for holiday-type platters. You will not regret ensuring you have some tray dividers – or even a few sets – around your kitchen.
Left: 2 short metal tray dividers in skinny cabinet | Center: roll-out angled tray divider under counter overhang | Right: adjustable tray dividers above ovens
Need more storage inspiration? Deep dive into the art of kitchen organization with this information drawer storage blog to add a few more things to your wish list. And don’t forget about all of the corner cabinet options out there to fix those blind corners! Still not seeing what you want? Don’t worry, there are plenty of other options out there – we’re here to help!