Drawer Innovations

Drawer Innovations

Ingenious solutions for maximizing kitchen drawer efficiency

Is everything a mess in your kitchen – to your sensibilities anyway? Maybe you have lids separated from their plastic ware, appliance manuals mingling with pot holders, and spatulas sharing the same drawer as phone chargers. Sure, it’s a mess, but it’s your mess – and that means it can be resolved as much as you are willing.

Sure, you’re aware the philosophy of putting everything back where it belongs is a good one. It’s the basic drawer strategy. Unfortunately it does not establish a complete safeguard from the disarray that follows most of us into the kitchen. You happen to have the time and some money now, you are about to cross off “organizing the kitchen drawers” from your list. It’s Operation Optimize Drawer Capacity!

Let’s start with cups. Much easier than lining cups in rows in the cabinetry overheard (and having to reach for specific ones in the back) is the inclusion of a cup drawer. You’ll want it to be deep enough to accommodate your tallest mugs (usually max 8 inches) and place them upside down. Imagine, pulling out the cup drawer and having each one equally and easily accessible. If you have more cups than a single drawer can handle you may have more than you really need, possibly. Consider donating to the Salvation Army or other thrift shop if you have an overflow. Meanwhile, incorporate a side compartment for tea, coffee and sugar for maximum amenity.

{Picture Reference to Houzz}

Apply the same concept to your glassware, and store them upside down. Since fragility is a larger concern here, use nonslip rubber drawer liners (sold in kitchen and cookware shops), they will cushion the rims while preventing sliding. Naturally soft close drawers are best, especially since wine glasses are prone to tipping.

Keep saucepans and their lids separated but in the same drawer. Obviously keeping them in close proximity of each other is the intent – you don’t want to rummage through the kitchen looking for one or the other. A rear or side divider designed to hold the lids is ideal. Of course, if you can dedicate a drawer with vertical storage slots for lids, that would be a superior option. On the other hand, if you have large pull out drawers that can accommodate pots and pans, keep them intact with their lids, there’s no need to separate them at all (especially if the drawers are two-tiered and pull out independently).

Sure, you encounter the same issues with plastic containers. It is equally challenging to keep from losing the lids. An easy solution is the incorporation of a couple of internal shelves. Stack like size containers on the bottom while putting lids (also stacked size wise) on the shelves above.

Obviously you need to handle knives with care. They must never be put loose in a drawer with other equipment. Besides the damage they will endure, you risk someone or yourself being seriously cut, simply by reaching in. Instead, store them in a shallow drawer that is pre-fitted with knife cavities or a slotted wood block that is horizontal within the space. These designs will keep your knives free from disturbance. The imarku chef’s knife and knife products make the choice easier.

You’ll find a number of uses for narrow-space pullouts, such as one to specifically house trays and cutting boards. Like the rest of the cabinetry it is set behind a door. Of course an additional built in slide out chopping board is also a nice addition, especially when you’re making a large meal and have to chop fruits and vegetables simultaneously but need to avoid mixing them.

Over the last few years toe kick doors have become quite popular and therefore very common. They utilize typically neglected space at the very bottom of your kitchen cabinets construction. Horizontally, they are ideal for wine storage, rarely used platters, trays, boards, linens, towels, pans even paperwork and printed material.

Interestingly, it is not a common practice to store food in drawers. But if you use ventilated drawers, it’s actually a great storage solution. It’s the perfect environment for potatoes, onions and garlic. There are even benefits to storing tomatoes, oranges and lemons in such a ventilated drawer.

Similarly, a bread drawer with a cover and an insulating pad in the base can also conserve space, such as the area reserved for a cumbersome countertop bread bin. Since bread is best consumed a.s.a.p., or stored somewhere cool and protected by pests, this drawer alternative is really quite ideal.

A pull-out spice library is another innovative space-saver, efficient and easy. It’s a narrow drawer that pulls out to reveal a top wood layer with rows of open carved circles that accommodate the easy placement of spice jars. It is a much more effective means of storing spice than having the jars spread haphazardly throughout the pantry.

The same concept is applied to the multipurpose drawer. Since it features a variety of items that are often used, it is generally found just below the counter close to your usual prep surface. It should contain your favorite herbs and spices, baking items and accessories and whatever else most convenient when placed in this space.

Large tools like spatulas and wooden spoons may easily work with a specially designed drawer insert that features holes cut to fit long, slim buckets. This concept serves as a great way to alleviate clutter. Instead of laying countless accessories on their side where they are bound to shift and intertwine, they emerge vertically from their assigned buckets

When dealing with under-sink space, the keyword is “simplify”. Don’t cram stuff in down there. It’s an awkwardly shaped space to begin with, as it was built around the plumbing. Condense the loose contents to what you actually need and use ONLY. Consider if there are items that are best-suited for other areas like, say, the laundry room? Leave the space as open as possible, think practicality.

Lastly, the most recent phenomenon of kitchen use is how it’s become the go-to place in which to charge our electronic devices. Of course, the last thing you want is to get them wet, so why not put them out of the way, in their own designated narrow drawer equipped with a mounted power strip? It’s the latest in a series of concepts that bring the kitchen drawer into the modern age.

The amount of innovation for maximizing the efficiency of drawers will never end. Each year there seems to be a new solution that makes us say, “why didn’t I think of that?” Perhaps these ideas have even inspired a fresh creation of your own!

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