Planning kitchen cabinet storage is one of the most important considerations when planning a kitchen remodel or addition. It is important to plan only for genuine need in your new kitchen because cabinetry is the largest single cost item in your remodeling budget. Be sure to plan enough cabinets for your needs without installing a large amount of extra cabinet space.
There are several ways to estimate your storage needs when designing your new or remodeled kitchen.
- Measure the cabinets you currently have and replace them with new cabinets in identical sizes.
- Remove everything from your cabinets, combine items appropriately into groups that would go in individual cabinets. Then measure the items (space used) and evaluate the size and number of cabinets needed.
- Keep in mind that your new cabinets are primarily kitchen organizers. Look at the items currently in your cabinets. What could you reorganize to use space more efficiently? What could you move to a less accessible space (because you use it less frequently)?
- Consider other items you would like to be able to store in your new kitchen cabinets; then add this to your calculations.
- Review all of the specialized types of cabinets available in the wood, color and design you want. You might consider refrigerated drawers, pull out cabinets, slide-out shelves, drawers that hold pots and pans in the deeper bottom section and lids in a smaller top section. There are many new configurations every year.
- Plan the placement of your appliances, cook top, ovens, etc. and then plan cabinets around them.
- The best approach to cabinet planning might be to work with a kitchen designer, your contractor or your cabinetmaker to place appliances and cabinets where they will make things readily available where you need them to be when entertaining, cooking or cleaning up.
The next step in planning your cabinetry in a way that will make your kitchen most efficient is to evaluate how you can maximize your cabinet space with various cabinet organizers. You have access to a surprising array of organizational devices for drawers, cabinets and other spaces in your kitchen. For example:
- Use specially sized drawers or odd-sized extra space to store canned goods, bottled drinks, etc.
- Use a Lazy Susan to make items in the back of higher or lower cabinets accessible.
- Use drawer dividers to keep a drawer for kitchen utensils organized and neat.
- Instead of wasting the top half of each shelf in a cabinet, install a two-tiered Lazy Susan.
You can also maximize your storage space with specialty custom cabinets. Instead of losing access to things in the back of a base corner cabinet, install a cabinet with a built-in Lazy Susan. Another idea is to have your cabinetmaker build you a tall, narrow cabinet beside the oven for pizza pans, cookie sheets and the like. Consider cabinets fitted out with smaller shelves, slanted racks for canned drinks, etc., and install a special cabinet beneath the sink equipped with a slide-out rack for the trash can or frame for the trash bag and a small device to hold extra trash bags.
Once you understand the many options available to you when planning kitchen cabinet storage, it becomes much easier to plan a kitchen in the style and design you most want while also ensuring that you will have the type and amount of storage space you need. A little imagination and some creative planning will result in the kitchen of your dreams.