Kitchen Cabinet Storage Tips

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  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Well, are your kitchen cabinets a clutter of pots and pans that practically jump out at you when you open the doors? Why not start by organizing your cabinets by installing a few, simple space-savers?

    Kitchen Cabinet Storage TipsTOM: Joining us now with some tips to do just that is Tom Silva, the general contractor on TV’s This Old House and a very organized guy.

    Hey, Tommy.

    TOM SILVA: How are you guys?

    TOM: We are great. And we all covet more cabinet space but having a lot of space doesn’t solve your storage problems if you can’t find what you want when you need it. So, where do we begin on straightening out these cabinets?

    TOM SILVA: Well, you’re so right about that. I think the first piece of advice I would say is pare down your kitchen possessions. And if you haven’t used something in a couple of years, maybe you don’t need it, you know what I mean?

    TOM: So I really don’t need four colanders.

    LESLIE: No.

    TOM SILVA: Yeah. Get organized. That’s what it’s about, right?

    It’s always a helpful exercise to pull everything out of your cabinets, see what you have and then you can organize it and get rid of what you don’t want.

    LESLIE: So, Tommy, what are some clever items that you can actually just pick up and insert into those cabinets themselves, to make them more functional?

    TOM SILVA: Well, think of the storage inside your cabinet. Don’t think of it as shelf space; think of it more of cubic space, the space that’s wasted. So, they have these small Lazy Susans that you can put in the shelves and you can spin them around so it’s easier to get to the jars and the cans. And then they also have these hooks for – that you can put on the underside of the shelf, so now you hang some cups on that. So that’s space that would be otherwise wasted.

    You can install all kinds of racks that will hold pots and lids and spices and cans, goods. And a lot of these racks go inside the cabinet doors.

    TOM: And then don’t we have a lot of pull-down and pull-out options? Some of those cabinet-shelving devices are pretty sophisticated.

    TOM SILVA: They are really sophisticated. You can get all kinds of stuff from pull-out to you can take your shelf that’s on the cabinet – the lower cabinet – that are hard to get to, put a drawer in there that will pull out and you get – really see what you have.

    TOM: We’ve even seen pull-out shelves that essentially empty the entire wall cabinet, like right down – bring it right down almost countertop height.

    TOM SILVA: Oh, right. I actually installed one in my kitchen, over my stove. My wife had a hard time reaching up to that high. You open the door, there’s a little lever right there, you pull it, it swings out and the – all of the shelving comes right down to her height.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. You know, Rev-A-Shelf is the leading manufacturer of that type of insert, which really brings the contents down. And if you head over to their website, they have a ton of different inserts that are available. And even if you’re in the process of redesigning your kitchen, getting new cabinets, talk to your kitchen designer and say, “These are my concerns,” and you’d be surprised what options are available to you.

    TOM SILVA: Oh, yeah. There’s practically an organizer for just about anything that you want.

    TOM: Now, Tom, some cabinet designs have hidden areas that can be tapped for storage. Like, for example, the big, dead corner in a base cabinet. Are there any tips for tapping into that space?

    TOM SILVA: Yeah, like to the right of the sink, for example, or right beside the refrigerator?

    TOM: Yeah.

    TOM SILVA: Well, there’s all kinds of Lazy Susans. There’s a Lazy Susan that’s just a circle; like it has a piece of pie cut out of it, where the door swings around. There’s types of Lazy Susans where you open the door and that whole circle spins around. They even have them now, that they’re 90 degrees; it pulls out, there’s a basket that comes out, around and over so you can really get to every inch of that cabinet.

    TOM: So there’s really no reason not to be able to use every cubic inch of space that you have inside of that cabinet.

    TOM SILVA: No reason at all.

    TOM: Great advice. Tom Silva from TV’s This Old House, thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit.

    TOM SILVA: It is my pleasure.

    TOM: For more tips, you can visit

    LESLIE: And you can watch Tommy and the entire This Old House team on This Old House and Ask This Old House on your local PBS station.

    TOM: And Ask This Old House is brought to you by the National Association of Realtors.

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