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Kitchen Storage Solutions: How to Declutter Your Pantry and Cabinets

Need more space in your kitchen? Get clever tricks for taking advantage of every last nook and cranny.

1. Use wire closet racks in kitchen cabinets.

Use closet racks as cabinet organizers. Trim the racks to length with a hacksaw and then mount screws to the back side of the face frame to hold the racks in place. The back side of the rack simply rests against the back of the cabinet. Now you can easily find your soup and check the rest of your inventory at a glance.

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2. Use T-molding to hold stemware.

T-molding designed for wood floor transitions makes a perfect rack for stemware. Just cut it to length, predrill screw holes and screw it to the underside of a shelf. For a neater look, use brass screws and finish washers. Prefinished T-molding is available wherever wood flooring is sold. A 4-ft. section costs about $25.

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3. Create a homemade drawer stop.

To keep a drawer in the cabinet where it belongs, drill a hole in the side of the box and make this stop with a dowel, a screw and a fender washer. It’s easy to make and to remove.

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4. Use a tissue box to keep plastic bags organized.

An empty rectangular tissue box makes a convenient holder for small garbage bags, plastic grocery bags and small rags. Simply thumbtack it to the inside of a cabinet door.

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5. Organize spices with angled shelving.

If your spices are jammed into a drawer with only the tops visible, this nifty rack that slips neatly into the drawer will solve the problem. And it only takes an hour to build. Make it with scraps of 1/4-in. and 1/2-in. plywood.

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6. Use a small spring-tension rod as a simple shelf.

Small spice containers use shelf space inefficiently and are difficult to find when surrounded by taller bottles and items. Use a small spring-tension curtain rod ($3) as a simple shelf. It’s easy to install and strong enough to support the spices.

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7. Use plywood panels to organize pots and pans.

Most kitchen base cabinets lack vertical storage space for big, flat cookware like cookie sheets and pizza pans. To provide it, just remove the lower shelf, cut a vertical panel of plywood and fasten it at the cabinet bottom with furniture braces and at the top with a strip of wood. Drill holes for the adjusting pins to match the original locations and trim the shelf to length.

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8. Use a zip-top bag to organize manuals under the sink.

Don’t file away the manuals for your kitchen and bath fixtures. Instead, slip them into a zip-top plastic bag and hang the bag in the cabinet under the sink. They’ll always be right where you need them. Toss in paint samples and spare cabinet hardware too.

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9. Keep measuring cups organized.

Free up drawer space by hanging measuring cups inside a kitchen cabinet. Position and mount a wood strip so that the cups will hang between the shelves and allow the door to close completely. Mount a second strip for your measuring spoons, then screw in cup hooks on both strips.

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Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest