You probably don't need a detailed survey to tell you that the kitchen is one of the most used spaces in a family home. It serves as a hub for meals, a communal space for gathering, and often a message center for family traffic. Some consider the kitchen the 'brain' of the home.
Many homes have kitchens that are small or overrun by clutter. The mess can be a significant barrier to enjoying the space. Without some intentional organizational systems in place, a kitchen can feel almost useless, missing out on the potential of being deemed 'the brain.'
Did you know that the kitchen is the most expensive room in your home to renovate? An article by Master Remodelers states that in upscale kitchen remodels in Pittsburgh, homeowners spend around $128,000! That's a ton of money. In my experience, most individuals don't have that kind of cash lying around.
So, what's the solution? Does opening up your kitchen require a total renovation? Not always. Fortunately, I have some kitchen hacks to open up your kitchen without you having to do a complete makeover that will not require you having to spend thousands of dollars.
Hack #1: Hang it high. Long-handled pots, pans, and other utensils hung high, with an appropriately-installed ceiling rack, makes them easily accessible. Use your longest-handled pan as a guide and install a hanging rack high enough above your head.
Hack #2: Play all the angles. Pay attention to the unutilized space in the corners. Typically you will find a chunky wooden knife block tucked into these corners. Consider installing corner shelving, or even place a magnetic knife strip near a convenient corner.
Hack #3: Shelve it for later. Counters and cabinets don't have to do all of the storage work. Nesting shelving in windows or even on the surrounding backsplash and walls can be a great solution.
Hack #4: Save the sink space. Seldom are you using the sink while you're prepping veggies, so why not get a large cutting board and lay it across the surface? This way, you turn a sink into a temporary counter.
Hack #5: See the studs. Open up a wall or two in your kitchen to access the recessed space between studs. Subdividing this space with shelves or hanging hooks can be a space saver. Properly finished, these shelves add creativity and serve a valuable purpose of creating storage all at the same time.
Hack #6: Jar it up! Take a mason jar lid and screw it to the underside of an existing shelf or overhang. Now, put items in the mason jar and screw the jar into the lid. Bingo! New hanging storage.
Of course, if no amount of clever hacks will open up your kitchen, it may be time to upgrade. When you are ready, I can put together a list of local homes for sale that have killer kitchens.