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never 2 old to start cooking
a shared journey and learning experience


Your kitchen's not as small as you think.

It's not at all uncommon to downsize as time goes on, and one of the more daunting tasks in that process is finding a place for all of the 'stuff' in your kitchen.  You just thought that when any kids moved out the nest was empty.  Hah!!  As rewarding as it can be to get rid of long forgotten kitchen items - pots, pans, casserole dishes, unused appliances, etc. - it is equally as rewarding to acquire new items in keeping with a fresh start in new surroundings, and to acquire items you 'need' as your newfound interest in cooking grows.  The problem, of course, is that your new kitchen is most likely smaller than your old one, but also is laid out differently.  Fear not.  There are products and ideas out there to help

My kitchen is a square one measuring slightly over 10 feet on each side.  Take out for a door off the entry, a door going into the dining room, a washer/dryer closet, refrigerator, oven, dishwasher, and the umbiquitous under-sink cabinet for cleaning supplies and a trash can (in the space left over after the disposal was installed), and you can already picture the lack of meaningfull storage space.  And let's not forget that functionally worthless cabinet over the cooktop with the vent in it.


I have narrow under-counter cabinets on either side of my stove.  Needless to say,

a baking sheet or muffin tin won't fit lying down - those items need to be on their
sides.  Even so, the problem of easy access rears its head. 

Rev-a-Shelf to the rescue.   Rev-a-Shelf makes a whole line of shelving designed to 

make kitchen space more usable and functional.  It's available at Lowe's and
The Home Depot ; you will want to look at the Rev-a-Shelf website first to get an idea
of what you might want/need, as it will have the whole line on display.  Odds are
your local Lowe's or The Home Depot  may not  have exactly what you want in stock.  
You'll have to decide whether to order online or have your local retailer order it for you.

I used
Rev-a-Shelf products to increase the functionality of the narrow cabinets on 

either side of my oven.  The units are easy to install - about 15-20  minutes per unit - 
and you'll be hard-pressed to match their convenience and organizational
contributions to your surroundings.  The double shelf products are sufficiently strong
that the upper shelf/basket is perfect for small electrics like a small food processor, hand mixer, or immersion blender - all three in my case - with room for a grater or other small device.


My kitchen has a pantry, and while that sounds glamorous to those of us who grew up

with all pantry items put away in cabinets in the kitchen, my pantry has the common
downside of being narrow and deep - great fun when you are putting things in it the
first time; hell when you're trying to get to them later, or forgetting you have them 
altogether because they're out of sight and subsequently out of date. 

I found a solution, again, in the
Rev-a-Shelf line.  It's a single shelf, or basket, that pulls

out to provide easy access to those items that would be otherwise far back and
difficult to get.  I did find that when I put them in I had some seemingly dead space on either side (more on one than the other), but I have rearranged stuff enough to find good use for that space for items that truly are not accessed that often - bulk napkins, etc.

I don't know that I ever coveted a kitchen large enough to accommodate one of those pot racks that hangs gloriously over the massive islands in kitchens featured in Architectural Digest and all those glossy real estate magazines, but I did know that given a smaller kitchen space, a pot rack could provide extra storage and some relief to the drawers holding pots, pans, and cooking utensils.  You can hang some pans on Command hooks on the backsplash behind your cooktop, but that doesn't really have a finished look to it.   If you have narrow over-counter cabinets on either side of your cooktop, and a useless cabinet over the vent hood, you do have an opportunity.

Strolling through Lowe's one day, determined to find a solution, I ran across a hollow steel rod (I hesitate to call it a pipe - it was not threaded at either end, which was perfect) that was pre-cut to the width of the space available over the cooktop.  The light came on, and I purchased all that was needed - one 36" steel rod (hollow), two 5/16-inch lag bolts (3 inches long), and some black washers.  Short list.

What I did was this.  (1) I drilled pilot holes (from the outside) into the cabinets where I wanted the rod to be located (started small and increased the diameter to just under the diameter of the lag bolts); (2) started the first lag bolt from the inside of the first cabinet; (3) once the lag bolt made its appearance on the outside of the cabinet I held one end of the hollow steel rod in place and continued  screwing in the lag bolt until it was sufficiently into the steel rod to hold it; (4) repeated the process on the other cabinet, putting the open end of the steel rod in place as the second lag bolt made its appearance; (5) determined how much black washer I needed to fill any gap and give a finished look; (6) backed off the lag bolts to put the black washers in place; (7) tightened the lag bolts through the washers until all was firmly in place.  I ordered  hangers from - 2 packages of 10.  I think if you did this you'd be pleased with the finished product.