If you thought organizing the cupboard underneath your kitchen sink was a challenge, then you haven’t had a space with an upper corner cabinet. Not all kitchens have them, but when they do, the storage nook will always stump you. It’s (literally) not straightforward. The doors are often narrow, but the space within them runs deep, making it tricky to access anything you’ve shoved in the back.
That’s why plenty of renovators, like Anastasia Casey, tend to knock them out and replace them with open shelving or, in her case, clever drawers for surplus flatware. But not all is lost if you decide to stick with your quirky upper kitchen cabinet. Ahead, we share a few of our favorite ways to take full advantage of the tricky spot. Plus Jamie Hord, founder of Horderly Professional Organizing, shares the tool she can’t live without.
Live by Lazy Susans and Labels
Turntables make the world go round—er, okay, just your nuts and olive oils, but their handiness can’t be overlooked. “We love using multiple lazy Susans on shelves in corner cabinets, or you can mix and match products and use a combination of them and clear bins on hard-to-reach shelves,” says Hord. Invest in a label maker so you never have to play a guessing game from the ground.
Put the Tallest Things Up Top
All those decorative glass pitchers you’ve collected should go way up top (just adjust your shelves to fit things accordingly). This is especially key if your corner cabinet features a see-through glass panel (it’s an opportunity to put pretty cake stands and pitchers on display). “That can be include stemware or other aesthetically pleasing items like matching china,” says Hord.
Raise the roof for risers. Vertical space is often underutilized, which is where these simple wire supports come in. They’re a favorite of Gilat Tunit, the founder of Project Neat, because they keep everything accessible and not in danger of falling out. She also recommends hanging shelves, which can be affixed to the bottom of upper cabinets. “It’s all about creating space,” she says.
Keep Your Spices Separate
Meet the other type of corner cabinet: the straight-on version. This nook is less awkward and not as deep, but you still need to be strategic about what you store there. Designate the highest shelf for occasional entertaining ware, and carve out a small drawer for things you use every day, like spices, below. “We call this cabinet ‘not prime real estate,’’’ Hord points out. Use it wisely, and don’t forget the lazy Susan, of course.
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