Tiny Kitchen Storage Ideas
May 26, 2016
Tiny Kitchen Storage Solutions to Maximize Your Small Workspace
A cook needs to cook like a painter needs to paint. Cooking is an artistic urge that needs expression. When a creative cook inherits a tiny kitchen, this can seem like the end of the world. Small counters, lack of cabinet and storage space, and combined kitchen-dining areas can be soul crushing to the creative chef, for whom cooking is a passion – not just a means for sustenance.
Even for the average person, a tiny kitchen can be a serious hindrance to preparing meals. If you are among the disadvantaged, please don’t despair, as we’ve got some great storage ideas to maximize your kitchen space and transform your small kitchen into the workroom of your dreams.
Collapsible Kitchen Accessories and Containers
Collapsible kitchen accessories and containers, usually made of silicone or other rubbers, fold flat for easy storage and expand into full-sized, utility items when you need to use them. Collapsible strainers are fantastic as colanders are known space hogs in your cupboard. This one has slide-out handles for easy handling.
Oval Food Canisters
Oval food canisters take up less lateral space on your counter or in your cupboard, maximizing storage space while keeping dried goods fresh. They have removable silicone gaskets for fresh keeping, latched lids and are clear glass for easy viewing. If your cupboards can’t accommodate them, they make great displays on your counter or on a shelf – especially if you organize by color. Add labels for flours and dried goods that you’re likely to confuse (like all those green powdered smoothie additives).
Kitchen carts add extra working space to a small kitchen, while providing additional storage space for utensils, pots and pans. The right butcher block table can eliminate the need for other cutting boards as well. This Catskill butcher block has a backsplash to contain food, a fold-down extension, and durable wheels for mobility. As a bonus, it’s made in the USA.
Over-Door Storage Bins
Over-door storage bins make great use of unused space behind cabinet doors. Simple, lightweight wire and heavier steel ones are available for storing a range of products. This tall over-door organizer fits on standard cabinet doors and accommodates tall items like plastic wrap.
Over-Door Trash Bins
Over-door trash bins keep trash out of view and yet accessible when you’re performing kitchen tasks. The over-cabinet door grocery bag holder re-uses ordinary plastic grocery bags for convenient trash disposal – a great way to recycle. Maximizing all the space behind cupboard doors gives you TONS of space you didn’t know you had.
Blendtec and All-In-One Blenders
Using a single appliance for all of your food processing chores can eliminate the need for owning a bunch of different appliances. The Blendtec can process soups, blend smoothies, puree baby food, whip up ice cream, mix batter and perform a lot of the tasks of many other kitchen appliances. Reducing the number of gadgets you require for food prep will make your small kitchen seem instantly bigger. And, if you have counter space, the Blendtec can sit in the open where you can use it frequently – plus it looks cool in your kitchen.
Ceiling and Wall-Mounted Pot Racks
Stove drawers are never large enough to store all the pans and lids required for the average household cooking needs. And if you’re pressed for cupboard space, pot racks can be a lifesaver. This wall-mounted pot rack has a built-in bookshelf for keeping your cookbooks accessible and includes hooks for pots, pans and even utensils. The ceiling-mounted varieties are the antidote to kitchens with no available wall space.
There are lots of other ways to make your small kitchen more efficient, which we’ll explore in future blog posts. These ideas and products should get you started transforming your space into an organized space you’ll enjoy, however. Of course, you’ll enjoy browsing our Kitchen category for every kind of kitchen organizer, gadget and accessory you need to make your tiny kitchen into the food prep space of your dreams.
Ergonomic Workstations for a Healthy Back
May 19, 2016
Ergonomic Workstations Provide Comfort While Promoting Back Health
Taking care of your body is essential for health and wellness, and when you feel good, you’re always going to be more productive. While labor jobs can be hard on your spine and body, sitting all day is really a stress to your lower back and neck. Chiropractors attribute a lot of back dysfunction to prolonged sitting, poor posture, and poorly-equipped workstations. Sore necks, headaches and backaches are just a few of the symptoms that may present when confined to a desk day after day. Posture, exercise and ergonomic workstations and equipment are essential components to back health.
While periodic massages are great therapy and help de-stress you after a week’s work, there are lots of things you can do for yourself to help keep your back in shape and your body feeling good. Of course, if you have chronic problems, you’ll want to consult a professional, but exercising every day, even if only walking 20 minutes helps decompress your spine, as well as providing cardiovascular benefits.
Taking short breaks and moving around during your work day is ideal. Periodic stretching and brief walks get your blood flowing and are good for circulation and your muscles, joints and mental well being. Of course, if you can schedule longer walks into your work day, that’s a good way to break up the day and potentially boost your metabolism.
Making ergonomic changes to your workstation, whether you commute or work out of a home office, can greatly benefit your posture. Ergonomic workstations require optimal computer height, desk height, chair height and keyboard heights – all tailored to fit your body. The top of your computer screen should be about 2-3 inches below eye level for optimal viewing. If it’s too low, the neck and shoulders tend to automatically bend forward to adjust your viewing height. Setting a monitor directly on a desk is probably the most common mistake in computer station setup. A desk monitor stand helps boost the height of your monitor. This inexpensive Monitor Stand adds 4 inches in height to your monitor, accommodates monitors up to 24-inches and, combined with an adjustable-height chair, forms a fairly ergonomic workstation.
The Mid-back Task Chair has a gas lift for easy lever operation and a generous travel range from 17.5 to 23 inches, which accommodates most desk heights. Comfortable arm rests and a sleek contemporary design make this a handsome and functional choice for a home or work office. The chair has superior lumbar support, a comfortable, faux-suede upholstery and comes in a variety of colors from neutral gray to festive Wasabi green for the more adventurous types.
An Adjustable Standup Desk gives you maximum control over your work height and enables working while standing up, which many find preferable to sitting. A front hand crank makes it a breeze to adjust and the smooth glass top is easy to keep clean. The keyboard tray slides out for convenient access and pushes in when you don’t need it. A similar model with a composite top is also available.
Many people have headaches or feel nagging pain and discomfort without really questioning the source. While lots of factors can contribute to head and back pain, if you pay close attention to your surroundings and assess the ergonomics of your workstation and make appropriate adjustments, you may feel some immediate benefits.
Seasonal Clothing Storage Solutions
April 15, 2016
Clothing Storage Solutions for All Seasons
It’s April, and while we could be in for more snow here in Michigan, it’s really time to start packing away winter clothing. In with the shorts, out with the sweaters and, crossing fingers – no more snow! I also like to change out my linens, stash away the comforters, and replace them with cotton and lighter blankets. Seasonal clothing storage frees up space for warm-weather clothing and linens.
Airtight Storage Containers
I live in a small schoolhouse, where space is limited, so seasonal items usually go in my occasionally-damp basement, and longer-term storage items are relegated to the barn or shed. We sell two airtight storage boxes that are ideal for basement, shed, rented locker, or garage storage. Both have foam gaskets and locking latches to keep air, moisture and insects out. One is 63-quart capacity, and the other holds 30.6 quarts. A clear body allows you to see the contents and a stackable design means maximum space efficiency – just stack them ceiling high in a corner, out of the way.
Underbed Clothing Storage
Underbed clothing storage is another way to organize, and it’s a great way to utilize unused space – for long or short-term storage of clothing, shoes, toys, memorabilia and more. Using under-bed storage boxes is especially convenient for storing linens, as they’re right where you can access them. The Stor-n-Slide Container is 28.5 inches long with a low profile, latching handles and gliding discs on the bottom for sliding across carpet and floors.
Underbed Shoe Storage
Underbed shoe storage is easy with the Cedar Underbed Shoe Storage Organizer. Made of canvas with a zippered clear vinyl top and sewn-in side pockets, this storage container can hold up to 12 pairs of shoes. The cedar lining repels insects and keeps your shoes smelling fresh. Side handles make it easy to slide out from underneath your bed. We sell a variety of other underbed storage containers on our Under Bed Storage page.
Cedar and Air Fresheners
For longer term or outdoor clothing storage, adding some eastern cedar or other odor-absorbing products helps keep your clothing and stored items smelling fresh, while discouraging moths and other insects from ravaging your clothes. The Bamboo Air Purifiers are an eco-friendly product made from bamboo carbon and are great for keeping shoes and other items fresh. Cedar balls and similar products are great for containers, closets or inside drawers. We sell a variety of other cedar products on our website including the Cedar Woodlore Basics Kit, which includes hang-ups, sachets, blocks and everything you need to keep your clothes moth-free and smelling fresh.