Made of the kind of cling material used for holiday window decorations, these decals can be peeled off and reapplied when you change the contents of your canisters or clean them. Simply print labels onto clear decals and smooth onto canisters.
Clear decals for windows, $8 for 3, avery.com
Did you freeze those berries last summer -- or the summer before? Prevent the onset of freezer burn that comes with anonymous storage by downloading our handy food calendar and then printing it on weatherproof labels designed to handle a deep chill.
Weatherproof labels for laser printers, 2" by 4", $56.50 for 500, avery.com
A kitchen is the busiest room in a house. At any given time, you may be cooking, baking, prepping, cleaning, or jotting down a shopping list. Make all of those tasks easier and more time-efficient with our organizing ideas. Most take just minutes and will save you hours each week.
Yes, iPads are sleek, but the holders for these tablets are often surprisingly clunky, not to mention pricey. Try an almost-invisible, inexpensive acrylic plate stand to prop up the tablet on your desk or kitchen counter, keeping it easily accessible with minimal fuss.
Deluxe acrylic plate stand, 8 inches, containerstore.com.
Whether you use one crock or several, it's wise to have essential tools in arm's reach when you're at the stove. A cart provides storage where you need it. Martha keeps ladles, whisks, pastry brushes, wooden spoons, and flexible spatulas in separate containers on her cart.
Decide what you want to keep in your islands, and plan the space accordingly. Upright steel slats provide perfect spots for heavy baking sheets. Martha also has drawers for aprons and utensils; deep shelves for platters, books, and pet supplies; and small cubbies for towels and other items.
Martha considered every corner of her kitchen in Bedford, New York, right down to the shelving supports. "I like 'bird's beak' supports, an old carpentry style with notches that let shelves slide in and out," Martha says. No holes, no hardware -- the look is streamlined.
If you have more than one pet, it's important to be organized. Martha devotes pantry space to dry food, which she transfers from the bulky bags into stackable airtight plastic containers. Labels are crucial for keeping everything straight. Bowls and cans are stacked nearby in see-through bins.
When washing dishes, use a plastic bin for soaking or soaping to save water. The plastic is also more forgiving than a hard sink should you drop a dish. When you're washing a lot of very fragile items by hand, such as crystal stemware, lining the sink with a terry towel also does the trick. Keep dish soap in a clear plastic pump bottle by the sink.
Baskets designed to hold fishing tackle or to hook onto a bicycle's handlebars come ready-made with holes in the back. Hung on a kitchen wall with cup hooks, or on a Peg-Board, they make great receptacles for unwieldy kitchen tools or fruits and vegetables that don't require refrigeration.
Clear up the clutter and make the most of your countertops by using a cake stand to hold olive oil, salt, pepper, and other frequently used seasonings. The stand makes it easy to find and use these ingredients while you cook, and gives you space to arrange other herbs and spices around the base of the pedestal.
Their sleek glass and porcelain rods long gone, enameled, ceramic, and metal towel-bar supports often turn up at flea markets. Attractive -- but what can you do with them? Show off the hardware in another room. Coordinate a pair of the supports with your kitchen's color scheme or style, and suspend copper pipe from which to hang pots and pans.
Airtight (well-sealed) containers made of plastic or glass let you see quickly how much of one ingredient you have left. These containers also protect dried goods from humidity and pests. Whether they match or not, containers can be displayed on the counter or up on open shelves in attractive ways that can actually decorate a corner of your kitchen.
To eliminate the search for the right lid amid an unwieldy stack each time you use your pots and pans, store them neatly: Place a wooden peg rack in a cupboard, and line up the lids vertically between the pegs. You could also attach a graduated rack to the door. Whatever you do, arrange lids from smallest to largest, with their partner pans close by.
Here's a new job for photo protectors: Use them to keep recipe cards organized and free of spills and spatters in the kitchen. Protectors are available at office-supply stores and come in a variety of sizes; choose ones to accommodate your recipe cards taken from magazines as well as handwritten ones received from friends. Store the pages in a three-ring binder.
Storing baking sheets, cutting boards, and sturdy platters upright on kitchen shelves frees space and keeps you from having to lift a heavy stack when you need only one item. Create dividers for them using tension curtain rods. Buy rods to fit the space, and position pairs of them at intervals. Twist to tighten.
In your kitchen cabinet or pantry, use S hooks to hold an inventory list -- so you know what you have, as well as how much you paid per unit, for the sake of future comparison shopping. The hooks can also keep other necessities handy: scissors and a box cutter for opening packages, a funnel for decanting liquids, and a scoop for dry goods.
Bamboo steamers have holes that let air in and out to cook food uniformly. For just that reason, these containers are also well suited to storing onions, garlic, and shallots, which require ventilation and should not be refrigerated. Place all three in a single unit, or if you use lots of all of them, keep each kind in its own section of a stackable steamer. Place the steamer on a tray or plate to catch flaking skins, and set it on the counter for quick access.
Increase cupboard space by using a serving tray as a shelf divider.
You'll need a tray almost as wide as the cupboard's depth. Cut a piece of nonskid shelf liner to fit the tray so glasses stay put and rims are protected. Place large glasses upside down on the shelf, set tray on top, and arrange smaller glasses upside down on top of tray.
Bring a favorite flowerpot indoors, turn it upside down, and you have a charming way to keep your kitchen string neat and accessible.
Choose a clean pot with a bright glaze, and place it over the ball of twine, threading the end through the drainage hole. Pull out the string and snip lengths for tying herb bouquets or trussing a chicken. Try this idea with wayward balls of twine and cord in your crafts closet, too.
Retrieving a jar of honey from the back of a crowded cabinet can be awkward. For a simple fix, gather the small items you store on the shelf onto a spare baking tray, then treat it like a drawer, carefully sliding it in and out for easy access. The pan will also catch drips, speeding cleanup.
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