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Stay at Home Solutions blogs on topics such as aging in place, universal design, adaptive equipment, home modifications, accessibility, durable medical equipment, legislation, and caregiving.

Posts in kitchen
3 Ways to Store Your Kitchen Goods!

Marie Kondo, the author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering, has taken the nation by storm!

Very tidy personal belonging organizer sitting on counter top. Picture by Unsplash

Very tidy personal belonging organizer sitting on counter top. Picture by Unsplash

If you haven’t heard about Marie Kondo or her book, she teaches people how to sort through and organize their personal belongings at home. You only keep items that bring you joy. This process will result in feeling less stressed and more happy in your home!

Another bonus of this method is less cleaning!

Of course there are some people, like my husband, who are scared that the Marie Kondo method forces you to get rid of all of your stuff. Definitely not the point, babe!

You keep what sparks joy! Don’t get rid of everything!

Anyway, I digress. . .

I love the concept of tidying up your space at home because this process makes your belongings more accessible to you.

For instance, Marie Kondo encourages people to sort through their personal items by category starting with clothing. She taught me a new way of folding clothing and storing it where you can see all of your clothes at one time in a drawer, on a shelf, or hanging on a rack. That way you use every single clothing item more because you can see it. You’re reminded that it’s there.

So now, I fold all of my scarves like this:

Organized scarf drawer a la Marie Kondo method! Picture by Maria Lindbergh

Organized scarf drawer a la Marie Kondo method! Picture by Maria Lindbergh

Today, I can see all of my scarves, so I’ve been wearing more of them lately instead of my top two!

Tidying Up is inspiring me to rethink how I store my personal items in a way that’s accessible to me. Which brings me to my most troubled spot: the kitchen!

A huge problem I have is storing my cast iron skillets. I have like six of them in skillet, griddle, and biscuit mold form. They are super heavy!

Semi-organized cast iron skillets, pots, and bowls in lower cabinet. Picture by Maria Lindbergh

Semi-organized cast iron skillets, pots, and bowls in lower cabinet. Picture by Maria Lindbergh

I can’t store them in an upper cabinet because I’m klutzy and might drop them on the counter or my foot. I’d definitely break something.

At the moment, my cast iron cookware sits on the lowest shelf in my bottom kitchen cabinet out of pure fear of hurting myself.

The other problem is my lower cabinets are deep. They go way back! I have to practically put all of my upper body inside the cabinet to reach things I’m looking for.

Needless to say, I put the least used items in the back of the cabinet and more frequently used items up front. This is a go to strategy for organizing any household items: put the most used items within reach!

But my cabinets still seem cluttered and don’t fit my Marie Kondo aesthetic! It’s not pretty. See for yourself:

There are some excellent storage solutions for cabinets that work well to make things more accessible so that I’m keeping my pots and pans in their assigned place and not overreaching.

One of these solutions is pull out shelving! Click here to see a video!

Kitchen with lower cabinets, drawers, and open shelving. Picture by Unsplash

Kitchen with lower cabinets, drawers, and open shelving. Picture by Unsplash

Pull out shelving allows you to install a drawer-like system inside of your cabinet. That way you open the cabinet door and pull out the shelf inside to reach your things that are waaaayyyyyyy deep back in the cabinet.

You don’t have to worry so much about putting the least used items in the back. You simply select where on the shelf you want to put your stuff and you can pull everything out at once.

That makes it easier to see all of the things you own too! What a concept to use the stuff you already own more often!

Hell, I might bake more biscuits if I can see my cast iron biscuit mold more often! That would spark joy in my husband!

As with everything else, there are tons of different options for pull out shelving. You can really make a big difference with a small budget depending on if you want custom or made-to-fit organizers.

Since made-to-fit is less costly, I would simply measure out the dimensions of my lower cabinets. I could go online or to a retailer, like Home Depot or Lowe’s, to select the best pull out shelving for my cabinet.

Personally, I really like wire pull out shelving. Why? Because it’s easier to see everything you have.

Also, it doesn’t tempt to me store small, little items in the pull out shelving. I can’t stow away stuff in lower cabinets with the risk of them falling underneath the shelving and being stuck there for life!

If I have to bend down and pull out a shelf to retrieve something, it’s easier if the cookware is larger. Small kitchen ware would better be suited for drawers and organizers that are counter height so you’re not exerting as much energy.

Work smarter, not harder!

The second way to store your kitchen items is through pull down shelving for upper cabinets (AKA One of the greatest inventions ever of all time and space!) Click here for a video!

Man reaching into upper cabinet with standard shelves. Think about how nice it would be to have pull down shelving! Picture by Unsplash

Man reaching into upper cabinet with standard shelves. Think about how nice it would be to have pull down shelving! Picture by Unsplash

If you have any shoulder, neck, or upper back problems, you should really consider pull down shelving! Again, no overreaching here! You just pull down all of the shelves in your upper cabinet to the counter level.

You never have to worry about putting your most used items on the lowest shelf again!

For people who are average height or shorter, pull down shelves make it so I can get the things I need when I need it! I don’t have to wait for my six foot tall husband to help me.

Talk about independence!

Now, it seems as though pricing for pull down shelves are more costly. So you may want to do more shopping and research when selecting the best product for you.

The last and least expensive strategy for kitchen storage is using under cabinet organizers, under shelf baskets, or shelf risers. This allows you to maximize the space you already have in your cabinets by storing items vertically. Check out these examples from Bed, Bath, and Beyond (I’m not affiliated with triple B! I just like showing you examples!)

Galley kitchen with minimal cabinet and counter top storage. Shelf risers and under shelf baskets would work perfectly here! Picture by Unsplash

Galley kitchen with minimal cabinet and counter top storage. Shelf risers and under shelf baskets would work perfectly here! Picture by Unsplash

This is a great option for apartment living where you typically have small kitchens with minimal storage.

Do you have pull out or pull down shelving? What kind of kitchen organizers do you use? Have you been tidying up?

Tell us about your experience! Share pictures! We don’t care if your stuff is clean! (It’s not our kitchen!)

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I created an Instagram account, @stayathomesolutions, to share interesting information on home modifications, aging in place, adaptive equipment, smart home technology, durable medical equipment, and universal design. These topics will enhance independence for you or for people you may know in a fun way! I am a big proponent of enjoying your life no matter your ability or experience.

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Slippery Floors

It is inevitable for tile or other floor surfaces to become slippery when wet. A great solution to preventing falls on bathroom or kitchen flooring is Slip Doctors anti slip coating.  This is an inexpensive solution to prevent falls from happening in the first place. The anti slip coating improves traction on a myriad of surfaces to include: stone, porcelain, fiberglass, concrete, boat decks, ladders, and ceramic. Slip Doctors provides choices in types of anti slip coating and colors. Hotels such as the Hilton and La Quinta use Slip Doctors anti slip coating in their tub showers! 

Are You Ready to Age in Place?

Forbes recently published an article giving an example of a home remodeled with Universal Design elements in Memphis, TN. A fifty-four year old army veteran and his family moved into the home because it enabled each family member, with a wide range of abilities, to live their daily lives. The article also encourages young and middle-aged home owners to start considering their options for making home modifications in order to age in place. For instance, it is more affordable to widen kitchen doorways to 30 inches or wider during a kitchen remodel than if something traumatic or disease related happened to a family member.

 

The Rub: Remodel or Move?

As people face empty nests and near retirement age, they start to consider if they should live in their current home or move. Read about what this couple decided to do in this New York Times article. Consider your own options for the future to maintain a healthy, independent life.

HomeFit Guide

AARP created a HomeFit Guide as an educational tool kit for people to turn their homes into "lifelong homes". The HomeFit Guide gives suggestions and solutions to make changes for the home to be more livable. For those who are concerned about aesthetics, the guide gives ideas on how to keep your home stylish!

Remodel for Tomorrow

The Hartford has a Home Design Quiz on their website for different rooms in the house including the kitchen, bathroom, and the exterior of your home. All you need in addition is a friendly occupational therapist from Stay at Home Solutions to help tailor the recommendations for your needs!

Everyman's House

In 1924, Caroline Bartlett Crane created a house she named, "Everyman's House", to improve the quality of life for a family of four to five people. She designed the kitchen to have work stations in which a mother could oversee her children chop vegetables or make biscuits. Caroline Bartlett Crane even created a "mother's room" to replace the dining room with the goal in mind being the mother would use the space to complete other tasks.

Occupational therapists, architects, builders, and other professions in the home modification industry continue to keep the person, environment, and task in mind while designing spaces for living. Caroline Bartlett Crane is a great example of how to focus on the client when considering modifying a home.