Decorating, Shopping

Kitchen vanity upgrades

I live in a city condo, which means space is premium.  I am always on the lookout for ways to increase storage space without decreasing spaciousness.  The more storage I can create in my unit, the less likely I will ever have to rent a storage unit.  (It also won’t hurt resale value when the time comes to sell.)

In the kitchen, I have lots of storage space in the upper cabinets.  The problem is I have to use a step ladder to reach above the second shelf.  I can live with this and have put things I don’t use very often on the top shelves.  I’m still pondering  improvements for those (thinking about adding spice shelves to the cabinet doors, maybe a slide-out shelf for the cabinets above the fridge, etc).

What I have decided to work on today are some odd spaces that have the most wasted space.

Vanity fillers/organizers

There are two slim base cabinets that are less than six inches wide.  There are no shelves either cabinet; in one I have liquor bottles and a lot of empty space above them, and in the other are plastic bags and cutting boards.  Since I moved here, I’ve wanted to do something with these cabinets, but didn’t know what.  And let’s face it–I am not going to gut a kitchen and redo it just because of two small cabinets.

When Pinterest first came out, I wondered if this social picture sharing site would fade quickly, but I was surprised to find it can be a great way to share ideas.  One idea someone “pinned” was the vanity filler organizer.  While these two cabinets of mine aren’t vanity fillers, they are pretty close in size.  I loved the idea and started my hunt…

After searching the web, I found some organizers I liked.  I settled on one by Rev-A-Shelf that I liked and was the correct dimensions.  Then I started bargain hunting.  The first one I found cost $137 per cabinet plus $30 shipping. The second one I found was $125 per cabinet plus $29 shipping.  The shipping put me off and I couldn’t find any coupon codes to reduce it.  Finally, I found, who had them for $90 each and free shipping for orders of $100 or more.  BINGO!  Then I conducted my coupon code search…only 3% off was available, but saving $6 is saving $6.

Once the kits arrived, it was pretty easy to install these.  The basic steps were: 1) remove cabinet door, 2) pull the slides off the unit shelves, 3) screw the slides into the cabinet, 4) screw the cabinet door on the unit shelves (very easy as they provided metal tabs on the unit shelves just for this purpose), and 5) slip the unit shelves back into the slides.

Here are some pics showing the shelving unit, the empty wasted space (and the cat “helping”), and my newly installed liquor cabinet and mini pantry:










Tip-out trays

Once I found the vanity fillers/organizers on PullsDirect, I looked through a few of their other ideas to see if there was anything I was interested in buying.  I saw the tip-out trays for the kitchen sink.  They were a little more expensive than I expected….I went for a cheaper one and figured most of the cost is for the hinges.  (There are some for hundreds of dollars!  I settled on the $25 dollar set.)

Believe it or not, the tip out trays were more difficult to install than the pull-out cabinets.  I had to get under the sink, trace the outline of the opening on the back of the tip out panel (so I would know where to place screws and such), remove the panels (this was the most difficult part of the project), install the trays, then install the hinges.  The first panel took me an hour– most of that time devoted to removing the panel; the second one took 29 minutes because I knew what I was doing on that one.








I plan to use one side for my dishwasher soap packets and the other for sponges.  That will save a little room under the sink.

I am considering creating a tip-out tray for my bathroom sink too– but maybe for that one I will buy the hinges and create my own storage. I saw a post recently that used nice wire pencil holders as spice racks because they were cheaper.  I suspect the same concept could be added to other cabinet door storage and tip-out trays.

While these aren’t renovations or major projects, small projects like this can improve your kitchen and make you like your home.  (Since we all may be staying in our current homes a little longer than expected, every little bit helps!)  The tip out trays may even prevent some aggravation in the house hold– my roommate claims I leave the songe in the sink, but I don’t– I leave it on the sink divider and THEN it falls into the sink.  Now I can put the sponge in the tip-out tray and, once it is try, close the tray.

Now that I have these two projects done, I’m going to keep exploring decorating and storage blogs, watch Pinterest, and see what other projects I can do around the house– hopefully even cheaper next time.

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