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Melissa Schmalenberger, Published February 11 2012

Schmalenberger: Put things on – not just in – your kitchen cabinets

Kitchens are the hallowed ground of organizing. They are the places that give us the most angst when they are messy and full of clutter. But they are also the place where families and friends gather and memories are made. Tears are shed over a cup of tea with a friend at the kitchen table. Bust-a-gut laughter erupts over a slice of chocolate cake.

Many are afraid to even invite friends into their homes, let alone their kitchens, because of clutter. We are always looking for ideas to make more space where there appears to be none. So if you have already cleared the clutter, removed the broken and damaged items and are still struggling for space, here are some ideas to get you thinking.

Use the vertical space on the inside of the cabinet doors for organizing. Here’s how:

• Tame the paper clutter: Tape frequently-used papers to the inside of the cabinet doors. Tape the school lunch menus, treat schedule and game schedule here.

• Paint the inside of the cabinet with chalk board paint: Leave messages for the family here or put the weekly dinner menu list here. Use this as a family message center and stop using paper once and for all.

• Install a thin sheet of cork on the door: Tack notes here that often clutter up the kitchen counter.

• Install sheet metal on the inside of the door: Use magnets and organize that paper clutter for good.

• Containers can be mounted to the door: These can hold multiple of things from lids to tin foil and plastic wrap containers.

So take a new look at the inside of your cabinet doors and see how you can take advantage of that new-found space. Put on a pot of hot water and bake a cake and invite friends and family to once again sit around your kitchen table because the clutter is gone.

Melissa Schmalenberger is a professional organizer. She blogs at mssimplicity.areavoices.com.