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Melissa Schmalenberger, Areavoices blogger, Published June 19 2012

Areavoices: Finding the vertical space in your kitchen

I have been saying for years that horizontal is evil and vertical is good. Simply, the minute you start to pile things up in a horizontal position the ability to search becomes very difficult. With piles of papers, I call it going on a geological expedition. If I can remember how long ago I put something in a pile, I know how far down to search. Was it in March, then I know to go down two inches. Was it last July…then I better get my miner hat on and go way deep in the pile.

When I am working with my clients, I try to remind them to go vertical in all areas of where there is horizontal. Obviously with papers you put them in vertical file folders, but what about the things that are not so obvious? I had a common problem with baking pans and cooling racks. They did not nest easily because of the various sizes and whenever a pan was grabbed it took longer than it should because they all had to be pulled out and sometimes they came cascading onto the floor. Not fun. So the solution was to find a rack that could fit the cabinet and fit the amount of pans. I had suffered with this mess for long enough and I finally had the perfect product in my hand. It literally took me less than 10 minutes to organize, and that included raising the shelf and washing the cabinet out. I kept all the same pans but simply arranged the odd shaped ones vertically. These are the ones that did not nest easily. As a bonus, now when I slide them in and out the bottom of my cabinet isn’t scratched either as the product keeps the baking sheets from resting on the cabinet itself. Now I simply bend over and grab the pan I need.

Steps:

1. Take all the pans out of the cabinet.

2. Wipe down the cabinet.

3. Take a serious look at the items that you most often use. Can you store the ones that you rarely use in another area of the house or kitchen. Donate the pans that you no longer use or have not used in the last 6-9 months.

4. Now look at the space you have and the amount of pans you have. Do you need to adjust a shelf? Can you nest any of the pans together to take up less room.

5. Locate a vertical organizer that meets you space needs. Some varieties can be located in the office sections of big box stores or feel free to contact me for the specifics on the one that I used.