If it's all drawers, then where do you store . . .

oldalgebraJanuary 12, 2009

After weeks of reading comments and getting help on this forum, I'm convinced that drawers in base cabinets are, in general, more useful than pull-outs behind cabinet doors. With the new configuration, I will be losing my pantry. It is inefficient to be sure. Still, it holds a number of things that I'm concerned I won't be able to store any more efficiently than pre-renovation.

I've seen the innovative drawers-within-a-drawer set up for cans. Still, I can't seem to visualize an efficient way to store items like cereal boxes, oil bottles, vinegar bottles, cake mixes, etc. in those deep drawers. Are there dividers and such that make it easy to keep track of the items even though labels won't be viewed as easily? How do you do it - or do you?

Pictures will help, if that's not too much trouble. Thanks.

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All of my regular dishes are now in drawers, so the top cabinets are pretty empty. I have a large pantry to keep most of my pantry-type items, but things I use a lot (sauces, oil, ceral, etc) is located in my top cabinets behind frosted glass. My canisters (flour, sugar, etc) are in a drawer, with their contents written on the lid.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2009 at 12:12PM
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I would think you could keep some of that stuff in upper cabinets. Not sure if all big cereal boxes would fit, but smaller pantry type boxes like boxed rice, snack crackers, etc...

I'm confused as well, as what actually you all put in your upper cabinets if most things are "better" in bottom deep drawers.

Sorry I'm not much help!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2009 at 12:16PM
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I'm putting one of these next to my cooktop:

Canned and dried goods and baking supplies will go in a tall, shallow cabinet like this one near my cooking area:

    Bookmark   January 12, 2009 at 12:30PM
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"I'm confused as well, as what actually you all put in your upper cabinets if most things are "better" in bottom deep drawers."

It's not that most things are better in bottom drawers. It's that drawers are better than pullouts (one movement to open versus two) and standard base cabinets (get on the floor to get things out). Many people who have all drawers still store their plates, glasses, food, etc in upper cabinets.

Some people store dishes, glasses and even cans in their drawers because they have very few upper cabinets.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2009 at 12:35PM
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erika hit it on the head. It just that drawers are for most people a better functional design then pullouts behind doors which require two steps to access the interior. Also, I think dishes in drawers are good for families since it lends itself
toward children helping with greater ease.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2009 at 1:00PM
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I've been wondering too. My plan (since I'm loosing my pantry cabinet) is to keep one base cabinet with doors (for things like stand mixer, food processor, waffel iron).

I will break up my pantry into the following zones:

Baking (flour, baking soda, sprinkles etc)
Cooking (rice, can foods, oils, spices, potatos, boxed food)
Snacking (bread, snacks, cereal, PB)

The baking items will be in upper cabinet above baking area
The cooking items will be in upper cabinet above prep area
The snacking items will be in bottom of hutch with plates, glasses in the upper cabinet, area will have coffee makere, micro (in upper behind door), and toaster.

I'm goint to leave my base drawers in the cooking area for tupperware, mixing bowls, serving pieces, knives, pots, and pans etc.

I'm hoping it will work more efficiently this way

    Bookmark   January 12, 2009 at 1:09PM
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Oldalgebra, it's great if you can store your frequently used items (oils, vinegars, spices, flour, etc.) in the kitchen. But if space is really limited (and if I remember from your floorplan, it is), perhaps you could put an armoire in the adjacent room that would hold items like cereals, biscuits, and more rarely used baking items. As a bonus that stuff might be closer to your dining area.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2009 at 1:35PM
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Morton...great recommendation for a small kitchen, I can't remember what OP layout is like....my snack hutch is going to be in my nook technically, not my kitchen proper.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2009 at 2:03PM
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Good idea concerning the snack placement. I will be able to do that. It makes sense for me.

Ccombs, You're right. I keep forgetting that I'm moving some things down (well, a lot of things really - dishes take up a lot of room), which will open up more space on the top.

Thanks, OA

    Bookmark   January 12, 2009 at 2:09PM
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Our kitchen reno got rid of the original deep "closet" pantry and was replaced by my "Pantry Hutch". I couldn't believe how many duplicates and expired items I found when I was packing away to do the demo and I consider myself very organized.

The new set up has actually improved the efficiency of my storage even though I installed regular uppers for the top of the hutch losing 12" of depth. The base of the hutch consists of a 15" 3 drawer base, a 6" pull-out filler, a 27" base with a top drawer and two roll out shelves underneath and a 3" pull-out filler. There is also a bookcase end for cookbooks and display.

Oils, vinegars, syrups etc. are in a 9" pull out next to the stove.

Small appliances (crock pot, blender, etc.) on the roll out drawers.

Turns out the 15" drawers are the perfect size to hold my cake mixes and boxed convience items - the box tops are clearly labeled by the manufacturer and easy to read!

Pasta boxes also fit great and you can see at a glance what varieties you have.

I was amazed how many pantry items also fit in the 3" pull-out filler: granola bars, crystal light packets, jello and pudding boxes etc.

We also have a set of three drawers 30" wide but only 12" deep that sit on the counter between the uppers and base.

The shallow top drawer turned out to be perfect for DH's wallet, glasses, cell phone etc. plus the oft used tape measure, swiss army knife, flash light, note pad, tylenol and mints. It never evolves to junk drawer status as it is so shallow it stays neatly organized with the must haves.

The two deeper drawers are perfect for canned goods on their sides. I picked up some pieces of Balsa wood from the craft store and cut them to length to act as dividers. They are not attached in any way but keep the items divided and from shifting.

My cereal boxes ended up in the upper cupboard by the fridge (convient to the milk!).

Oddly enough, I have ended up with some empty shelf space in the uppers of my "Pantry Hutch". The nice thing is over the holidays I was able to stack the rubbermaid containers filled with baked goods there instead of having them stacked on the valuable counter real estate.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2009 at 2:22PM
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Sorry don't have pics right now but

I store cereal boxes in a base drawer lying on the narrow side if that makes sense - that drawer typically has about 4 cereal boxes in it & a large snack basket which holds juice boxes & school snacks - All easy access for the kiddies

My drawers to left of range house all spices, baking stuff & the upper cab houses the oils - canned goods are also in upper cab.

My bases are a mix of drawers & cabs - the drawers I find very functional for certain things - love having them either side of range - pots/pans, utensils, bowls, spices, baking goods - the cabs, to me are fine for dishes, baking sheets/pans, large caserole bowls, cast iron ware, onions/potatoes, paper goods.
I too have a pantry/hutch to right of refrig - upper cab houses crackers, bread, cereal - coffee, mayonaise, mustard, ketchup - lower is 3 large drawers - wraps/plastic, cutting boards in one next tupperware, last is the cereal/snack

If you really would like a photo I'll do that tomorrow

good luck

    Bookmark   January 12, 2009 at 9:49PM
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I still would not store a mixer or waffle iron in a base cabinet w/stationary shelves (if that's what was meant). My waffle iron, toaster, etc. were in that type of base cabinet in my old kitchen and I hated it. I had to practically get on my hands and knees to get to them on the floor & shelf of the cabinet.

Yes, I now store them in my pantry, but I was originally going to store them in a super susan...I could spin the susan and the item I wanted would be right in front of me w/o having to fish around for it. My mixer is still on my counter in the corner of my "baking center" b/c it's just too heavy to lug around to use and, besides, it's a kitchen, there should be "kitchen-type" things around! My counters looked so lonely b/f I moved into the kitchen after most of the remodel was done.

OldAlgebra, right now I can't remember what you ended up with for a layout and it seems most of your pictures have been deleted or moved and are no longer available to check. Did you end up eliminating all your corners? If so, I guess the super susan idea is out...

In my kitchen, dishes, glasses, lunch-making stuff, medicines, miscellaneous prep & baking tools (like measuring cups, graters, etc.), and things like salt & pepper, sugar, and butter are all in upper cabinets.

Drawers hold bread, wraps & bags, flatware, Prep/cooking/baking utensils (and gluten-free utensils), pot holders & linens, mixing bowls, pots & pans, baking dishes, cookie cutters, etc.

Pullouts hold baking sprinkles and such, spices, miscellaneous things like most-used recipes, vinegar, vanilla, bulk salt, etc.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2009 at 11:02PM
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We put our pantry in a floor to ceiling wall unit next to the double ovens. The pantry is the only cabinet (except sink bases) that have doors and shelves. There is one upper cabinet with doors, everything else is drawers in base cabinets.

In the corner next to the upper cabinet and stove is a corner upper unit with L shaped doors. We store spices and other cooking condiments there, within easy reach of the rangetop.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 12:34AM
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