Measure your stuff and get cabinets that accommodate?

mrshalfFebruary 4, 2014

Sorry to be so dense, but how does one "measure" their stuff?

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with a tape measure or a ruler !

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 9:41AM
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Focus on stuff like the measurements of your largest mixing bowl and your largest pot. Measure anything tall. Stuff like that. You don't want to find out too late that your pot will not fit in your pots and pans drawer. Or that you can't open your upper cabinet door when you blender is on the counter, when you planned on it. Dishes are another thing to measure. Some have found out too late that their plates don't fit when they planned them to be. Dishes come in different sizes.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 10:33AM
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I have canisters of flour, sugar, noodles, etc. I put masking tape on the floor showing the front and back of a drawer, and arranged the canisters between the lines. Then I measured to see how wide the drawer needed to be, and how high.

I put a cake pan on its side, and measured how tall it was. I needed a drawer to be that deep.

I wanted beverage storage (beer and pop - we used to pile boxes next to the fridge). I specified the height of the shelf in the beverage cabinet so beer bottles would fit on the bottom, pop cans on the top.

It isn't necessary to measure every single thing you own, but if you have a desired location for a specific item, it's nice to know it will actually fit there. The shelves in my Super Susan are not the same height - if they were, my rice cooker wouldn't fit on either one.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 10:35AM
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I've been doing this forever but don't measure everything.
I take photos of the insides of every cabinet- then keep track of the cabinet sizes.
I only measure the problematic items and count them.
Small appliances, how many sauteuse and 12" fry pans, oversize bowls....
Since things change, I do not want a "fitted case". I rarely (as in almost never) have drawers made to fit certain things. I simply make sure the way storage is created accommodates everything as easily as possible allowing for changes in the future.

Heresy follows:
Note that I only do ALL drawers if a client insists and hopefully the kitchen is large (some contemporaries are an exception) or client does not have an excess of stuff (really really rare). Reason is that a measured, calculated approach to storage is invariably a more efficient use of space and can be as (or more) convenient than just drawers. I have several hundred kitchens to prove it and yes I cook.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 10:36AM
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For the width, I marked off the size of the drawer on my counter and placed everything on it in the configuration they would end up in in the new drawers.

Make sure you measure the height of the handles of pots and pans. I wouldn't allocate a drawer for one tall item and then make the drawers above it less usable. In my case, I wanted my Cuisinart in a drawer with the work bowl attached. I finally gave up on that idea and put it on my counter, even though I only use it a few times a month. I know some people will make drawers deep for one stockpot, but it can go in a pantry or over the fridge.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 11:36AM
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I did essentially what may_flowers did. Laid out my dishes as they would be in the drawer and measured height, width and length. In general, measured for utensils, pots and pans, plastics, casseroles/Pyrex, and decided on drawer and cabinet size accordingly. I have a small kitchen, and a small pantry, but having the pantry means I can put away things I don't use frequently, like the 12-quart stockpot, the Cuisinart, etc. I do have extra height in many of my drawers, meaning I could have added a drawer in various drawer stacks, but I prefer having the airspace to having drawers be too tight.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 11:40AM
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Jakuvall-since you don't recommend all Drawers for a smaller kitchen, how would a homeowner look at the space and determine how many drawers are needed. I'm looking at my cluttered cabinets right now and thinking the drawers would be a better way keep things organized but at the moment I only have halfshelf so that definitely makes a big impact. It's hard to visualize what your cabinets would look like if you had the proper organization. Plus if you're on a budget and can do some straight up cabinets versus drawers that definitely saves some money.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 11:46AM
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I realized this weekend that I can't put the container of storage baggies sideways in our drawer. So they have to take up much more space going in longways. So, one thing I'm "measuring" in the new kitchen is proper space for bag storage.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 2:56PM
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ardcp- it is precisely for small kitchens that I say that.
small kitchen- frameless makes a difference then-

I use a 30 or 33" 3 drawer base (prefer full subtop) with full height sides to the drawers and 4.25" dividers running front to back- either adjustable or I work out the spacing- 3 per drawer- nothing gets stacked- fry pans and lids are tilted against dividers, small sauce pans are set on their sides two per space. middle space is mixed stuff- top drawer had a divider one side of the drawer fits a sauteuse and a 12-1/2" fry pan, steam basket and splash screens- other side is utensils
Have recently started to have the back of the drawer box scooped to allow a little extra clearance for handles.
(my 30-only thing stacked are colanders and one lid is on the pasta set-
has top drawer as described, middle has 11.5 fry, 2qt saucier, 1.5, 2.5, 3, 4 qt, 8qt pasta with steamer insert, lids for all, 3 colanders (only thing that nests) bottom has crepe, non stick fry, two cast iron, 6 qt, 8 qt with the pasta insert from above, lids, spider and one or two other things)

-15" or wider full pullout for spices and oils,
-21 or 24" wide- single door- one shelf, one rollout, 5 or 6 tray dividers on the bottom (it is not possible to get more stuff into any cabinet and have it all accessible than this configuration) suits fry pans, roasting, sheets, yaydaydyady

-over oven or fridge- deep cab with trays
-Small appliances and awkward sizes go in - corner cabinet (my preference) either a Suzi q or a hafele lemans depending on weather a blind or a susan makes for better use of other cabinets.
-pull out trash (in a pinch under sink but careful detailing needed)
-Alternate for appliances is cabinet with ROS (sometimes can manage 3) or two drawers and a roll out below-
a 4 (15") drawer base for foils, wraps, baggies, tea, chips, bread,
The rest depends on space - first choice is a shallow depth pantry flanking the fridge opening on it's side....else pullout pantry on side of fridge (minimum 15" max 21)

...anyone can cook with what fits in all that or they should go to the diner :)
Have posted pics of most of these at times in the past.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 3:04PM
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We measured everything as described above. Not the most fun Saturday ever, but I think it will pay off. I think one of the trickier aspects of doing the mental re-org for the new kitchen was really thinking logically about what goes where. It is so easy to base the "logic" on what you have now or how you've "always done it," instead of looking for improvements!

Oh, and the other thing that I found tricky was not "over-reacting" to current deficiencies, (which is kind of the flip side of the issue above.) Honestly, I think that is part of the "all-drawers" mindset-- you don't want to crawl around on your knees to get things,but it doesn't mean drawers are the best for everything (she says as one of the wackos who likes a lazy susan here and there.)

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 3:42PM
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Loriinthenw - you are right about the overreaction to the disorganization I live with now- drawers seem like the solution. Plus I see over and over here on GW how wonderful drawers are!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 4:21PM
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"...anyone can cook with what fits in all that or they should go to the diner :) "

As long as you don't bake.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 4:33PM
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"As long as you don't bake"-not really, been baking 40 yrs. now ...
I'll grant you I'm not a pampered chef fan, not a lot of extra gadgets, just enough (except maybe pie plates), not missing anything though. (need a new bundt pan)
Largely why and how I designed that 21" with dividers, holds most of my needs. Drawer has all the small baking utensils, rest are with the others doing double duty.

The rest of the pans are in a 21"wall cab and suzi q. I did have to scoot the two stones, pizza trays, oversize sheets and peel next to a sink- handle of the peal slides up past the sink to hold em all in place :)

shelf and a half in a 33 wall cabinet for flours (too many of those really) and pantry items- sundries like baking soda are in middle of the full pullout mentioned earlier.
Stand mixer has to live in the corner of the counter but used often enough I don't want it anywhere else. Processor is currently on the counter but has a home in susan.

None of it would be happier in drawers where they would take up more room if I had the same access. Only things allowed to stack are "like things"-pie plates, mixing bowls, etc. I like to get what I need one handed and have it easy to put away.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 6:41PM
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Thank you thank you for the post from 15:04 and listing what you can fit into the types of cabinets. I'm planning my tiny kitchen remodel layout and trying how to fit the minimum I need (and declutter ruthlessly what I don't need) into 4 base cabinets total (there will be a pantry). Looking at your post it's making me rethink the 24" wide bases flanking the range from a drawer stacks into a roll out with a shelf like you mentioned.
When you say "single door - one shelf)" does that mean no drawer at the very top?

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 11:38AM
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Yes they would have a drawer. Single, as opposed to double, door makes to much easier.
A 27 or 30 - 3 drawer with a 21 or18 with to and td' s fits more than two 24's. Of course that is not symmetric, there are always multiple things to consider and you have to decide the priorities.

I' d assume there is at least one corner involved? How that is treated has a big impact on the other cabinets. If there is a Susan and your left with 48 to negotiate I'd look at alternatives.

Post a layout, sure you'll get some input. I avoid most of those threads but will keep an eye out, occasionally I drop in on a problem or "small" one.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 1:40PM
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