Saturday, January 18, 2014

Downside to an Old House

One of the downsides to living in a really old house--or maybe just this house in particular--is the lack of storage space in the kitchen.  It's not a small kitchen, don't get me wrong.  It's actually quite big, and there's a narrow pantry off the kitchen which has a second, deep sink, dishwasher, and more cabinets.  The kids think it's funny when I ask them to fetch something from the 'other kitchen' or sometimes 'the little kitchen'.  My father thinks it's weird that I don't just call it a pantry, but that's how we roll.

But regardless of how much storage we should have in a kitchen this size, the point is that we actually don't have much at all.  We have one - ONE! - upper cabinet.. and it's half-sized at that.  We do have a really tall pantry-type cabinet (about 18" wide), but the problem there was that even though it's six or seven feet tall, there were only two shelves in it.  Great use of space, right?  As far as bottom cabinets go, we have three regular cabinets, a narrow cookie-sheet type cabinet, a half-size cabinet, and a weird cabinet in front of the chimney which is about the depth of a medicine cabinet.  Oh, and one of those pull-out ones that can hold cans.  Oh, and the obligatory under-the-sink cabinets.

We're coming from a house that, despite its many imperfections, had an enormous amount of cabinets.  Seven full size upper cabinets, plus the cabinets above the fridge and microwave.  Four big lower cabinets, plus a stack of drawers in place of another cabinet.  Oh, and a ton of counter space, too.  So we're kind of floundering here.  We got some MDF cut to make extra shelves in the tall pantry cabinet, that was a no-brainer.  But there's nowhere to store our dishes, about half the food storage we're used to, and our big-ish appliances are vying for space with our pots and pans.  We managed to find space in a cabinet for the crockpot and the food processor, but the toaster oven, Keurig, and stand mixer are all squeezed onto a counter that's about 24" long.

We did come up with a few solutions.  Next to the window in the little kitchen is wide open wall space.  Why they didn't put a cabinet here, I don't know.. but we put shelves.  We tossed almost all of our mugs and miscellaneous cups, bowls, and plates.  Bye-bye, sippie cups!  This is pretty much it for our dishes now.  (Okay, I stashed some extra bowls and our Disney mugs on the top shelf of the tall cabinet).  I actually really like the pasta/rice/etc in nice jars, it looks cool.  The problem there is that I have to get a step-stool if I want anything from that shelf.

One of our other problems was storage for our spices.  We have a lot.  Who doesn't, right?  Anyway - this is our one upper cabinet.  It's next to the stove, so it seemed like a perfect place to set up one of those magnetic under-the-cabinet spice thingies you see on Pinterest.

I could say that we did it perfectly on the first try.  I don't have to tell you how the metal we glued to the bottom of the cabinet wasn't magnetic, or that one magnet wasn't strong enough to hold up a full spice jar (we tried on the underside of the microwave, since the metal isn't magnetic).  I also don't have to tell you that when I hot-glued magnets to the metal, so the magnets on the caps would have something to stick to, that I didn't account for the polarity and that most of the bottles insisted on facing label-side-in.

Nope, I did it just right on the first try.

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