Oh JoyOh Joy

an easy way to add storage in your kitchen...

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I don't know about you, but I always feel like I'm running out of space. Storage is probably one of my biggest grievances in so many rooms in my house. So today, we wanted to share a simple way to add more storage to any room—using a very functional space, like the kitchen, as an example...

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This is what my storage areas often look like. Items get placed back in a rush or things are mis-matched and not. So here's what we did to extend storage and make it easy to maintain...

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1. Use an open bookshelf. Because a bookshelf is meant to hold heavy books, it serves as a great piece of furniture to hold kitchen items like plates and cups that can get heavy once you add multiples.

2. Sort like with like and place more durable items and lesser used items lower down. I like to place pitchers up top, then put plates and glasses (the most used items) at your easy-access eye/chest level. From there, place the softer items (like linens) or less fragile items (like wood or plastic bowls) at the bottom so that if they accidentally get kicked or bumped, there is nothing too fragile down below.

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3. Keep the shelves clean. I like open shelving because I like being able to see what I have available to use, and it's a fun way to display my tabletop collection. But I recommend open-shelving only for the pieces you use all the time so they are not just collecting dust. To keep the shelves clean, I'll wipe them down every so often with Seventh Generation's All Purpose Cleaner. It's free of harsh solvents but still a strong cleaner that takes care of any spills and messes in the kitchen.

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4. Finally, color code your shelves for easy reference. Ruby has been starting to do chores around the house, and putting away dishes is a great chore for bigger kids to help with. We used washi tape and contact paper cut into stripes to the width of the shelve edge to define either the full shelf or half the shelf. So, you can say, "Mugs go in the blue section" and "Glasses go in the pink section". Plus, the colors add a nice pop of color in a space that can always use a little extra something!

*This post is brought to you in collaboration with Seventh GenerationAll words are my own.

{Photos by Casey Brodleystyling by Julia Wester. Bookshelf from Target.}

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