Monday, November 2, 2015

54 Organized Kitchen Corner Cabinet with a DIY Lazy Susan

Happy Candy Coma Monday!  I hope you all had a safe and spooky Halloween weekend.  I was a Smarty-Pants Batmom to the most adorable little Batman and bookworm.  Now I need to be smart about picking hiding places for their candy stash.  #impossiblegoal

I probably could have hid their pounds of sugary sweets up in our corner cabinet if I wouldn't have cleaned it out this weekend.  There is no way they would have found it there, or even tried.  This was the cabinet that caught everything random.  If the kiddos didn't know where to put something while emptying the dishwasher, they defaulted to this cabinet.  If I couldn't figure out a quick category for an item, I added it to the madness.  It essentially became the deal-with-it-later cabinet.  And later finally came.


So let's take a look at what a "stash and dash" cabinet looks like...


Yes, you do see a few random cinnamon sticks tossed in there.  And candles.  And miscellaneous cups, jars and dishes.  A bag of popcorn seeds?  Sure, why not...

Step one was to remove everything from the cabinet.


Once everything is out, I begin the sorting and assessing process and ask myself a few questions:

  • How do I want this cabinet to ultimately function?
  • What types of categories can I create from similar items?
  • What storage products do I need to keep order in the future?
  • When was the last time I utilized these items?


The ultimate goal was to give the cabinet purpose and to utilize it each day as functional storage.  I was able to remove quite a few of the items from the original mess:

  • Candles were placed around the house
  • Small vases and decorative dishes went to my accessory cabinet
  • An entire basket filled with an overflow of spices was sorted down, and the spices were sealed in storage bags and placed in our freezer (thank you for the recommendation Rachael)
  • Lids and storage containers were paired, stray items were tossed in the donate pile
  • Vitamins were relocated to our medication bin
  • Oils and condiments were disbursed between our pantry, spice cabinet and this cabinet based on daily usage

I realized that I was holding on to some decorative food storage bowls that had long lost their lids, just because I thought they were pretty.  But I hadn't actually used them in almost two years.  I finally let them go because I really didn't need them any longer and they were taking away valuable space from the storage containers that I do use frequently.  I also let go of a few containers and items that I thought we would potentially need after our renovation, but have yet to use to this point.  I filled a paper bag with items to take to our local donation facility.  That is always a refreshing part of the process.  The items shown above are the paired down pieces from the sorting process (as well as some baking/serving dishes that are not pictured above).

Our biggest problem is that the cabinet is awkward and deep and things easily are lost near the back of the shelves.  Our lower corner cabinet utilizes a "Lazy Susan" system, so I wanted to mimic a similar setup for the upper.  Oh, and I don't think there is anything lazy about these organizers at all.  Where did that name come from anyway?


I found these round common wood pieces from Home Depot, they have an 18" diameter and fit our corner cabinet perfectly!  Some stores might have pieces that are a nicer finish, but these were less expensive and I planned to paint them anyway.


To turn the boards into a turnable piece, we used the following supplies:


The first step was to measure and find the center of the round board.  We then used the holes in the turntable hardware to pre-drill through the top.


The screws were just the right length to go through the top of the board and through the first layer of the Lazy Susan hardware (allowing the second layer to rotate freely).


And that is it!  You now have a spinning board!  I thought it would make things a bit easier (and more decorative) if we added handles to each side.  So I painted the edges, topped it off with contact paper and added some drawer hardware to act as handles.


The beautiful marble contact paper continues to be used all over our home, and was well worth the initial investment a few years ago.  For this project, it created a surface that will forever be cleanable.  It also hides the tops of the screws that affixed the hardware to the bottom side of the turntable.


We didn't want to screw into the bottoms of our new cabinets, so we used a few Command Strips to attach the turntables to the shelves (also making this a very renter friendly project).


Once they were in place, I loaded everything back into the cabinets.



The lower shelf holds items we grab for on a very frequent basis (daily).  Things such as syrup, butter, salt & pepper, cooking oils, etc...


While the second shelf holds things we utilize a few times per week, our food prep and storage containers.


One of the things that bothered me previously, was looking for lids and the containers separately.  Now I have all of the lids paired with the specific containers and have removed all of the randoms.


The best part?  There is still enough room to utilize the back corners of the cabinets for a few items as well.  We tucked things like skinny juice pitchers, salt & pepper grinders and bulk olive oil bottles into the corners of each shelf.  They are all easy to get at without disturbing the items on the turntables.


The top shelf holds things we don't use quite as often; over-sized serving platters and chargers for holiday place settings.  I added a small cabinet riser to keep the baking dishes that we do utilize a bit more frequently separate.  I think we will eventually add another full size shelf here, which will make things even easier to access on party nights.


The best part for me is the spinning motion!  It really makes things that would normally be forgotten in the back of the cabinet, easy to grab with just a twirl of the turntable!



And because a picture can't really show the action as well as an iPhone video can, here you go:




Of course, no cabinet organization project would be complete without the celebratory before and after pictures.


And to top it off, I think we get to high five ourselves for also DIY'ing with a new supply!  Now, what else can we make spin!?

54 comments:

  1. Thanks for yet another amazing post. Made my day. :D

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  2. Stop coming to my house to take your before pictures. I mean it. It's just wrong unless you are going to come organize my cabinet. Seriously. I had to stop and look...because cinnamon and popcorn. They live in my Stash-inet. ;)

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    1. Love that we have similar cabinets! Cinnamon popcorn is sounding good right about now...

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  3. Love it!! It looks so clean and simple, plus I love the idea of freezing extra spices!

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  4. Thanks for the amazing inspiration :-)

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  5. I think those are the most beautiful lazy susans I have ever seen! It never occurred to me that I could build one! Wow!

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  6. Awesome job!! Those look so classy. An excellent solution for awkward corner cabinets.Did you trace a smaller size plate or some such to get the perfect circle pattern for your contact paper?

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    1. Hi Kara! I actually traced around the edge of the wood piece right onto the contact paper with a pencil and then cut it slowly and carefully with a utility blade.

      xoxo!

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  7. Did I read right? You store butter in the cabinet? Not refrigerator? Did I miss the memo on this? -Jackie

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    1. Hi Jackie,
      We have always left butter in a dish on our counter or in a cabinet (for as long as I can remember, even growing up). I know many argue it should be stored in the fridge, but I have also read enough articles to believe we will be just fine leaving it stored in a cabinet as long as it is covered.
      Jen

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    2. We do the same thing - keep it in a butter dish on the counter. It's not easy spreading hard, refrigerated butter you know? :)

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    3. Hi Jen (and Jackie)....when I was growing up, we also kept the butter on the counter. Not sure why but the only reason I keep it in the fridge now is because my son and I don't use a lot of butter so it would melt and I would end up tossing it. Maybe it's a Wisconsin thing...I'm in love with those lazy susans. I might have to go check out my daughter's cabinets to see if her corner cabinet is closer to the size of yours vs my giant, waste of space one. Those would work awesome, especially for the baby botttles that will take up residence early next year.

      Thanks for another great idea! Peggy

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    4. Ditto for butter on the counter. We've always done it that way and have never had an issue. It's a little softer in the summer and a little firmer in the winter but way better than trying to spread on toast straight out of the fridge.

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    5. Gotta have my soft butter! But I have to keep mine in a glass dish not plastic where I now live. In the previous dryer climate, it didn't seem to matter. Also I was wondering would the swivels work ok to just set on the rubbery shelf liners, or does it have to be better anchored?

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    6. We keep our house pretty cool so butter on the counter in a covered container keeps very well and so much easier to spread. However, as I told my folks we live in WA it might not keep as well in FL! ;-)

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    7. Honestly, I think it would probably be just fine on the rubber liner or not even affixed at all, especially if the turntable hardware was installed correctly to the wood piece. Not affixing will also give you the flexibility to use it for serving or on the center of the table at dinner time. :)

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    8. Butter on the counter here too. My son eats raisin toast for breakfast every morning and soft butter is so much easier to spread.such a great idea with the Lazy Susan.

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  8. Having lazy susans in our upper and lower corner cabinets were a must have when we built our custom cabinets. Every inch is utilized and no more straining to reach the deepest corners.

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  9. What a brilliant idea! Love how neat and organized it is now. Good job! :)

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  10. It's early and I haven't finished my coffee yet - but I'm confused as to where you put the screws? It sounds like you screwed from the top of the board down into the metal hardware? If that's correct, why didn't you screw through the hardware and up into the wood?

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    1. That is a great question, one I was also curious about. We followed the installation directions on the package for the turntable hardware, and it state specifically the hardware to use and to drill down through the top into the turntable piece. We think that it is because typically one would screw up into the piece from the bottom of their cabinet/shelf to install the spinning hardware first, then it would be impossible screw up into the wood at that point, so they just advise to screw down from the top. But really, I think if the screws were short enough (the recommended ones are too long), you could just go up through the bottom without any issues. :) xo!

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  11. I have seen large lazy susans at several retail stores. I have been using some in my corner cabinets, too. These handy turntables definitely amp up the storage possibilities in those pesky corners.

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  12. Genius! I have deep corners in my pantry that I could use this solution for. Thanks heaps!

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  13. That is such a smart solution! We have the exact same issue, a corner cabinent that collects junk.
    I never would've thought to put a lazy susan in there! (I didn't even think about DIYing a lazy susan).

    Thank so much for sharing. (And can I just say that the marble contact paper is fabulous!)

    Abby
    faithfulelegance.blogspot.com

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  14. I once used a nice wood tray with the lazy susan base to make a tv turntable for my mom's bedroom. It was much prettier than the black plastic monsters that were available at the time. I covered the metal base with some felt so it would not damage the table.

    I also use small plastic turntables in my refrigerator since it helps to keep mystery stuff from accumulating in the corners!

    Simple question - how would you remove the trays since it is not easy to get at the command strips? Brute force or is there some easy trick to do before you try the brute force method? My neighbor's moving and we are trying to get something off the wall. Moderate pressure is not working. Thanks - Liz

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    1. Hi Liz!

      We didn't apply too much pressure so I was hoping to just pull it up carefully, but if that doesn't work, the strips lose effectiveness with heat. A hair dryer can help to remove them when the tab is no longer accessible. Also, applying oil to a flat painter's tool and carefully sliding it between the tab and surface will also remove a Command Strip. xoxo!

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    2. Thanks for the info. Either method will work for this item which is a small decorative metal tray. My neighbor liked it more for the decoration than it's use.

      Liz

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  15. Hi Jen,
    I like the DIY lazy susans, I can definitely think of a few places to use them in my house and garage. I was trying to see a picture of your kitchen to get context, as to why those items in that cabinet. I only found pictures of your old kitchen. I have two lower corner cabinets with built in lazy susans- one has dishes and glassware near my sink and the other has big canning jars filled with basics (beans, pasta, rice, flour, etc.) near my crockpot and prep counter.
    Keep up the beautiful work,
    Sherri

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    1. Thanks Sherri! Here is a more recent photo for you to reference: http://www.iheartorganizing.com/2015/08/iheart-kitchen-reno-good-bad-ugly.html

      xo!

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  16. Your cabinet looks great. I have a corner cabinet as well that I need to work on!! Where did you get the oil bottles with the round wooden ball type lids?

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    1. Hi Courtney!

      The bottles are from West Elm: http://bit.ly/20rItjn

      xo!

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  17. Looks great! I love the handles, very clever!!

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  18. This is the most beautiful lazy susan I've ever seen, I mean come on it's marble! Beautiful, enjoy your new kitchen, it's lovely.

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  19. Awesome!! Such a great solution!! I'm jealous that you can get away with so little tupperware, we have a big drawer full for just my wife and I !!!!

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  20. I have been wanting some lazy susans in my corner cabinet but couldn't find any big enough. Thank or th idea. I was wondering if you could tell me how you store things in your kitchen. I have my little baking items on the bottom. I was wondering where you put your baking items. Thanks

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  21. Love this project. I know you used Ikea cabinetry and we are planning to do the same (in the planning process). Is there a reason you opted to not use their "carousel" corner cabinet? Seems like you get more space out of your style cabinet... Just curious and in planning-mode :)

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    1. Hi Emily!

      We did a larger version in our lower cabinet (like this one: http://southernhospitalityblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/030_thumb2.jpg), but I wanted to have flexibility in the upper as I wasn't sure how it would be ultimately utilized.

      xoxo!

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  22. Ikea has a very handy turntable: http://www.ikea.com/nl/nl/catalog/products/90074483/

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    1. Thanks for the link Ria! It is a few inches smaller, but is a great alternative solution. Here is the U.S. link for those interested: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/90074483/

      xoxo!

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  23. I so need inspiration to organise properly, I keep saying I'm going to do it, thanks for sharing this piece, it looks great by the way :)

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  24. Hi Jen!

    We did a full IKEA kitchen about a year ago and we are in love. But one thing always bugged me, until I recently found THE GREATEST WAY EVER TO SPEND $1:

    http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/00226315/

    The Variera cover plates fill in the tiny holes where you didn't put a shelf! I can't believe it took me almost a year to find these and put them in, but once I did it was awesome! They're super easy to just pop in and I'm sure your three helpers can make it a fun race :)

    Hope this helps!
    Dayana

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    1. Thanks for the tip Dayana! We actually have a few bags of those plugs sitting in our utility drawer and I have been very slowly filling in all of the holes in our glass faced cabinets first. :) My boys thought it was fun for about three seconds until they realized they were going a chore, lol. Thanks again for sharing!

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  25. Very useable idea! The clean out part is the key; I'm working on reducing my stuff. As usual, you are an inspiration! What a gorgeous way to store things!

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  26. Love Love Love the great DIY! But most of all I love the space your cabinets offer. Mine came with the house have fixed shelves & lots of hard to reach wasted space. Such a downer! we just shove seldom used items in there! The worst are the bottom cabinets with drawers on one side of corner and pull out shelves on the other! So close together the entire corner becomes pretty useless unless I'm down on the floor! It's just one tall open shelf less unreachable zone. *sigh*

    Thanks for sharing your solutions though they make so much sense!

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  27. I love this idea and the marble paper:)

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  28. I love this post! The marble contact paper is brilliant, it makes it look like an expensive piece. I just found your blog and have trying to become more organized so this is perfect!
    -Heather
    http://heatherinreallife.com/

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  29. Great idea and I love the little video at the end!

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  30. Looks so good!! Such a clever way to make the corner cabinet work well! I made that lazy Susan tray for our patio, but it never occurred to me to bring it in for other uses!! #clevercookie

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  31. Great idea! I like the look AND function of these lazy Susans! Thanks for sharing!

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  32. This is such a fantastic idea! Definitely have a new project ahead of me this weekend :)

    www.etsy.come/shop/wildernesspaperco
    www.brightsideoutdoors.com

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  33. What are those little white containers with the colored lids? Where are they from?

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