DIY projects around the house


Well-Known Member
I am in the throes of trying to make things nice around here and use storage with the idea of a place for everything and everything in its place. This is not my strong suit. Also this house is rather small which is good for me in cleaning but it also has very little storage space. They man who owns the house built the kitchen cabinets and he did a rather bad job of it. I have a fairly large area sq footage wise but only a small counter top and 4 upper cabinets and 4 lower ones that actually open. Oh and one drawer! And two electrical outlets which is so hard to work with. Well there is one more outlet but it is on a wall that isnt close to anything.

I have decided I need to find a place to put my things like tin foil and parchment paper. I found a DIY project online using a plastic magazine rack which I can fasten to the inside of a lower cabinet door and stick them in there. That should cost me about 2 bucks. I could use an old cereal box and contact paper to do the same thing but contact paper costs too.

Because my one drawer is not enough I found an old clay pot and put all my big spoons and spatula's in that. Only problem is that means it is on the counter which does take up space.

I have found that canisters are a major pain to find good ones that are large enough to be of use but I found a DIY that uses those plastic coffee containers and paint. That will take a while to gather though because only Tony drinks coffee so we dont go through it very fast. I think I will put a wanted ad on freecycle and craigslist.

Then there are the spices. I really have no good place to keep them but I saw something about a magnetic system. Of course, they wanted you to buy these little tins and a sheet of stainless steel. I am thinking of just going to the second hand store and finding an old cookie sheet and then gluing magnets to the plastic spice jars I get at the store. That way I dont have to print out labels and transfer spices. Might not be as cute but will work.

Now my biggest issue is going to be finding a way to store my pots and pans. It is hard for me to down and rummage through the lower cabinets so I have to find a solution. Anyone have an idea?

I do plan on making a change on the arrangement of how the kitchen is set up. I wish I could draw a picture on here but I cant so think of my kitchen as a big rectangle. Lets see if I can insert a paint drawing. Nope.

Well. On the back wall I have the wall of cabinets, sink and counter top along with the back door. On the outside side wall I have one upper and lower cabinet which also has the drawer, the stove and then nothing until you hit the wall to the living room. Of course, the second working outlet is there! Along the wall that joins the living room sits the fridge smack dab in the middle. I wish I could move it over next to the stove but I would have to change how the doors open. Also Tony, in all his wisdom, put a table between the stove and the fridge along that wall. His theory was that gave me work space. Uhhh, I have about 18 inches where I can get to the table. I am more than 18 inches Plus that means I cant open the oven door and I cant get to the fridge.

oh, along the wall opposite to the stove wall, would be bare except we have my buffet sitting there. No where else to put it. I am thinking of moving the fridge over next to it because there is a plug. That way I could move the table right in the middle of the wall where the fridge was and that would give me access to two outlets. We could also let the grands sit at the table to eat.

I wont even get into the bathrooms or bedrooms. I have an extension cord running across my bedroom to get to my TV which leaves me no access to my


Well-Known Member
Janet, changing the side the fridge door opens is a fairly easy thing to do. Most of them are made so you can change the orientation of the opening. Put your brand and model number online and ask how to do it. We've done it a couple times.

Check the thrift stores for metal shelving (my easy child has found a few she uses for stock in her vintage business). If you can find some of that metal shelving, you can buy some "S" hooks pretty cheap at the hardware store and hang your pots from those on the metal shelving and also use the other shelves for additional kitchen storage. I bet you could think of a creative way to put the spice jars there as well. If space is a huge issue, you could always store your spices in ziplock baggies and then keep them all in a tupperware type plastic container - you would only need the room the size of a shoe box to store them all. You could line them up in alphabetical order in the box.


Well-Known Member
I know we could change the door but with this being a rental I dont know if we should. Personally I dont think the guy would remember which way it He told me the tenant before me left the place spotless and had painted it before he left. Well he may have painted it but he got paint everywhere and he sure didnt take all his stuff with him. I found stuff in the cabinets, fridge, closets.


Roll With It
I use bookshelves in the kitchen for storage. A friend got a used entertainment center cheap and used it for storing small appliances and pots and pans etc...

The dollar store carries cookie sheets that work well for magnets. You could get those if you cannot find cheaper ones at a thrift store or don't want to spend the time haunting thrift stores to find cookie sheets.

Look up the local Habitat for Humanity ReStore. They sell used household items esp building materials and appliances. Prices do vary from one location to another. Our ReStore is known for very reasonable pricing except for some 'decorator' stuff that one worker prices as though it was all the most priceless of treasures. The ReStore in one city that we shop in has truly crazy prices - often items donated by the local Lowe's type stores is priced higher than the retail price it actually sold for. The ReStore in the other major city in my state often has prices so low it is astonishing. Each store is basically independent but they all sell items to raise money for Habitat for Humanity and provide items used to help build and furnish the houses built by Habitat. You can find all sorts of stuff to help wtih your project.

You can also hang baking racks, the kind you put cookies or cake on to cool, and use hooks to hang light items on them. I have often done this. I also hang over the door shoe organizers with all the pockets on the door to help store kitchen stuff. When you are short on space, this is a real blessing. You can always take a length of fabric or a shower curtain and hang it on a rod mounted on the top of the door if you want to use this but don't always want to look at it Just pull the curtain to get to the items or to cover them up if you want the place to look nice.

If you have a small amount of space between the side of the fridge and the wall, consider putting wheels on the bottom of a slim bookshelf. You can store things on it and slide it in and out of the space next to the fridge as needed. Just put a handle on the outside to pull it out, and a few more to hang towels, etc.. on.

Don't forget the inside of the cabinet doors. You can put cuphooks inside the door and hang measuring spoons there. Always easy to reach but not taking up drawer space.

One piece of furniture that is often easy to find is a chest of drawers or dresser that is missing the drawers. This can be very useful if you put shelves where the drawers were. You can even take out the front piece between 2 drawers if you need taller shelves than the original drawers were.

If you find drawers that are not in dressers at a thrift store (our ReStore often has a lot of these homeless drawers), you can stand them on their sides or fronts and fasten them together to make shelves. I have seen some really great shelves made this way. One friend used l shaped brackets to fasten them together into shelves. Each time she moved she simply unscrewed the brackets and moved the shelves without unloading them. The drawers were sturdy enough to move books and even canned goods with-o having to unload them. I have also done this with wooden crates.

For more ideas, go to Pinterest and search for boards titled "kitchen organization", "kitchen storage", "small space living" or other keywords. Each pin that you like can be clicked on and it will take you to the website with info about the idea (if you need that).


Well-Known Member
Thanks, good ideas.

I went to the dollar store and got a bunch of stuff. I also hit amazon for a few things. I found a really cool bar that you can hang pots on and put the lids on top of it. It can hold up to a 100 pounds. My cookware doesnt weigh that I was trying to find one thing for the lids and one thing for the pots. This solved the whole thing for a cheaper price than two together. I am still looking for a cheap magazine holder to attach to the cabinet door under the sink to put my foil, parchment paper etc. I havent found one at all locally but saw a couple on amazon but Im not paying those prices. Now i did see a product that a local store was using to put some products on their shelves for display. It was cardboard but exactly what I want. I am going to watch for one of those to get close to empty and ask if I can have

I cant put things inside my cabinet doors because this guy built them himself and there isnt space between the door and the shelves. I did find some little wire baskets that I am going to hang on the side of one of the cabinets to hold the spices. I found little hooks that will hold them perfectly.

Now I have to go unload all my junk and clean the kitchen .... again!