Wooden Crates Three Ways

It’s been almost two years since Anne and I moved to Center City, Philadelphia, and as any well-seasoned renter knows, your apartment wish-list must be quite flexible when searching for a place to call home.  Maybe it’s that you find a great apartment, but it isn’t in an ideal neighborhood.  Or maybe there isn’t a whole lot of natural light, but the location is prime.  When it comes time to decide, something must (usually) be cut from the wish-list.  What are you willing to cut in order to find a home you love?  For us, it was our kitchen.

When Anne and I laid eyes on our apartment for the first time, two things sealed the deal: the natural light and our 20th floor views of City Hall and the Delaware River.  We were less then excited about our tissue box for a kitchen, but we agreed that we could make it work.  As we settled into our new kitchen, we tried out different set-ups and cabinet organization in order to maximize our limited space.  (Keep in mind that our countertops consist of about two square feet, kid you not.)

Enter wooden crates inherited from my parents and found in a thrift store.  These crates have been pretty important in our ongoing kitchen debacle.  We have used them in very different ways to maximize kitchen storage.  Here’s how we’ve used them:

Wooden Crate #1: Spice Rack

We hung this spice rack on the wall next to our stove for easy access when cooking and baking.  It holds everything from salt and pepper to DIY tea bags I made for Anne one Valentine’s Day.  Because we use our spice rack so often, I’ve found it important to reorganize it every few months or so.  It can start to look a bit jumbled from all its use!

Wooden Crate #2: Food Storage Organizer

Since our kitchen is so small, every inch counts here.  I wasn’t about to overlook our above-fridge space, so we found ways to work with the area between the fridge and the cabinets.  Next to our two OXO containers (holding granola bars and tea varieties) is our second wooden crate.  It holds our Ziploc bags, aluminum foil, wax paper, and saran wrap all in one place.  It’s easy to either slide it out or pull it down to see what’s inside.

Wooden Crate #3: Kitchen Linens Holder

One reason why Anne and I accepted our small kitchen for what it was is because the receded wall in the hallway allows space for a butcher’s block.  We inherited this from my sister, and I am eternally grateful.  The butcher’s block allows us to extend the kitchen into our hallway, which is great for entertaining.  We store larger items on its shelves like our toaster, ice cream maker, and colander.  The last wooden crate is used here to hold our kitchen linens.  It holds items such as our extra dish towels, linen napkins, and aprons.

These three crates have helped us overcome some serious frustrations with our kitchen.  When you have limited cabinet space, little to no countertops, and no pantry, it becomes time to think creatively!

Do you have a small kitchen in your home?  How have you overcome its quirks and difficulties?  Please share!

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