Creative Cabinet Storage Solutions- By: Mike Ciucci

Description : Current home improvement trends are all about creative storage solutions and efficient use of extra space in our now smaller homes. It's also about keeping your family organized while juggling a busy schedule. The following ideas take simple storage cabinets and turn them into functional pieces of furniture designed to make your life a little easier. Most of these solutions utilize a cabinet with upper and lower cabinets and perhaps a shelf, but these could be modified to use a book shelf or pantry.

Snack Center: Instead of the kids running in from school, opening and closing the fridge and leaving a trail of open cupboard doors, they visit the snack cupboard. Different shelves are assigned different themes or functions, such as a shelf for lunch bags, bowl of fruit, or place to drop off homework. Open the bottom cabinet and have an array of healthy snacks ready to grab including jars of trail mix, granola bars, crackers, and juice boxes. Space permitting this would be the perfect spot to insert a small bar fridge for cold drinks and refrigerated treats.

Breakfast Station: This is where all the cereal is kept as well as extra spoons, cereal bowls and treats to add to the cereal such as dried fruit. Store the various brands in clear plastic containers that are easy for small children to get a hold of.

Baking Station: Imagine going to one place and finding everything you need to start a baking project. Have shelves filled with flour, sugar, baking powder, and other commonly used ingredients. Allocate a space for recipe books and another shelf for blender, food processor and mixer. Hang up your muffin pans and small measuring cups and spoons.

Place baking pans together and include a container for extra wooden spoons, spatulas and rolling pin. A handy corkboard attached to the inside of the door is perfect for displaying extra recipes and a shopping list.

Buy magnetic containers and hang on a metal bar for small ingredients such as sprinkles, coconut or extra bits of chocolate chips.

Bartending Station: This is your all-in-one bar to make serving your guests a breeze. Attach a shelf for highball glasses and underneath screw in slotted holders to hang all your stemware. On the door hang small utensils and corkscrew. Add x-shaped dividers or a small redi-made wine rack so you're never short that bottle of wine. Add a small wire rack for drink mixes, cherries and other garnishes, napkins and coasters. A larger wire rack or shelf is perfect for bottles of liquor and an ice bucket.

Craft Closet: Hobbies and craft projects are so much more enjoyable when you know exactly where everything is. With this craft closet, you'll be able to get your hands on all your supplies with little or no searching. Start by using large shelves for items such as a sewing machine or clear bins for holding smaller items. Hang a paper towel rack on the inside of the door to hold spools of ribbon. Taller spaces are perfect for rolls of wrapping paper. Get organizers for all your craft magazines and stand them up on a shelf. Fill a drawer with commonly used items such as scissors, tape, pens, pencils, and glue.

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