Clever Uses for Everyday Items in the Kitchen

We're always looking for ways to make space in our kitchen, from storing utensils to keeping pot lids organized. But did you ever think about creatively repurposing objects from around your home to help you out?

By: Laurel Leicht

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Lauren Davison

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Cristin Bisbee Priest

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Aimee Wimbush-Bourque

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Aimee Wimbush-Bourque

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Amy Williams

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Ginny Sheller

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Natalie Wright

Photo By: Heather Dutton

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Dana Pugh

Photo By: Alicia McDonald and Jamie Ritter

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Laura Witt

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Jessica Velarde Photography

Magnetic Spices at Hand

From parsley to cinnamon, it's easy for spices to take over your cupboards. To fix this problem, Lauren Davison repurposed baby food jars and turned them into magnetic spice jars that easily attach to the side of the refrigerator. "They're a great way to keep clutter out of your cupboards, save time while cooking and add a touch of personality to the kitchen," she says. "Plus, it's easy to find the spice you need and see when you're getting low." Want to make your own? See Lauren's full tutorial and get step-by-step instructions.

A Clearly Neat Menu Organizer

No more stacks of menus stuffed in a junk drawer or hanging on the side of the refrigerator! It's possible to keep these tidy and organized (along with coupons and new recipes to try). Simply adhere any clear folder or plastic sleeve for paper documents to the inside of a cabinet or pantry door. Or, place one on the wall by the phone — the look is clean enough to keep in plain sight. Photo courtesy of Cristin Bisbee Priest

Magazine Rack for Pot Lids

Getting all those pot lids in line is a snap with this organization idea from Aimee Wimbush-Bourque. Just screw a metal magazine rack into the back of a cabinet door and arrange lids by size. The sleek design not only makes it easy to find the right lid but also opens up some additional cabinet space, too.

Loaf Pan for Small Cooking Items

No need to shell out for new storage containers when you already have some in your cabinets. Aimee Wimbush-Bourque thought outside the box (literally!) and came up with this simple display for smaller cake-decorating supplies. An old loaf pan is a chic alternative to plastic containers, and it's easier to pull items from — no lid required!

Soup-er Recycled Storage

Are your canned goods getting lost in the shuffle? If you're tired of toppling towers of cans in the pantry, try this eco-friendly idea from Amy Williams. Take an old cardboard soda box, coat it in Modge Podge, and then cover it with decorative paper. Cut an opening in the back to restock cans so the older ones rotate to the front.

Hang Your Cups

To encourage her kids to drink more water, Ginny Sheller had her husband craft this space-saving mug rack. To make, turn a coat rack on its side, or screw individual hooks into the wall, and assign each little one their own personal hook based on their height. What's even better: They won't reach for a new cup each time they get a drink.

An Elevated Soap Dish

Take dish and hand soaps to new heights by placing them all on a cake stand next to the sink. If you don't have an old stand you're willing to part from your pastries, try creating one like Natalie Wright did, by gluing a plate atop a wide-based candlestick. It adds an elegant touch to the sink area, while freeing up counter space.

Goodbye, Junk Drawer

Whether you've accumulated more muffin pans than you bake with or have found some great antique versions at rummage sales — like this one featured on Vintage Indie — it's time to put them to use. A tray placed in a junk drawer can separate odds and ends in a snap — and keep them in place. Or, slide one onto a cupboard shelf to organize teeny baking supplies, like food coloring, toothpicks and sprinkles. Photo courtesy of Heather Dutton

Rustic Wine Glass Holder

Juxtapose elegant glassware with this rustic, utilitarian idea from Dana Pugh. Simply remove the handle from any metal rake, and then anchor the head directly to the wall with screws. Flip each glass upside down and slide the stem between two prongs. Or, instead, use the rake to hang spatulas, wooden spoons or other kitchen utensils.

A "Grate" Pencil or Utensil Holder

Save precious countertop real estate with this holder for pens and pencils or small kitchen utensils. Take an old box grater (you'll want one with dull enough openings to prevent cuts) and fill the opening at the top with floral foam cut to fit snugly inside. Loop a wire through two holes on one side of the grater to form a hook, then flip it and hang on the wall. Photo courtesy of Alicia McDonald and Jamie Timmer

Shoe Organizer for Utensils

Free some space from countertops or cabinets with this sleek idea: Take an over-the-door shoe organizer from any home goods store and hang it on the pantry door or any other door in the kitchen. (The versions with clear plastic pockets are best, so contents are easily visible.) Then slip wooden spoons, spatulas, small appliances or snacks into the slots. Photo courtesy of Laura Witt

A Retro Spin on Place Settings

This idea from Green Wedding Shoes will instantly jazz up a birthday party or a fun dinner at home. Just take an assortment of old vinyl records (you can pick up a variety for a dime at a flea market) and set them as place mats or chargers for serving dishes. Or as an alternative, use the album jackets instead. Photo courtesy of Jessica Velarde Photography

Shop This Look