I'm doing some simple kitchen upgrades today. Here are the 5 projects:
- Mount paper towel dispenser. Basically we'll save counter space by getting the paper towel dispenser mounted to the wall. Although designed to be mounted horizontally, we are mounting it vertically next to the sink, which is typically where we need to use paper towels any way. Total cost of $20 for the stainless steel version; total installation time of 5 minutes.
- Mount magnetic knife holder. Again, to save counter space and get rid of the wooden knife block, we're mounting an 18" stainless steel magnetic knife holder to the wall. One of the "happy accidents" of doing this project will actually put the knives right above where we typically use the cutting boards and do most of the food prep, so from a time and motion perspective, we'll actually gain cooking efficiencies. There have been some chefs and knife sites that have said that using a magnetic mount for your knives is actually better on the knife blades than any sort of block, so I guess that's another nice ancillary benefit. Total cost of $25 for the holder; total installation time of 5 minutes.
- Install a pot rack over the sink. We found a ceiling-mounted pot rack that will allow us to hang all of our pots and pans directly over the sink. Most importantly this will clear out a fair amount of cabinet space, but secondarily, the pots just look really cool hanging right over the sink (you might walk into my kitchen and actually think that I know what I'm doing). Total cost of $45; total installation time of 15 minutes (note that most of this time was measuring to ensure that the rack was centered exactly where we wanted it).
- Put a custom-fit flatware organizer in the silverware drawer. This is totally easy, but our silverware drawer was just a mes, even with the old organizer in place. The custom-fit organizer slides in and leaves very little wasted space in the drawer from front to back, and the sides of the organizer slide out to fill in the space from side-to-side. Most importantly we now have space to sort out all of the chopsticks from the take-out places, all of the sauces and crap from the takeout places, and not have to worry about everything clumped together with the silverware. Total cost of $20; total install time of 30 seconds.
- Put a custom-fit utensil organizer in the utensil drawer. Pretty much exactly the same as the flatware organizer, but the sections are different sizes. Now we don't have to worry about cutting our hands on the pizza wheels when sticking out hands in the drawer. Total cost of $20; total install time of 30 seconds.
Be warned: it's damn easy to go in an spend a bunch of money at the Container Store on this kind of stuff, so it's best to do some research on their site beforehand and go in with a list of exactly what you want.
Link -- Paper towel dispenser
Link -- Magnetic knife holder
Link -- Pot rack
Link -- Flatware organizer
Link -- Utensil organizer