If your kitchen cabinets are stuffed to the brim but you still lack sufficient storage, under cabinet shelving provides an ingenious solution. Installing shelves in the previously overlooked space between cabinets and countertops can transform chaotic kitchens into organized oases. Under cabinet systems neatly tuck away cookware, appliances, pantry items, and anything else crowding your counters. With the right shelving, you’ll gain back invaluable workspace while enjoying clutter-free cabinets.
Under cabinet organizers come in numerous styles to suit any kitchen’s needs and budget. Before shopping, take measurements and assess your storage requirements to select the best system. Carefully mounted shelves can work design wonders, allowing you to corral awkward spaces or show off pretty dishware. Beyond highlighting the benefits, we’ll also troubleshoot potential installation headaches and offer accessorizing ideas. With this advice, you’ll whip your kitchen into shape with storage that’s simple, functional, and elegant.
Types of Under Cabinet Shelving
Many brilliant shelving systems slip seamlessly into the void beneath upper cabinets. Consider how you’ll use the space before deciding which is best for your kitchen.
Framed pull-out units mounted on smooth, rolling tracks, sliding drawers maximize every inch. Unlike swinging cabinets, they completely extend for total visibility and access. Sturdy metal construction bears heavyweight cookware, while ball-bearing slides enable effortless opening and closing. If you need robust storage that handles high traffic, sliding shelves are a super functional choice.
Pros: Smooth gliding motion, holds heavier items, full accessibility
Cons: Expensive, fixed dimensions limit flexibility
Materials: Stainless steel, aluminum, plastic laminate, wood veneer
Brands: Rev-A-Shelf, Knape & Vogt, Hafele
Designed specifically for under cabinet use, these shelving units incorporate trays, vertical dividers, and side rails to compartmentalize items. The mix of open and contained storage keeps everything tidy and easy to grab. Many feature adjustable dividers for custom organization. Great for corralling cooking tools, dry goods, or cleaning supplies.
Pros: Affordable, customizable compartments, specialized organizers
Cons: Lighter weight limits, exposed storage gets dusty
Features: Removable plastic trays, adjustable metal dividers, towel bars
Materials: Chrome, plastic, wood laminate
Brands: SimpleHouseware, DecoBros, Copco, Lynk
Flexible Wire Shelving
With slim metal wires that slide and shift, adjustable shelving conforms perfectly to fill awkward nooks and work around pipes or ductwork. Customize to any size and move components as needed. Open construction provides airy storage for bulky items. Works great as extra pantry shelving in cramped kitchens.
Pros: Customizable, budget-friendly, fits around obstructions
Cons: Less structured, low weight limits, open storage prone to dust
Benefits: Fully adjustable, expandable sides, great for odd spaces
Brands: ClosetMaid, Rubbermaid, Gorilla Easy Reach
Permanent shelving creates useful space between cabinets and countertops. Wood or metal brackets securely mount sturdy shelves for holding appliances, cookbooks, or barware. While less versatile than adjustable versions, fixed units have a built-in look and easily incorporate cabinets’ trimwork. Great for open layouts and smaller items.
Pros: Streamlined appearance, integrated with cabinetry, budget-friendly
Cons: Provides less flexibility, limited expandability
Materials: Stained wood, painted MDF, aluminum, laminates
When to Use: For housing lighter items or open floorplans with matching cabinetry
Other Unique Options
Beyond standard shelving, some systems provide specialty storage for under cabinet use. Lift designs raise vertically like a rolltop desk, maximizing space while hiding contents. Pull-out cabinetry mounted on smooth tracks brings items right to you. Tiered lazy susans keep spices or cans readily accessible. Storage innovations abound.
Pros: Maximize vertical storage, create a built-in look
Cons: More specialized use, higher price points
Examples: Sottosopra Lifts, Rev-A-Shelf Cabinet Pull Outs, YouCopia Turntables
Brands: Hafele, ShelfGenie, Lee Valley, Rev-A-Shelf
Choosing the Right Under Cabinet Shelving
With so many options available, selecting the perfect system for your space may seem daunting. But following a few guidelines makes the process easy.
First, take measurements before shopping. Check the height, width, and depth of your under cabinet space. Allow a few extra inches for clearance. Also factor in plumbing or existing shelves when measuring.
Next, consider your intended purpose. Will you store appliances, spices, or platters? Match organizers to your specific needs. Frequently accessed items belong in slide-out or open designs. Enclosed storage suits less used supplies.
Compare quality of materials and hardware. Durability comes first in busy kitchens. Opt for moisture-resistant materials like laminate over real wood, which warps. Sturdy steel stands up to heavy use.
Make sure shelves properly fit your configurations. Adjustable versions adapt to openings’ exact size. Expandable sides accommodate extra width. Customize shelving height however you like.
Finally, choose pieces that blend into your decor. Coordinated finishes like wood tones complement traditional kitchens. Sleek metal accents work well in modern spaces. Let your style inspire you.
Installing Under Cabinet Shelving
Transforming the previously dead space beneath upper cabinets just takes a few tools and easy steps. Many systems come with mounting hardware and attach directly to cabinet bases.
First, empty the area completely and clean surfaces for good adherence. Review included instructions for your specific mounting method before starting. Always wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from debris.
Basic assembly requires a drill, tape measure, level, and various screwdrivers. Have fasteners like screws and bolts handy for adjustable components. Use care drilling pilot holes to avoid splitting cabinet materials.
Secure side brackets evenly into the cabinet base or side walls as needed. Triple check measurements so shelves fit flush against the front edge. Carefully align and level all components before tightening everything into place. If using install clips instead of drilling, press firmly to adhere the adhesive backing.
Slide adjustable shelves into floor and ceiling tracks, then tighten into the preferred position. For freestanding units, position first before anchoring to the wall, if required. Finally, test gliding mechanisms and weight capacity before loading organized items onto your custom storage!
Decorating Under Cabinet Storage
The right accessories put the finishing touch on your new organized space. Here are quick tips to maximize form and function.
Incorporate lighting to brighten shadowy areas. Battery-powered LED strips mount easily to illuminate contents without wiring. Or install outlet-powered under cabinet lighting. Position light sources to avoid glare on lower cabinets.
Use matching bins, containers, or trays to corral loose items like spices, packaged goods, or utensils. Labeling helps identify contents. Clear acrylic trays also provide visibility.
Display pretty dishware like folded linens or stacked plates using risers to elevate the back row. Turn an organizer into a decorative feature with your favorite ceramics.
Keep cleaning supplies readily accessible but out of sight. Mount holders or caddies near the sink to tuck items away. Use drawer organizers to neatly array sponges, scrub brushes, soaps and more.
Clever Under Cabinet Storage Hacks
Beyond basic organization, under cabinet spaces allow for specialized storage solutions. Take advantage of the versatile space with these unique ideas.
Store cutting boards, trays, and baking sheets vertically in slide-out designs. Or stash upright using added clips, perfect for narrow gaps. Stop digging through messy stacks to find what you need.
Mount space-saving spice racks to keep herbs and seasonings organized yet easily accessible while cooking. Use slide-out designs to see every label at a glance.
Keep trash and recycling bins contained but convenient. Use pull-out cabinetry or slides to neatly tuck bins into the cabinet void next to the sink or prep area.
Take advantage of awkward areas like corners, angles, or plumbing voids. Flexible wire units conform around obstructions for specialized storage.
Problems and Solutions
Even properly installed shelves can sometimes run into issues. Luckily most are easily fixed with some adjustments.
Sagging wire baskets often just need tightened cables. Check that weight limits aren’t exceeded. Level roller tracks to stop sliding drawers tilting.
Eliminate rattling by securing loose hardware or adding non-slip shelf liners. Adjust any warped components rubbing together.
Improve stiff drawers by lubricating slide tracks and ensuring nothing obstructs movement. Binders blocking rollers are a common culprit.
If shelving separates from walls, simply tighten anchors or use heavier duty fasteners. Recheck the installation instructions for proper methods.
When problems persist, don’t hesitate to call the manufacturer. Many brands provide warranties and troubleshooting help. Proper installation is key to longevity.
Hopefully this guide provided the essential advice to tackle your own under cabinet storage project with confidence. The variety of intelligent shelving systems available lets you customize to any kitchen’s needs and budget.
By taking precise measurements, selecting quality materials, and proper installation, you’ll create storage that both optimizes space and coordinates aesthetically. A few decorative touches will have the final result looking like built-ins. No more cluttered countertops or overflowing cabinets! Proper under cabinet shelving reduces kitchen chaos to bring peace and order through organization. Now you can relax knowing everything has a proper place and purpose.