Sometimes storage in an apartment presents an extra challenge.  In my apartment experience, which I trust is typical, I’ve had only cupboards for kitchen storage–no island, no hanging pot rack, no custom-anything you might find in a real house.  Bummer.

We eat out only two to four times a month.  That means our pots, pans, and bakeware see plenty of action.  Initially I stashed them in a bottom cupboard, near the front where they were fairly easy to reach–big ones in the back, small ones in the front.  Problem was, every time we wanted any pot besides the smallest one on the front row, we had to crouch on the floor and maneuver the desired specimen from its nesting place, carefully lift it over the obstacles in front of it, or remove them entirely and replace them when we’d reached what we needed.  Imagine this process in reverse when we put things away.
It was far from the end of world, but it still annoyed us.  What might work better?  Think, think, think.
Aha! A shelf!  Not a shelf that brackets to the wall, since one sturdy enough to support our pots would have done noticeable damage.  (We’re permitted only “small nail holes.”)  No, the shelf we bought is the kind that normally arches over a toilet.

It’s perfect because our tall kitchen trash can, which doesn’t fit under the sink, does fit beautifully under the shelf.  The upper racks serve as a more-accessible solution for cookware and a resting place for spices.

In our last apartment this shelf sat by the refrigerator, but here with the fridge opening one way and the dishwasher (hallelujah, the dishwasher!) opening the other way, there’s no leeway for a shelf.  The placement is a bit awkward so I hope to blend it in with a curtain eventually.  I’d like the curtain to hang over the lower part of the shelf, definitely covering the trash can and maybe even long enough to cover the spices and lids too.  I haven’t made it to that stage of visual polish yet, but as with many things I consider this a work in progress.

As you can see, I haven’t found aesthetically-pleasing containers for the spices yet either.  In our last place I kept them in the cupboard next to my stove, but here the cupboards are smaller and the spacing between the shelves is such that I can’t reach anything in the back without moving everything in the front.  Grrr….  (The shelves are not adjustable; I checked.)

Despite some room for improvement, the set-up has proven functional.  I’m pleased with this solution to the too-many-pots-not-enough-cupboard conundrum.

So tell me: have you ever taken an object out of context like this and found that it worked well for you?  I think I’ll be doing more of this in the future!
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  1. Ok, so, I just wrote you a nice long comment and then hit the backspace button to erase something, and it took me to the previous webpage. Err!I re-purpose things ALL the time. It's so much more practical when you don't have a budget that allows for buying new things all the time. Or ever! ;)Great idea with the shelving for your pots!!Just loving your blog. 🙂

  2. Aw, don't you hate technical difficulties? What's something you've repurposed? I'm always looking for ideas–especially for organization!

  3. I repurposed plantation shutters to make holders for earrings. Also took two small screen door frames that were left in the garage when I moved into my house and made it a necklace organizer. Added small hooks to the inside of the frame to hang necklaces from. Eventually I'll get it up on my wall so that the long side hangs horizontally but right now it is sitting on the floor… Works much better than the plain old hanger I've been using for two years…

  4. My most recent repurpose wasn't organization-related… but, I made a really big window scarf out of two fabric curtains that I cut up. Saved a lot of money doing that!In our last place, our tv stand was a dresser that we refinished.Kolton's dresser is actually a nightstand.Our tv stand now is a tall book shelf that Chad took apart and repositioned the shelves of.I have two huge wooden "boxes" (think toy box on steriods, ha!) that my dad built me… I upholstered two long cushions from hob lob so we can use the boxes as seating.In the garage, our shoe organizer is the cube shelving…you know, the kind you are supposed to put baskets or something in.To name a few. ;)AND, I have found all kinds of creative organization ideas on Pinterest!

  5. I just went to Pinterest and search for "repurpose"… oh my goodness. Just go do it!!


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