A Lazy Susan once occupied the dinner tables of most middle class families back in the 1960s. The spinning contraption typically held salt and pepper shakers, paper napkins, and a sugar bowl for tea or coffee. The idea of the of this was to save time or energy by simply spinning its wheel and causing those items you needed to appear front and center—without you ever having to leave your seat.
In hindsight, the original purpose of a Lazy Susan was kind of ridiculous. After all, how far did you really have to travel to get to the sugar bowl. In some ways it merely created something else to wash during a weekly housecleaning. However in later years, the devices found their way into custom built cabinetry. That’s when folks realized they really do serve an important purpose—just maybe not in the way they were originally intended.
Fast forward to the 21st century, and some sets of cabinets still employ the handy device. Cooks can quickly spin the Lazy Susan and find something in the back of the cupboard with a simple flick of the wrist. There are lots of other ways to use a Lazy Susan these days, too. All you need is a bit of ingenuity.
1. A Lazy Susan as a Rotating Caddy for Crafts
It doesn’t get any more simple than this. Decorate some heavy plastic cups of varying heights with craft or contact paper. Arrange them on the Lazy Susan and fill them with craft supplies for your kids. The next time they sit down to create a masterpiece, everything they need—pencils, paint brushes, colored pencils, scissors, glue, and more—are right at hand.
2. Turn It Into a Party Platter
Your Lazy Susan can quickly become an attractive, useful party platter with a few simple tweaks. Drill a small hole in the center of the spinning disk, as well as one in the center of a smaller wooden plate. Affix the smaller plate above it with a dowel you glue on both ends.
Allow the glue to thoroughly dry. Spray paint the entire set up with a color of your choosing. Allow the spray paint—probably two coats—to dry for a few hours. Top with a couple of coats of polyurethane spray. This will allow the surface to remain smooth and easy to clean.
Display cupcakes, cookies, canapés, and more on both the upper and lower tiers of the Lazy Susan. Guests can simply turn the unit to see what offerings await them on the other side.
3. In the Fridge
There’s no alteration needed in order to use a Lazy Susan in your refrigerator. How many times has your fridge been jam packed and all you wanted to find was the jelly? Stash all of your condiments and small jars on one of these spinning disks and you will never have to rummage through your entire refrigerator again.
The next time you undergo a complete housecleaning of your refrigerator, add a Lazy Susan to the mix. You’ll no doubt find that the next housecleaning requires a bit less effort, since the sticky substances that once spread themselves around the various surfaces of your fridge are now confined to just one small area.
4. Upside Down
That’s right. There’s a way to use your Lazy Susan upside down that serves an incredibly useful purpose in your kitchen. Affix the underneath of the unit to the underneath of an upper cabinet. Choose a spot that is within reasonable proximity to your stove.
Affix a few cup hooks to the top piece. Once the entire unit is attach to the underside of the cabinet, you can hang pot holders and cooking utensils from it—simply turning the wheel to find exactly what you need.
You may implement the spray paint and polyurethane method used in tip number two. You might prefer to bring the unit’s style up to speed and use shiny silver or stainless steel spray paint instead. Do note, this will require a couple more coats than average spray paint—but is oh, so worth it!
5. Herbs and Small Plants
If you strive for a green thumb, and perhaps grace your home with many small plants—or maybe even an herb garden—then a Lazy Susan can come in super handy for you. Create an intriguing display of plants of varying sizes and heights. There’s no need to move them all to trim or water—or pick a few beautiful leaves for use in your favorite dish. Simply turn it to perform each of these simple tasks, and to easily stay on top of your plant’s needs.
If using the unit for this purpose, paint or stain the disk, and use at least two coats of polyurethane to prevent any water spillage from causing the wood to warp. If your herb garden expands over the season, utilize the dowel step used in tip number two, and enjoy a double-decker plant holder.
There are surely even more ways to repurpose a Lazy Susan. Use these ideas to spark some creativity of your own and put one or more to use in your home.
Great recommendations! I actually use a lazy susan in my refrigerator; it’s a great idea in homes with small children. This prevents spills caused by their small clumsy hands reaching for everything inside the refrigerator.
All I have to do now on cleaning day, is to stick it in the dishwasher and wipe the shelves. Try finding a plastic lazy susan; I wouldn’t put a wooden one in the refrigerator or the dishwasher.
We love your comment Mirjana!
That’s by far the best recommendation for a Lazy Susan. Moms really know how to make the best of a situation or a tip like this.
At the end of the day, we publish ideas we get from clients or readers, but it’s ultimately up to each reader to “follow” advice, to contribute, or even dispute and idea on our blog.
In my previous house we had a corner cabinet that was one large lazy susan and it worked great. I now have a small on in my pantry that I use for spices. My husband builds birdhouses and he made a lazy susan that he uses when he paints then. He can just spin it around and doesn’t have to worry about fingers in the paint to get to the other side.
There can’t be other comment that includes building bird houses, it can’t be any cuter than that. Your comment tops all comments.
Thank you for sharing this great idea. We know because of our experience cleaning homes, that people use them for all kinds of purposes: Organizing jewelry, nail polish, spices, toys, liquors, etc.
Thanks for the advice.
I think Lazy Susans are a great invention. Although they have been around since the 60s, they can help improve anyone’s house cleaning or organization on a weekly basis. For instance, I could see how implementing #3 could help reduce one’s workload. Plus you could always clean the Lazy Susan in the sink in case any stubborn condiment stains got on there.
We like to use our lazy susan as a Party Platter, but I actually never thought about using it for Herbs and Small Plants. Great suggestion to “paint or stain the disk, and use at least two coats of polyurethane to prevent any water spillage from causing the wood to warp”. I am going to have to try this out! Thank you.
Hi Suzan, a Party Platter is great use of a Lazy Susan!
What kinds of party treats do you serve on your Lazy Susan?
We’d love hear your ideas! Thank you for your comment.