Upper cabinets in our kitchens sometimes seem as though they serve no real purpose. Located above a refrigerator or exhaust fan over a stove, they aren’t as big as regular cabinets. What can you stash in there? And how often do you perform the home cleaning duty of weeding them out? Rest assured there are perfect ways to utilize these little upper cabinets. It’s simply a matter of streamlining your kitchen for a maximum storage effect.
Tools Needed to Clean Upper Cabinets
- Bins or heavy paper bags
- Liquid dish soap
- Sponge or cleaning rags
- Hand broom
Upper Cabinets Are Hard to Reach
Yes, it’s a fact. Those little upper cabinets are typically quite difficult to reach. People often drag a chair from the kitchen or dining room table in order to reach them. This is one of the bigger reasons that items in these cabinets are forgotten about or under used.
Before you utilize these upper cabinets successfully, you’ll want to invest in a folding step stool that can be hung behind a door or on a wall. This way it takes up minimum space but is readily available. Make sure it’s lightweight and easy to fold and unfold, otherwise you won’t use it, and that defeats the entire purpose of the purchase. Try it out in the store before buying.
Upper Cabinets—Clean and Wipe Them Out
Before you can officially organize these small upper cabinets, you must first empty them of all their contents. Before you start this process, however, you need to have two bins or bags on your kitchen counter. One of them is for things that will remain in your kitchen. The other is for things you no longer use, but that might serve a purpose for someone else. This is your bag or bin for donations. Pull your trash can up close to the countertop and prepare to unload the cabinets.
Once the upper cabinets are completely empty and all contents are in their appropriated bins or bags, it’s time to clean both the inside and outside. Run a sink full of hot water and add a few drops of liquid dish soap. Before proceeding, use a hand broom to brush away any crumbs, dust, or other debris that has settled there.
Using a sponge or cleaning rag, wipe down the inside of the cabinets with the soapy water. Soak the rag or sponge again and wipe both the inside and the outside of the cabinet doors. Rinse the rag and wipe the doors down again with clean water to remove any soap residue.
What to Store in Those Upper Cabinets?
Before organizing the cabinets, you must first determine what you will store in them. It’s likely that whatever you took out of them when beginning this home cleaning chore doesn’t belong there. Find other spots for the items you removed and start considering what should go up there instead.
The items you choose to store in these small upper cabinets should be things you don’t need to access frequently. That leaves out day to day cooking supplies, dishes, drinking glasses, and more.
Here are a few suggestions for what to store in the cabinets. They will likely inspire you to come up with even more ideas of your own.
- Extra coffee mugs. Let’s say just you and your spouse occupy your home on a full time basis. You each drink a cup of coffee in the morning and another one in the afternoon when you get home from work. You own two dozen coffee mugs, which you use when the entire family comes to stay—twice a year. Why not remove all but a half dozen mugs from their normal storage spot and store the extras up in one of those upper cabinets? They aren’t packed away in the basement because you know you’ll need them twice a year. Yet they aren’t taking up prime real estate in your kitchen the rest of the year.
- Champagne flutes or wine glasses are another option for storing in these little cabinets—especially if you only serve wine or champagne on special occasions. Relocating them to these spaces frees up even more space in your other cabinets.
- Special baking supplies used only at holiday time may be store in these cabinets, too. You will know exactly where to look to find them in the days before the holidays.
- Serving trays aren’t used on a daily—or probably not even a weekly basis in most homes. Stash them in these upper cabinets and get them out of the way.
You get the idea.
Organize the Cabinets
Now that you’ve decided what to keep in these small cabinets, it’s time to organize. Stack mugs or glassware and line them up in neat rows. If the cupboard space allows for mugs to be stack two high, consider placing a rectangular shaped tray between layers. It will prevent the mugs from falling and relocates a serving tray at the same time. You might also like reading tips for cleaning cloudy glass.
If you opt for stashing seasonal baking goods, organize them into clear plastic boxes with tight-fitting lids. This will prevent them from becoming dusty or dirty and will allow you to organize them per ingredients. For example, store cake or cookie decorations in one and holiday spices in another. Label each container even though each is see-through.
If you tend to be forgetful, make yourself a list of what you have stored in which upper cabinets. That way you won’t drive yourself crazy when it comes time to find the items you’ve put there.
In the meantime, enjoy the other space you’ve freed up in the rest of your now clean kitchen cabinets. Maybe you should treat yourself to that latest kitchen gadget you’ve been eyeing—and store it there.