Have a kitchen base cabinet with shelves that are disorganized and hard to reach? Make it work with these step-by-step instructions on how to convert shelves to drawers.
Recently, I have been on a quest to get organized…and I have now moved on to the kitchen which can really use some help!
I never seem to have enough room to store all of my kitchen gear and dishes. So everything is stacked up. It seems like I always have to move a bunch of things out of the way every time I want to get something out of the cupboard. I know that I am not the only one with this problem…so hopefully some of the solutions that work for me will work for you also!
Part of the problem is that my kitchen cabinets don’t have any organizers. And the other (related) issue is that the cabinets have a lot of wasted space.
So I wanted to come up with some DIY solutions that could be done in less than a day and didn’t cost a whole lot…I just splurged on that desk for my office (which you can see here if you missed it), so I’m on a budget for the next little while 🙂
Here’s the whole list of what I came up with…and I have to say my kitchen is much more organized now that I have implemented all of these changes!!
- Turn hard-to-reach shelves in the base cabinets into easy-to-access drawers (that’s this week’s challenge).
- Clear drawer clutter (part 1) by moving cooking utensils to a hanging storage rack.
- Clear drawer clutter (part 2) by organizing the rest of the utensils that end up in a drawer.
- Clear the countertops (part 1) by moving spice racks to a magnetic spice wall.
- Clear the countertops (part 2) by building a pull down cookbook / iPad stand
- Clear the cabinet clutter where serving trays and cookie sheets are stored by building custom dividers and shelves
- Make the corner cabinets more useful by building some kind of easy-to-access storage system
- An added bonus: 6 Cabinet Door Storage Ideas That Will Organize Your Kitchen
But back to the task at hand. Keep reading to learn how to convert shelves to drawers…and make better use of all of that base cabinet storage space.
The Original Cabinet
The original cabinet was a standard set of drawers with a shelf inside.
The shelf was not move-able and was only half the depth of the cabinet, which left a whole bunch of wasted space.
I had originally thought that I would put in a new shelf that extended all the way out to the cabinet doors, but quickly realized getting things in and out of the back of those shelves would be impossible (okay…slight exaggeration…not impossible, but not very easy).
So then I thought I would buy some of those pull-out drawers that fit inside the cabinets.
Until I realized that because my cabinets are face-framed, the space between the cabinet edge and the middle framing piece was only 10½”.
Even if I could find pull out drawers that were that narrow, what can you fit in a 9″ drawer? Add the cost of the ready-made pull-outs and I gave up on that idea.
Then I had a brain-wave! Why not convert those shelves into drawers?
Because this cabinet is 24″ wide, the opening in the cabinet is almost square, which means the doors could be turned sideways to become drawer fronts…and I could have proper pull out drawers like the large cabinet right next to it.
Since I already have some base cabinet drawers, I already know I’m going to love them!
They are great for storing pots and pans, containers, mixing bowls, dishes or pretty much anything else that you would normally store in your bottom cabinets. And the drawers make getting at those items really easy!
Keep reading to find out the step-by-step instructions to convert shelves into drawers.