Every time I visit family or friends on the mainland, I can’t help but notice just how much space they have when it comes to the home. They have special rooms for dining, formal living rooms for formal guests, casual family rooms for everyday living, laundry rooms for obvious reasons, and basements for extra storage and playtime. Their kitchens include an abundance of cabinet and counter space and often come with walk-in pantries.

While I can’t help but feel a tinge a jealousy, this is not to say that I do not appreciate my own home. My family and I moved into our home less than a year ago, and we gained significantly more space along with a great view. However, even after discarding what seems like an endless amount of “stuff” during and after our move, I still find myself searching for places to store the things we have kept. An avid fan of food shows and competitions, I have collected a plethora of kitchen gadgets and tools with which I refuse to part. While our cabinets are maxed out, there are still plenty of options for adding more storage to the kitchen.

Live on the edge


Take advantage of the sides of your cabinets, which often go untouched. Use heavy-duty adhesive hooks to hang things like oven mitts, aprons or even lightweight shelving.

Go free

Take advantage of a small space against a wall by installing a freestanding shelf, such as a ladder shelf. This has the added bonus of keeping your walls free of new nail holes, which is a nice option for renters.

Think outside the kitchen

In the bathroom, towel bars help keep your towel dry and off the floor. In the kitchen, however, you can combine them with hanging baskets to give yourself some extra storage space on otherwise blank walls.



Relatively inexpensive, floating shelves are easy to install and allow you to store anything from plates, mugs and glassware to decorative items like framed photos and vases.

Stick ‘em up

Magnets can serve as more than refrigerator decoration. Large magnetic strips are often used to hold knives up and out of the way, but try sticking some magnetic tape on the backs of lightweight items to get even more out of them. Place small tins on the strip and use them for things like pencils, paper or scissors.

Have a comment or question for Joanne? Email thefixisinhawaii@gmail.com.