RIBBA to the Rescue
In the past 7 years living in my Del Ray rowhouse, I’ve tried so many ways to organize my small galley kitchen.
Where do you keep the stuff you hardly use that takes up lots of space like your electric mixer, blender, and Cuisinart? Where do you store plastic containers whose lids and bottoms never seem to match? What about various oils, vinegar, and spices that you only needed a teaspoon of for a recipe you made six months ago and probably won’t make again?
It’s an unending battle. I’m constantly simplifying and sorting. My latest attempt at organizing occurred this past weekend when I installed narrow shelves on an unused wall by the door to the basement. Here’s the before shot of this wasted space, screaming for attention:
Without a pantry, I wanted a place to store frequently used items like pasta, rice, flour and sugar, and open up more space in the kitchen cabinets for rarely used items. I thought using clear containers would be both functional and decorative.
I’m currently obsessed with the RIBBA ledge shelf from IKEA. I used it for my chalkboard wall and also to store my son’s artwork. The width of the RIBBA shelf is just the right size to hold containers and still not get in the way of opening the door to the basement. RIBBA has a small ledge, but the OXO containers I found at the Crate and Barrel outlet didn’t fit, so instead I installed the shelves upside down.
Here’s what I did:
Step 1: I gathered up all my supplies — three RIBBA shelves, power drill, level, safety goggles, pencil, and screws. RIBBA doesn’t come with screws, so I went to the local hardware store and asked for help with the correct size. Since I was drilling into a concrete wall, I also got anchors and borrowed a masonry bit from a neighbor.
Step 2: I figured out where I wanted the top shelf and marked where to drill using a pencil. I used these markings to determine the placement of the other two shelves, 14 inches below the one on top. After making sure the markings were level and straight, I convinced my husband to drill the holes (I don’t mind drilling into wood, but concrete makes me a little nervous).
Step 3: We installed the shelves, checked to make sure each one was level, then we were ready to organize!
And here’s the after photo:
An added bonus, this gave me the motivation to sort through the cabinets and find things that had expired. In the process I managed to clear out a lot of crazy old stuff and now I have much more room in my cabinets. Bye-bye lemon extract from 2009!
Next up in my kitchen: do something about the lack of counter space.
Posted by Katie