House Hacks :: In the Kitchen

Our home is a true split-level three bedroom home.  We are packing in two adults, three kids, two cats, and a home office in our space.  Even though our home isn’t tiny, it certainly isn’t spacious.  I spend a lot of time coming up with solutions for our “stuff”, and figuring out ways to organize our home so that it flows.

Our kitchen, however, is tiny.  I do a lot of cooking, and I have a lot of cooking things.  We have a fair amount of counter space, but not a lot of cabinets, which means a lot of my tools and equipment end up on the counter.  This is not good, as it really minimizes the amount of surface area to work on when I am cooking. I am constantly looking for ways to utilize the cabinets to their fullest potential for my most used items.

My most recent House Hack took place this past week in our kitchen. I went through and evaluated a lot of the items that are sitting out on the counter and determined if they needed to be there, or if they just look cute, but really don’t need to be out.  These items that I considered include colorful mixing bowls, cutting mats, my stand mixer, my vitamix, our keurig, airtight c

anisters, knives, paper towels, toaster, etc.

After a little reorganizing, there is a considerable amount more space now to work.  The only things that I actually ended up taking off of the counter were my mixing bowls, which are now in the cabinet, and my cutting mats.

I use these thin, flexible mats from Ikea.  They certainly aren’t the most elite of the cutting board world, but they don’t take up a lot of space, are easy to wipe down, and you can curl up the sides to shovel food into the pot/pan.  I also don’t feel guilty about chucking them and buying new ones every now and then. Because, really. They cost $2.99. For two.

My issue was that I didn’t want them to lay flat out on the counter all the time because it looked like I was just too lazy to put them away. I also didn’t want them to lean up against my back splash.  I wanted to put them in my cabinets, but I also didn’t want them laying under anything, because then it would be a hassel to pull them out.

I don’t really want to admit to you how long it took me to come up with a solution. So let’s just pretend that a light bulb went off almost immediately, and I decided to attach them to the inside of the cabinet door.  I didn’t want to nail or screw anything into my doors that would potentially go through the entire door, and I also wanted to do it right then, at that very second, so I was limited to what I had on hand.


How to Hack:

  • Determine which cabinet you would like to use to house your cutting boards, and make sure that the width and height of the door is big enough to hold your cutting board/mat
  • Make sure that there is space inside your cabinet for the door to close once the hooks are adhered to the door.
  • Decide how high or low you would like to place your mats. I decided that I did NOT want to center my mats on the door because I felt it would be more comfortable for me to slide them in and out of the hooks if they were slightly higher up.
  • Start by attaching the two bottom hooks onto the cabinet.  You want the hooks to be spread out enough that the boards will comfortably sit.  If they are too close together, they won’t offer support (and the hooks may pop off with use and time), if they are too far apart it will be difficult for you to slide the boards on without one end popping off.
  • Once your bottom two hooks are in place, prepare your third hook by attaching the sticky strip to the hook and removing the protective paper.  Once the hook is ready to attach, pick up your board(s) and place them on the bottom two hooks.
    • Place your third hook at the top of the board relative to the first hook that you adhered.  NOTE: It is important that you do not put the hook so that it sits snugly on the board.  If you do this, it will be hard for you to slide your board in and out. As you can see in the first picture in this post, I placed my third and fourth hooks so that the top edge of the board sits about halfway down the length of the hook.  There is just enough hook holding them in place, and it also provides plenty of “wiggle room” to slide the boards in and out.
    • Place your fourth hook at the top of the board relative to the second hook that you adhered.  Remember to leave some wiggle room!
  • Step back, admire your handy work.  Call your husband and brag. Act as if it was a treacherous process and soak up the compliments.
  • Be sure to show anyone who stops by. They will be impressed too.

Hope you found this post helpful!  I will share another House Hack next week, so be sure to stop by!


  • Jennifer

    My whole house is getting hacked, decluttered, made over. It’s getting the overhaul this year with real hardcore scrutiny. My utility/washroom is now half its load. The kitchen and my design studio (not the photography stuff since that is still floating) is currently under the gun. Kitchen cabinets are taking a beating right now too.

  • you’re so smart!! i love this idea. :)