For a Flexible Kitchen, Put Your Furniture on Wheels

Wilder Davies
·4 min read

My kitchen kind of sucks. It’s small with a shallow sink and almost no usable counter space. There’s no dishwasher. The few cabinets I have are cluttered and full to the brim. I love to cook, but when there are no surfaces to work on, and putting things away is like playing Tetris, finding pleasure in it can be difficult. Or, it was difficult, until I took back my kitchen with portable storage solutions.

When I first moved in, I thought my problem was just a matter of organization. But I realized that no organization solution would work if there wasn’t enough space for everything. I needed extra shelving, but I was worried it would take up space in my already small kitchen, so I opted for a wheeled shelving unit. That way I could move it out of the way, should I need extra space. It took no time for me to realize how remarkable wheels are in a kitchen. Now, I’m in the process of getting wheeled everything.

Kitchens are dynamic spaces meant to accommodate all kinds of food preparation, entertaining, and hanging around. When your kitchen storage is on wheels, you’re free to adjust your space to fit your needs. Maybe you’re cooking with friends and need more room: Just move the shelves out into the hallway. Maybe you’re embarking on a major kitchen project, like making pasta from scratch, and you need some extra counter space. Just roll in the kitchen cart. Don’t even get me started on how much easier it is to clean the floors.

Below are some suggestions for wheeled kitchen storage that can transform your kitchen into an organized and dynamic powerhouse.

For Spices: Narrow Carts

No matter how many times you reorganize your spice cabinets, there always seem to be bottles that don’t fit or aren’t easy to access. Spices tend to take up too much precious cabinet or drawer space, and mine always end up in cluttered disarray. But narrow storage carts, typically used for bathrooms, work wonderfully for spice storage. Mixing up your own jerk seasoning? Wheel the cart out next to your prep station instead of jumbling your entire spice drawer while you look for the six spices you need. When you’re done, tuck the narrow cart into an unobtrusive nook.

Lavish Home Slim Slide Out White Kitchen Cart

$31.00, Home Depot

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VESKEN Cart

$9.00, IKEA

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RÅSKOG Utility Cart

$30.00, IKEA

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For Pots and Pans: Storage Shelves

If you’re short on space for pots and pans and need auxiliary shelf space, your best bet will always be industrial shelving. The main reason for the wheels here is that you can move the shelves for cleaning. I know, the metal shelving looks like something that belongs in a garage, but nothing is better suited to handle dings and bangs from stainless-steel pans than metal wire shelving. Plus, open shelves leave plenty of space for long handles.

Chrome 5-Tier Steel Wire Shelving Unit

$50.00, Home Depot

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For Cookbooks: Library Carts

Library carts are designed to accommodate all sizes of books, displaying the bindings clearly and allowing for easy removal and return. Cookbook sizing isn’t consistent, and if your current shelf is too shallow or narrow for your more dimensionally demanding volumes, a library cart can be a practical and cheeky upgrade.

Wood Library Cart

$84.00, Etsy

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Sloped-Shelf Book Cart

$315.00, Wayfair

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For More Counter Space: Kitchen Carts

In the world of wheeled furniture, kitchen carts are one of the few things clearly designated for the kitchen. Choose one that has enough space to serve as additional workspace in the kitchen. With enough room, you may even find it perfect as a home for bulkier appliances.

FÖRHÖJA Kitchen Cart

$109.00, IKEA

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BEKVÄM Kitchen Cart

$60.00, IKEA

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Solid-Bamboo Top Prep Table Kitchen Island Cart

$90.00, Home Depot

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For a Kitchen Island: Workbenches

If you have a dinky kitchen in an otherwise spacious area (i.e., pretty much every low-cost open floor plan apartment in this country), a stand-alone kitchen island is pretty much an essential. Yes, you could opt for a stationary kitchen island, but there’s a better option: an industrial workbench. Already equipped with wheels, this versatile workbench also has adjustable height, making your cooking space more dynamic.

52 in. Adjustable Height Work Table in White

$200.00, Home Depot

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Originally Appeared on Epicurious