While I love the 10 foot ceilings in my kitchen, I’m not particularly fond of those ultra high kitchen cabinets that are so tough to reach without a ladder. Are they really meant to be used? Absolutely!
Back in the “old days” when kitchens were mini factories churning out 3 squares a day plus home canned goods and dandelion wines, those high cabinets were used to store seasonal cookware, fancy dishes, and specialty serveware that were only hauled out when company came to visit. Putting them up in high cabinets keep them safe and out of the way which freed up the main kitchen cabinets for everyday use.
The ultra high cabinets in my kitchen are still used this way and hold a wide range of kitchen items that don’t get used but once in a blue moon (like turkey roasters and the crystal punchbowl set that was great Aunt Ida’s). I also use those cabinets to store fragile Christmas decorations, plastic summer dishes, old games, and Grandpa’s collection of color slides. Because they can be closed behind doors, these items don’t attract grimy kitchen dust and will stay reasonably clean.
If you have ultra high kitchen cabinets in your home, think of them as “deep storage” for household items that you have to keep but don’t want in the way. To make these cabinets a little easier to work with, these tips will help.
Buy a folding step ladder. I keep a three-step ladder in my kitchen to reach the top most cabinets in my kitchen. A folding step ladder makes it easy to reach high cabinets and is so much safer than standing on one of your kitchen chairs. Folding three-step ladders are usually less than $30 and can be tucked beside the refrigerator or in a pantry when not in use.
Watch the weight. From a safety standpoint, don’t use high cabinets to store cast iron cookware, boxed dishes, or anything else that’s very heavy. Heavy boxes can throw you off balance, resulting in a nasty fall and broken dishes. My own rule-of-thumb is to never store anything “up high” that weighs more than a half gallon of milk (or four pounds).
Use baskets to organize. I’ve been busy organizing my kitchen this spring and discovered that square plastic baskets are a great way to consolidate kitchen items for storage in my kitchen cabinets. Baskets work quite well for high cabinet storage too since they can help keep related items together and are much easier to grab with one hand, leaving the other hand free to hold the ladder.
More by this contributor:
How to deep clean and restore an old vinyl floor.
Where to move dishes to create more cupboard space in the kitchen.
Five dollar store cleaning products as good as name brands.