Shelves and cabinets are the ultimate answer to clearing up your countertops, but then you probably knew that already, right? The solution really is to know how and where to implement storage solutions.

So, here are some ideas.

Even a kitchen with custom cabinets will have space where some shelves can be installed. Short, narrow shelves under the upper cabinets are an idea borrowed from a small bath design. How often have you seen narrow shelves installed above a toilet? Have your carpenter make some narrow shelves, stained to match the cabinets, and install them just below the upper cabinets. Spice jars, teas, macaroni noodles in jars will look great and your counters will be pristine.

Appliance “garage” can be built to hide small appliances. This can be in a corner, between the countertop and the upper cabinets, or at the end of a counter. A door keeps the contents out of sight, and crumbs and other debrie will not collect around their base.

Then, there are pull-out shelves under the countertop that are great for all sorts of storage. Tall, narrow ones for spices, wide flat ones for dishes and pans.

Be sure to ask your favorite contractor what he or she advises, they may very well come up with the perfect solution you never thought of! All those years of installing and helping clients with ideas comes in handy.