I love to cook! But I have difficulty keeping my balance because of neurological damage. It espe- cially bothers me if I try to bend down to investigate cabinets or do too much walking back and forth in the kitchen. So, I adapted my kitchen area to accommodate my limitations. I wanted to share some ideas that have worked very well for me. These changes would actually work well for anyone.
Add A Pantry I bought my outdoor units from Walmart. They are intended for garage storage, but they work perfectly in my kitchen. I relocated my pots, pans, baking sheets, etc. so that I did not have to stoop to the lower dark cabinets and dig these items out. They are neutral in color, so they went with all my decor. I bought three because I have one for baking and cooking supplies another for my pots and pans and one for food storage. They were around $77 each. I just bought one at a time.
Add a small 4 drawer chest I bought the same style and color in a four-drawer chest to house my big utensils, foil, zip lock bags, plastic storage containers and other attachments I don’t use every day. Also found at Walmart for $59. Although my kitchen has a good amount of floor space it only had two small drawers for utensils and the drawers would stick. This little chest has drawers that slide out very smoothly and the drawers are very deep.
• Add a crate under your sink I have a milk crate under my sink with all the cleaning sup- plies I use in the kitchen. I can easily slide it out to get what I want without getting on my hands and knees to find something in that dark space.
• Refrigerator organization I organize my refrigerator so that breakfast things are together, leftovers are on their own shelf and heavy milk and juice containers are on the top shelf. This keeps me from stooping and pushing things around to find the butter hiding behind a big leftover dish that must be moved out first before I can find it.
Utility cart The utility cart can hold my heavy appliances like the KitchenAid mixer, the bread machine and food processor. Not only does it open counter space but keeps me from lifting items that are too heavy. All I have to do is roll it over to the outlets and I’m in business. I found this one at Lowe’s.
• An office chair I use an inexpensive armless office chair and wheel around to gather ingre- dients for recipes. It works great for going from pantry to refrigerator to the working areas. It also works great for cleaning out those low refrigerator shelves and for cleaning the oven.
• The garbage bowl I learned this little trick from watching “30 Minute Meals”’ on the Food Network channel. Using a garbage bowl sounds trivial but believe me saving your time and ener- gy walking back and forth to the garbage 20 times during meal prep is well worth the effort!
• A good spice rack I bought a spice rack that fits flush against the wall and sits on my coun- ter. It saves reaching and looking for spices I use the most and it keeps things in order. There’s nothing worse than trying to find a certain spice in a cupboard full of 50 or more that have fallen over or rolled to the back of a cabinet you can barely reach.
And finally, the two things I could not live without I could not function at all without my two sets of cheap kitchen scissors. I use them to open packages boxes snack bags you name it. They are my extra set of hands. The second thing is the simple wooden clothespin. I use these to fasten snack bags, bread, brown sugar bags and anything else that needs a closure. They are cheap and easy to use and not near as frustrating as those little twist ties.