Sometimes being clueless is a good thing for instance if you don't know what you are missing and you don't care. Sometimes you may not know what you are missing, and it is actually detrimental.
Before I moved into my current home about a decade ago, I had no idea what I was missing. My world changed when I discovered the benefits of slide out drawers and shelves. You may have also seen these referred to as glide out, rolling, or pull out drawers or shelves.
Be Kind to Your Body
No secret that I am not as young as I was when I had to continually bend down to search deep inside my kitchen cabinets to find a particular container, a suitable pot or pan, a cookie tray, or a non-breakable cup for my young children. Back then I was agile. Deep knee bends were a cinch. Now that my knees and back are not as forgiving, I absolutely love that I don’t have to perform kitchen gymnastics. Bending down has not been completely eliminated, although strange contortions for seeking and selecting were eradicated. Slide outs are ideal for those with physical limitations.
Grab and Go
Goodbye dark cabinet interiors in which I blindly fumbled for correct-sized saucepan lids. My containers and lids are organized and clearly visible. Pots and pans are simple to grab.
Clear off valuable countertop space by housing small appliances in drawers. Ensure that your drawer is designed to hold the weight. Always be mindful of your back when lifting. Bend your knees, then lift.
Simplified Thorough Cleaning
Dust and dirt are more visible so cleaning is a breeze. I recommend using only a mild detergent and a Norwex cloth. Accumulated crumbs are zapped from along the edges and drawer corners with a vacuum attachment. Gone are the days when I had to strain my arm to clean those obscured areas and presume that I sanitized what I could not see.
Avoid Duplicate Purchases
Surprisingly my current pantry did not have slide outs. With the help of my son, a few weeks ago we installed a pull out basket to the top shelf. Being on the shortish side, I could only see the cans and jars that were in the front to mid-way back. Once invisible groceries are now at my fingertips. This simple change allows me to avoid duplicate purchases because inventorying takes seconds.
My meal prep goes so much quicker since I can locate ingredients faster.
Step by Step Retrofitting
There is no need to retrofit all cabinets at once. Choose one cabinet at a time if a whole kitchen project is not within your budget. Is one space more frustrating or hindering than the rest? Or begin with a simple and inexpensive solution like the basket shelf to the left. That one small change made a huge difference for me.
No Wasted Space
If your cabinets are not standard, you might have underutilized areas which are too difficult to access. This is often the case with corner and blind corner cabinets. Custom options exist to convert those dead zones into prime real estate. So don’t give up hope if your kitchen is architecturally challenging.
IS DIY Your Thing?
Easy DIY options are available. Visit the manufacturer's website to see whether they provide video instructions if you need visual assistance.
If installation is not your strong suit, there are companies and handy contractors that will install for you.
Don’t’ Sacrifice Quality
Purchasing a quality product is worth it. You want drawers that align and fit snugly into your cabinet. The glides should slide smoothly. There are advantages to solid drawers vs. baskets. I would not install a basket glide in areas where hanging items might cause a jam.
Think Outside the Box
Slide outs are not solely for the kitchen. Use them in your bathrooms, garage, laundry room, bedroom closets, and playroom.
SOS If You Need Help
Need a hand organizing your new slide outs?