The kitchen is the room in every house where people tend to gather. At no time is this more true than the holidays, with its family gatherings, special meals, and parties. If you are finding yourself digging through pots and pans to find that party platter that you haven't used in a year, or the lid to the roasting pan that is buried somewhere, or searching through a jumble of kitchen tools to find the one that you absolutely MUST have now, then read on. Here are some great gift ideas for you or anyone who spends time in the kitchen.
One of the most awkward and frustrating tasks in the kitchen is having to get down on your hands and knees to get to the back of the bottom cabinet, where that casserole dish is hiding behind a stack of soup pots. Save the squats for the gym. Install roll-out metal drawers for your bottom cabinets. This way you can simply slide the drawer out, and voilá, casserole dish. Sometimes there is simply not enough cabinet space in a small kitchen for all your pots and pans. A great solution is a pan rack that hangs from the ceiling. Instead of crowding in a cabinet, your pans will be swinging from the ceiling, and easy to see and access. Ceiling pan racks are available in many styles and materials, including metal and wood. Just make sure your ceiling is tall enough so you don't hit your head on a hanging pan.
For items that you need to keep handy, such as aprons and oven mitts, instead of shoving them in the back of a drawer, try using hooks or pretty peg board sets. Speaking of drawers, an in-drawer spice rack is just the thing for keeping your spices organized and off the limited real estate of your kitchen counter. Shelf-mounted spice racks also do the trick. Other items that help make a kitchen more workable and make excellent gifts: lid racks, drawer organizers for cutlery and flatware, metal or glass lazy susan for cooking oils, honey, and other sticky items (easy to clean!), and over-the-door hanging baskets to maximize pantry space.
There are many places to find such items. Certainly your local Target or Bed, Bath and Beyond would have a good selection. There are also some great sites online. Sometimes the only time I have for gift buying is 11:00 at night when my day is done. So for those of you who like to shop in your jammies, take a look at www.hayneedle.com, www.organizeit.com, and www.thecontainerstore.com, for these and other great kitchen organizing gift ideas.
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