Ask Unclutterer: Corner kitchen cabinets

Reader Marnie submitted the following to Ask Unclutterer:

Our house has corner kitchen cabinets with lots of wasted space. Is a lazy susan the way to go? I feel like there is a decent amount of unused space when they are used. Do you have any recommendations?

Marnie, I love this question because I had been struggling with the same problem in my kitchen and recently found a solution. The answer we discovered are storage systems that use the descriptive phrase “blind corner” in their names. Some are called “blind corner tracks” or “blind corner cabinet systems” or some version of all of those words.

They are regular cabinet shelves that sit on a sliding hinge and pivot mechanism. The unit pulls out into the room so that you can have easy access to everything on the shelves. When it is not in use, it folds back into the cupboard and occupies every nook and cranny.

blind cabinet shelves

There is also a blind-corner pull-out system. It is comprised of two large shelves that swing out of the cupboard door on a large pivot. The shelves can be pulled out one at a time so you can easily access the contents. You can purchase either a left-hand or right-hand opening depending on the design of your kitchen.

Unfortunately for corner cupboards, the only system seems to be a Lazy Susan. You can use wedge-shaped bins and half-shelves that will help you maximize your storage space.

Thank you, Marnie, for submitting your question for our Ask Unclutterer column.

Do you have a question relating to organizing, cleaning, home and office projects, productivity, or any problems you think the Unclutterer team could help you solve? To submit your questions to Ask Unclutterer, go to our contact page and type your question in the content field. Please list the subject of your e-mail as “Ask Unclutterer.” If you feel comfortable sharing images of the spaces that trouble you, let us know about them. The more information we have about your specific issue, the better.

 

This post has been updated since its original publication in 2008.

26 Comments for “Ask Unclutterer: Corner kitchen cabinets”

  1. posted by Christian on

    perhaps this could work..

    Rationell
    http://www.ikea.com/us/en/cata.....s/90128419

    $99

  2. posted by Tabitha (From Single to Married) on

    What a fantastic idea! I’ve never used them but will definitely look into them for under our sink!

  3. posted by Karen in Wichita on

    Lee Valley has some that aren’t cheap, but sure beat the $500-700 price. I haven’t seen them in person, so can’t vouch for the quality. It wouldn’t work in my blind corner, which is fenced by the stove on one side and the sink plumbing on the other, with a tiny little bifold door to access one of the biggest cabinets in the kitchen.

    What makes even less sense to me is that the back side of that cabinet is under the breakfast counter. My sister’s house is the same way. Why, why, why is there not just a cabinet door on the back side (perhaps in addition to the one on the prep area side)? When we remodel, that’s exactly what we’re going to put in.

  4. posted by Rue on

    Wow! Cool idea, but a heck of a lot of money, and IMO, not worth it.

    I don’t have a lot of things in my cabinets though (more cabinet space than pots/pans, really). A lazy susan is probably the cheapest and easiest solution. You’ll have unused space behind the lazy susan, for sure, but at least you’ll be able to get to what’s in the cabinet more easily.

    And remember – you don’t have to use up every available inch of your cabinet space if it’s space you don’t need. 😉 It’s only wasted space if it’s empty and you need it.

  5. posted by Stephanie on

    I WISH I had a corner cabinet because I really want one of these corner cabinet recycling centers: http://www.specialtysupplies.c.....-3601.html

  6. posted by Rick Lobrecht on

    We had a corner cabinet with a lazy susan, and it was awful. We kept Tupperware in it, and they kept falling off and would collect in the unused corners of the corner.

  7. posted by Michelle on

    I am a kitchen design and while you provided great advice, it is not comprehensive, as the lazy susan fits in a different than the blind corner unit. For your corner cabinet there are basically 4 options.
    1) Shelf
    2) Lazy Susan
    3) Rotating Recycle Center
    4) Corner Drawers (cabinet would have to be modified)

    Hope this helps

    PS- those blind corner units are great!

  8. posted by Michelle on

    Oops meant to say Kitchen Designer

    Also, there are variations of Lazy Susans called “super susans” which is basically a lazy susan with a fixed shelf below so nothing will fall off the rotating base.

    http://www.showplacewood.com/accs/ACCimages/19.jpg

  9. posted by Felicia on

    I have a large corner cabinet with a lazy susan. It has two shelves. I keep my plastic bowls on it. The corner doors overlap on the edge, so I have to open both of them to access the lazy susan, but it closes tightly.

  10. posted by STL Mom on

    We have lazy susans in two corner cabinets. It works well for some items, but small, lightweight things need to be kept in a basket, or they will fall off and get stuck back in the corners. Items that are too heavy will throw off the balance so it doesn’t spin properly. Think carefully about what you want to keep in that cabinet before you install a lazy susan. Can you just put rarely-used pans or holiday items in the back corners, or do you really need to access all the space?

  11. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Rick — We had the same problem with our lazy susan. And, because it sat above a heating vent, we couldn’t use the space for storing food. There were always lids at the back of the unit. I put my friends’ children to use retrieving them when they came to visit.

  12. posted by Felicia on

    My lazy susan is large enough to stack my bowls along the outer edges (there is a small lip that keeps them from sliding off) and to turn the lids on their sides and place them between the stack and center pole. The lids for the larger bowls are turned on their sides and stored in a rectangular shaped bowl next to the lazy susan.

  13. posted by Jeri Dansky on

    You might also want to take a look at theses (the ones shown under blind corners):
    http://www.shelfgenie.com/Before_After.cfm

  14. posted by Erica on

    I was going to second the Lee Valley suggestion – about $220 gets you the hardware you need to make this happen. I’m about to do this with my pots and pans cabinet, as there are things I think may be living in the rear of the cabinet that fear human life.

  15. posted by Erica on

    Oops – and I was going to give a link, since it’s kind of buried on their site:

    http://www.leevalley.com/hardw.....&ap=2

  16. posted by Elizabeth on

    I have two of the solutions mentioned here:

    One corner cabinet backs to the peninsula, so it has doors. It is right next to an exterior door and the kitchen table and is sometimes obstructed by that door, so it gets things that are often needed outside (flashlight) and things that aren’t used all that much (bandaids).

    The other corner cabinet has a device like the one featured in the original article. I got it from Lee Valley and it wasn’t nearly as expensive. I find it very useful for moderately-sized appliances that I don’t use every day, but still want handy like the toaster, waffle iron, blender, etc. Everyone who sees it, loves it. People’s jaws literally drop!

  17. posted by Lisa on

    When my parents redid their kitchen, they decided that they hated blind corner cabinets so much that they had to think of another way around the problem. Their solution was to put a 10-inch deep counter with a built-in spice shelf above it on one side of the corner (the rest of the kitchen has enough counter space that losing this area doesn’t matter). The other side has a standard-depth counter. This means that the blind corner isn’t as deep, so we can still reach to the back of it without a lazy susan or blind corner device. We keep very rarely-used items in the way back, so although it does take some effort to get them out, it’s not too much of a pain to do it once or twice a year. Obviously this isn’t a solution for an existing blind corner, but it’s worth thinking about if you’re remodeling.

  18. posted by Melinda on

    we got a mechanism for my corner cabinet, when you pull the door it pulls out a shelf and another shelf slides across from the corner. Such a great idea, but something on it broke and i think it was a waste of money. If I could do the kitchen all over again, i would make sure the doors to the corner cabinet were bigger so I could access it easier. I think this mechanism cost us $700.

  19. posted by Melinda on

    oh you’ve got a picture now of the exact thing i was talking about. i hate that thing.

  20. posted by Jeff on

    We have this Le Mans unit from Hafele. It is awesome! Totally smooth, great use of space, and everyone always comments on how cool it is.
    http://www.hafele.com/us/produ.....torage.asp

  21. posted by PM on

    I used to wonder why my Grandma’s kitchen felt so different from my Mum’s, and then I realized: In India, nobody (at least five years ago) had blind corners. The space is just left as open shelving. What a concept – easy, obvious, useful!

  22. posted by Annie on

    Hi Felicia,

    I have problem with my corner doors. I don’t like the bi-fold door. What do you mean when you say “The corner doors overlap on the edge, so I have to open both of them to access the lazy susan, but it closes tightly.”? I plan to make the doors this way. Can you post a picture of it?

    Thank a lot

  23. posted by Melania on

    I have a corner in my kitchen, ’til I got with the solution for this, I had been looking for all over the internet, but I found a special hinge for corner furniture, is a hinge called Rincomatic, it is composed by a tube at any length you may require with a kind of knuckles which you put on the door’s edge very easily. I asked for it by email when I found it on his web, they told me I could find his product where I live, Ireland. I’m very satisfied with this solution, this is all I can tell to help anyone.

  24. posted by Susannah on

    Karen in Wichita:

    we went one better with our kitchen in a previous house. The kitchen was too narrow to fit a lazy susan into the corner cabinet at the “anchor” end of the peninsula. We considered putting a door to the backside of the cabinet, but the other side of the peninsula isn’t just the back of the cabinet, it’s a bar-height wall. Instead, we used that space to put in a wine fridge, opening into the living room. Could use any mini-fridge.

    http://boomerrific.blogger.com

  25. posted by angie on

    I have a Lazy Susan in my corner cabinet and I store all my pots there. High ones (like stock pot) fit on bottom shelf and smaller ones (2-4 quarts) on the top shelf. I also put hooks on the walls of the cabinet and I hang some items there, like small collander and cutting boards.

  26. posted by Julie on

    Due to some obnoxious renovations by my landlord, I now have a 36″ cabinet… with an 8.5″ access door. The door is at the very end of one of the long sides, so I can only reach maybe a third of the way in, and the rest beyond that is entirely wasted space. Does anyone have any suggestions for how I can access/use the rest of the cabinet?

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