You may not know this about the Iron Stef, but I operate out of a small 2-bedroom apartment. Such apartments aren't known for their kitchens. Mine is no exception. While it is a nice size kitchen, square food-wise, counter and pantry space is lacking. We've been here for almost 2 years. We tend to treat apartments like temporary homes...and we just put up with the lack of storage and workspace. But after getting my pretty new Le Creuset and getting Jack a nice new Wustof knife, I decided some kind of upgrade was necessary. It was about friggin time. And it ended up being quite cheap and easy.
I got these chrome storage shelves at a big box hardware store. The big one was $56 and the smaller one was $33. The wine rack/ stemware attachment, which I think is brilliant, was only $20! These may be lowly garage-type storage, but I like the open, clean, chrome look. It's a smart look, I think, and it requires us to keep things orderly. They are ultra sturdy as well, and need no tools to build.
I would show before photos, but that would be embarrassing. We had resorted to piles in corners. The cookbooks were all hidden away in the living room in a pile, and the wine lived on the kitchen floor. Not cute.
My favorite change is the gain in counter space. The microwave used to sit on the end there where you see the coffee-maker. That's like 2 extra square feet of workspace! Yay!!
I still want to do some more as far as storage and organization. I'd like to make a magnetic spice rack, similar to this, and Jack is looking into building a magnetic knife strip. Although knife strips are widely available, Jack wants a nice wood one that won't threaten to scratch knives, and it shouldn't be hard to make.
Have any simple, frugal kitchen improvement/storage/organization tips? Share them with us!