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How to easily organize awkward pans above the fridge

Hey there! It's Friday, the sun is (kind of) shining, the weather is supposed to warm up (a little) and we have a fun weekend planned. It's a good day! 

This is organizing project is something I've been meaning to tackle for months. I think of it every time I reach for something in the cabinet above our fridge. I've never organized it because I wanted to see how we used it first:
Organizing the space above the refrigerator

When I built that cabinet over the fridge I initially planned to DIY something to hold our long and awkward pans and items. I thought I would want something with wood at the top and bottom of the cabinet to make slots I could slide everything into. 

But because we have extra storage behind this cabinet (I left our original cabinet up and reused our doors -- see that post linked in the paragraph above for photos) I thought I'd want to use that back space behind it for rarely used items. I wanted to make it easy to access things back there if needed. 

Fast forward to this week when I finally decided to tackle this project -- when I cleaned it out I realized there were plenty of items (some that were pushed all the way to the back) that we just didn't use or need: 
Organizing above fridge

Do you all have those random metal shelves from the refrigerator (or who knows where else?). We haven't used them and years and never will. :) 

I got rid of about a third of the items and decided to grab this Variera organizer from IKEA I've had in storage for awhile: 
Variera IKEA organizer
Years ago I used it for a DIY rolling rack in our island, but since then we've purged/organized them differently and I removed it:
DIY roll out holder for pans

What I love about this organizer is it's like an accordion -- you can pull it out for larger items or push it together for skinny ones. I wanted it to hold a lot and span the whole cabinet so I pulled it out pretty far:
Slide out storage for pans

And what do you know...everything fit perfectly!:
Pan storage above fridge

The area off to each side was the perfect size to slip in another item. WHY I waited so long to do this I have no idea. It took all of ten minutes!

When I used this before I secured it to the bottom of the cabinet to hold it in place, but I've found that with the weight of the pans it stays put just fine. It's super easy to pull things in and out:
How to store awkward pans above fridge

This little rack is only $6 and totally worth it! If you don't have an IKEA nearby you can find it here online too. 

SO. MUCH. BETTER. And I'm still kicking myself for not doing it sooner:
Easy trick for storage above the fridge
Have you used this rack in your home? It can be used for so many things in the kitchen -- lids, pots, pans, plates (I use another one for dishes in our built in storage in the library). 

Here are some other helpful posts on projects from this area of our kitchen: 
DIY soft close doors

How to fill space above cabinets

How to add build in a fridge with a cabinet on top


via Thrifty Decor Chick