Where Do You Keep Your Small Appliances?

posted by Andrea | 04/25/2012

Dave and I have always kept our small kitchen appliances hidden — even the ones we use regularly.

We’ve never had a kitchen with lots of counter space, I really like the look of a clutter-free kitchen, and our cabinets definitely were not overly full; so we just decided to keep our small appliances concealed behind closed doors.

We honestly don’t have one small appliance sitting out — unless we’re in the middle of using it — and I really like it that way. Not only does this make our kitchen look less cluttered, it also makes it much easier to clean the kitchen counters – and our small appliances actually stay cleaner too because they don’t get dusty or splattered on!

It only takes us 5 seconds to pull the appliance out of the cabinet and onto the counter, and another 5 seconds to put it away when we’re finished — and we enjoy clutter-free counters for the rest of the day.

Since we’re planning a kitchen renovation this summer, I’m already thinking of ways to incorporate an “appliance garage” into our plans — we’ll see what I come up with.

I know there have to be lots of different thoughts and opinions on this, so I’d love to know…

Where do you keep your small appliances?

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32 comments

  1. Becky

    04/25/2012

    i WISH i was able to do that… we dont really have enough cabinet space or pantry space for allthe appliances…. We also have a toaster oven rather than a traditional toaster because I think its a waste of energy to cook something in the big oven if we can use a toaster oven (my husband often forgets and uses the big oven)and that and the microwave (which hubby says is necessary) are too heavy for me to NOT leave on the counter. The crockpot and the breadmaker often stay out simply because I dont really know where i can put them that they will be easily accessible. Our apartment has only two real cabinets (and with our dishes, 3 mixing bowls, and cups, they managed to fill up pretty quick), only an under the sink cabinet, and 4 teeny tiny drawers that dont fit a utensil tray… we have a serious lack of storage in the kitchen. the hall closet is our pantry because there’s nowhere else to put food! lol.

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  2. Julie Spady

    04/25/2012

    I love your clutter free counters! We had an appliance garage and although it hid stuff, about 2-3 items, I didn’t like it cuz it took up counter space!

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    L. Reply:

    what is an appliance garage?

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  3. Cindy

    04/25/2012

    I have a drawer in my island that has an outlet inside of the drawer. I keep the toaster in there and always plugged in. Very handy and the crumbs can be vacuumed as needed!

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    Audra Reply:

    Oh cool! I would love to have a drawer with a plug for my toaster. What a great idea!
    This house I grew up in had a cupboard where the microwave was kept (plug in the back). This was before the days where microwaves were installed above ranges. Having the microwave in the cupboard gave my mom a lot more room on the counter (it was a small galley kitchen).

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  4. Sarah

    04/25/2012

    I found when we moved that I didn’t have enough space to put our small appliances in a cabinet. So instead I bought a free standing closet and put it in the dining room. I have small appliances and special cookware out there and when I need it it is easy to get to. Now when my little one gets a little older I need to figure a better place for our microwave and one or two things and we will have counter space again. I have a feeling I might be putting in more cabinets. I hate having my oven in the island – because I can’t have the mircowave over it like we did in our old house.

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  5. Sunny

    04/25/2012

    My husband closed in our entry way coat closet (which is located right beside our kitchen) for me to use as an appliance/entertaining closet! I LOVE IT! I keep my crockpots, toaster, mixer, blender, food processor, george foreman, etc in there. I never knew how much I needed one until I got one! I HIGHLY recommend a designated cabinet/closet for them!

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  6. Anna E.

    04/25/2012

    We have a small loft with an even smaller kitchen…minimal counterspace and no pantry, so we need our kitchen cabinets for food and dishes. However, we have an office downstairs just steps from the kitchen, so my husband refinished a cabinet from his parents house that fits in with the office, but it’s actually where we store all of the kitchen appliances. It is a bit of extra trouble to have to go into another room to get an appliance, but it works wonderfully and does keep everything nice and clean and organized. Plus, guests never know what it is in unless they open the doors. :)

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  7. ShannonP

    04/25/2012

    We just purchased a freestanding pantry cabinet that needs to be put into the breakfast nook area so that I can have some sort of a pantry. Right now, nearly all of our appliances are on my counters and it drives me crazy. I would like to keep just the coffee maker and the toaster on the counter and put all of the others in the new pantry.

    Of course, if I uncover my tacky mauve pink countertops, I will have to look at them. Ack! LOL

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  8. Laura

    04/25/2012

    I had my husband hang a second shelf in our laundry closet, which is right next to the kitchen. Before I had a few small appliances tucked away in the cupboards, in the pantry, and some of them the whole way down in the basement. I love my new shelf!!

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  9. Julie

    04/25/2012

    My in laws have an appliance garage in their kitchen. It’s great, it has a roll up door on the front and you just put it back down when you’re finished. Then everything is still plugged in an ready to go, just out of sight.

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  10. Jen

    04/25/2012

    I’m with you! All our small appliances (of which there are few because they make me crazy!) are hidden away, except the Keurig, which my sweet husband uses every day. I get hives when I see cluttered kitchen counters!! HAHA

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  11. Patty@homemakersdaily.com

    04/25/2012

    I keep some of them out and some of them in the cabinets. We have a decent amount of counter space so I have my Kitchen-Aid mixer, my Food Processor and toaster out. Our microwave also sits on the counter to the left of the stove. I like having them out, especially my mixer, since I use them frequently. I could probably put the toaster away but it’s not in the way.

    I don’t think I would like an appliance garage. I do have a large free-standing cabinet at the end of my kitchen that holds most of my small appliances – crock pots, rice cooker, george foreman, etc. I like having that.

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  12. Shareen

    04/25/2012

    I just had my kitchen done and my appliances are under the counter in a lazy susan cabinet. It’s really great and leaves everything in it’s place. Easy to get to when needed.

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    Audra Reply:

    This would be my ideal situation…. Under the counter in a lazy susan…also makes productive use of those darn corner cupboards. I have never liked the looks of the garages and they take up counter space (just the same as leaving the appliances out on the counter). It doesn’t bother me to get stuff out and then put it away…I know some people find that to be a pain when things are constantly in use.

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    sewdoit Reply:

    I have to keep the Kitchen aid Mixer out, as it is too heavy to lift. Would a lazy Susan be strong enough to hold a Kitchen Aid Mixer

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    helen Reply:

    I had a heavy duty pull out shelf built for my kitchen aid. There is an outlet in the cupboard but I still move it to the counter when I use it.(shelf is to low)

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  13. Amy

    04/25/2012

    I have electrical outlets in our walk in pantry so our toaster and magic bullet live in there, it’s great! The other appliances are on a lower shelf of the pantry. My friwnd even has her microwave on her middle pantry shelf. If you are doing a remodel I higlly recommend either the pantry option (even if it isn’t walk in) or an appliance garage, although you will lose counter space.

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  14. Jen

    04/25/2012

    Other than my stand-mixer, all of my other small appliances are in the pantry. I keep my toaster on a small cookie sheet which catches the crumbs when moving it each time it is used. I love the look and feel of un-cluttered counters!

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  15. Beth

    04/25/2012

    We only leave our coffee maker out all the time as it gets used every single day! Everything else gets stashed away in a cupboard and taken out as needed.

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  16. Donna G

    04/25/2012

    We have a pretty fair number of cabinets, so the toaster stays out, as do the two coffee makers (one is a Melitta 1-to-1, it was a gift and they might be offended if they knew we never used it…) and the really heavy KitchenAid and bread machine. My dream kitchen has a walk-in pantry where all the appliances can be left out, in a really long cabinet at the right height, and ready to plug in and use. Only my coffee maker stays plugged in all the time, and that’s just because of the clock on it. Why use electricity when you don’t need it?

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  17. Eve

    04/25/2012

    We had the same problem, small kitchen with very few kitchen cabinets.
    We lucked out and found 2 narrow matching second hand cabinets. We stacked the cabinets to take advantage of vertical space, and then and we customized the insides with adjustable shelves.The accessories ie. beater, blades etc. for these appliances are stored in appliance specific containers next to each appliance. We also labeled the shelves and containers with the appliance name so everyone knows where they go. We store the most used appliances within reach, the less used (though necessary) appliances are stored near the bottom of the cabinet and at a height requiring a step-stool. Having my appliances and accessories all in one place makes my life so much easier in the kitchen, I always feel much more organized when things have a HOME.

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  18. Patti

    04/25/2012

    My brother in law is quite savy in the kitchen and a great cook! He installed this amazing “appliance lift”… it stores the appliances in the cabinet and when he needs to use it, he opens the door, presses a lever and it “lifts” out and up for easy use… Here is a link to one with great images so you can see for yourself, but this same site has other less expensive options. When we do our next remodel, this will definitely be in order!
    Here’s the link: http://www.kitchensource.com/cau/rv-appliancelift2.htm#

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  19. Anitra

    04/25/2012

    We keep the toaster (used at least 1x/day, often more), microwave (bulky), and the mixer (really, really heavy) on the counter. Those 3 alone take up more than 1/2 of the built-in counter space… *sigh*. All the _other_ small appliances live in the pantry or the cabinets.

    Oh, the coffee maker is out, too… but not on the counter. All our coffee-making supplies are on a small table between our dining area and living room. Gets them out of the kitchen but still convenient for many-times-a-day use.

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  20. VeritySa

    04/25/2012

    Especially items that you use often, are best kept higher as opposed to lower. I have two skinny but vertical cabinets that I keep appliances and cookbooks above waist level.

    With toddlers, it’s simply annoying to keep often used items in lower cabinets. You open a cabinet, and the toddler just wants to see what is in there. Yes, you can train them them to not get in the way, but I also want my kids to be involved with what I’m doing in the kitchen so most cabinets below waist level I allow the kids into.

    Now my almost-three year old LOVES to put things away for me. He is in charge of silverware and some plastic containers when we unload the dishwasher. That is soon in your future too – so keep it in mind. :-)

    My kitchen is small also so I keep appliances that I only use a couple times a year on shelves in the basement.

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  21. Julie

    04/26/2012

    The only appliances we leave out are the small coffee maker that my husband uses every morning and the heavy kitchen aid mixer, that I use a few times a week. I have tried putting it away, but it is just a pain in the butt to carry from the other room(where I would have to store i)t to the counter. I have actually bruised my breast by carrying it incorrectly, so now uless we are having company over and need the cabinet space, I just leave it out.

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  22. Jen

    04/26/2012

    Most of our small appliances are in our pantry. (We didn’t always have a pantry–so they lived in whatever cabinet space was available.) I have quite a collection now because my kids love to cook and my mother in law loves to buy small kitchen appliances for us, lol! I mean, I would prefer to use a frying pan to make pancakes ( Like I have been doing now for over 20 years!), but the kids think a big griddle that you plug in is way cooler.

    The stand-mixer, bread machine and toaster live in my small island now. The coffee pot is almost always sitting on the counter.

    In the new kitchen that is still ‘in process’ I will have an appliance garage. I’m thinking the toaster and the coffee pot will live there. Or maybe the bread machine and toaster… :o)

    I have to admit that it is much nicer to have shelves to put them on rather than bending down and reaching into a cabinet. If I didn’t have a new kitchen/pantry… My advice would be to put a closet or a section of one to better use or maybe a section in the garage to put one or two shelves at eye and/or chest height just for these appliances. I also store them in the box they came in if I can.

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  23. Ann

    04/27/2012

    We have a built in cupboard in same area as our table for foods and items that are mostly used at the table:
    vitamins, napkins, salt, pepper, honey,cinnamon sugar, sweetners, sugars for coffee,
    small container of brown sugar for hot cereal,
    bread and the toaster (there are pull out shelves with 1″ sides, also this cupboard has
    an electrical outlet)
    We also keep cold cereal in this cupboard, as well as My DH’s pop tarts. You get the idea!

    Another part of my kitchen where I “hide” appliances is my Baking Center. It is approxmately 48-50″ inches wide, extra deep ( I am out of state right now or I would measure!) and a tidge lower counter height for ease of using the mixer, blender and food processor that are kept inside. The top of the bi-fold doors are the same heigth at the top, (as other doors in the kitchen) but they extend all the way to the counter. DThis is where we keep flour, sugar, and other baking ingredients.

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  24. Rainey Daye

    04/27/2012

    We keep our appliances in our cabinets as well. I have purged and purged our kitchen “stuff” to the point where we actually have parts of various cabinets empty or close to empty even WITH our small kitchen appliances stored away.

    Though we are minimizing the appliances as well. We are ridding ourselves of our George Foreman and our hot pocket sandwich maker and will replace them with one small waffle/grill/pocket sandwich maker. We are getting rid of the coffeemaker and have switched to a Toddy cold brew system. Eventually we will replace the Magic Bullet and the old Oster blender both with a Vitamix. Someday it would be nice to have a different mixer, but our old cheap electric hand mixer does the job for now. We do have a toaster, but DH won’t let that go!! Besides that we have the breadmaker and the crockpot…and I’m the one that says they aren’t going anywhere!!

    But yeah, they all fit into our cupboards. I just like to keep the counters clear as much as I can.

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  25. Paige

    04/28/2012

    We keep the Keurig and the kitchenaid mixer out and thats it. We use the Keurig too often to put it away, plus it holds water and the kitchenaid is just too big for our cabinets. We have a bakers rack that the microwave is on.

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  26. calliopeGreece

    05/05/2012

    I keep the small appliances in a counter garage, indeed. It’s a roll top with lots of shallow shelving and power outlets inside. Since a serious purging last year I kept ONLY the ones i actually use (water heater, toaster, coffee grinder, handmixer, multi mulinnette, juicer, grill) and they occupy only 2 shelves. so I also made a coffee station in another shelf and the last 2 shelves hold extra cups and seasonal things like christmas vases, glass etc
    This garage maybe the most everyday used in the kitchen and I.LOVE.IT since empty counters are my kind of thing, too.

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  27. 4 slice toasters

    05/08/2012

    An “appliance garage” sounds interesting. We usually use the appliance, then put it on a shelf in the cupboard. Of course, if I wanted to incorporate an appliance garage, I’d have to remodel my entire kitchen and give it more space (somehow!). Thank you for sharing, and for the nice pictures!

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