Your kitchen is the workhorse of the home, and the items you store in it — serving pieces, utensils, and all that cookware — are among the toughest items in the whole place because they have to stand up to daily use.
And even though these items are super-durable, if you store them incorrectly, you could potentially damage them (or, at the very least, waste space you could be using for something else).
Here are five kitchen items you may be storing the wrong way.
If you, like me, throw your knives into a utensil drawer, you’re doing it wrong. First of all, it’s kind of dangerous, because you can cut yourself sticking your hand into a tangled pile of knife blades. But it’s also bad for your knives: Every time a blade hits something that’s not food — like another knife blade or even the edge of a knife block — it can nick it up. Instead, store them along magnetic strips, inside drawer inserts, or by carefully inserting them into a knife block.
Read more: The Most Important Thing to Know About Storing Your Knife
2. Cookie sheets
Oh, are you still stacking your cookie sheets in a messy pile? Don’t. The best way to store these babies is vertically, not horizontally. And you’ve got options: You can use tension rods to get them upright, try a file folder-style divider, or even try a DIY drawer for them. The point is, start thinking vertically.
See more: The Smartest Ways to Organize Your Cookie Sheets
(Image credit: B Calkins/Shutterstock)
If you’re taking time decanting spices into matching jars because that’s what you’re “supposed” to be doing according to Pinterest, it’s time to let that go. I’ve never talked to a single professional organizer who recommends this, as it sometimes leads to double storage (if all of a new spice doesn’t fit into your cute container) and can sometimes make it harder to find what you need. Instead, just organize them by frequency or application and you’ll be just fine.
Read more: You May Be Organizing Your Spices All Wrong
4. Wine glasses
I know people love to debate whether they go rim-side up or rim-side down. I’m going to take a stand here: Unless you’re storing your wine glasses from a hanging wine rack, they should go rim-side up. Why? Because the rim is the most fragile part of the glass. I understand that some people are afraid of dust settling in there, but if you use your glasses even semi-frequently or store them inside a cabinet, it’s really a non-issue.
Yes, I know that if you rarely use them and have them on open shelving in a dusty area, they will accumulate dust, but whether they’re dusty on the inside or the outside, you’ll still have to wash them either way before using them, so it’s best to store them on their sturdiest part — the stem or base.
See more: 7 Smart Ways to Store Your Stemware
(Image credit: Gabriela Herman)
5. Cast iron
Even if you’re neatly nesting your cast iron cookware inside your cabinets, you may be making a crucial mistake that will nick them up over time. Metal on metal can scratch and damage the finish on your cast iron, making it wear out quicker. The way to resolve it is super-simple: Just place a single paper towel in between each layer. Besides protecting the surface, if can suck up any extra moisture to prevent rust, too
See more: Store Your Cast Iron with This One Thing to Make It Last Longer
This post originally ran on Kitchn. See it there: 5 Kitchen Items You’re Storing the Wrong Way
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