One of the most dreaded places in a kitchen is those hard to reach cabinets. You know the ones we’re talking about, in the corner where it’s dark and items get forgotten. Or those cupboards high above the refrigerator that nobody under 6-feet can reach without a stool. Often these cabinets turn to wasted space unless you learn how to maximize their potential.

What to put in them
Store items that don’t get used often. This seems obvious but sometimes our desire to keep all like items grouped together limits our ability to think outside the box. For example, we bet you only use that turkey roasting pan a couple times a year. Are you still stuffing it next to your pots that you use every day? Relocate the pan to the cupboard above the fridge and use the now free space for something else.

Some other things you might not use that much are picnic ware (plastic utensils, paper plates, paper cups), grilling tools or extra mason jars. Seasonal items are perfect for those hard to reach cabinets because you’ll only need to access them a few times a year. This may include cookie cutters, cake pans, special occasion dishes or specialty cookbooks.

The solution will be slightly different for each individual because of varying lifestyles. While one person may only use their hand mixer once a month, for another it might be the popcorn popper. Think about what items you use least often and tuck them away inside those cabinets.

You could also turn the cabinets into an emergency preparedness zone. Stock supplies like bottled water and perishable foods that you will only access once in a great while.

How to organize them
Perhaps more important than what you store in your cabinets is how you store them. One option is to install a round turntable device, also known as a lazy Susan, so you can easily access all your items. Or place everything inside a basket that you can pull out. This saves you from digging to the back of the cabinet when you’re looking for something and also keeps everything organized.

It’s easy to forget what you’ve stored in your cabinets when you rarely open them, so tape a list of the items on the inside of the cabinet door. Furthermore, stick a battery operated tap-on light to the side or top of the cabinet to make finding items easier.

Last but not least, those high and corner cabinets are no place for clutter. Between the darkness and hard to reach spots, any clutter will give you a headache of a mess. To avoid this, give each item its own distinct place on the shelf where it’s easy to find. Avoid stacking items other than cans or dishes.

Now those frustrating cabinets and you can get along, at least a few times a year.