Narrow Kitchen Shelving

When we moved into our house last year, I loved the narrow shelves that were built into the sides of our floor cabinets.  I thought those shelves would be so handy!  Turns out, they weren't.  It's harder than you would think to find things that fit on a shelf that is roughly five inches wide!  And so, a year later, this is what those shelves were being used for:  not much! 

Recently, I decided that it was about time to put those shelves to good use.  I started with the shelves near the garage door, which were being used to store random vegetables, a loaf of bread, and occasionally, my husband's (too big) lunch cooler.

Yuck.  Not pretty at all.  But after a little creative thinking and some shopping, here's what the shelves looks like now:   

I found three really cute (and really narrow!) wire baskets on eBay.  These have been perfect for storing fruits and vegetables.  I love that they're super easy to access, but they don't take up any counter space.  Usually we have potatoes and onions in two of the baskets, and whatever fruit was on sale (bananas, apples, oranges, peaches) in the third.  

I got these adorable tiny plant pots at Home Depot.  (They had dead plants in them when I bought them, so they were on clearance for $1 each.)  I disposed of the dead plants, and replaced them with cacti that I found at Walmart for less than $2 each.  It turns out that it's not too expensive to buy plants when you're in the market for tiny ones!  

Next, I tackled the shelves on the other side of the kitchen, next to the door to the backyard.  This is what the shelves looked like before:

We we obviously not utilizing the space very well at all.  Like I said, it's hard to find things to fit onto such narrow spaces!  Here's what it looks like now: 

The only things I kept on the shelves were three recipe books which just happened to be the perfect size.  I added two more cacti from Walmart, some small decorations, and three more of the same baskets I used on the other shelves, from eBay.  

In the baskets, I decided to organize my kitchen linens.  A while ago, I bought some really cute towels and dishcloths, and I was excited about the idea of keeping them out in the open where they would add some color to the room.  Also, this freed up a lot of space under the kitchen sink, which was awesome.  
 On the top shelf, I keep dish towels.  I rolled them up so that it's easier to see all the colors. :) 
In the middle shelf, I have a few more dish towels, and a bunch of dish cloths.  I switch my dish cloth once- sometimes twice a day, so it's super handy to have them all within easy reach right beside my sink.  
On the bottom shelf, I keep my supply of cloth napkins.  They're so easy to grab now that we use them a lot more often. 
Here are a few before and after pictures:

Do you have any difficult-to-utilize storage spaces?  Sometimes all it takes is some creative shopping and attention to dimensions.  Hopefully I've given you some ideas to get you thinking.  Happy organizing! 

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