Many of my organizing clients struggle with small kitchens. Collapsible items can help make the most of a small space—but so can items that stack or nest.
Food storage containers (with their lids) are one ongoing storage challenge for many end-users. Joseph Joseph provides one good solution: six nesting containers of differing sizes, with lids that snap together to provide a single lid for the nested collection. The bases are color-coded with a dot on the bottom, indicating which colored lid fits each base. I'm glad to see these are rectangular rather than round, since the rectangular shape makes better use of limited space.
Another way to address the same challenge is to have nesting containers of different depths that all use the same size lid—and then provide a mechanism for stacking the lids. That's what designer Stephen Greenberg did with Stackerware. As he explains: "These containers come with hooks on the lid and bowl. The hooks slip onto a holder base. The bases can be attached to a wall, a cabinet door, in a drawer, or wherever there's space." That ability to mount the Stackerware base in various places gives a space-challenged end user a lot of options.
Mugs and glassware also take a lot of space in a kitchen, so space-challenged end-uers appreciate stackable designs. These stacking stoneware mugs come with a chrome rack.
Some tumblers are designed for easy stacking, such as these from Duralex.
Designing wine glasses that stack seems like a more difficult design challenge, but Crate and Barrel has some than meet that challenge.
Stacking canisters, such as these from Urban Kitchen, can save limited countertop space. Having multiple sizes (such as the three sizes in this design) is handy. Again, the square shape is a space-saver, too.
Nested measuring cups aren't usually a problem; most measuring cups nest just fine. However, because of the handles, few of them nest as perfectly as the Cuppa from Umbra, designed by Jordan Murphy. The handles might be a bit harder to grab than traditional measuring cup handles, though.
Cookware and bakeware can definitely be storage hogs, though. The Stellar Eazistore Nesting Bakeware Set includes a cooling rack, baking sheet, baking tray, 12-cup muffin tin and a roaster. If these happen to be things the end-user needs, this could certainly be a space-saver. One challenge when designing sets like this is ensuring the right items are included.
The Natural Home Eazistore cookware set is even more of a space-saver. The set includes three saucepans with lids (1-quart, 2-quart and 3-quart sizes), 10-inch and 12-inch skillets, and a bamboo slotted cooking spoon. The one drawback to this set is that the skillets don't have lids, but adding those would destroy this nesting design. The spoon seems like an odd thing to include, but the other items provide a basic cookware set that takes much less space than most.
Another nesting solution comes from SmartSpace, with its square cookware. There's a 10-piece set with three Teflon-coated pots, three lids, three silicone pads (which can be used as trivets, and can also protect the surface of the pots when they get nests) and one detachable handle. And there's a 15-piece set which adds a frying pan, another silicone pad, and another handle.
For those end-users who'd like stacking/nesting cookware storage but don't want to buy new cookware—or for those who want specific items in their cookware sets, not a pre-selected combination—there's the Pantree. The Pantree isn't a true stacking solution, especially since it combines horizontal and vertical storage, but it's an innovative space-saving alternative to nesting cookware.
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