How do I make hard improvement easier


We are slowly re-doing kitchen. Cabinets will stay do to finances and as I am disabled on upper right side and a spine problem. Here is what we need your ideas on for now?

This is a small townhome. I get emails from a site about small living places.

We do not have a lot of counterspace, and a lot of light. We put a small light in corner, as suggested by the small living site suggested.

We took the old microwave down. It was a mess. The wall behind had a hole all the way through. It is temporarily covered. We have to fill that and get a nice 30" recirculating fan hood with strong lights. 1.Suggestions? 2. We also need to figure out how to get most out of counterspace?

We have stuff on top of refrigerator, because of no room. 3. Is there something we can make on our own (my husband) to enclose?

We (my husband and friends) are going to paint cabinets and shelves white with a semi gloss white, but due to my disability I can not get into the corner cabinets up and down. Not sure if anything we can do? Also, shelves are the old stationary type. 4. Any suggestions?

We do plan on putting pull out shelves wherever we can. That does not help upper or corner.

I am sorry if this is confusing. I am not a spring chicken in more than one way.

If we the money, everything would be ripped up and start from scratch.

I have attached where we are at the moment. I tried to add a pic of corner and nasty shelve. I put paper towels down on one shelf.

The cabinets and countertops from a distance look nice. They are horrible. They are nice and clean though. We put on new knobs and pulls. Most appliances are new. The DW is just 2 years old.

If sorry!

q how do i make hard improvement easier

Left side of small kitchen. A new little micro next to it.

q how do i make hard improvement easier

End of kitchen. Micro removed.

q how do i make hard improvement easier

Right side. I love my little window by the sink. No light above though. Not sure on that? Need light. I really like my retro towel holders.

q how do i make hard improvement easier

Area above refrigerator is tall.

q how do i make hard improvement easier

Nasty shelves. Trying to figure out how to access more easily and how to paint or something the fixed shelves. Same on left.

q how do i make hard improvement easier

Deep hard to reach cupboard on RT side. Left is same.

  7 answers
  • Landsharkinnc Landsharkinnc on Sep 08, 2018

    there is never enough room in a kitchen!! but I've found that if you don't use it every day put it away --- and be ruthless -- if you haven't used it in a MONTH you may want to dispose of it -- or store somewhere else entirely ... if you haven't used it in a year -- out it goes ---to the good will or yard sale ...

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    • Landsharkinnc Landsharkinnc on Sep 08, 2018

      holiday or special event items can go somewhere besides the kitchen; glassware, plates, etc., cut to a minimum ... if you do dishes every day and there are 2 in the family, all you need are 2 plates, glasses, etc. put extras away with holiday stuff; I bet you have 'favorite' pots/pans/skillet too -- ones that you use all the time --- put the 'extras' away or out the door ... you need one good skillet, 2 pots w/ lids, and a casserole dish -- for 2 people an 8 x 8 makes 4 servings ... same with towels, sheets, etc. you probably change the sheets once a week ... you need 2 sets; etc.

  • on Sep 08, 2018

    Can you replace the old over the range microwave with a new one? The will give you a light underneath it and more counter space.

    you can get adhesive shelf liners in lots of stores - that will help cover the “nasty shelves”.

    The new hardware looks great! Painted cupboards will make a huge difference too. :)

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    • on Sep 08, 2018

      Yes. We’ve painted two kitchens. It makes a world of difference! Be sure to sand the cupboards really well, prime and use the best paint you can afford. We like using enamel for cupboards!

  • Katie Katie on Sep 08, 2018

    Thanks for the great pics! I am not disabled, just short and I understand your problems about reaching the corners. I would suggest that you think about putting lazy susans (turntables) in the cabinet and on the countertop corners. (You're losing a lot of valuable space with that TV in the corner--do you really need it? ) Browse Amazon--they offer many kinds. And, as suggested above, get rid of things that you don't use (just grit your teeth and do it) Also on Amazon are some small LED light bars that are rechargeable battery-operated. They attach anywhere with double stick tape and a magnetic bar. They can be used as motion-sensored or clickon, and come with the USB recharger. I"ve used them and am very pleased, especially with the price which is 2/$20. When You get your cabinets painted, your kitchen will magically grow  PS In our older home--1979-- with same type cabinets, my husband painted the inside of the cabs (also with fixed shelves) plain white and it made it much easier to see contents; less like a cavern. Good luck

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    • Paula K Paula K on Sep 15, 2018

      Thank you so much. I will measure corners and check on line for turn tables. I am just not sure how you do it, without ripping the whole front off. I also have to figure out what to do with same thing in upper. I think my husband or brother (in another state) might know what to do with slightly warped doors. I am no spring chicken and sick. I just wanted our little cottage in the village to be fixed up and cute for how ever long I am still able to enjoy. I am afraid there is just too much to do. I am getting to point where I am not going to give a hoot anymore. Thanks again....everyone has been great💛👍

  • Linda Sikut Linda Sikut on Sep 08, 2018

    Hi Paula,

    I agree with Landsharkinnc, in that you have a lot of small appliances in your kitchen. We had the same problem so finally we cleared out an extra bedroom closet, put in some temporary shelving and moved the ones we don't use daily to that room for storage. Do you have a room where you could do that that? Even if you need the closet, if you have a "guest" room and can fit a shelving unit in that room, it would help with storage.

    When the cabinets are being painted, the inside can be sanded down and painted, as well. It looks like you have some very old contact paper on those shelves so that will need to be removed before painting, but make everything white will truly brighten up your kitchen. Here's some help with removing contact paper:

    Once your cabinets are dry and the paint has cured, I'd suggest getting some shelf liners instead of the paper towels. I use some thing like this one.

    You can find liners like these in places like Walmart and sometimes even dollar stores. Just watch these width and the price per square foot. Sometimes if you have a lot to do, it's better to get a larger roll then a small one at the dollar stores.

    I would also contact a local electrician to see if you can afford more lighting in your kitchen. A light over the sink would free up some counter space. If you can figure out a way to take the small appliances off your counter next to the refrigerator, you could have some shelving installed there between the cabinets and the countertop would give you more open-shelf space. Another thought, again if you can afford it, would be to purchase a microwave with a fan to put over the range instead of just a fan - although that would be hard for you to reach. Anything you can do to get items off your counter will make your kitchen look bigger so that should be a goal. I hope some of these ideas will help you. Wishing you the best with your project. -Linda

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    • Linda Sikut Linda Sikut on Sep 08, 2018

      Paula, your question is saved in your profile area (where your circled P is) under Discussions so it will be there for the future.

      If you want to save products, a good place is You can create "boards" for different rooms or different types of products - actually pretty much anything you want. It works kind of like a filing cabinet with a lot of folders. Pinterest is the cabinet and you create the folders. Most websites now have a pinterest link so you can click on that and save the page in what ever folder you choose. To access the page again, all you need to do is find where you put it, in which pinterest folder that you made then click on it and it will take you to the next page - click again to read it. It's easy and will help you organize all of those links. Good luck! -Linda

  • Col34063066 Col34063066 on Sep 08, 2018

    We painted our cabinets 3 years. Benjamin Moore Advance is a great paint. Takes a few days to fully cure. You can easily wipe splatters etc without disturbing the paint

    • Paula K Paula K on Sep 08, 2018

      Thank you. I wrote it down. Did you do lots prep before painting? Could you give me the steps? Like wash, sand with certain number sandpaper etc.

  • Alice Alice on Sep 15, 2018

    a Stationary shelf can be cut out. I saw on a TV make over show that the remodeler put the microwave on a pull out shelf in the lower cabinet. But I think that requires an electric connection and don't know how you could do that.

  • Lana Hassell Lana Hassell on Sep 15, 2018

    Paula, I am 75 now, and when we moved into this house 8 years ago, we went from 2600 sq. ft. to 1040 sq. ft. Talk about a shock to the system. My husband put heavy stainless steel wire drawers in 4 of the bottom cabinets (left 3 like they were),which are life savers. I noticed in one of your pictures that you had glasses upon glasses. You really only need about 15 glasses and that space would hold, maybe, your crock pot. You have twice as many cabinets as I do and I still have to much stuff in my kitchen.😜Alice had a good idea. If you can get rid of some things, (I kept one set of dishes, one good set of pots and pans), you could cut out a shelf or two for some of the appliances to be put in the cabinets. Do you need two ovens on your cabinets? I have one. It is a toaster, convection oven that does everything and does not take up very much space. Painting is time consuming. Get the grease off of the outside of them, lightly sand them so the new paint will adhere to the cabinets and I would use enamel. It is easier to keep clean. Good luck. I wish you would tell me your maiden name was Luce. I have been looking for a long lost cousin all of my life and all we know is her name is Paula D. Luce.😕 Try to get those drawers in your bottom cabinets, they were bought at Lowe's and are back savers.