We've all felt the temptation: Every time one of those catalogs comes in the mail, or we pass by those stores in the mall, we think, "If I bought this appliance, this special spoon thingy, this Scandinavian-designed-and-chef-endorsed whatsit, our cooking would be so much tastier and easier!"
But then comes the reality check: All these whatsits need homes! Whether you're moving into place with a compact kitchen, streamlining cupboards for your peace of mind, or clearing kitchen clutter to prep for a home sale, here are a few ways to do more with less in your kitchen:
1. Organize with what you've got
Wine corks for knife storage: Glue corks together side-by-side, place your knives in the crevices between them, and store them safely in your drawer instead of using that counter-space-hogging knife block. (This is also a good excuse to drink more wine.)
File boxes for foil and wrap: These boxes are super cheap, and you've probably already got a couple lying around. Grab one, screw it to the inside of a cabinet door (use short screws!), and use it to free up a drawer in your kitchen.
Muffin tin drawer organizer: Are you really going to make three dozen muffins at once? (If you are, can we come over?) Use one of the tins to store loose tea, herbs, bottle stoppers, and all those other things that want to get lost in the back of the drawer forever.
Rake for wine glass rack: Hey, you're going to be drinking more to make that knife holder, so might as well have a great place to store the glasses. Maybe you have an old rake in the yard, or maybe you can borrow one from the neighbor (kidding!).
2. Use two-for one tools
Waffle iron as panini press: Ideally, you are the home chef who makes both waffles and paninis on a regular basis. But stop kidding yourself -- you only need one appliance.
Wine bottle as rolling pin: If we have any message here, it's that drinking wine will solve (some of) your problems.
Large cutting board for counter space: You could buy one of those fancy butcher block kitchen islands, or you could just put one of these guys over the stove or the sink.
Cheese grater for large utensils: These directions are for transforming an antique grater, but we think you can use the one you already have -- as long as you don't mind dumping out the wooden spoons any time you need to sprinkle cheese on your burritos.
3. Repurpose for things you never knew you needed
Ketchup bottle as pancake batter dispenser: For those who want perfectly round pancakes, no purchase necessary. (Just some very careful washing first!)
Pants hanger as cookbook holder: Obviously, we can't use this for our giant Joy of Cooking and How to Cook Everything tomes, but to hold open smaller books and magazines without getting them covered in goop? Life changing.
What hacks do you use in your kitchen?
This article originally appeared on Trulia.com.
Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.