life in a tiny apartment.

September 26, 2012

Tip #32: Get a magnetic thingy for your knives.

This is a very specific tip. Usually my tips are more general. Like this one
But I really love this stupid magnetic strip, so I thought I should tell you about it. I know that installing such a strip is impossible in some rental apartments. In fact, we hung on to this one for two years in Rhode Island because we couldn’t drill holes through our hideous linoleum backsplash in order to hang it. That apartment also had not a single kitchen drawer, and so we collected our knives together and put them into an old tupperware in our cabinet. It was mostly a terrible option, but I can’t bare to have things taking up precious counter space, so it was the best one for us. Also, that Opinel up there with the broken point was our main workhorse and that baby folds right up.

The funny thing about getting married is that suddenly people want to give you knives. Really nice knives. And so now, in this tiny place, we’re the proud owners of knives that are mostly fancier than we are. I’m sure you’re all relieved to know that our vegetables are getting special treatment.

This is the rack we have. If I could do it over, I might splurge on this or this

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  • Reply September 26, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    I love magnetic knife racks, but we use ours for everything from scissors to a tiny nutmeg grater – you can see it here:

    • Reply Erin September 26, 2012 at 1:29 pm

      awesome! so glad you found use for one, too! (also: kitchen scissors! that's something we could still use).

  • Reply Charlotte September 26, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Very cool, but is it dangerous? I'd be worried about hurting myself if my knives were out and proud like that lol x

    • Reply Erin September 26, 2012 at 1:32 pm

      no, not dangerous! our rack is hanging over our stove (and under a cabinet) in the spot that an apartment with proper ventilation would probably have a stove hood. no matter though, it makes for a convenient spot for the knives!

  • Reply rebecca September 26, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    ha! we just took ours down to hang a pretty photo instead. I keep grabbing that place on the wall out of habit like a crazy person. you should know that it was hanging up high by the front door so we mostly look like murderers to guests. it was time to go.

  • Reply J+H @ Beyond The Stoop September 26, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    i don't know what we would do without our magnetic knife strip! our knives get used everyday, for every meal. i would go NUTS if i had to get it out of a tupperware out of a cupboard everytime i wanted to use one!

  • Reply Susannah September 26, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    I swear by my knife strip too! Even though our rental's brownstone kitchen isn't quite as hideous as (gasp) linoleum, we certainly aren't allowed to screw into the ca. 2009 style granite backsplash… so we hung our knife strip using three 3M removable sticky picture hangers (trimmed so you can't see them). We've had it up for three years and it's worked perfectly! Now if I could only get a full complement of Opinels…

  • Reply Debs September 26, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Amen…the strip is a God send.

  • Reply Camilla Salem September 26, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    Okay, I may need to get one of these. I have a block that takes up so much space. it's beyond frustrating. maybe it's time to make the switch.

  • Reply Rebecca September 26, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    Great use of space but I have a fear of knives being out in the open! Think I've watched Final Destination too many times 🙂

  • Reply Milynn {Love + Whimsy} September 26, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    I love this idea, my sister does the same thing! She has an awesome knife collection too and I think it's awesome that it can double as kitchen decor as well as being functional, since you don't have to go digging around for it in a drawer, or a tupperware in your case 🙂

  • Reply Melissa September 26, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    Hello, I'm enjoying your blog having just found it! I not only keep all of my knives on a magnetic strip but I also keep two rows of cooking tools (pizza cutter, can opener etc.) hanging on the wall. My husband bought it in Europe but I'm pretty sure Ikea has something like it. As for hanging knives being a safety issue I'll just say that now that my little one can reach into drawers I'm so happy that the only knife she can get her little paws on is a butter knife.

  • Reply Meredith Grey September 26, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    first thing I did when I moved into my new apartment- Ikea also has a great, cheap magnetic knife rack. If you have limited space (like I do), it's also possible to hang the rack vertically, and sit the knives horizontally (see link).

  • Reply Sarah September 26, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    We have magnet strip for knifes too! I love it. It super convenient. We got ours at IKEA for only $8.99!!!

  • Reply Amielle September 26, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    I love knife strips! They've been in every restaurant kitchen I've worked in and I've promised myself one once I get my own place. Such a wonderful space saver!

  • Reply Lin September 26, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    Knife strips are one of those unbelievably simple organizing tools that look good, too. We have had one for about a year and I actually love the darn thing. I even like looking at it and it's just one of those simple metal ones but it does the trick. I like how the knives line up all in a row and area at the ready. (I used to be a Montessori teacher is my only excuse – a place for everything and everything in its place.) Thanks, Erin!

  • Reply caroline September 26, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    i'm slightly obsessed with knife strips. always have been. mark thinks i'm strange. we also have the knife second from the right.

  • Reply Kimberley September 27, 2012 at 5:37 am

    I love my stupid magnetic strip too, though it was installed wrong so I can't really store knives properly, upright. First world problems! Your whole site is great.

  • Reply Harri Davison September 27, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    Very cool, I like the way it almost becomes a decorative feature! x

  • Reply Rebecca September 27, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    Oh I get you, I was so thrilled when I moved I couldn't wait to have a knife rack of my own 🙂
    Mine is from Ikea and I love it, and I hope the owner of my apartment won't mind I drilled holes in the kitchen tiles… couldn't help myself !
    (who could blame me, look at it : …)

  • Reply April September 30, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    Magnetic knife racks are great. We have 2 – one for knives and our compact silverware set and one for a set of metal measuring cups. Since we don't have drawers, it's a good way to store some metal kitchen tools.

  • Reply patternoflife October 2, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    Glad to see I'm in such good company here. We absolutely LOVE our strip and keep it right next to the only "counter" in our place. You are absolutely correct in that you cannot overstate the importance of this little gem. (We too keep our kitchen shears there too!)

  • Reply Lucy October 15, 2018 at 8:08 pm

    I have been hunting for such a thing! But hey, the link to the strip you bought isn’t working. Are you able to repair or post it in the comments?

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE October 16, 2018 at 11:00 am

      Hi there: I actually recently invested in a different rack that suits our current kitchen better! This one! More here!

  • Reply Jennifer May 10, 2019 at 9:41 am

    This is such a helpful post – thank you. I’ll surely read and re-read it many times over.

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