A lazy susan in corner kitchen cabinets makes it easier to put away and retrieve items stored there. The trade-off is you give up the storage space in the corners, in order for the round trays to spin around the pole. If you're not willing to give up the corner space, your choices are L-shaped shelving or what I like best for base corner cabinets, are two straight shelves at different heights to accommodate over-sized kitchen gadgets (compare your collection of kitchen gadgets).
A friend recently asked me if they should install a lazy susan themself. That's a great question and it's not a simple or easy question to answer.
A Lazy Susan Install Isn't Easy for Anyone
The only time it's easy to install a lazy susan is when the cabinet where it's going is being assembled. That's because the top of the cabinet isn't on yet, so you've got relatively easy access. When homeowners want to add a lazy susan to existing cabinets, it's awkward because the cabinet opening is small and you're either scrunched up on the floor for a base cabinet or standing on a ladder to reach inside a wall cabinet.
It's not easy working inside the corner cabinets where you want to put a lazy susan. That's why you want the lazy susan, to avoid having to stretch to reach the back walls of these cabinets. So here are the challenges everyone has to deal with:
- You have to get the trays and pole hardware into the cabinet, and you may not be able to get as big (tray diameter) a lazy susan as you could when buying the cabinets.
- You have to assemble the lazy susan inside the cabinet, which requires a pole that's flexible enough to slide the trays onto the pole. Alternatively there are lazy susan trays that install on each shelf.
- You have to install the pole so it's level in order to allow the trays to rotate smoothly.
- The pole and trays must be secure to support the weight of what you put on the trays, e.g. we might start out trying to only put light things like cereal boxes but somehow the cans and drink boxes creep in and they're heavy.
Should You Try to Install a Lazy Susan?
Now that you understand the challenges anyone has installing a lazy susan, let's look at the skills needed. This is one of those jobs that needs to be done right or the trays will rub against the pole or fall down. On the other hand, if you find a problem and have to re-install the lazy susan, a few extra holes aren't a big deal because they're hidden inside the cabinet where noone will see them.
To install a lazy susan yourself, here are the skills you need. Alternatively it might make sense to call a handyman, especially if you don't have the tools, don't enjoy the challenge and/or have limited free time to spend on chores you just want done.
- Experience using a drill to install the screws that will hold the pole in place, or a willingness to practice as you won't have much room to maneuver inside the cabinet. You may also need to create your own template if one isn't provided by the manufacturer.
- Patience to read, and re-read poorly written instructions, and think through the installation steps to fill in the missing information.
- A commitment to building your personal handyman skills and taking time to “test install” the lazy susan to spot problems before you start drilling holes. For example, the screws that come with most products aren't long enough for the job and when we did a test installation of rolling drawers, we found the hardware had to be raised so the drawers would clear the lip at the base of the cabinet.