Long ago, we did a little babyproofing around the house. It was way too dangerous when we had no measures in place, because Red was crawling around touching everything he wasn’t supposed to (as babies will do, I suppose). But the kitchen cabinets still weren’t done, so I finally picked up some Safety 1st Spring Loaded Cabinet and Drawer Latches. These bad boys have been around for years. In fact, it’s what I remember being on the cabinet doors when my brother and I were little!
The design is simple and tried and true. Much more my speed than magnetic locks or handle style locks. You can get these at big box stores, but I prefer Amazon for the free shipping and savings. 🙂
Inside your pack, you’ll find the cabinet spring latches and door catches, screws, and temporary sticky pieces used to hold the catches in place while you measure. They will hold cabinet and drawers shut, and the installation is similar, if not exactly the same. They can also be mounting vertically or horizontally, making them more diverse than other cabinet latches. There’s no magnets, or key or anything to lose, which is key for me.
Don’t forget to charge your power drill before starting… Because I totally didn’t do that, and it set me back 15 minutes. There was also a lot of toddler-curiosity around it…
You can always try to use a regular screw driver, but it depends on how dense the wood of your cabinet doors is. I highly recommend the power drill for strength and speed. Get the little sticky strips and apply one clear strip to the back of the cabinet (not the door) catch. Place about 1-1.5″ away from the edge of the frame. If you need to drill pilot holes, do that now.
Afterwards, insert the two screws that came with the pack and tighten them up. Done with that part! If you’re looking at the photo below, you’re looking IN to the cabinet. The screws are on the outer edge.
Installing the door latch is a little more labor-intensive. You’ll need to hold the latch in your hands onto the inside of the door. Position and move it slightly to line up with the cabinet catch as it shuts. There is very little wiggle room for positioning, so try to line it up just right. Make sure that it latch is lined up vertically with the catch to be able to depress it easily, but high enough to actually stop as it catches the catch. Then, with a pencil, make marks to drill your pilot holes with a drill bit. While you’re inserting the screws, you can see that once they are in place, they allow the latch to slide up and down to correct positioning mistakes. That is an amazingly useful design. Slide the latch up and down to connect with the cabinet catch. Drill the screws in tightly once the latch is in the correct place.
Lastly, once your are sure of your placement, screw in the third and final screw to the door latch to secure it.
When you close your cabinet, and pull on it slightly, the door opens about an inch to allow the depressor to show. Simply place a finger on the mark, press and pull open your door.
The ease and speed of being able to get into my cabinets is why I chose these locks. I can have a handful of recycling and open the cabinet with one hand. Red can’t open them, which is excellent, and guests can still use them without struggling.
Since Red is so curious, I still left him one cabinet without a latch. The Tupperware cabinet allows him to help “cook” but still be safe. I’ve also been told that young children who are allowed to play with utensils and storage containers like Tupperware have increase sense of rhythm and sound. Awesome! Red’s destined to be the next American Idol.