Kitchen organization can be a challenge. It doesn’t matter if you have a large or small kitchen, you still need a plan to ensure you know where everything is and be able to easily access it. There are so many things to keep track of that are used often like appliances, utensils, plates and bowls, glasses, pots, pans and plastic food containers. And of course there’s food and spices. Then there’s cookie sheets, muffin tins, cutting boards, serving platters, roasting pans or other things you may not use as often.
Read on to discover the best organization ideas to keep your kitchen beautiful and functional!
Having your refrigerator organized saves you time and money because you can easily see what you have to help plan meals and avoid buying duplicate items. This helps your overall kitchen organization!
- First, take everything out. Throw away all that has expired. Do a thorough cleaning of the shelves, drawers and walls.
- Line the shelves and drawers to help keep shelves and drawers clean and fruits and vegetables fresh longer.
- Draw a picture of the inside of your refrigerator and divide it by category of the type of food you use most frequently. Some examples of categories include: dairy, meats, vegetables, condiments, sauces, drinks, snacks, leftovers. Label the different zones for each category.
- Then begin replacing the items according to what you have mapped out on your drawing, making a list as you go.
- Post the list on the front of the refrigerator and mark items off as you use them. When you make your grocery list and prepare for meals, you will know exactly what you have!
Your freezer is a valuable tool if organized correctly. You can prolong the life of produce, stock up on meat and fish, and cook and freeze ahead of time to save a ton of time on busy weeknights.
- Just like organizing the refrigerator, the first step is to empty out the entire contents of the freezer, throw away anything that is expired and wipe down the shelves, bins and walls.
- Divide the freezer into zones for different categories according to what you usually stock: meat, breakfast items, vegetables, potatoes, convenience meals/snacks, etc.
- Replace the items putting them into their proper zone. Make a list of everything as you are stocking the freezer. As you use items from the freezer, mark them off the list.
3. Kitchen cabinets
Kitchen cabinets are usually packed with all sorts of glasses, dishes, cookware, ingredients just to name a few. Storing all these essentials in an organized, easily accessible manner is key to making the most of your time cooking, eating, and entertaining.
- First, remove everything from the cabinet. Wipe down the shelves and sides of the cabinet.
- Before putting anything back into the cabinet, put down kitchen cabinet liners to help keep the cabinet tidy and items in place.
- When organizing upper cabinets, place items that are used less frequently on the top shelf.
- Put heavier items like pots and pans in bottom cabinets.
- Make use of cabinet organizing tools like stacked racks, shelves, dividers or turntables.
- Create zones within each cabinet so like items are together such as glasses, plates, spices, etc.
- Place items in proximity to how they are used. For example, spices next to the stove or plates and glasses next to the sink and/or dishwasher.
The secret ingredient to most of our cooking, some spices are used nearly every day and some every so often. It is important to store them in a cool, dark place to preserve their flavor. Being able to quickly see what you have will help you cook more efficiently and avoid buying duplicates. There are several ways to organize your spices!
- When deciding where to store spices, choose a space that is close to your prep area.
- Label each spice and include the date of purchase.
- Put the spices you use most often up front where they are most easily accessible.
- If storing in a cabinet, utilize tiered shelves so you can easily see the spices stored in the back. Another great option is a slide out spice storage tray or a spice rack that fits on a wall or the inside of the cabinet door.
- Some prefer to store spices on the counter to always be at arm’s length and use a spice revolving rack to keep them organized and the counter in order.
- My favorite way is to organize spices in a drawer. They are alphabetized and I can grab everything I need in seconds.
5. Dish towels
Dish towels are used every day and need to be changed out for a clean towel often. As a result, it is good practice to go through them every six months or so and get rid of those that are torn or stained. Relocate those to where you store your cleaning cloths and get a second life out of them!
- Use clear storage bins in a cabinet.
- Store towels in a drawer near the sink.
- Hang your towel on a counter-top rack.
- Use bars that hang over the cabinet door.
- Pull out your selection of towels from an under-the-sink bin.
6. Kitchen cleaning products
Make cleaning your kitchen so much easier by having your supplies handy and stored properly. Because much of the kitchen space is used to store utensils, dishes and pots and pans, you might need to get creative when deciding where to store the cleaning supplies.
The most important thing is to store them safely. If you have children or pets in the home, make sure cleaning supplies are out of their reach.
- The easiest place to keep dish soap and sponges is right on the counter near the sink.
- Having an under-sink caddy is nice to keep other cleaning products in reach but out of sight like dishwasher detergent, scrub pads, extra dish soap and products to clean the kitchen. If you have small children, make sure you keep this cabinet safely locked!
- Or you can keep a stocked carrying caddy in your laundry or mudroom with items you may not use every day.
An organized pantry allows you to meal prep, cook, and even clean faster and more efficiently, freeing up more of your time to do other things. You will be less likely to have expired food because you know what you have. An organized pantry will also help you replace items you have run out of so you have them on hand the next time you need them.
- For a proper pantry renovation, I recommend taking everything out. Pantries can often be a place where things land that do not belong there.
- Sort through the food items and discard anything that has expired. Relocate anything that doesn’t belong in the pantry.
- Inventory the items you have left and create zones based on that inventory such as canned goods, pasta, rice, breakfast, baking items and snacks.
- Select proper tools for your needs based on each zone:
- Label everything! Using a label maker ensures items are clearly marked.
8. Pots and pans
Cookware is one of the more expensive investments in the kitchen. Taking care of them and storing them properly will ensure they have a long life, thus saving money from avoiding buying replacements as often.
- Invest in a pull out cabinet system that organizes pots and lids.
- Use a rack to avoid having to nest pots, thus avoiding extra scratches and dings.
- Hang them from the ceiling or from a wall.
9. Plastic storage containers and lids
Oh the stories we can tell about the Tupperware cupboard! Just like lost socks in the dryer, there are always plastic storage pieces that seem to disappear. Organizing your food storage containers and lids will pay off because you will be able to save leftovers and not have to buy replacement containers and lids.
- First gather up all plastic ware pieces and put them on the counter or kitchen table. Recycle any that are damaged or missing the lid.
- Consider what you have remaining. A good rule of thumb is to keep enough to store one week’s worth of leftovers. If you have more than what you need, consider using them in another part of the house to store other things or donate them to someone you know who could use them.
- Whether you store plastic wear in a drawer or cabinet, nest them so they take up less space. Use an organizer to keep the container and lids together. There are also racks and turntables used to store plastic containers.
10. Smart refrigerator
We have many digital options today to help keep us organized. A smart refrigerator is one that’s connected to the cloud. Depending on the features built into the fridge, it lets you do such things as use your smartphone to see what’s inside; send and receive notes and calendar entries that will appear on the fridge’s screen; and even get alerts if the refrigerator’s door is left open.
Imagine yourself at the grocery store. You’ve forgotten your list. You can ask your refrigerator if you are out of eggs and milk!
Some models allow you to sync your family’s calendar and give you reminders.
11. Charging station
Electronic devices have made our lives much more organized in many ways. However, their cords, chargers and batteries have contributed to increased clutter in the home. There are multiple charging station options to wrangle these devices neatly while they are charging. Locating these stations in the kitchen area is a natural choice because the kitchen is truly the hub of the home.
- Use a device that not only charges multiple devices but keeps them neat and organized while charging.
- Consider a charging station for each person in the family that charges a phone, watch and ear buds.
- There are many creative ideas for incorporating a charging station into kitchen cabinetry.
12. Kitchen drawer
Drawers are a great addition to kitchen cabinets. They range from shallow drawers with custom storage accessories to allow for easy storage of utensils, cooking tools and spices to keep drawers to store pots and pans. Drawers also allow the space to be accessed without having to open doors and pull out a shelf, so may offer less of an obstacle to traffic flow in the kitchen.
- An expandable cutlery drawer organizer ensures a perfect fit in any size drawer.
- Store like items together like pots and pans, casserole dishes, mixing bowls. Use drawer dividers to designate specific space for each.
A beautiful and organized kitchen is within your reach. You just need a plan and a little patience. Take your time and give yourself grace to not try and do it all at once. Once you have a place for everything, it makes life so much easier from putting away groceries to planning meals to cleaning. Take the first step today!
For more organizing inspiration, check out the 97 Best Organization Ideas.