How to Have an Organized Kitchen You Can Be Proud Of
Inside: Kitchen organization tips regardless of the size of your kitchen. Step through each area in your kitchen with these tips and download your free printable.
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Challenges of Kitchen Organization
Whenever anyone sees the inside of my house for the first time, I receive the normal compliments until we enter the kitchen. Then the usual response is a surprised exclamation of, “Oh, it’s so small!”
I do have a small kitchen, but seeing how I hate to cook, the size of my kitchen isn’t important to me. However, a smaller kitchen does make it difficult to keep it organized and clutter-free.
Regardless of the size of your kitchen, it’s hard to keep the kitchen organized because it serves so many purposes:
- many families gather in the kitchen naturally
- the kitchen is often located in a walk-through area, making it easy to leave things that aren’t food-related in the kitchen
- even if you don’t consider yourself a “cook”, most of us have multiple cooking gadgets
- multiple family members use this room multiple times a day, probably more than other room in the house
- this room creates more trash than other room in the house
Related: How to Create a Special School Paper and Artwork Organizer
Kitchen Organization Tips – Area by Area
Instead of tackling the whole kitchen at once, I suggest breaking it up by area. What areas are the most problematic for you? In my home, it’s the counter which I use for meal preparation, the kids eat their breakfast on it, and they do their homework on it. On any given day, food prep on this counter would be questionable.
At the end of this post is a free printable you can download to help you tackle your kitchen.
Under the Sink
Under the sink is a hard space to maximize with plumbing taking up a huge and awkward amount of room, most of us throw cleaning supplies under the sink. Every once in a while, I go digging under the sink for something and come out with 3 unopened bottles of handsoap that may have been there since I moved in.
This under sink organizer is adjustable to account for different plumbing and different sized sinks. The organizer moves around for the pipes to fit through the shelves and is adjustable both up and down and side to side.
Everyone has a junk drawer, there’s no way of getting around it. You can clean it out, but it’s coming back. To keep it semi-organized I reuse small, sturdy boxes that fit inside my drawer, like the box from an iPad or iPhone is very sturdy and will last for years in my junk drawer.
Alternately, you can buy dividers like the ones below. These are handy to have if you ever need to wash your dividers since they are made with plastic.
Expanding the Life of Your Food
How often do you clean out your panty only to find your canned goods have actually expired because of the mess? This stackable can rack can hold up to 36 cans, go in your panty, and best of all – no hardware needed to assemble.
I’ve been using storage containers like the ones below for years, ever since I found weevils in my flour. Now, all my flour, sugars, and other baking supplies go into storage containers. These containers have interchangeable lids and come with the cute labels and marker.
I stock my pantry with snacks the kids can take on their way out the door to school. That means my pantry can be a mess of opened packages, empty container, and half-eaten food if I’m paying attention.
Instead, I put a few large containers in the pantry and then open the packages and put them in the containers so little hands can grab and go. Usually, I buy in bulk so I use a huge cardboard box from the individual packed Goldfish, for example. But, if you want your pantry to clean and organized, the containers below will do the job.
Keeping healthy snacks for the kids the BPA free containers like the ones below is helpful if the fridge is a mess from little hands grabbing snacks. These organization containers are stackable and can go in the fridge, freezer, or pantry.
Trying to keep your pots with your baking sheets means you’re constantly stacking and restacking. Most of us don’t have the room to designate different cabinets so they must share the room. But adding a couple of dividers on one shelf to separate your baking sheets will simplify your cabinet space.
How many hours of our lives have we spent bent over looking for a Tupperware lid that matches the bowl we’re using? I finally gave up and threw out all my odds and ends and bought a new set. Now, to prevent it from happening again, I keep them all together in a wire rack similar to the one below. This prevents the lids from taking over the whole cabinet and somehow multiplying in number.
Here are a couple of kitchen organization tips that cost nothing yet make a huge difference.
- Keep a full roll of trash bags in the bottom of my trashcan. When my trash is full, I don’t need to go back into the pantry and find another trash bag. It’s waiting at the bottom of the trashcan. I do this for all of the trashcans in my house – big and small.
- Reuse sturdy cardboard lids for my spices. I reuse lids from Apple products or other small but sturdy products that you almost hate to throw away the packaging and use it organize my spices and junk drawers.
- Use wall space. I hang my pot holders and other utensils with just a nail. I’m not handy so I can’t install anything fancy, but I can pound one nail into the wall and hang my pot holders, measuring spoons, and often used utensils.
Now that you have some kitchen organization tips you can organize your kitchen, area by area, with the printable on the left. Or use the printable to organize and declutter the rest of your house. Download it for free here.
Need more inspiration? Read the other posts in this series. This is a 5-post series with five bloggers. Each week 5 bloggers give you ideas and suggestions for organizing and decluttering a different area of your home. Check out the whole series here!
Great ideas! I love your Tupperware storage tip…those things can be such a pain. That wire container keeps them corralled nicely!
I love your no cost tips. Such clever ideas.
I also love those clear plastic refrigerator organizer bins! We use one to hold all the “sandwich fixings” for the week. Makes lunch prep quick and easy to pull one bin out that has what we need… and it’s all together and sorted in the fridge. Great ideas!
I know this takes up space but saves me headaches and a back ache. I store all lock and lock or any storage with a lid with the lids on. Period. No searching and frustration. I have a big enough kitchen. I have a skinny cabinet with sheet pans etc in it. I have an island we made from a ready made cabinet from Lowe’s. I made a butler pantry from a used 2 piece China cabinet and sunk it into the wall where the frustratingly useless pantry was. The open shelf is where our daily dishes are. Glasses, soda stream and a toaster are on the bottom shelf. Linens, carafes and baking dishes are in the bottom. Pretty colorful glassware is behind the glass doors. We created actual cabinet space for food, pills, alcohol mixers, baking items etc. I have pull out drawers for pots and glass bowls. I have a lower cabinet lazy Susan. I have a hanging pot rack. We extended the area behind the sink and made a bar top. One would think I have a handle on organization. But no, I cannot find the storage items that work. Junk,tools, mail, recycling and food end up on the island and any free counter space. I cannot find storage for the bar top that works. I got a set of shallow wood baskets that hold stuff. But stuff piles up. Hubs is a big reason but not all the reason. I turned the hall linen closet into the pantry. I have baskets but stuff is anywhere and everywhere. I often buy food I am out of only to find it’s underneath bags of pasta or stevia sugar. Most pantry organization is for putting pasta, flours etc in different clear containers. I don’t use much can food. I use gf flour and the bags are small just like the stevia. My pantry problem is more like snacks, soda cans, bottle of sauces, box mixes Not things you put into some other container.
We just got a new oven and microwave. It has me cleaning and decluttering. But I need help with the storage and nice looking storage on the island. Any ideas?
It sounds like you’ve tried just about everything! Size of your family can definitely make a difference too for how much food you need to keep on hand and organized. I don’t have an island but I have an extended counter for eating with bar stools and stuff collects daily on the top of the counter. I think it’s an ongoing struggle to keep it clear and looking nice. But the biggest tip I’ve tried is to not allow any storage on top – including no bills, mail not even a bowl of fruit (that goes on the table). After meals or meal prep, clean it off completely and store everything you normally put on the island elsewhere – either underneath or get hanging organizers.
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