9 Practical Tips For A More Organized Kitchen

tips for an organized kitchen

Since clearing out my kitchen cupboards recently, I’ve been able to move many of the items I used to keep on the countertop into that newly freed up cupboard space. What a difference it made — my kitchen looks bigger and brighter than ever now!

That got me thinking about other ways I could streamline and achieve my goal of an organized kitchen while making my kitchen both easier to use and nicer to look at. After some research and brainstorming, I came up with 9 practical kitchen organization tips to share with you today.

Check them out and see what you might be able to use in your own kitchen!

9 Practical Tips For A More Organized Kitchen

kitchen organization

1. Get Rid Of Unnecessary Items

Every good organizing effort should start with an effort to identify and get rid of any unnecessary clutter in the area. Go through your stuff and figure out what you can sell, donate, or give away, which will both reduce the amount of items you have to organize later, and make it easier to do so by freeing up some additional storage space.

(Drawing a blank? This list of kitchen items to get rid of should give you some ideas.)

kitchen organization

2. Consider Your Countertops

In many kitchens, countertop space is extremely valuable real estate, so be mindful of how you’re using yours. Avoid cluttering them up with too much stuff — a good rule of thumb is to limit your countertop to items you use every day, and keep everything else in a cupboard, drawer, etc.

For more tips that can help you tidy up your countertops, check out my list of what should be kept on the counter.

kitchen organization

3. Store Ingredients In Space-Saving Containers

Store bulk ingredients like flour and sugar in neat, stackable containers and label them so you can easily find what you need. These storage containers have saved me a lot of shelf space in my pantry!

Plus, you can refill your containers by shopping in the bulk section at the store. These items are often quite a bit cheaper than their packaged counterparts, so it’s a smart way to save money.

kitchen organization

4. Keep Fruit In A Fruit Basket

Corral produce that doesn’t need to be kept in the refrigerator in a wire fruit basket. Fruit baskets not only allow you to easily see what you have on hand, but they also allow for airflow that will keep your fruit fresh longer — a win-win!

kitchen organization

5. Hang Things Up On Adhesive Hooks

Use adhesive Command hooks to hang your oven mitts or pot holders somewhere near your oven. This will free up space in your drawers and keep your oven mitts closer to the area where you use them most.

You can also use Command hooks to hang measuring spoons and other small items on the inside of a cupboard door or wherever they’d be handiest. It’s a lot easier than digging for them in a drawer!

kitchen organization

6. Use Your Cupboard Doors

Speaking of the insides of your cupboard doors, another way to use that space is to hang the lids to your pots there. You can do this with Command hooks by using two hooks at the bottom to support the lid, along with one at the top to hold it in place.

Cookware lids can be one of those things that take up a lot of space when stored elsewhere, so this could free up some very valuable storage space in your kitchen. (And check out other ways to use Command hooks here.)

kitchen organization

7. Keep Necessities Close

Set up an area somewhere near your stove to store your most-used cooking items. For instance, I keep cooking oils, a ramekin of salt, and a pepper grinder next to my stove, since I use those all the time when I’m cooking.

You can do the same thing with your coffee-making supplies or other often used items. Arranging them on a nice platter (there are some pretty cute ones at Home Goods!) will help keep them neat and organized.

kitchen organization

8. Find The Right Organizers

If there’s something in your kitchen that has become an organizational pain point, do a search on Amazon or Google, looking for “[item name] organizer.” You’ll be amazed at the types of organizers you can find for coffee and tea, underneath your sink, and spices and seasonings.

Finding the right organizer can be a game-changer. For instance, this adjustable rack for pots and pans can be configured in a dizzying number of different ways, making it easy to find the ideal setup for your unique collection of cookware.

kitchen organization

9. Think Creatively

There are plenty of items that can help you get organized that aren’t considered “kitchen items,” like pegboard, mason jars, and magnets. Pegboard is highly versatile and can provide additional storage space for all sorts of things.

You can use mason jars to corral and store things, and you can use magnets to turn any metal surface (and some non-metal ones!) into more storage space.

Want Even More Kitchen Organizing Hacks?

How do you keep your kitchen organized?

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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Homekeeping Tips

  • I was fortunate enough to have a bedroom off of my kitchen that I turned into a “butler’s pantry” and put two sets of large industrial shelves side by side and keep small appliances , pots and pans on one along with baking pans, etc. and the other holds stacking clear canisters that I have labeled with all of my baking products from flours and sugars, to nuts. I also had a large file box and notebooks that contain recipes which are handy to grab. I am also fortunate enough to have a small table with four chairs in the center of the room for the overflow of company we get during the holidays. Love this room!!!!!! which helps keeps my kitchen more organized.

  • Yes, I love my roll-out drawers for pots and pans, you can see where they all are at a moment’s notice. Storing the bulky crockpots and food processors, foreman grills is also a great way to use these deep drawers!!
    the other comments shared are all great ideas as well as Britta’s original organized kitchen post. Thanks, CKay K.

  • Wow what great ideas! I have been receiving these emails all week and putting off reading them because I knew I would want to reorganize everything immediately (and of course I do!) I live in Puerto Rico right now and am still getting used to all the moisture in the air. Foods go bad much quicker here and you must get rid of all cardboard because bugs love them. I’m a freak about any bugs in my house yuck! I use many of the techniques you mention already but I need a drawer organizer and I MUST GET RID OF UNUSED THINGS! Let’s say this together Carley it’s ok to get rid of unused things! Whew ok I feel better. Thanks Jillee for your amazing blog you help my life so much seriously!

  • […] all the helpful tips, tricks, and ideas we’ve shared with you this week. We started out in the Kitchen, moved to the Family Room, Bedroom, Bathroom, and left off in the Garage yesterday. Today we wrap […]

  • I’m lucky to have a rarely large kitchen with a pantry so I have the pantry cabinet organized with clear bins for smaller items and wire shelves on top of the built in shelves. My challenge is organizing the plastic containers we use for leftovers. Ugh………a nightmare of messy proportions.

  • I use plastic storage containers for things I buy in bulk like flour,sugar, rice, etc and store inside cabinets leaving more counter space for my Kitchenaid and food processor and such.

  • I use a hanging shoe pocket to store water bottles and small thermos bottles on the back of a door. I recently swapped out all the plastic canisters and containers (the famous brand that starts with a T and ends with ‘ware’) for 1/2 gallon and quart mason jars. I can label then up close to the neck, line them up 3 deep in the pantry and still see what’s in them. Glass food storage is so much safer than plastic! And if you have a lot of flour, pasta, rice or beans you can oven can them and they will be safe from bugs or spoilage for up to 10 years.

  • one of my favorite finds for kitchen organization was a 3-tier hanging wire basket at World Market for under $10. i use it for fruits/veggies that don’t need refrigeration. It’s in plain view so we remember to eat the healthy stuff, plus it doesn’t use up valuable counter space.

  • I have a newly expanded kitchen, but before it was redone, I organized all the shelves in the pantry to hold smaller things in themed bins. Baking supplies, pre made mixes, pastas, chips, breakfast snacks. Makes it much easier to grab and go as they are all stacked vertically inside the bin.

  • I love the kitchen drawer divider idea, but my drawers are only 12″ wide. Well I’m gonna try putting them in longways from side to side, maybe I can get more in there.

  • I live in an apartment complex and have very little cabinet space. I use my bottom drawer of my stove to store all my pots and pans plus all their lids. My mom has a double oven and she stores a few skillets in them also. Unfortunately i have only one deep drawer in my kitchen which I store all odds and ends. My washer and dryer are also in my kitchen so I utilize the shelf above them with trash bags, storage bags, foil along with my detergents which helps tremendous.

  • I have tall cupboards in my kitchen and I am 5’3″. Lazy Susan’s are great for accessing things that are on the higher shelves. The very fronts of the shelves I can reach and with the lazy Susan’s everything I need can easily come to the front.

  • I just keep working at cleaning out things I just don’t use. It is freeing when you can look into a cupboard or drawer that isn’t stuffed to the max.

  • I try to keep everything grouped together in my pantry that goes together, such as cans of soup and crackers. This defiantl makes it easier for my kids.

  • My rather small pantry has shelves starting about 3 or 4 feet off the floor. I bought a wire grid type rolling unit that has two pull-out drawers and a top on it to use for things like boxes of plastic bags, paper bags, foil, dishtowels, and anything else that I can’t find an easy place to store. I think I got it at the Container Store when I found it on sale (it’s been a number of years ago).

  • […] this week we are focusing on organizing our homes…room by room. So far we’ve addressed the Kitchen, the Family Room, and the Bedroom. Things are about to get even more intimate as we head into the […]

  • My kitchen is a small galley style but I have wall space because of our high ceilings. My husband hung shelves for me with a short frontage so I can store everything in 1/2 gallon sized Mason jars. I love them because no bugs or weird smells get in, everything stays fresh so much longer, I can see exactly what I have and what I’m running out of, and it’s a constantly changing array of prettiness! I will always use this storage system no matter how big my next kitchen is!

  • Systems for organizing the leftovers really help to save time and money. I am a big fan of rolling over items into new meals and if my kitchen pantry is organized I am much more creative while cooking. That motivates me!

  • Eight kids, 1 mom, and 1 dad can go through a LOT of water glasses in a day. It’s been almost 10 years since I first made “water glass bracelets” with alphabet beads and elastic beading string with each of our names. No mixed up glasses = one glass per person per day. We even made a bunch for our guests with words like “perfect”, “cute”, “dishwasher”, “happy”, “green thumb”, etc.

  • I have hoarding tendencies so when I can’t find the ziploc bags or plastic wrap within seconds after searching a dark lower cabinet, I just assume I am out and buy more! Now, I have metal baskets (modified to be removable) attached to the back of the pantry door. Instead of having 6 rolls of aluminum foil and buying more, I can see and reach for exactly what I need. I use the same baskets to store travel water bottles/mugs/pouch which always seem to fall over in my cabinets.

  • I had an extra dish drainer, with slots that looks like this – http://www.walmart.com/ip/16408612 I repurposed it to keep all of my pot lids. The rack fits perfectly in the cabinet beneath the kitchen counter and it’s very easy to pull out any lid. I think that was a very useful idea. I am happy that I could bring that rack to organize the pot lids.

  • I just setup a pantry in my basement closet using wire cubes. Our kitchen is rather small and there just wasn’t enough space to fit everything but now I’ve got a dedicated space for overflow and I didn’t spend any extra money because I used the wire cubes that used to be my closet.

  • I am LOVING these organization posts! I have been telling myself and my significant other for quite some time now that we should hang stuff up on the kitchen walls, bathroom walls etc. to use up all of that extra/unused space! But he just looks at me like ‘It’s nice that you are being creative, but I don’t feel like it’ HA! Well, Even though I currently cannot afford to buy some things to accomplish this, I do have some pretty good ideas.. I really like the image in this post of the kitchen tools hanging up on a wall, and it made me think about it… I’m not exactly a thorough duster, and i certainly do not dust on a daily basis… so if I don’t use some things often, but will use them in the future, perhaps I could get/make a medicine cabinet type of deal with clear front to see what i’ve got hung up inside. hmmmm. that could be modified in so many ways! That way they are up and out of the way, organized and protected from the dust or people sneeze germs! Awhile back I realised I wasn’t going to have the space for all of my kitchen utensils, so i cut the top off of a couple of hawaiian punch containers and put them all in there. That helped ease up clutter quite a bit, but now i had decided that I don’t like it that way anymore. SO seeing this post has caused my mind to roll again :D YAY! haha.

    Some other things that I found most interesting were the spice rack idea and baking dish/cookie sheet dividers… I may just have to find a way to make something because my cabinets are a terrible terrible mess! BUT with the spice racks, i wonder if you could fit extra unopened bottles underneath the shelves?

    I was wondering, appliances such as toasters… When not in use, do you put them away? I used to do this, but then my significant other kept on nagging about it. -_-. ugh. It’s not like we use it daily, why not free up some space? weeeeellll. I may just have to find some shelves or soemthing. I’d really like to have a pot/pan rack above my island to hang up pots and pans items, bit that is for another day i guess. It would help if my other half would let me eliminate extra bowls/plates/silverware etc. It drives me crazy how many extra things we have that is taking up so much space. Anyone have any tips on how i can convince him otherwise? :P

  • My best tip would be to keep your sink clean. When the dishwasher is full , (or the sink), wash the dishes & put them away. Having a clean sink and counter tops makes your small kitchen appear larger, and gives you more space to cook!

  • I like the idea of hanging things on inside of cabinet doors, but if an item is bulky, doesn’t that cut into the space inside the cabinet? The photo with the measuring cups looks like the cups would be pushing into the items placed so near the front of the cabinet. Just wondering:)

  • I store seasonal items in the high cabinets above the fridge. Seasoning packets (taco, gravies, spaghetti) go in a see through shoe size box. A larger tote holds baking mixes. Staples like oatmeal, pastas, flour, sugar, rice, beans are in gallon jars.

  • I recently moved to a space with a much smaller kitchen but I refused to downsize my spice collection! Magnetic spice holders to the rescue! I used to have metal strips mounted to the inside of a cupboard door to stick my spices, now they are (artistically) stuck on the side of the fridge. Easy to see. Easy to use. My super crafty sister made her own by taking small glass jars (think individual sized jars of fancy jam) and glued a small magnet to the inside if the lid. Screw on the cap and stick it!

  • I added tiered pull out drawers to the inside of my cabinets. Just having a second shelf on top increased my spaci inside two fold, and being able to pull out the drawer enables me to reach items in the back without taking everything in front out.

  • I keep all my dry goods in glass jars if I open a package and don’t use it all. It makes it easier to see when we are running low and the kids can see what snacks they want. I also started using the storage baskets in the fridge and it keeps the bottles organized.

  • I have reduced the amount of space that plastic grocery bags take up by flattening them and rolling them up, layering them over each other and securing with elastics.

  • I LOVE my recipe box. It’s a rubbermaid under the counter opaque box which I spray painted black to match my appliances. The box measures 11″w x 8 1/2″d x 4 1/2″h. You can fit two rows of 3 x 5 cards in it. It’s under the counter, out of the way but yet so handy. I also, spray painted a magnetic metal clip which I attached to my vent hood to hold my recipes.

  • I definitely need to get a shoe organizer for my pantry. That would free up space and make it much neater to get rid of the little things everywhere. My kitchen is kind of a mess right now, but I do like to keep my bulk items in storage containers. It is so much easier to get flour out of there than from the bag. Thanks for all the tips!

  • I have for 30+ year placed lazy susans in my fridge. At one house i have a side by side. One lazy susan on the top shelf and one on the second shelf. Great for jars, butter tubs, parmesan chese etc. The other house fridge is freeze on the bottom so on the top shelf i have two lazy susans and used for the same thing. This has been a life saver for all these years. Nothing is hidden anymore and i use everything now. Husband loves it and also puts. Thing back now where they belong. Good luck people. Kat

  • I reorganized and added more shelves to my pantry last spring, best thing I ever did!

    Then I got 3 gallon food grade buckets from my local bakery (for free) to put all my loose baking goodies in. I put the muffin papers, chocolate chips, bags of nuts, decorating sugars and sprinkles, etc… all the stuff that doesn’t stack well by itself into the buckets, labeled the side of the bucket and I’m able to find what I need quickly now. I ended up using 4 buckets and some other small boxes for gravy mixes, rice or noodle packets, etc. It has really helped me stay organized in the pantry!

    My next projects are the office and our unfinished basement in the next couple of weeks. So this article and the upcoming ones came at the perfect time!

  • I love my pull out drawers in my lower cabinets. I can hoard all I want and pull out the drawer to see everything and grab just what I need without it getting lost.

  • We too, have a small kitchen. I have 2 lazy susans for my spices and 2 tool turnabouts on my counter. I use a silverware tray on top of my microwave since I don’t have a drawer wide enough to hold it. I also have bulk containers of dry goods in my pantry.

  • These are some great ideas! My favorite organization tip is I installed a small wire basket on the inside of the door, under the kitchen sink. It is big enough to hold the scrub pads, brush for thin/long containers that need cleaning, rubber gloves, etc. It is so nice to have everything in one spot and it not taking up precious drawer space. Plus, since it is a wire basket, the wet items will dry quickly!

  • The best part of this is – this email came in on the day i was setting up plans to revamp the kitchen organization LOL. To keep the kitchen flowing now; i run hot soapy water while I’m cooking so I can wash the utensils and such used to assemble the meal prior to eating; which saves cleanup time and leave counter space available for further cooking/assembly

  • Great ideas! I’m ready to clean out every cupboard and drawer in the kitchen and organize. My baking cupboard has a lazy susan that holds bins of flour, sugar and the like. Very handy and stays uncluttered.

  • Instead of purchasing a vertical bakeware organizer, I picked up a file folder organizer at the thrift store for just $1. It holds my cutting boards and baking sheets just as well!

  • Kitchen size is not an issue in my house but the drawer space is limited. One of our drawers is designated as the junk drawer- any suggestions for paring that down/ storage?

  • I LOVE the refrigerator containers! Those would help me tremendously to stay organized. I have stackable wire shelves in my pantry for cans of soup, veggies, tuna, etc., and plastic containers for my flour and sugars.

  • I hang my aprons on the side of my fridge using the 3M hooks (does anyone else even use aprons anymore?). I also had some small shelves built into the door of my pantry where I store the smaller bottles/cans of spices. That really opened up a lot of space! Lastly, I have a three tiered lazy susan next to my stove for spatulas, whisks, wooden spoons, etc. It is wonderful, freed up a whole lotta space, is so handy when I’m cooking, and looks nice on the counter! I have a feeling I will be borrowing some of your ideas, too! Thanks so much.

  • I think I have about the same size kitchen, but because of windows (2) and doors (4) in the kitchen of this 1930’s home, there is very little wall space. The refrigerator has to sit in front of the back entrance because the home doesn’t really have a place for a fridge. The narrow cabinets aren’t even wide enough to fit our salad plates. However, the home does have a butler’s pantry which helps immensely. We store our pots/pans/dishes in there. I use containers to store dried beans, different flours (I like to bake), sugar, etc. We have a bookshelf in there to hold canned goods. Our microwave is in that room too. In the main kitchen area, sitting under a window is a 2’x’2 or so cabinet that we keep small appliances in. We love the house with all of its craftsmanship, wood floors, 10′ ceilings, wrap around porch, dormers, but the kitchen leaves us wanting for sure.

  • I don’t have any new tips for kitchen organization, but I am definitely looking for some! I am hoping to buy my first house soon. The one I’ve got my eye on has a really nice but very small kitchen. I will be looking for ways to maximize that space!

  • Like Britta mentioned earlier, I have an over the door shoe holder on the door of my pantry. It is perfect for snacks, especially for my elementary school kids who make their lunches every night. Once I buy a box of granola bars, cereal bars, raisins, etc., I take them out of the box and place in one of the pouches. My kids can easily find them and the box doesn’t get pushed back to the back of pantry.

  • We keep our spices in a couple of those stack-able rotating spice racks by the stove. No more vast array of spice jars in the cupboard and every spice is accessible with a simple spin!

  • My husband put a sheet of metal on the inside of a cupboard door. I then got small metal spice containers with a magnet on the bottom. Labeled the containers with my handy dandy label maker and put them on the metal. Love it, freed up a whole shelf.

  • I use CD holders to put paper back books in on the shelf I can store a bunch and the case doesn’t take up a lot od space. I also use shoe bags on the back of my pantry any door is fair game!! In my hall closet I have a organizer to hold (Clear) my tape measure, screwdrivers, hammer Pencil, three in one oil But I have to watch that cause the oil eats the plastic. but that’s ok I use the one below for long gift wrap holds it up right then my scissors, tape, ribbon go in a row and I can see everything when I open the door, Once I really lucked out and found a double shoe space so I can put stuff in front and taller stuff in the back.

  • Wow. I read this and had a eureka moment. I am single and had a mug tree which took up counter space. Why did I have so many coffee mugs? I immediately threw down my phone and called a.girlfriend to come get all my extra stuff. What she didn’t take will end up at my office. I also got reduced of my glass cups (see of 16) to just 6. I went through my pantry and dumped everything expired (ie. Hamburger Helper) and packed up 2 large paper bags full of canned goods! I a good hoarder. Still loads to go through, however this was a small win. Ha is for the motivation.

  • Our life is highly unpredictable so meal planning never has been a great fit for us, but I keep a running list of all the potential meals and snacks we have ingredients for hanging on the fridge. That way we don’t have to search through the cupboards/fridge/freezer to figure out what there is to eat. This helps keep me organized in the kitchen!

  • […] smoothly. Yesterday we tackled one of the most challenging rooms in the house….the kitchen (click here to read the post.) Today we focus on one of the rooms we spend the most time in…the family room. While we are […]

  • 5. Use heavy bookends to store: plates vertically! Cookie sheets and bakeware! Cutting mats and boards. To vertically store flattened Frozen ziploc items in freezer :-) (note, I do line bottom of cabinetry with non-slip rubber mat things so plates don’t roll out because of the vertical storage!)

    6. I tape boxes of plastic bags to the tops and sides of cabinets to free up space as well.

  • 1. Use a magnetic knive strip!
    2. Use metal s- hooks to hang pots and pans from a baker’s rack.
    3. Use racks in cabinets to stack plates in cupboard to double space and have easier access.
    4. Use an under sink rack that fits around all that piping. I store all my mixing bowls and such here!

  • Here’s an idea–attach a piece of sheet metal to the underneath side of your upper cabinets with wood glue and then short screws for reinforcement. Use epoxy to glue round magnets to the top of your spice jars and store them hanging underneath the cabinets. I came up with this idea, but I’m still trying to convince my husband to help me implement it.

  • I like having a curtain rod – the spring-loaded kind – under my sink to hang spray bottles of cleaning solutions on so that they don’t take up valuable floor space under my sink.

  • I use lazy susans in my cupboards to keep my spices organized. I also LOVE command hooks! We are in an apartment currently so having the command hooks be removable is a must for me for hanging my aprons and pot holders. I havent tried the vertical bakeware organizer, but I want one sooooo bad! Love this post! Thanks Jillee!!!

  • A tip to reduce the amount of bottles in your spice rack is to buy only the amount you need for a specific recipe. In Southern California we have Sprouts which sells spices by the ounce. I hate to buy a bottle of something when trying a new recipe, knowing I might never use it again. So I take my teaspoon with me to the store and only buy the small amount I need. Then it’s easy to just dump that directly into the bowl come cooking/baking time. I also take my cup measure when I buy rice, etc. That way I’m never left with a minuscule amount that isn’t enough for a meal.
    Another organizational tip for me is storing chocolate chips and baking additions like that in one of those plastic shoebox containers. I stack that one on another that holds birthday candles and Wilton-type baking supplies, like lollipop sticks and cellophane bags.

  • Like Britta, I have lumped all my ‘like’ items together in spaces near where I would use them. Coffee/Tea together near the coffee maker, baking items near my mixer etc . . .

  • To keep all my cooking utensils (spatulas, large spoons, wisks, etc.) at hand I found a large ceramic container that holds them all and I keep it next to my stove. The container wipes easy when it is splattered with food, my drawers are less cluttered and looks nice too!
    To help my kids at snack time know what they can eat and how much, I placed all their snacks on designated shelves and on the door I printed and attached a list of what a healthy and appropriate snack is. For us it is a small serving of bread/cracker, a serving of dairy and a serving of fruit.

  • We recently built a new house. (It was a downsize from the house we lived in before, but we do what we must to live on one teacher’s income so I can stay home with our daughter.) The kitchen has a great layout, but has much less counter and cabinet space than I was used to. I am in the kitchen a lot so in addition to getting rid of a lot of unnecessary stuff, I had the builders put a pocket door in place if the regular door of my laundry room (which opens off of the kitchen/dining area) to save space and my husband built custom shelves all in one side of the laundry room so it can double as a pantry!

  • My house is not conducive to cooking. It was built by a man, for a man.

    *sigh*

    With that, I had to take all the extra gadgets, put them in a silverware organizer and put them in a tall cabinet in the laundry room, which backs up to the kitchen. The potato masher, cork screw and birthday candles are among the items stored there, but they DO get used, so I can’t throw them out.

  • I was just going through some cupboards and decided I wanted my oatmeal easily accessible, so I pulled all the packets out of their boxes and put them in a bin. Then I put the tea in a basket on the counter so it gets used and not forgotten. I got a storage bench for the dining table and store the larger items like my breadmaker that I use often enough to keep nearby but is too big for the counter or the pantry. I think that’s all I have organized. The rest is a headache. :-)

  • I use mason jars to store dried beans. I use dollar store shoe boxes to hold gravy, taco, chili mixes, etc. I use small dollar store bins to hold packets of oatmeal and granola bars.

  • Love the idea on vertical cookie sheet storage.
    Have any good ideas for the cupboards above the refrigerator. So hard to get to. Almost like wasted space.
    Thanks!!

  • I use a two-tiered lazy susan in a cupboard by my stove to keep all my spices. I have them alphabetized so it is easy to find what I am looking for and is convenient for when I am cooking.

  • I have found alot of times when I clean out my kitchen or get rid of it, I need it. There are items I only use now and then or just when occasions arise. So I put all of those items in labeled storage bins, easily accessible stored in the garage or under my stairs.

  • I up cycled an old dish rack into a storage place for pot & pan lids. I also added a dresser in a corner of my dining room as a Tupperware holder & extra counter space.

  • We have a very small kitchen as well, with very limited drawer space and countertops. I bought a Bygel rod, hooks and cups from IKEA several years and hung it under the counter, next to the stove to hang all the cooking spoons, spatulas, and other utensils. I have another one over the sink with baskets for sponges, scrubbies and dishsoap. I also bought a magnetic knife rack which keeps the knives in view and easy to reach. I love the idea of using Command hooks for cups and measuring spoons and will give that a try.

  • Thanks for all the great tips. Can you please tell me were you got your Copco salad spinner? Mine broke recently after using it for 20 years and I can’t find one anywhere.

    Love your blog <3

  • I store my cleaning products in a caddy with handle under the sink, so when I need to clean, it goes with me when cleaning. Also, store cookbooks in bookcase outside kitchen.

  • I have a kitchen that is 8×10 and I think it is more than enough for everything I have. one wall is a pantry closet, one has the fridge and sink, another the stove and some counter space and the last is a counter/bar opening into the living room. i have only 2 walls for cabinets and shelves. maybe it’s just that i don’t keep anything that i don’t use often enough to justify it’s place here. i go by “one thing in – one thing out”. i have everything i need here including a place for my dehydrater and my vacuum sealer. the floor space in the pantry is for my emergency water storage and cat food. with all of that, it isn’t cramped or crowded at all. of course maybe i feel this way because my apartment is 484 square feet and i moved here from an efficiency apartment that was 330 square feet.

    being a neat freak your ideas for the fridge are great. my favorite thing in my kitchen is a magnetic knife rack that also holds other metal utensils.

  • I am downsizing and will be sharing a kitchen, so many things are finding new homes. I found multiples of several items, and have given away a large portion of them.

  • This article came at the PERFECT time! We just moved from a large home with acreage in the country to a small condo in the city and although my kitchen has some storage, the unit itself doesn’t. Everything feels discombobulated and unorganized and it’s been bugging me for weeks!! We DO love to entertain, which is why we’ve kept more dishes and glass wear than only two of us need, but I feel we can go further. Your ideas have given me that boost I’ve needed to tackle this project! God is awesome on His timing (as always) and you guys are amazing! Thank you!! :)

  • I keep chocolate chips, raisins, and other dried fruits on the counter in large decorative glass jars. It makes a decorative statement on my counter, while at the same time creating more space in my cupboards and keeping things easily within reach that I use often in baking.

  • Hi,

    I already do most of the things you have shown above because I am an organizational nut, and am always on the lookout for new ways to make life easier.

    One thing I will say is that it’s important not to buy some cool organizing tool/gadget if you truly don’t need it. It’s so tempting to buy those cutesy, color-coordinated items, but if you don’t have a place or the space, pass ’em by!

    One trick of mine is to mount the paper towel rack to the underneath portion of the cupboard closest to the sink so that paper towels are easily accessible and off the counter.

    Thanks for all the tips–keep them coming! :)

  • I agree with your comment about putting like items with like in larger containers. I put all of my baking related or smaller tools ((measuring spoons, graters, egg cutters, apple cutters, etc) together in a box in my lazy susan so that they stay contained and all in one place.

  • I had an 8 inch shelf installed above the top of my back splash and then stacked wooden crates from Beverly’s on the ledge to house containers of baking ingredients and a few cookbooks. It is an odd area in my old house and this arrangement makes for a modifiable storage area. It was also less expensive than building in shelves!

  • I use a tiered spice rack as well, but I’ve taken it a step further. Even tho the ones behind are up higher, I still can’t see what most of them are, so I took labels and cut them to size, then write the name of the spice on it and stick it across the cap. That way I can see at a glance what the spices are in the back without pulling out all the ones in the front.

  • If you don’t have much counter space for your good cooking knifes in a block, the best thing is to get a magnet bar to attach to the wall for hanging them on. Also works well if you have metal spatulas and spoons that you use a lot. Just remember to place the magnet away from any phones/chargers/etc. and out of reach from little hands!
    Another handy thing is if you want more seating space at your kitchen table is to build/buy a bench seat. Also if it has space inside it or underneath it’s an awesome place to put the big cooking pots

  • We live full-time in a 40 ft. motorhome. With limited drawer space in our kitchen we had nowhere to keep our sharp knives, so my husband installed a 12 inch magnetic tool holder on the wall behind the stove top. Works great!

  • I am always looking for easier and better ways to keep my kitchen clean and clutter free. Love these suggestions! I have a closet under my steps and it was mostly wasted space. I added shelves of various heights, to take advantage of the space under the stairs and have created a pantry.

  • For lids there are cheap racks that stand them up on the side, works great for all kinds of things. I use a turntable for spices and very small stuff, just a touch and it brings out the stuff in the back. I have no cabinets so everything is always in sight, I keep bulk things in matching plastic containers. Command hooks and cup hooks are great for hanging just about any thing with a handle.

  • Store those things you only use occasionally in another closet or area – like your ice cream maker or fondue pot or bread machine. In the kitchen it is all about location. My philosophy – things on the counter should be used daily or every other day. Things in the near cupboards should be used weekly.

  • I bought a dbl. swivel rack for refrigerator for all those small things and use it on top shelve. Made my second shelf wider for milk, nd taller bottles colder there. It is much neater.

  • I have tried to eliminate clutter by getting rid of anything that can be done by another device. Such as mini choppers, (you can use a knife) for small things. Ice tea machine, (I use a coffee maker). The list is endless. Dish drainer, (I use a cloth), etc….

  • I use baskets in the pantry to corral specifics items: the kids lunch stuff are in one, their snacks in a separate one and we have one for breakfast items too.

  • I got some strong magnets at Hobby Lobby to hang kitchen knives. I use two together for each knife and hang them from the inside of the range hood. It was much easier for me than trying to install a magnetic knife bar.

  • I’m always switching things up…so I loved these ideas…..recently I added 2 hooks inside the doors of a small pantry cupboard…one for a clip board that holds my grocery list, my bi-weekly menu plan and a calendar…..the other for my apron….I’m just old fashioned enough to still love aprons…..

  • I use a really strong magnet (my IT husband gets them from inside old computer hard drives when he takes them apart) inside a pretty tin an affix it to the refrigerator to hold pens and letter opener since I open the mail in the kitchen and immediately pitch the junk mail into the recycle bin. I store the recycle bin in our stove top island cabinet next to a trash can. When the recycle bin is full, I empty it into the larger recycle can we take to the curb come trash/recycle pick up day.

  • Can we ever have enough kitchen room? Probably not. I often go through mugs and dishes to get rid of excess. Hubby built wooden baskets that attach to the sides of under the sink cabinet to hold little brushes and scrubbies. On the floor of that cabinet he built a pull out shelf to hold cleaning supplies. Spices are on a three tiered shelf. Cookie sheets are in a narrow vertical cabinet. food processor and canning jars are on shelves lining the closet above the basement stairs. Liitle used seasonal items are on shelves in the basement.

  • I love and only use stackable tupperwares. Makes my husbands weekly meal prepping so easy. I also use small medicine baskets to organize my spices, putting the most used in the front.

  • I need to apply the let iylt go strategy to my kitchen! Over the years I’ve fallen into the “but what if I need it” trap! Thanks for the gentle reminder that letting go of stuff will make everyone happier!

  • Rachel, how brilliant! Don’t know why I never thought of alphabetizing my spices and herbs. I have spent a lot of time trying to find the ones I need. I’m going to do it right now!

  • I have 2 medium-sized ceramic crocks I keep on my counter. 1 is for large metal cooking utensils such as spoons, spatulas, whisks; the other is for plastic and wooden utensils and spoons. This reduces drawer clutter. I also have a tiny crock which holds 3 sets of measuring spoons.
    These are some great ideas! I especially like the vertical bakeware organizer, Britta.

  • I’ve had vertical storage for baking pans in previous homes, but not in my current apartment. I discovered that I could use some of the “tall” space under my kitchen sink for cookie sheets and pizza pans. The sink pipes serve as the “holder” to keep them from falling over, so I didn’t even need to use a rack/holder for them.

  • Great ideas! I am going to measure one cabinet with frequently used items so I can look for two bins to use as “drawers” for them. I stand the seals to my Tupperware in shoeboxes, but have to stand on my head to find them when I need them!

  • My 11X7 foot kitchen has one 11-foot wall with cupboards, my stove, and a window above the sink. The opposite wall has a doorway, a “Hoosier” hutch and my frig. That doesn’t leave a ton of space! One of the 7-foot walls also has a doorway leading to the backyard. Each 7-foot wall has a 30-inch pegboard. I use it for everything from measuring-cups to cutting boards to aprons. It’s a HUGE asset! And having a pegboard at either end of the kitchen lets me divide and conquer what I use, andwhere I use it.

  • I nest bowls and other things as much as possible to make extra space. Yes it means I have to move things but to me that’s better than using a vertical rack that only let’s me get half as much in there. I also save butter dishes and other small plastic bowls/lids and reuse them for left overs. I have a small shoe box in the cabinet for the lids and they are arranged by size to make it easy to grab the one I need. I also don’t use my oven (I have a small countertop convection oven that I use instead) so my big oven gets used for extra storage for the bigger bulkier items.

  • My kitchen is a good size but has no pantry. I turned the coat closet next to the kitchen into my pantry by adding some stackable plastic shelves I already had. I have reused some plastic and glass containers I already had to store rice, beans, flours, and brown sugar. I just tape the cooking instructions for the rice and beans to the containers so I don’t have to look every time. I keep all my baking spices, soda, powder and extracts together in a basket for easy access. My savory spice cabinet, which is very narrow next to my stove, has 4 shelves. I keep my frequently used ones on the bottom shelf, less used on second shelf and my vinegars and sauces on the third shelf. The first two shelves are alphabetized, not because of OCDness, but so I don’t have to pull out all my spices when looking for a specific one. ;). I also have a beverage cabinet which houses my coffee and tea stuff as well as my ice tea maker and pitchers, and my coffee maker. This is because these are 2 things we use frequently but not often enough to hog precious counter space.

  • Lots of great ideas here! I snagged the clear lids that go on top of the sheet cakes from Sam’s club and use them in my refrigerator for slide out drawers. I can see what I have tucked way back in the fridge without moving everything out of the way. I just pull it out like a drawer. I use the smaller lids to coral things in a hanging organizer, the ones that are double the size of the shoe organizer, they make great substitute drawers. ~Diane

  • I have a large stockpot that I need, but not often. It took up a ton of space. Now I store all my cake decorating supplies in it. The supplies are all in one big plastic bag, so when I need to use the stockpot, it’s easy to temporarily take out the bag to free up the pot. This lets me use every square inch the pot takes up.

  • One year ago today, we moved/downsized. I have tripled the storage in my kitchen and still need more room. I have the adjustable spice racks from Meijers. Works great in the linen/cleaning closet so I can see the different products. I use a cardboard box to organize my plastic lids by shape and size. Extra crockpots, large roaster and dehydrator go downstairs on the shelves since with only use them occasionally.

  • I utilize the “Notes” application on my phone to keep track of my kitchen – pantry, freezer, refrigerator, etc. When I use up an item, I enter it on my “To Purchase” list and then delete it when I restock. This also allows me to shop the specials and/or buy in bulk when the price is right.

    The other tip I find is essential is to keep my spices in alphabetical order. I buy in smaller quantities so they won’t go out of date but it saves me from searching for what I need at any given moment.

  • I keep a container in my refrigerator with everything to prepare sandwiches….lunchmeat, cheese, mayo, mustard, pickles, everything I would typically use. That way I can take it out and put it back all at once. Makes preparation much quicker. If I’m putting lettuce and tomato on the sandwich I first open the vegetable drawer and grab those, throw them in the sandwich container with everything else and take everything with me to the counter at once.

  • I have tall glass vases that I got at the Dollar Tree, I use them to hold my wooden spoons next to the stove. I also have one next to the sink for my long-handled dish scrubber.

  • Slide out wire baskets help keep my deep pantry organized. Also I stick with one type of containers for leftovers, they stack easily and the lids nest so I can store quite a few in a small space.

  • I use rails on my back splash to store utensils and a magnet bar for my knives to free up drawers and counter space for frequent use appliances. Much better looking than plain white and all my utensils are within reach

  • The best investment I’ve made is a pot hanger. It frees up so much room in my cabinets and it’s so much easier to organize! It was also motivation to invest in some “nice” or “pretty” pots!

  • Perfect timing! Our family of 5 is intentionally downsizing. Since we move in just a couple of weeks, I’m hot and heavy into planning the most efficient use our new space. Thanks!

  • When cleaning up the kitchen after dinner,
    I set up our morning coffee cups with sugar and creamer, and put measured ground coffee and water in the coffee maker. In the morning, all I have to do is turn on the coffee maker to enjoy my coffee! I make sure the coffee pot has been washed out (not just rinsed) to keep the coffee tasting delicious.

  • I agree, probably the best way is to pare down the sheer amount of stuff! Duplicates aren’t helpful. My second way is to make use of the size/shape of cabinets to fit things appropriately, and keeping like objects together. That along with re-packaging bulk foods into sleeker containers has helped me stay organized in the tiny kitchen of my house built in 1900. Always love hearing more suggestions, thanks for this post! :)

  • It seems like a ‘no-brainer,’ but when I suggested putting tableware in the silverware basket by like items, one friend was amazed when she tried this because unloading the silverware basket was her most despised task!

  • I’m fortunate to have a deep open cabinet (arched top), so I put a deep basket there to hold potatoes, onions, etc out of sight. Looks like the cabinet was just built for the basket – decorative! There is still some space in the back to “hide” some bulky, seldom used items.

  • I use the tiered spice racks too, but find that many labels are still hidden. My solution was to make my own labels and put them close to the top where they’re always visible.

  • I use a lazy Susan to store my spices and put them in alphabetical order so they are easy to find when I need them. I keep them in an upper cabinet adjacent to the range along with other baking and cooking necessities: flavorings, salt, baking soda and powder, cocoa, etc.

  • Sorry for another post but I’m a huge fan of those clear storage bins in the refrigerator. So many of my friend’s fridges are so cluttered that you can’t find anything without moving everything. My whole fridge and freezer is organized with bins. Just makes it nicer.

  • I keep all my savory spices on one shelf and the ones for baking on a different shelf. So much faster to find what I need. I also use more glass jars with plastic lids to store things so that we can see what is inside.

  • Fall is my favorite season and it just seems like a really good time to go through everything and reassess what I have and do I need it. So I ‘ll be following along this week.

  • I reorganized my cupboards and draws to keep everything close to where I use it. (seldom used items are in the back of bottom cupboards)
    I keep all my baking items together, my coffee/tea/cocoa together, etc. Also went through and eliminated duplicates of gadgets, and out of date foodstuffs.

  • Loved, loved,loved, this article!!! Well speaking of having too many cups, we have 8 children and 2 adults in our family and a multitude of dishes can oh so be a nightmare! So we color code our children. One plate cup and bowl in that childs favorite color that way we know who left what where and who it belongs to.

  • I also like to create zones in my kitchen. Spices, oils, and hot pads are closest to the stove. I have a baking cabinet next to my prep area. And dishes, glasses, and silverware are next to the dishwasher.

  • I try to go through my kitchen gadgets on a reg. basis to purge stuff that I’m no using regularly and I also keep my spice rack alphabetized so I can quickly find the spice I need.

  • I bought these red tubs to put in my pantry. I label them and set them on the floor or a shelf of the pantry. No more searching for bags of open beans, lentils, split peas in one tub. Chips and crackers in another. Then I put wax paper rolls of aluminum foil etc in another. Macaroni, noodles etc in another. These hold a lot a free up space. So much easier to find things.

    How do I post a photo?

  • I made narrow shelves using a rickety wooden step ladder, turning the ladder part upside down, and spray-painting it to match my kitchen! This hangs on on the wall and I store jars of loose teas and also seasonal salt-and-pepper shakers on it!

    I have an awkward corner cabinet (upper) in my kitchen. Stuff was difficult to get to and always getting pushed to the back of the space. I removed the cabinet door to make it open shelving and I now store a stack of bright nested bowls on one shelf, all my cookie cutters and other miscellaneous small gadgets in a couple of small tin pails on the second shelf, and all my cutting boards, upright in one of those wire racks meant to store baking sheets vertically, on the bottom shelf. It works SO much better! Nothing gets lost and I can just reach and grab my cutting boards!

  • I live in a large house with a large kitchen and an equally large amount of people. Our organization salvation comes in the form of plastic containers, usually used for desk organization, to keep all our sauce mix packets and spices organized. It looks a little odd but they’re just small enough and easy enough to move that things are so much easier to find!

  • I am going to copy your idea of putting the cork on the inside of my cupboard door and hang my measuring spoons and cups on it! This is such a great idea!!!! Also, I had to smile when you described hanging your pot lids. I did this on my closet door to hang a full length mirror without damaging the door!!!! Great minds think alike!

  • My latest idea idea to keep my kitchen clutter-free is to use locker shelves in the cabinets to give more levels. Now I can get to my pots without having to lift a whole stack of them.

  • I’ve started using one set of cabinets for all the items I have a feeling I don’t really use enough to keep around. Just like similar tricks for items in your closet (turning hangers the opposite direction, etc.), if I haven’t busted those babies out in 6 months to a year, they’re outta here!

  • I organized my spices from Sams Club(large plastic spice containers) by storing them in mason jars. Then I used my labeler to print and stick the labels on each. I keep them in my sliding kitchen drawer. They look so much better than
    those big plastic containers.

  • I use the bottom drawer of my oven for the large flat pizza pans and baking stone. Don’t have a pantry in the kitchen but mounted cabinets downstairs in the laundry room. Cabinet over refrigerator for popcorn maker, crock pot, and skillet keeps things handy, but out of the way!

  • I have deep lower cupboards so I use clear containers to keep similar items together that I can just pull out to look through. It’s a lot easier than getting on the floor searching through the cupboard for an item and also makes it easier to know what I need to buy in groceries.

  • I stay organized in the kitchen by reusing jars, coffee canisters, and such to store food in. I also find it helpful to keep it clutter free and get rid of stuff we no longer use.

  • I use those 3 tier plastic shelves in my pantry so I can see what is sitting behind the rows of stuff. It’s nice that it raises each row up so you can not only see what spice or whatever is behind something, but you can also reach over and get something without knocking everything else over! :)

  • I use small clear plastic bins to organize baking materials. I have one for ‘add ins’ like chocolate chips, coconut flakes, etc. Another for things like sprinkles, cupcake liners, piping tips, etc. And yet another for extracts. This makes it so easy to find them!

  • I had pull out shelves installed on all my deep cabinets. Now nothing gets lost in the back. I keep my cake decorating supplies in see through plastic boxes in the back(sprinkles, food colorings, cupcake papers, flavored vanillas). Things that aren’t used as often but now they are easier to get to. My kitchen lacks space also, so in my game room, I turned the closet into my kitchen storage for less often used larger items, i.e. entertainment. Various sizes of crock pots, serving dishes, roaster, cake platters, deep fryer, etc. Also my linen table clothes & runners are hung on pant hangers (holds 6 each) & I use a hanging sweater stacker for the napkins, & place mats. Just a few.

  • I keep the kitchen organized by using lots of drawer organizers so there is no more cooking utensils getting lost or forgetting about things I have on hand like twist ties and skewers.

  • Great post! My mom and I were just talking about organizing her kitchen yesterday! They just moved and finding a place for everything in the new kitchen has been a challenge for her. I have deep cupboards and put things that I rarely use in the back of them. There are a few suggestions in this post that I think I’ll start doing. Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  • Tip #1: Have someone that IS organized come and help you get organized! Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
    Tip #2: Organize things from tallest (in back) to shortest (in front) in your fridge. It makes things easier to find!
    Tip #3: I no longer use paper towels, but I use the old rack (still on the wall) to hold utensils that have “holes” (ie. potato masher) and can easily be stored on the old rack! Repurpose where you can!

    I’m getting better, but still have things to learn! I appreciate these blogs; they are quite helpful!

  • I use lazy susans all over the place — in the refrigerator to store glass jars for easy viewing, in my pantry to store hot sauces and baking items, jars and cans. I have attached the hooks to the inside of my pantry door and have all my measuring spoons there for easy viewing and reach. I also love the clear bins. I use those in my refrigerator. I have large plastic bins in the bottom of my pantry for rice as well. I store all my cookware hanging on a pot rack inside my pantry, so they are out of sight but easily accessible. When people see that, they always comment what a fantastic place for my cookware. We almost done with our 1-year kitchen/dining remodel and are loving it very much since we eat 95% of all our meals at home, almost 100% organic from scratch. My favorite piece in my kitchen is by far my crockpot, second in place would be my steam oven (which replaced a microwave).

  • I keep all of my measuring cups in a plastic container and all of my measuring spoons in a clear cup, so that when I’m ready to cook/bake, I can just put the container and cup on the counter and use what I need. Helps a lot to keep them corralled that way! I use a tiered spice rack for spice jars, and I keep the jars arranged in alphabetical order so that I can quickly find the spice I’m looking for each time.

  • I am a storage container hoarder. So all my stuff gets great use in the kitchen xD For the most part, this helps keep everything clean and organized. But there’s always a time when we get lazy and toss things around so I try to save a time to reorganizing.

  • I’ve just organized my kitchen this passed spring using some of these methods and I loved it. All my drawers have drawer dividers now. I also use the spice tiered rack for the spices, the vertical divider for my baking pans. I also love the idea of using the storage bins for small items. To stay organized, I clean out and declutter the kitchen every weekend or so.

  • I use a metal magazine holder to hold my boxes of wraps (foil, wax paper, etc.). This idea is not mine originally but I did go a step further and chose a METAL magazine holder so it can hold a recipe for me when I’m cooking!

  • I cut up plastic corrugated signs to make drawer dividers for my kitchen cabinet drawers. I have 4 drawers that are 8 inches deep. They’re cheap, easy to cut, and easy to clean!

  • I remodeled my kitchen last fall. The best thing I did was cull all the extras and nonessential items as it made putting things back in easier. I did a little organizing as I went but became overwhelmed as everything in the kitchen had a new space/shelf/cupboard. I can’t wait to try some of these ideas and pare down my belongings just a bit more.

  • I used a drawer divider to create a “spice drawer” next to the stove. It’s easy to find exactly what spice I need and it’s close to where I actually need them.

  • What good ideas! I saw one the other day where she had put a shelf up halfway on the window over the kitchen sink and put the bowls she uses all the time there.

    HUGS, and thanks!

  • I love lazy susans to help keep any area organized, especially inside kitchen cabinets. I have found uses and spaces for every available size of those things! I have many more spices than the spice steps display so I use lazy susans in the spice cabinet to sort regular/most used spices on one, specialty spices on another and baking spices/ingredients on a third. I like to have my spices always at-the-ready so when I buy a full bottle to prepare for the one that is getting low, I place it behind the almost empty one so that I never run out in mid recipe. I use the center of the tray for taller items like salt and pepper mills or Worcestershire sauce. I use double decker lazy susans in the back of the pantry. They can hold 2 layers of regular sized canned food. I use a single tray l.s. in the back for tall bottles, including one for bottles of different types of cooking oils/sprays or to store any larger replacement-in-waiting items like ketchup, mayo, soy sauce,etc.. So, with two trays at the back corners, I put a third in the middle of the front of the cabinet so that all 3 lazy susans are reachable. Then any additional cans are lined/stacked along both sides of the inside cabinet walls….multiple items stored, multiple items equally accessible.
    A very large lazy susan is in the bottom pantry cabinet with all my pots and pans stacked on it for easy access. There is one on each shelf back in the recesses of those pesky overlapping cabinets. Place a lazy susan back there and all that space is easily used again. Use them in the cabinets or on the shelves in the laundry room. Also use them in cabinets under the bathroom and kitchen sinks.
    They stay put well and with the twirl of the tray, multiple items are easily available….no digging through stacks, rearranging everything to get to one item and no pulling out plastic trays or boxes. They even save space when moving because they are flat and can fit into very little box space compared to the irregularly sized spice steps or the plastic boxes.
    I think I’ll go buy some stocks in Rubber Maid!
    Thank you, Jillee, for all the wonderful information you freely share with us on your enjoyable site! I need all the help I can get(lol!) and yours is a primary go-to site for me! Blessings on you and yours always!!

  • I’ve always struggled with finding a space for my spices (I might be addicted to trying new ones) in any sort of usable way. I’ve lately sorted them into baskets by purpose — frequently used, savory, baking, etc. — and stuck them in a lower cupboard instead of the prime real estate by the stove. Now I only pull out the basket I need instead of pushing around all 50+ jars to find the right one… It’s not a perfect method yet, but it’s definitely saved me time and sanity.

  • I just love the OXO storage containers! I have so many of them put to use in my pantry.
    I have found the best prices on them at Marshalls, TJ Maxx and Homegoods.

  • So many great ideas. Three things I do that were not mentioned in the post. 1. Buy more shelves for kitchen cabinets and create levels to prevent stacking. (Home improvement stores will cut the boards to size for free). 2. I have 2 twin tier lazy Susans (Rubbermaid) that hold spices. They keep spices at my fingertips & make clean up super fast. 3. Under the sink I have a clear container that is deep which holds the cleaning brushes, sponges, baking soda, cleaners & detergent. It keeps under the sink super clean & organized. If something does spill the spill is contained. Best of all whenever DH needs to get under the sink to fix something, there is no mess to contend with (before, during or after).

  • I have limited wall space in my kitchen but I put a pot rack against it which also holds my colander as well as pots and pans but backed it with clear lucite so it wouldn’t damage the wall. Under this is a good size corkboard which holds my calendar and other current events eg invitations, receipts, etc.

  • I repurpose boxes by covering them with contact paper to make attractive storage boxes for my small pantry. It helps to keep like items together and when the pantry looks organized I feel more in control of my work space.

  • When we moved to our house, the pantry had very tall shelves. So I had my husband cut a few more shelves and now it can store a lot more! There is one really short shelf that holds all our canned vegetables. It’s great!

  • I’ve always been a fan of small open containers or baskets in my pantry to hold packets of seasoning, kool aid, etc. But after reading this, I’m definitely going to try the bigger bins in my lower cupboards, for things such as tupperware and pot lids. Can’t believe I did’t think of that before! Thanks!

  • Perfect timing for this topic. Tomorrow the contractors come to start on a 2 month kitchen remodel – down to the studs and all new everything! All this information will be very useful when I put my new kitchen together!

    A handy way I’ve found to store pot lids is to turn it upside down and nest it in the pot. That way I always have the lid I need when I pull the pot out and it is easier to stack them, keeping the cupboard tidy.

  • This post came at the perfect time! With in the last week we bought a beautiful 1940’s home! There is little closet/storage space in these older homes and getting organized is at the top of my list! I’ve found that hanging closet shelves are perfect for helping organize the wasted closet space below where your clothes hang, keeping it all neat and tidy at the same time! Love reading everyone’s comments!

  • I organized my walk in pantry this summer since even though it’s large, things started piling up which made it hard to walk in! :(
    My favorite things about this more organized space are: labels for food zones, such as “breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner, baking, etc”, a basket to corral water bottles and a plastic drawer to hold the lids so they can dry completely and open space so I can finally walk in. Thankfully, the labels have made it much easier for my boys(11,15,45) to help keep the pantry organized which helps keep mama happy!

  • Putting hand towels on stove handles allows my towel to hit the floor when I open the oven while baking. Putting towels on cupboard doors makes them too high/low and they are always in the way when I want to get into other drawers. So, my solution is to use a strong magnet clip and clip my hand towel to my refrigerator door. Works like a charm.

  • I love to use bins and containers everywhere to stay organized. Everything has a spot. Small things go in baskets large in bins to easily see what’s in it.

  • When we remodeled our kitchen, we installed lazy susans on each side of the sink cabinet, eliminating the need to crawl into a cabinet to reach what was in back, and getting rid of the dead spaces. In my drawers, I use Rubbermaid interlocking drawer organizers to keep like items corralled. In my pantry, I use small plastic bins to keep small items, like popcorn salts, and seasoning envelopes, together. I also like to keep my canned goods in alphabetical order. This helps me find what I need, as well as see at a glance what needs to be restocked. (OCD much?!)

  • I am going to use the vertical pan storage idea. My cabinet is so messy that one pan actually fell out and hurt my daughters foot while she was putting away silverware! Where did you find the vertical pan holders?

  • I am trying to get into the habit of removing food from its packaging and putting it into different containers. I also try to chop up fruits and veggies and store them right away.

  • One thing I do to organize: in my upright freezer all new meats go on the bottom as they are bought, older meats are rotated up to the top shelf. That way you don’t find a roast that’s been frostburned for two years. Frozen butter, cheese, cream, etc goes in the door shelves, and vegetables go in the bottom drawer. I plan my meals weekly, so on Sunday I move what I need out of the upright and into my super-tiny refrigerator freezer upstairs, which helps so I can actually use it without it overflowing. Plus, it makes it really easy to see what I need to buy.

  • Terrific ideas. Thanks for sharing. We have a walkin pantry in our kitchen. It’s a wonderful little space. I keep things I don’t need in my kitchen cabinets there. And I was able to add a bit more storage to it by purchasing a sturdy rolling cart (40″ tall) that sits in the center. I can easily roll the cart out if the item I need is behind it.

  • One of the most “duh” moments for me when I first got my own place was that the cabinet shelves were moveable! No reason to have wasted space above cans plus not be able to fit a box of cereal. Evaluate your shelf placement. =)

  • I keep my kitchen organized by being careful about what I purchase. I won’t buy any new kitchen appliance or cookware unless I have a place for it. I may have to get rid of something first, but it keeps my clutter from getting out of control.

  • I also have a small kitchen with very little workable area and storage is a minimum, so I have been creative also. I found a metal 3 shelf standing unit meant to be used in a bathroom that I bought and have standing on that small counter next to the stove. It is 21 inches tall by 8 inches wide by 10 inches length and I use the bottom shelf for my oils and sprays, the middle shelf for some measuring items and the top for onions. I keep potatoes elsewhere as I know they do not keep as long if stored next to onions. It has freed up some cabinet space and looks much nicer than having bottles sitting not corralled. While reading this post today, I am going to purchase some small S hooks and hang my measuring spoons and possibly put some bright clothespins that I use to close snack bags on the arms of the unit. It is much easier to lift one item to clean under than 20….love your ideas!

  • We have a small shelf in the back of every one of our large bottom cabinets. We can not only store a lot more items in them, but it helps keep everything organized and easier to spot. We also have specialized cabinets: cookware, baking, and storage. It’s been working well in our home!

  • I also recycle spaghetti, condiment jars. In one small salsa jar, I poured my baking soda inside and put a label on it from my P-Touch. I always hated the opened box of baking soda in my cabinet. Now it stays fresh with a tight lid. In my spaghetti jars, I put steel cut oats, rice, and other snacks…

  • I love the over the door shoe rack idea and have successfully been using it for a few months now. I can’t remember how I lived without it. I have a tiny kitchen and I keep as much out of sight as possible. I keep my blender under my sink and use baskets to corral things in my cabinets. We drink a lot of tea and except for the bagless variety I have all of my tea bags loose in one of those huge cheeseball containers. I love it, it’s lightweight and see-through.

  • I have counterspace, but found it getting cluttered with small appliances (toaster, sandwich maker, crock post, etc.). I realized that by rearranging my cabinets below the counter I could fit those in and still have them be accessible. I looked at the flow of our kitchen and how we use it. Once I figured that out, I moved some things around and was able to get those appliances in place. It didn’t take very long and the extra space is SO worth it!

  • In my tiny kitchen I don’t have any cupboards, cabinets, drawers, anything-just a pantry. So I used an old window bar railing and had my husband hang it into the ceiling above the stove. I hang all my pots and pans on it. The tops go in the bottom draw of the oven lol. I use a rolling kitchen cart for my microwave utensils and mugs. I turned a bookshelf I had into a bar and we keep all the glassware and china there. There’s no room for any thing else but a table! Cluttered and cute.

  • We recently downsized to a townhome and my kitchen is tiny. I’m now storing my mixer and blender on a shelf, in a cabinet, above my washer and dryer. We also have the Kurieg cup storage center and our Kurieg sits on top of it. I purchased a couple of brushed nickel bathroom soap dispensers, from Ross, to put liquid dish detergent and hand soap in. No ugly bottles and it dresses up the sink area.

  • After the wax from my candles from Bath and Body Works are burned completely, I wash them and make them sparkly clean. I use them in the bathroom counters for storage. I even glued a ceramic bird to the top of one. Looks really cute and makes the jar so easy to open. Got that idea from youtube…

  • First, have old fridge that works well still, took out old drawers and replaced with wire basket bins that open up the space.

    Next, repurposed nice boxes into organizer for small plastic bags of spices that you can get bulk spikes at many grocery stores.

    And, very small kitchen and dining area – moved dishes 7 glass ware unto hanging shelves in dining area. higher shelves are items not used often.

  • We have a nice size kitchen, I’ve always thought, but not HUGE by any means. And we have zero storage space in the rest of our house. So there is no extra spot anywhere else to stash something that only gets used once every three years. I’ve been trying for the last year to slowly organize things better in the kitchen. This post certainly helped!

    The one good thing I feel I have implemented is our spice storage situation. We had a tiny spice cabinet beside the stove that was a living NIGHTMARE. Cooking every meal turned into some odd reality tv show where you had to cook with bottles flying at your head while having to substitute the spices you could find for the one you absolutely couldn’t!!! Years of frustration were pent up in that spice cabinet. I had to fix this somehow. We have a large, wide drawer under our oven that was always where we kept all of our spatulas and large spoons and meat forks, all haphazardly strewn about. I moved things around a bit, reassigning utensils to other drawers, and was able to clear the drawer. I then purged the spice cabinet of all out of date and unwanted spices. I bought a box of small canning drawers that were just the height of my drawer, filled them with the spices and labeled the lids with what the spice was. So now when I open the drawer I am looking down on all my spices, super easy to find, and thanks to the glass jar I know at a glance what I’m running low on!

    Now the issue I need help with is Tupperware storage. This is a major issue that I can’t see a resolution too. Please help!!!

  • In my pantry everything is sorted out of shelves

    Top shelf for all my baking, next are canned items(in rows), boxes items next (spaghetti’s, Mac n cheese, etc), snacks/crackers, and finally cereals on the bottom. What I wish I could organize better is my fridge and freezer space!!

  • I love these ideas! One thing I have under my kitchen sink is a tension rod that I can hang my most commonly used spray bottles. It keeps them at my fingertips and there is a little more room under them for storage.

  • I use lots of bins to carrel items that belong together. My husband built a metal hook rack suspended from ceiling to hang my pots and I use a plastic magazine rack to hold plastic wraps, foils and wax paper.

  • I also have a small kitchen. I only have appliances that can serve me in many ways. I have free standing furniture that I use for my pantry and that free’s up my small kitchen pantry for storage. I also use glass containers for storage in my pantry

  • I have pegs on my kitchen island (the kitchen island itself is a great organizer!) that I keep my measuring cups and spoons on, they are on rings. Love having them out of the drawer and easily accessible too!

  • I use the shoe bag on the back of my pantry door. I put all of my diet foods there. Much easier than having to open individual boxes to grab something to eat. We also use this in our main closet and put the kids hats and gloves in it for winter.

  • I have two (very old!) Rubbermaid turntables that I use to corral my spices. One is for the common spices. The other is for items I don’t use as much. I try to group spices I’m likely to use together next to each other on the turntable.
    I also use a small plastic box to corral packets of seasonings like taco seasoning, olive oil herb packets, gravy mixes, etc. The box is just wide enough that the packets stand “single file,” so I can start at the front and flip through them to find what I need.

  • We just downsized and our new house has a much smaller kitchen. I am working on staying organized by getting rid of things I never use. We had a set of martini glasses that we received for our wedding 11 years ago that we have never used (not sure why we even registered for them since we don’t drink martinis!). They are now in the donate/sell box :) Lots of other items are finding their way into that box as well.

  • We just did spring cleaning on our small kitchen. I took the spices out of the bottles they came in and put them into matching glass ones I got at the Container store. They are label and not only look nice they are all uniform and fit nicely in small pull down holder.

  • I have a large kitchen but not a lot of storage space. I love to buy anything that will collapse. I have measuring cups, strainers and even a salad spinner that all fold flat for easy storage.

  • I’m in the midst of moving to a bigger place which gives me the opportunity to get rid of the excess items in my kitchen. If I’ve only used an item once or never used it at all it goes into the donation pile where family and friends can take whatever they want.

  • I stay organized in the kitchen by making zones. All baking things go together in one area, all large appliances go together in another place, all serving pieces in another, plastic plates and cups for kids get put down low where they can reach and easily get what they need.

  • We stay organized by using large containers to store flour, sugar, etc in the pantry. We use metal dividers in the drawers to keep loose items organized. Could use more containers!!

  • I definitely go through and get rid of things when I’m feeling the clutter. I also try to keep as much as I can in the pantry or in cabinets so my countertops stay clean. I keep sugar in a bin but need to get a few for the different flours I have!

  • Any ideas for deep corner cabinets? I have one that is mostly unused because I don’t want to lose canned goods into the black hole. The other is used for rarely used baking items. That is most definitely a black hole.

    I’d love to make full use of my storage space, but plumb out of ideas.

  • Organization is a challenge for me in the kitchen. I cook every day and we are planning the addition of cabinets on a third wall of our kitchen as well as an island. Our vision is to have the new cabinets just as a baking center. While we are in the planning stage of this project we still needed storage. I found a wonderful 6 ft wooden corner shelf which was from IKEA (but I found it at a thrift store) It holds my sheet pans on the bottom shelf vertically, and my many small appliances and bowls. I have a large but shallow drawer and store my spices lying on their sides so the labels are visible. I keep nearby my stove on tiers small amounts of the very frequently used spices and herbs. Still, staying organized in the kitchen is a challenge.

  • I keep my silverware in individual buckets on the counter. one for knives and forks, one of teaspoons and icetea spoons, and one for serving utensils. and I try to sort my utensils in the dishwasher and then just pull them up and dump them back into the buckets.

  • Hi! I loved this post! I already implemented most of these tips when I re-did my kitchen last month :) one thing that I had to realize was that there are things that don’t need to be stored in the actual kitchen. My bread machine is not going to be used every day, so I put it in a closet close by. This saved so much space in my cabinets!!

  • I use plastic handled containers that I purchased from Walmart, in my fridge to store like items. One is filled with yogurt sour cream and cottage cheese, one with pickles since we eat many different kinds, and one is the sandwich making basket filled with meats, cheeses, cleaned and ready lettuce, and a small container of mustard. This allows my husband to pull out one item…make his sandwich and return everything to the fridge neat and tidy. Before doing this he would literally stir around looking for all these items, which were actually still all together in one spot. Hubby always puts any returns back on the top shelf and I hate a messy fridge, so when ever I open it I move items back where they BELONG. You would think he would notice that these things are never on the top shelf when he goes back to get them!

  • I store my spices on “stepped” shelves also, but put them
    in alphabetical order–so easy to find exactly what I want.

    Also, I added a shelf in the cabinet under the kitchen sink–
    it doubled the storage space available there.

  • In our tiny apartment the cabinets are are all too narrow to hold any pots and pans. So I used a tension rod between cabinets and “S” hooks to hang the pans. Another tension rod hung a little lower holds the lids as well. I also use containers for bulk items and have a shoe organizer hanging in my pantry!

  • i recently moved from a kitchen with wide cabinets and drawers to one narrow and smaller. I had to put things not used frequently into plastic containers like extra mugs. Also I took advantage of the drawer under the oven to store baking pans in.

  • I LOVE tea. I use mason jars to store my teas and have them on a narrow floating shelf on the wall space in my kitchen. Also, in order to keep my organizing supply costs down, I save and grab boxes and cover them with wrapping paper from the dollar store to store and hide clutter in my office/work space. Makes all the difference! Thanks for this post! I love the bins for the deep drawer idea. Will definitely be doing that!

  • I use 2 things ALOT! 1 is Mason Jars – I pick up alot thru friends who no longer need them or garage sales. I lover the various sizes and use them to store my dried beans, rice, chocolate chips, etc. Secondly are baskets – I love the functionality of them. You can get the cute chalkboard tags, label them and tie them to your baskets.

  • I’m currently planning a long overdue remodel of my 1950’s kitchen. Constantly looking for good storage ideas! One thing I do is try not to keep a lot of extra food around taking up precious space.

  • After having some repair work under the sink, I had thrown everything under there in a box temporarily. Temporary lasted beyond that time! I found myself buying more of something because I couldn’t tell what I had. One day I had enough and organized by taking everything out and putting all like things together. Then I arranged my under the sink area by sections so that I can find it by a glance and haven’t had to buy anything for months now! And the best part is when I do need something I can find it!

  • These are all great ideas and I use many of them. The best cabinet space saver and most user friendly thing we have done, is use a hanging pot rack. If you can find a little space to hang one, it will make your life much easier, especially if you are tall.