5 Tips to Organize Your Kitchen


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As health-conscious Americans, we spend hundreds of thousands of hours in our kitchens, so why can’t it to be a place that we cherish? These tips to organize your kitchen will help you create a cooking sanctuary that is well-designed, well-organized, and can efficiently serve your every tasteful need.

Here are essential tips for streamlining your kitchen into an organizational masterpiece so that you and your loved ones can enjoy every minute spent cooking, snacking, talking, or even singing…

organized kitchen sink and counter with utensils elevated and clean dishes in rack

Tips to Organize Your Kitchen

With cupboards, drawers, and cabinets one of the biggest kitchen organization challenges is knowing where to begin. My biggest tip for organizing the kitchen is the same tip for how to eat an elephant – one bite or one drawer at a time.

Don’t get overwhelmed! Choose one section of the kitchen to focus on at a time. For example, I might start with my utensil drawers or start with my pantry. Build your excitement and confidence with doing one smaller project first.

organized utensil drawer in kitchen

Drawer Liners

 Changing your shelf and drawer liners is a great place to start because it forces you to take everything out. I recommend starting with either shelves or drawers. Don’t even think about doing both in one sitting!

When your drawers are empty, take a minute to wash everything. Wipe all the bread crumbs out of the drawers and polish the faces. Now put in the drawer liners for fresh, clean start. These days there are tons of patterns, prints, colors, and themes to choose from.

Once you have the liners in, you can begin putting everything back in its place.

Keep Your Kitchen Functional

It is one thing to have a Pinterest-worthy kitchen, but you spend a lot of time in your kitchen. It should also be functional!

Create space and priority for the tools you use the most. If you don’t really use a blender that much, store it in a less accessible cabinet.

Keep dinnerware and small appliances close to the places where they are most used. For example, keep pots and pans by the stove and dishes near the dishwasher.

This is YOUR kitchen! Make it fit YOUR life. Yes, your friends or family might organize their kitchen differently than you. That’s totally okay. Keep your kitchen functional for how you actually use it – not how someone else thinks you should.

organized pantry jars with dried beans and grains

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Maximize Your Kitchen Space

Some of us are blessed with large kitchens. Some of us make do in smaller kitchen areas. Whatever the case may be, it’s important to keep your kitchen organized by making use of your space.

The pantry, a junk drawer, or spaces under the sink are notorious for collecting clutter. How many junk drawers do we need anyway? Here are more tips to organize your kitchen by using your space.

Tension Rod

Install a tension rod under the sink. Push the rod as high up as possible so that you can hang spray bottles, rags and other lightweight objects. This gives you more room for a trash can or for other supplies that won’t hang.

Shoe Hanger

Use a Shoe Hanger for the pantry door. Lots of smaller things get lost in the pantry for years because you can’t see them. Keep smaller items in the shoe hanger sections so they don’t get lost in the pantry abyss.

Refrigerator Bins

One tip for kitchen organization is to keep like items together. This is easier to do if you use bins in your refrigerator and cabinets. I prefer clear bins so I can see what is in them and if my supply is getting low.

Lazy Susans

I resisted using Lazy Susans in my cupboards and refrigerator for years because I felt like they took up more space. I was missing out on the benefit, though, of being able to find what I needed!

Lazy Susans are great for keeping condiments and other containers from spilling on the back shelf. I like to use clear styles with a lip around the edge to prevent things from falling off them. Some of the turntable styles even have divisions for further cabinet organization!

    shelves of pots and pans willy nilly on shelves
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    Change Your Kitchen Lighting

    Do you think your kitchen light is too dim or just plain ugly? Change it! Switching out a light fixture may sound overwhelming and expensive, but it doesn’t have to be.

    You’d be amazed how the tone of light affects your mood and how you feel about working in your kitchen. I prefer brighter/natural light with a dimmer switch.

    I love unique light fixtures so the standard chintzy gold in my kitchen was one of the first things to go! If you have a Habitat for Humanity Restore near you, check the light section. You never know what you’ll find.

    kitchen counters that are clear of clutter

    Keep Your Counters Clean

    You knew I was going to say it, right? Counters are magnets for clutter! Put away smaller appliances that you don’t actually use every day.

    Is that a pile of junk mail on your counter? Find a little basket for mail and tuck it into a cabinet or better yet into your home office. Chuck any mail that you know is junk immediately!

    Try to make it a habit to deal with dishes immediately. Keeping your sink clean is immediate motivation to keeping everything else in the kitchen clean and tidy, too.

    Utility Cart

    A utility cart helps you roll away items that you’re not using and frees up tons of counter space for actual cooking. This is especially helpful for special occasion cooking like birthdays or holidays.

    Elevate Items off the Counter

    One of the best kitchen organization tips is to keep things off the counter by elevating them. Knife blocks are major space hogs! A magnetic knife rack installed on the wall can save a lot of space!

    Do you use a radio or watch TV in your kitchen? Install electronics under the cabinet to save even more counter space.

     Remember that your personal style is the most truthful guide to follow when re-organizing your kitchen space. The spaces you use most often are a great place to start. Everyone gathers in the kitchen, no matter how big or small so don’t be afraid to make it the best spot in the house!

    More Organizational Tips You’ll Love

    Stay tuned next week for my barn kitchen makeover! I’ve been working hard at organizing my own kitchen and will share some before and after pictures with you! Prepare to be amazed…. 🙂

    About Michelle Marine

    Michelle Marine is the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a long-time green-living enthusiast, and rural Iowa mom of four. She empowers families to grow and eat seasonal, local foods; to reduce their ecological footprint; and to come together through impactful travel.

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    1. Love using shoe hangers to store things on the door. Haven’t done it in the pantry yet…but I’m going to!

      Stopping in from #BB100

    2. One of my goals for this year is to declutter my home so that I’m happier living in it. I love these ideas to get my kitchen organized. I spend most of my time in there.

      Stopping by from Boost Your Blog.

    3. These are a list of good tips. I always tell myself that I’m going to organize my kitchen, but it NEVER happens. I’ve just decided that this will be something I’ll tackle after the kids are all grown up and out of the house. 🙂

      Stopping by from the 100 Challenge

    4. What great ideas! I love how clean everything looks in the pictures. My house is on the market right now so I am trying everything I can to make it more pleasing to the eye when we have prospective buyers coming in. I love the pictures of the barn, rooster and sunflowers at the top of your page! It makes it feel very relaxed and country!

    5. This is awesome! We just got orders (military family) and will be moving in June, I can’t wait for a new space to organize our pantry, cooking tools, etc to aid in meal planning and healthy family meals. Great post!

      1. Ah! We were a military family for a long time. Mostly pre-kids, though. I can’t imagine moving with them. Good luck!

    6. Wow – some great ideas here! I had not thought about putting a lazy susan in the refrigerator. As I thought about my kitchen organization, I realized that when we moved here 4 years ago, I put the dishes over by the breakfast nook, which has turned into a play area. We could easily move some things around, have the dishes closer to the dishwasher, and that would probably make a LOT more sense. I have been spending time trying to declutter the counter tops, too, and that is helping – I can’t wait to get it all taken care of. Thanks for the great ideas!

    7. I only wish my pantry looked that good. I do try to keep it pretty organized. I love using mason jars of all sizes to store things in. Thanks for the great tips!

      1. Me, too, Diane! I’m living in a barn right now and don’t have a pantry – but I’m sharing before and after photos of my cleaning / reorganizing efforts next week! 🙂

    8. What a great post! My kitchen tends towards the smaller side, so any bit of organization I can get in there is well welcomed!!