If any room in your house should be organized, it's the kitchen. Sure, you can get away with a less-than-pristine closet or a messy bathroom vanity, but even the least organizationally savvy of us needs a kitchen where everything has its place. Luckily, there are some simple tricks and tools to make organizing the kitchen a little easier.
Not only does your kitchen need to hold all of your food and cooking tools, but it needs to do so in a way that doesn't add hours of prep time to dinner. But whether you're a Marie Kondo protégé or you can barely keep your spice rack in line, we've rounded up a few ideas to inspire you to get organized.
Keep scrolling for ingenious tricks and organizing ideas that actually work, no matter your kitchen size.
Organize Your Baking Tools
If you're a baker, you can easily shave time off that cookie recipe if you can access every scoop, tablespoon, or measuring cup you could ever need without digging around a messy drawer. Consider organizing your drawers based on use and using dividers to give everything its own home.
Ditch the Boxes
Cardboard boxes are bulky and take up way too much space in your kitchen. Clean up your kitchen by tossing them out and transferring your pantry staples to clear glass or plastic containers. Not only will this keep your food longer, but it's so much prettier to look at too.
Use Clear Storage in the Fridge
If your refrigerator is a disaster zone, this idea is for you. Invest in a few clear containers to help your fridge storage go even further and keep everything nice, neat and easy to access.
Repurpose a Nook
If you have a small kitchen without a pantry, fear not. Consider repurposing a small, unused nook as a shallow pantry instead. Keep it organized with matching containers if it's visible, or cover it up with a curtain or door.
No nooks or crannies? If your wall is deep enough, you can even add a shallow cabinet or pantry within a wall.
Create a Caffeine Drawer
If you recreate this caffeine drawer, you'll definitely thank yourself come 7:00 a.m. If you have a spare drawer, set up a place for coffee pods, tea and sugar so you can get your daily fix without digging around.
Use Risers for Your Counter
Short on storage in a small kitchen? Invest in a few counter risers so you can double the available counter space without taking up all of your prep areas. Look for white or natural wood that will blend in with your countertops.
Try Deep Bins in the Pantry
A deep pantry sounds nice in theory, but if it's difficult to access the back of your shelves you probably shouldn't toss food back there. Instead, invest in deep baskets or bins that you can easily pull out to use, so you don't waste any pantry space.
Organize That Junk Drawer
We all have it—the infamous junk drawer that holds way too much stuff and is impossible to sift through. Instead of getting rid of the junk drawer, add dividers to the space so you can find exactly what you need, when you need it.
Whether you go old school with a label maker or you simply write on your containers, it's time to get serious with labeling. Keep track of everything in your pantry and cabinets by creating an easy-to-follow label system the whole family can follow.
There are few things more versatile than a pegboard. This wonderful coffee station idea is proof that a pegboard may very well be the most practical organizational tool out there. Hang mugs on pegs, and add open shelving for containers.
Organize Your Utility Space
Keep your kitchen cleaner with a well-stocked and well-organized utility closet. Use baskets or bins to keep like products together and easy to access. When you can see everything easily, you'll know when you're running low on important cleaning tools.
Use Open Weave Baskets
Baskets are great, but you want to be able to see everything in your pantry. Instead of woven baskets, pick options with an open weave so you don't block your view into the baskets' contents.
Create a Custom Pantry
For a truly stylish storage option, consider splurging on a custom pantry. A professional can help you get set up a with a system that works for you.
Hang Pans and Cooking Tools
Low on cabinet space? Install racks or rods to hang your pans and other cooking tools on empty wall space, so you can easily access them without using up precious cabinet space.
Add hooks to the bars so you can hang your lids right next to their matching pot or pan.
Use Your Doors
Don't neglect that space behind your cabinet door. Add shallow shelves to the inside of your door so you can store extra spices and use up every inch of available space.
Invest in Adjustable Shelves
If you have a large kitchen, but you're short on cabinetry, think like the pros. A stainless steel rack is a great option for storing pots and pans and can be easily adjusted to fit your exact measurements.
Store Those Water Bottles
Don't forget those water bottles need love too. Instead of tossing them on your counter (or in every purse you own), dedicate some drawer space to your bottles and their matching lids, so you can grab and go before your next workout.
Use Cabinets for Food
If you don't have a pantry, organize your cabinets with your most-used staples. We suggest only using your upper cabinets for food storage, where you can easily see everything you have.
Fold Those Tea Towels
Dedicate a drawer or two to your tea towels and fancy napkins to keep them wrinkle-free and easy to grab when you need them. We recommend folding them accordion-style, so you can easily see how many you have.
A well-organized pantry focuses on zones. Pair likewise foods together (i.e. baking supplies, noodles, etc) so you always know where each item is (or at least where to find it).
Add a Chalkboard
Not only is a chalkboard aesthetically pleasing, but it can help keep your kitchen organized. Add one to the outside of your fridge or on the back of a door you can keep track of weekly dinners, chores, and more.
Kitchens can be oases too. This essential oil drawer is the exact inspiration we need to invest in a little self-care—and set up a diffuser in our kitchen to make cooking a little more pleasant.
Use Gift Tags for Labels
Instead of printing out labels, use removable gift tags to label your baskets and bins. This makes it easy to swap them out or move them around when you run out of something or need to change it up.
Organize Your Cleaning Supplies
Save time on your next deep clean by keeping your cleaning supplies in order. Arrange them by purpose and use bins to keep them separate and neatly arranged.
Create a Party Drawer
If you love to entertain, consider dedicating a drawer to all of your favorite party supplies. Fancy napkins, placemats, or name tags should always be within arm's reach if you often have guests over.
DIY a Pantry
If your place doesn't have a built-in pantry, consider making your own. Transform a mudroom or hallway into a pantry with DIY shelving units you can customize to fit your space.
Use Dividers Everywhere
Do you sense a running theme? Every one of your drawers should have a divider in it to maximize every inch of usable space. You can thank us later.
Create "To Go" Drawers
If you have an active family, organizing baskets filled with pre-set meals or snacks can be a great way to create a "grab-and-go" station. Add soups, mac and cheese, or other easy-to-make items for the whole family.
Create a Serving Drawer
Get those utensils off of your counter and dedicate a tall drawer to them. Place serving spoons, forks, and knives in a narrow, tall drawer for easy access.
Embrace the Command Strip
From hanging pictures to hanging oven mitts, a Command Hanging Strip is a workhorse in any kitchen. Use them behind the cabinet door for extra storage that's easy to access.
Stop the Tupperware Pile
If you have a drawer filled with mismatched Tupperware, it's time to address it. Always keep your Tupperware paired with its lid so you never spend time searching around for a match.
If you have a lot of appliances sitting on the counter, it's time to find space for them. If you don't have any hidden storage, consider swapping multiple appliances for a single workhorse like an Instant Pot.
Label Your Lazy Susans
Now that you have invested in Lazy Susans, be sure to label them. Label the outside, so you can quickly turn to the items you need in one spin.
Label the Tops of Spices
No room in the pantry for spices? Use a drawer instead. Just be sure to label the top of the spice jar so you can survey everything you have without taking it all out.
Organize Cutting Boards
Instead of stacking your cutting boards and baking sheets on top of each other, file them. A vertical system can help you keep your flat kitchen items in line and reduce clutter.
Use Every Inch of Pantry Space
If you have a shallow pantry, it's important to use up every inch of space you have. Hang a rack on the inside door to make your storage go much further and add space for spices or cans.
Hide Your Coffee Machine
We all need our caffeine fix, but if your coffee machine is taking up precious counter space, move it to the pantry. No pantry? Buy a wardrobe and cut out a hole for a plug, and voila—instant coffee bar!
Think About the Top Shelf
Before you start packing your pantry, consider where you put all of your items. Reserve the top shelf only for those things you rarely need, so you're not constantly climbing over your stuff.
Opt for Mixed Materials
Though a perfectly matching pantry can be aesthetically pleasing, sometimes you need different materials for different food items. A tightly woven basket is great for those items you want to just toss in (think fruit snacks) while clear containers are great for more organized things.
Remove Tea Bags
Get rid of bulky tea bag boxes and invest in a tea bag tray instead. You can place this on a shelf or inside a drawer, but it will take up less real estate than those packing containers.
Go Wild With Glass Jars
One of the most affordable ways to add extra organization to your kitchen is with cheap glass jars. You can find a dozen mason jars for about $10, and they are perfect for storing all of your pantry staples.
Reduce Your Tupperware
We are all guilty of hoarding Tupperware, but less is more in this case. Reduce your collection to only a few pieces you always use and toss the rest.
Add Shelves to Cabinets
Maximize your usable cabinet space by adding shelves and risers. This can almost double the available storage you have and make it easier to find what you need without digging around.
Build a Drawer Within a Drawer
If you are renovating a kitchen, consider your drawers. Here, a drawer within a drawer adds an extra layer of organization. These little extras can make keeping up with an organizational system a lot easier.
Organize Your Fridge
It's time to stop filling your refrigerator to the brim. Invest in storage containers and create "zones" in your fridge so you can easily find every ingredient before it goes bad.
Turn a Nook Into a Pantry
If you don't have a pantry, consider turning a small nook into an exposed one. A mudroom or laundry room off of the kitchen are also great places to consider adding kitchen storage.
Use Every Awkward Corner
If you have a small kitchen, you know that it's essential to use every nook and cranny. Add shelving to the backsides of cabinets, on the sides of islands and anywhere else you find unused space.
Add a Rail Under the Sink
A hanging rail on the inside of your under-sink cabinet can be a super nifty thing to have. Hang a dishcloth or gloves for easy access and a more sanitary solution than outside of the cabinet.
Place Cups Upside Down
One of the easiest ways to make your cabinets look less cluttered is to turn your glasses upside down. Not only does this look better, but it helps reduce dust inside your glasses as well.