Your kitchen is usually the busiest room, even if it's located in the corner of a studio apartment, and a little organization can make cooking much faster and more pleasant. 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 hacks and organizing ideas that actually work, regardless of the size of your kitchen.
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 the frequency of use, and add dividers to give every tool has its own space.
Ditch the Boxes
Cardboard boxes are bulky and take up too much space in the kitchen. Clean up your kitchen by tossing them out and transferring your pantry staples to clear glass or plastic containers. It will keep your food fresher longer, and it's prettier to look at.
Use Clear Storage in the Fridge
If your refrigerator is a disaster zone, this idea is for you. Invest in a few clear containers. Your food will be organized and you'll easily see where everything is located for easy 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. 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. Fill a spare drawer with coffee pods, tea, and sugar so you can get your daily fix without digging around before sunrise.
Use Risers for Your Counter
Short on storage in a small kitchen? Invest in a few counter risers. It will double the available counter space without taking up the coveted prep area. Look for white or natural wood to 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, it's unlikely you'll ever see or use what's back there. Instead, invest in deep baskets or bins that can slide in and out 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. It will help you 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 be the most practical organizational tool for the kitchen. 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. It provies easy access to tools you use frequently 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. Or use small hooks to hang small utensils.
Invest in Adjustable Shelves
If you have a roomy 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 your water bottles need love too. Instead of tossing them on your counter (or in every bag you own), dedicate drawer space to your bottles and their matching lids. That makes it easier to 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 within arm's reach. We suggest only using your upper cabinets for food storage, allowing you to 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 entertain frequently.
Assemble a DIY 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 that can be customized 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 will thank us later.
Create "To Go" Drawers
If you have an active family, organizing baskets filled with pre-set meals or snacks is 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 by creating their own space in a tall drawer or cabinet. Place serving spoons, forks, and knives in a narrow, tall drawer for easy access.
Stop the Tupperware Pile
Never have drawers filled with mismatched Tupperware again. Always keep your Tupperware paired with its lid so you never spend time searching around for a match.
Remove small kitchen appliances from the counter and give them their own storage space. 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
This is especially important if you have a shallow pantry. Hang a spice rack on the inside of the door to make your storage space go much further.
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!
Remove Tea Bags from Boxes
Get rid of bulky tea bag boxes and invest in a tea bag tray instead. You can place the tray on a shelf or inside a drawer and it will take up less real estate than the original packaging.
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 make ideal storage for 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 use most frequently 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 exposed shelving. If you have a mudroom or laundry room off of the kitchen, that's a great place 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 is an organizing jackpot. Hang a dishcloth or gloves for easy access. It's also 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.
Add Mug Hooks Under Kitchen Cabinets
Don't forget the space under your upper kitchen cabinets. Hang cup hooks or small Command Hanging Strips and take your coffee mugs out of the cabinet and store them underneath, instead.
Use Large Windowsills as a Shelf
Older apartments are often tight on space, but feature windowsills with ledges large enough to hold a book or a plant. Use up every inch of space in front of the window, especially to provide lots of light for houseplants.
Use Under Table Storage
For small spaces, maximize storage with shelves under your kitchen table. A drop-leaf table adds extra room to move, and shelves let you store everyday items in plain sight.
Store Knives on the Wall
Installing a magnetic strip specially designed for knives keeps them in close reach and frees up drawer or countertop space. The added bonus is that knives stored like this will stay sharper longer because bumping into each other in a cabinet drawer dulls the blades.
Don't Forget the Top of Your Refrigerator
In a small space, every square inch counts, and there's an entire empty shelf sitting on top of your fridge. Use the space for items you don't use daily as they may be harder to reach. Keep in mind the top of the fridge tends to get warm, so don't use that area to store food or other perishables.
Hang Pots on the Ceiling
This may not be an option for renters, but homeowners low on kitchen space should look up. Install a hanging pot rack on the kitchen ceiling and free up an entire cabinet or two. Pro-tip: Always test the strength of the rack before hanging heavy items.
Make Use of the Narrow Gap Between the Stove and Wall
Plenty of kitchens, especially those in older apartment buildings, have a narrow gap between the stove and wall or the counter and the wall. If that's the case, opt for a very slim rolling storage rack for spices or small food containers. There are options that are as slim as 4 inches wide.
Puts Plants or Fruit in Hanging Wire Baskets
Let the ceiling provide some much-needed storage space. Use hanging wire baskets in the kitchen to hold fruits and vegetables while freeing up surface space. Additionally, if you want to add more plants, but don't have room on the floor or countertop, use a hanging basket as a plant holder, but be sure to use pots without drainage holes.
Rely on Magnetic Storage Shelves
The side of your fridge is another spot to add storage. Choose from magnetic shelves in a variety of sizes to hold everything from small spice jars to your canister of oatmeal. Some models also have paper towel holders attached to the shelves for a 2-in-1 storage solution.
Take the Dish Drying Rack Off the Counter
There are a variety of dish racks that can be installed under a counter so they air dry without taking up surface space. If you can't build or install a cabinet unit, look for a small dish rack that fits inside the sink.
Hang Your Wine Glasses
Take your delicate stemware out of the cabinet, and let them hang from the ceiling or an under-cabinet wine glass rack. Especially for those with high cabinets, take advantage of that space for storage. There are wine racks that can be mounted to the bottom of your cabinets that hold anywhere from 4 to 12 wine glasses.
Mount Storage Baskets on the Wall
For small or lightweight items, look for woven or metal baskets that can be hung on the wall. Use them to store kitchen towels, small kitchen utensils, or napkins. Adding labels to each basket will ensure that everything stays in the right place.
Take Spices Out of the Jar
Fill clear-topped magnetic spice containers with our favorites herbs and spices, and ditch the bottles. The spice containers can be stuck to the fridge or stove for easy reach when cooking. Moving spices to magnetic containers should free up an entire pantry shelf or kitchen drawer.
Utilize 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 the pantry (think fruit snacks), while clear containers are great for bulk foods.